A guide to Pittsburgh’s must-see fall food festivals


TPN File Photo

Picklesburgh, pictured, is one of several upcoming Pittsburgh food fests, taking place Aug. 20-22 on the Andy Warhol Bridge in Downtown.

By Jessica McKenzie, Staff Writer

If the idea of fall semester’s upcoming work has you in a pickle, you may as well eat a few.
The Picklesburgh end-of-summer food festival Downtown has you covered. And if pickles aren’t your thing, there are plenty of other iconic food festivals in the City coming your way this fall.

This is your ultimate guide to Pittsburgh’s fall food festivals. After all, there’s no better way to celebrate the start of our first in-person semester in more than a year than to eat like there’s no tomorrow. You can get a taste of Italian food without venturing too far from campus, or you can deepen your understanding of the Pittsburgh food scene by trying a good old-fashioned pierogi.

Pittsburgh Mac and Cheese Festival

Ah, mac and cheese, the ultimate comfort food for college students. This festival offers endless possibilities for America’s cheesiest entree, with more than 30 kinds of mac and cheese for guests to sample.

The Pittsburgh Mac and Cheese Festival will take place on Sept. 18 at the Sandcastle Water Park in Homestead, which is just a 40-minute bus ride from campus. Starting at $20 for an entry ticket, guests can purchase three kinds of tickets to the festival — entry, general admission or VIP. General admission comes with 10 food tickets and a full-size beverage, but kids under 12 years old enter the festival for free.

All guests are welcome to enjoy live music and vote for vendors they believe make the best mac and cheese in Pittsburgh. Festivities kick off at 11:30 a.m. and go on until 9 p.m. If you’re ready to take this classic microwave dinner to the next level, the Pittsburgh Mac and Cheese Festival is for you.

A Soulful Taste of the Burgh

Looking for fun ways to support small, Black-owned businesses? Always hungry? A Soulful Taste of the Burgh is returning to Market Square on Labor Day Weekend to celebrate Pittsburgh’s Black Wall Street. This festival is just a stone’s throw away from campus, and everyone should take advantage of this opportunity to enjoy Pittsburgh’s downtown area.

Pittsburgh’s Black Legacy will be celebrating Black businesses through food, live music and guest speakers from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily from Sept. 2 to Sept. 5. Entrance is free, and you can choose from a wide array of African and southern cuisine while learning about the history of Black entrepreneurship.

Little Italy Days

Over the past year, more than a couple of students had study abroad plans that fell through. Little Italy Days gives us a chance to fly to Italy simply by walking over to Bloomfield on Liberty Avenue between Aug. 19-22. Not only will you be immersed in Italian culture through food, but there will also be more than 30 Italian musical acts over the four days of festivities.

Festival entrance is free and various parking options are available if needed. The festival hosts a bocce ball tournament — an Italian game similar to lawn ball — on the weekend of the festival. Additionally, Little Italy Days hosts the competition for the title of Miss Little Italy. So munch on some Italian goodies while enjoying a cluster of entertainment to celebrate Italian heritage and the end of the summer.

Pittsburgh Pierogi Fest

If you’re looking to celebrate the Polish treasure of pierogies, head over to Kennywood Park in West Homewood on Sept. 26 for a day of all things pierogi. Tickets for the festival are $26.99 for adults when bought online and $29.99 at the door. Guests can enjoy food from nearly 30 local vendors from 1 to 6 p.m., in addition to free parking and some iconic Kennywood rides.

The Pittsburgh Pierogi Festival also offers a beer garden for guests over 21, as well as a pop-up market with Pittsburgh and pierogi merch. Plus, what better way to bond with friends than to participate in a pierogi pinching contest?


And last but not least, late summer is the season for Pittsburgh’s ultimate pickle mania, Picklesburgh. Celebrating its fifth year of festivities, Picklesburgh will take place from Aug. 20-22 on the Andy Warhol Bridge downtown. A quick bus ride from campus will take you to this festival, which is free of charge to all guests.

Here you can enjoy the limitless possibilities of pickles to your heart’s content, as the vendors of this festival use the Heinz pickles for just about any international dish or cocktail you can imagine. There are limitless options here — guests can even sign up for a pickle juice drinking contest.