Offbeat | What I’m loving — Pittsburgh edition

Offbeat is a bi-weekly blog offering new and meaningful takes on all things media.

By Jillian Rowan, Staff Writer

What’s not to love in this beautiful life? From food to fun, here are five things I’ve been obsessing over in Pittsburgh.

1. Dining at Täkō 

At 214 Sixth St. in Downtown, Täkō is tucked behind a deceptive freezer door. Upon opening — and momentarily thinking that you’re deep in someone’s kitchen — patrons enter a funky, neon-lit, Asian-Mexican fusion restaurant.

The lavish taqueria serves inventive Mexican street food in a stylish, vibrant atmosphere. Bold flavors litter the menu, like their classic, self-named taco, which boasts a grilled octopus tentacle. My favorites are the shrimp tacos and a hefty serving of chips and guac.

With rumbling synths floating from the DJ deck on Saturday nights, a spacious outdoor eating space and a full tequila bar, Täkō is constantly bouncing on the weekends.

This high-end Richard Deshantz restaurant group member is perfect for date nights or drinks with the girls and is my favorite spot to eat in Pittsburgh.

2. Iced lavender matcha from Coffee Tree Roasters

Let me be dramatic and say that the iced lavender matcha from Coffee Tree Roasters is the best beverage I’ve ever tasted.

A low-key coffee roastery in the Shadyside neighborhood, CTR hosts a warm and cozy atmosphere for working, chatting with friends and— most importantly— sipping good drinks. The cafe has all the staples, from bagged coffee beans to warm coffee cakes.
Drink in hand you can browse the Shadyside area, shopping stores like Lululemon, Apple, Sephora and Patagonia.

This lavender-hinted drink is perfect for the person wanting to experiment with matcha — it lacks that pungent, earthy flavor that puts so many people off. Instead, it’s sweet, a lesser but still reliable source of caffeine, and has a gorgeous sage hue.

With multiple locations in the area, you can enjoy this fabulous matcha throughout the city.

3. Long walks on the Bridle Trail 

In Schenley Park, tons of great walking trails are available to those religiously dedicated to Hot Girl Walks. Looping around the southern side of the park is the Bridle Trail.

I stumbled upon it after exploring the now out-of-use bridge on the Boulevard and I’m glad I did!

The trail has views of Downtown and the adjacent southern hills, especially now when the trees are leafless. On the way back, I can get a nice view of Cathy from afar.

I highly recommend exploring these Schenley trails. It’s mostly flat terrain and only takes around 45 minutes to complete, but it also has a couple of pleasant hills to get the heart rate up.

4. Shopping at Bankrupt Bodega

The flagship store sits at 4120 Main Street in the heart of Bloomfield. Pitt grad Pat Bruener founded Bankrupt Bodega in 2018, turning it into an independent clothing line, art gallery and film development store.

I recently found the Bodega via a school project where I had to create social media content for a local Pittsburgh business. The space is quaint but packed with awesome grails. Nifty vintage clothes, bold urban imagery from local photographers, some hand-made kooky artifacts and fantastic prints from Bruener himself line the walls.

I suggest going to this one-stop shop if you’re a clothing and photography fanatic like myself — walk in to drop off your point-and-shoot film, walk out with some sick threads.

5. Photoshoots at Opya Studios

Recently, I helped Cat Simms of SVVIAA Swim with a photoshoot campaign.

My initial thought was, “A swimwear company in Pittsburgh? How the hell are we going to shoot that?” Then I walked into Opya Studios.

Situated on quiet Sidney Street in the Southside, the 2,500-square-foot, open-concept, modern and luxurious flex space allows endless opportunities. It was absolutely perfect for photographing our models and even sneaking in some pictures of myself!

With a range of usable equipment, negotiable timeframes and low prices, I am a huge proponent of this studio — check it out next time you have a professional shoot or just want to take some dope pictures with friends.