If you live in or have been through Lawrenceville recently you already know – it’s a hipster paradise. We’re serious. And that’s no slight. Facts are facts people.
It’s no wonder why either. From bars and a bowling alley to bike shops and boutiques, Butler Street is bursting at the seams with arts, culture, good eats and cool people.
And all the cool kids know there’s nothing cooler than being healthy. Which is exactly why we created the go healthy guide to navigating Lawrenceville (and the surrounding neighborhoods).
Coffee shops are nothing new. But a spot dedicated solely to juice, that’s a new concept for Pittsburgh. Zeb Homison, the owner of Bikram Yoga Pittsburgh, decided it was time to change all of that. Enter Pittsburgh Juice Company. Located on Penn Avenue in the Strip, PJC serves up juice and sets customers up on 3,6, or 10-day juice programs. You can stop in and hang out, or order your juice to go. Either way, be sure to give the Super Green a go. You won’t regret it!
This is the place to be for brunch on Butler Street. So if it’s Saturday or Sunday be prepared to wait in line. But know that your meal will be totally worth the wait. From your basic breakfast essentials to fancier food like smoked salmon omelet or cheese-stuffed French toast Coca Cafe has something for everyone. And we mean everyone. If you have some dietary restrictions they’re ready and willing to make most menu items vegetarian, vegan and/or gluten-free.
How do you redeem fast food? Franktuary has it figured out. They’ve reclaimed the frank by transforming it from a street cart snack into a delicacy. Local, farm raised, chemical free meats make for a healthier dog loaded with fresh, creative toppings. And they’re kind of a big deal. President Obama has been, so has the Food Network. So we think it’s about time you got in on the goodness.
Looking for authentic and traditional Thai cuisine? Look no further, friend. The menu at Pusadee’s boasts more than 50 Thai dishes, with sauces and curries made from scratch. Will surveying a menu that has more options than the dining room has seats, you’ll find plenty of vegetarian and vegan-friendly foods. Your best bet is to head here in good weather, call ahead, BYOB and sit outside for an experience that explains the word “garden” in eateries name.
There aren’t many people who know more about the needs of a meat-loving Paleo eater than Justin Severino, an award-winning chef and butcher extraordinaire. Severino adheres to a food philosophy that supports “ethical farming practices, humane animal husbandry, sustainability and traditional cooking techniques.” Which means you can expect the highest quality lamb, duck, chicken, beef or pork in town, done up more ways than we can count.
Technically this place isn’t in Lawrenceville, it’s in Polish Hill. But it’s not far from Butler Street. And given the vibe, it feels right on this list. Especially if you’re into locally roasted coffee and healthy eats – including vegan and vegetarian options. That’s what Robert Levkulich and Carrie DiFiore were going for when they opened Lili Coffee Shop back in 2010. Named after their young daughter this place has become something of a centerpiece in Polish Hill, while remaining largely unknown to the rest of the city. It’s truly a hidden gem. One totally worth discovering.
When it comes to eclectic, artsy and healthy restaurants the South Side would point to Zenith as the epitome of the aforementioned attributes. But Lawrenceville also boasts an establishment that’s easy on the eye and heavy on healthy food. Of course, we’re talking about Kaleidoscope Cafe. From the mosaic tile exterior, you get the sense that this place is a rare find. Once you’re inside you’ll find your impression proven true. The walls are covered with art and the menu is marked with meals that can be made to suit vegan, vegetarian and gluten-free diets.
Arsenal Strength is aptly named. They have a full arsenal of programs and equipment for people serious about getting fit. First and foremost, they’re a CrossFit gym led by a cast of athletes and competitors. But that’s not all they have under the roof. They’re also home to Butler Street Barbell, strength training options, and Just Get Fit, a “lighter”, CrossFit style boot camp that’s perfect for new exercisers and old exercisers alike. Did we mention that they’re next to Hop Farm Brewery, and a stone’s throw from the Pittsburgh Zoo & Aquarium? Make a day of it!
Amazing Yoga is opening in Lawrenceville. If you haven’t found out what’s so amazing about this place in Shadyside, South Side, or Wexford, now’s your chance. They’re all about offering dynamic classes that balance strength with gentleness. It’s the serene kick in the pants that you’ve been waiting for. So, stop in for a hot yoga session or workshop that can help advance your yoga practice. AY is bringing a new balance to Butler Street.
All equipment being equal, a gym is a gym is a gym. You have an assortment of machines mixed with a free weights and cardio contraptions. So when selecting a gym what really matters is the environment, expertise and atmosphere. Based on this criteria, Celli’s is the clear winner among Pittsburgh gyms. Everyone from a casual gym-goer to a true fitness fanatic will find exactly what they need here. That’s because the owner, Ryan Celli, is a world record holding powerlifter, turned champion bodybuilder. Yeah, Ryan and his team know a thing or two about getting results.
If Ryan Celli is Pittsburgh’s go-to guy for weight training, Zeb Homison – the owner of BYP – is the Burgh’s preeminent yoga practitioner. He’s an award-winning instructor and competitor who has won international yoga events. BYP is also stocked with a selection of stellar instructors who will lead you through a fun and challenging 90 minute Bikram yoga class, consisting of 26 poses performed in a heated room (105 degrees!). Stop in to experience a workout that is equal parts exertion and relaxation.
No air conditioning. No whirl pool. No gimmicks. Just everything you need to get “Build in Bloomfield.” That’s the extent of the sales pitch you’ll get at the Exercise Warehouse, “Pittsburgh’s only serious free weight gym.” It’s true, this place is no frills. And that’s by design. This approach has earned the Exercise Warehouse a reputation among hardcore lifters, while still being accessible for general fitness seekers who enjoy the garage gym vibe.
This place is a local food lovers dream, fresh food from the farm, field and forest all year long. Well, that’s only the best thing we’ve ever heard! And somehow it gets better. Wild Purveyors is working with more than 80 sustainable farmers and organic growers here in PA to deliver us exotic eats, wild edibles, artisan farmstead cheeses, grass-fed meats, and heirloom produce. Plus they’re sharing the foraged goodness with local chefs delivering their fresh finds to area restaurants on a regular basis.
Deirdre Kane and Dora Walmsley, two friends and Lawrenceville residents, have come together to create a community-focused grocery story where residents can get their food while getting to know one another. While volunteering for the Lawrenceville Organic Community Gardens, the pair formed a friendship centered on fresh food or Lawrenceville’s lack thereof. With limited access to fresh, local food in their neighborhood these ladies set out to create the space themselves. Now the 52nd Street Market is the place for access to fresh, healthy and affordable food.
With two locations (Lawrenceville and Oakland) Iron City Bikes has everything a Steel City cyclist could need. From buying a bike to upgrades on parts and accessories, this place has you covered. Repairs? Yeah, they do that too. Plus they have a sweet line of bike clothing, like racing jerseys, caps, hoodies and tees.
The store formerly known as Foster’s Meats, lives on thanks to Michael Rado kept this neighborhood’s famous kielbasa on the menu and added fresh, local meats to the selection at the Butcher on Butler. Now this family-owned meat shop is focused on serving meat that comes from local farms within driving distance – like lamb from Elysian Fields, beef from Jubilee Hilltop Ranch in Altoona, chickens from Gerber’s Farms in Ohio and whole hogs from Clarion River Organics.
Like the name suggests, this place LOVES bikes. And in addition to selling bikes and components, Love will build you a bike from scratch or restore one that’s in need of some TLC. If you’re looking for a ride that’s any other, stop by Love for brands, bikes and a passion for peddling you won’t find anywhere else.
We’ll keep you up to date on all things health, fitness and local food in Pittsburgh.