Whether it is a gift as loud and bright as a Terrible Towel or as subtle as black and gold soap, you can never go wrong with a Pittsburgh gift for hometown folks.
A collection of iconic Pittsburgh items make a fun gift for just about anyone on your list. You can go the quick and easy route with Basket of Pittsburgh and chose a pre-selected package of items made and created in Pittsburgh, or you can handpick items yourself including a jar of Heinz pickles, a package of Enrico’s biscotti, some pierogies, Eat n’ Park cookies and a gift certificate to Primanti Brothers restaurants. You can even get a Primanti Brothers sandwich kit mailed to friends and family out of town. https://www.goldbelly.com/primanti-bros
Keeping with the food theme, Sarris Candies is always a winner. The Canonsburg-based company offers its famous chocolates in Pittsburgh boxes, tins and candy wrappers. For perfect stocking stuffers, pick up the Yinzer bars that feature artwork by Rob Rogers on the wrappers. To make the candy bars even more special, a portion of the proceeds go to Spencer’s Voice, a local nonprofit dedicated to fighting the drug epidemic affecting young adults. www.sarriscandies.com
A T-shirt or sweatshirt displaying Pittsburgh neighborhoods is an obvious way to show some pride. Cathy Connor, Run With It Creative artist, has created a drawing of Pittsburgh printed on shirts, towels, coasters, prints and cards. Is there a North Park lover on your list? Pick up one of Connor’s colorful North Park prints. Her work is available at her Etsy shop https://www.etsy.com/shop/runwithitcreative and at 3 Rivers Outdoor Company.
What could be more Pittsburgh than Mr. Rogers? There are a wealth of items featuring the city’s favorite neighbor ranging from books both for adults and children to mugs, socks and ties, trolleys, games and even enamel pins perfect for stocking stuffers. Shop online or in person at the Heinz History Center gift shop, and while you’re there, check out the other Pittsburgh-themed gifts such as a “Yinzer” apron, pierogi pillow or Pittsburgh food tea towel. www.shop.heinzhistorycenter.org.
The Heinz company is also a Pittsburgh icon. While everyone can probably use a bottle of Heinz ketchup, a more fun gift might be a bright red ketchup-colored shirt with the Heinz logo or red Heinz ketchup logo pajamas. Need attire for an ugly sweater party? Try a Heinz sweater! Some items are also available at the Heinz History Center gift shop or at the official Heinz Company store at https://shop.heinz.com.
Speaking of Heinz, a pickle ornament on the tree supposedly brings good luck to the home. In any case, hanging one on the tree is a fun Pittsburgh tradition, so make sure to pop one in your cart.
For pop culture or art lovers, you can’t go wrong with an Andy Warhol-themed gift. The Warhol Store offers items such as the famous Campbell’s soup can ornament, Warhol socks, Christmas plates and more. Visit the Warhol Store downtown at the museum, or go to https://stores.carnegiemuseums.org/TAWM.
Tuck a few bars of scented black and gold soap or Pittsburgh landscape soaps into a stocking or under the tree. Created by Pittsburgh soap artist Maureen Tomko, the soaps were made using a photo of a real Pittsburgh sunset for inspiration. Available at https://www.etsy.com/shop/ArborHouseSoaps or love, Pittsburgh store locations.
Wendell August Forge is known for its popular Pittsburgh-themed gifts, including aluminum trivets, Christmas ornaments and coasters featuring the Pittsburgh skyline. Handcrafted in Grove City, the forge offers numerous Pittsburgh themes in addition to the skyline including famous landmarks, sports teams, and custom designs. The forge also still has a limited number of Pittsburgh Penguins Civic Arena roof legacy ornaments with the arena outline forged on a piece of aluminum from the former arena’s roof. Visit the store in Grove City’s outlet shops or check out www.wendellaugust.com.
Local photographer Dave DiCello is well known for his beautiful Pittsburgh images, which range from iconic shots of the Point and the three rivers from Mt. Washington, to the skyline featuring a lightning storm and photos of the sports stadiums. Visit http://prints.davedicello.com.
Readers will love a book either about Pittsburgh, set in Pittsburgh or written by a local author. There are plenty to choose from in any of the above categories. Pittsburgh Then and Now by the Pittsburgh History & Landmarks Foundation is a great one to select for its history of the Steel City. For a fun, quirky read, try Pittsburgh Steps by Bob Regan to learn more about the more than 700 steps in the city—this is a great gift for urban hikers.
Books set in Pittsburgh include The Perks of Being a Wallflower (couple it with a copy of the movie of the same name), Mysteries of Pittsburgh (by Pittsburgh author Michael Chabon) and books by Pittsburgh author and professor, Kathleen George. Other Pittsburgh authors include mystery writer Rebecca Drake with her new release Just Between Us set in Sewickley, the very funny Damon Young, whose What Doesn’t Kill You Makes You Blacker will not only make you laugh out loud but think, and Joyce Tremel’s Brewing Trouble cozies. Package a couple of great reads with some teas from Tupelo Honey including their Black and Gold tea.
Amanda Lee Glassware offers glassware with a fun black-and-gold Pittsburgh skyline hand-painted onto wine, stemless wine, pub, pilsner and shot glasses. You can also find sports themes including Penguins’, Steelers’, and Pirates’ art—how about a Steeler gnome on your wine glasses? Amanda Lee also carries Penn State and Pitt themes. Visit the shop in Oakmont or shop online at https://www.amandaleeglassware.com/visit-the-store.
Pitt fans may also enjoy a model of the iconic Cathedral of Learning, the tallest university building in the world. Andrew Rieder offers several sized models of the cathedral, 3D printed using PLA filament material. Visit his Etsy page at https://www.etsy.com/shop/NPAprints?ref=simple-shop-header-name&listing_id=920809858.
True Pittsburghers will understand the 412 logo. Shop412 carries a wealth of apparel with 412 emblazed across it including hats, sweatshirts, T-shirts, towels, beanies, onesies and more. Shop412 also sponsors local projects where items purchased help various
organizations, including the 412 Pittsburgh Fire Fighters Local No. 1 that raises funds for coats for local children.
Visit one of the shops including the Southside local or https://www.shopfouronetwo.com.
Of course, nothing says Pittsburgh like sports. Pick up a Terrible Towel or a sports jersey and wrap up tickets for a Steelers’, Pirates’ or Penguins’ game. For a true over-the-top gift, add in an overnight stay after the game at the Omni William Penn Hotel, a well-known historic Pittsburgh landmark.