Credit: Ace Hotel/Rob Larson

It’s a given that we don’t need national media outlets to declare, define or inform us of our coolness—which is precisely, in fact, one of the many reasons that Pittsburgh is quite cool and authentic. But let’s set aside all shrugs and snark for now to see why Forbes magazine thinks our fair city is just that and more.

In her Lifestyle feature for the national business magazine, From A New Ace Hotel To Being Named The Top Food City In the Country, Pittsburgh Is The New Cool, contributor Breanna Wilson showcases some of the city’s tech, culinary and neighborhood hotspots.

Credit: Morcilla/Adam Milliron
Credit: Morcilla/Adam Milliron

In her introduction, Wilson writes: “From Google unveiling a new office to plenty of films being filmed in the Steel City, there’s no denying that Pittsburgh is quickly becoming one of the coolest cities in the country. A town that until recently has mostly been known for its sports teams, interesting eating habits (expect French fries on your sandwiches and salads) and a notorious Pittsburghese dialect, these aren’t the things that are defining Pittsburgh anymore.”

And we can all agree with Wilson when she adds: “A city that has always unapologetically just been itself, the new ‘Burgh manages to keep its authenticity amidst a major rejuvenation led by locals. These are things making Pittsburgh the new cool right now.”

Forbes‘ first stop is the recently opened Ace Hotel located in a former East Liberty YMCA, which “boasts a new neighborhood tavern, Whitfield, from a Pittsburgh native turned successful Brooklyn butcher and co-founder of The Meat Hook, an extremely popular neighborhood whole animal butcher shop in Williamsburg.”

Chef Justin Severino, a 2015 and 2014 James Beard Foundation award nominee and a two-time winner of Food & Wine‘s People’s Best New Chef Mid-Atlantic honor, gets a shout-out from Forbes fresh on the heels of opening his latest venture, Morcilla.

“Bringing Spanish cuisine to a city that hasn’t had a proper introduction to traditional pintxos just yet, Morcilla is the creation of Justin Severino, a chef who is no stranger to introducing Pittsburghers to new ways of eating. After opening Cure, a meat-centric Mediterranean-inspired spot that focuses on locally sourced, quality ingredients and has the best charcuterie in town, Severino is one of the driving forces in making Pittsburgh a foodie town. So much so in fact, that Zagat just rated Pittsburgh the #1 food city in the U.S.” (insert yet another reference to fries on your sammich).

Credit: ©iStock/bgwalker
Credit: ©iStock/bgwalker

Forbes also recommends new eateries such as Smallman Galley, Station and Muddy Waters Oyster Bar, declaring that it is “an exciting time to eat in Pittsburgh right now.”

And what national article about Pittsburgh would be complete without a nod to Lawrenceville? Forbes‘ words—not ours—are that the lovely little nabe is “The Brooklyn of Pittsburgh.”

Touching upon Lawrencville’s Butler Street corridor, cultural amenities, creative residents and vibrant food scene, Wilson writes:

“Ask any Pittsburgh local what neighborhood is undoubtedly the hippest one right now and they’ll all agree, Lawrenceville is it. An area that has been undergoing a major revitalization over the last several years thanks to affordable rent and unoccupied spaces, artists, creatives and trendsetting locals are flocking to this now energetic area . . . A mix of spots such as the Kickback Pinball Café and Row House Cinema, a single-screen theater with a concession stand offering craft beer from five taps, and bars like the Tender Bar + Kitchen, are attracting young crowds who have been craving an area like this in the city.”

Not so sure about the “affordable rent” part anymore . . .

Forbes ends by highlighting Pittsburgh’s thriving craft beer scene, which is seeing no signs of a slowdown:

“Lawrenceville is also home to a developing brew scene in the city. From the Church Brew Works, a brewery in a former Catholic Church, to newcomers Hop Farm, Roundabout, Full Pint and Arsenal Cider House, the success of these breweries are even more proof that the tastes of the city are changing.”

Read the entire article in Forbes.

Jennifer has worked at the Mattress Factory, Brooklyn Museum of Art and Dahesh Museum of Art and is co-author of Pittsburgh Signs Project: 250 Signs of Western Pennsylvania. She also is co-coordinator of Handmade Arcade. Musically, she is in a band called The Garment District and is a founding member of Brooklyn's The Ladybug Transistor.