Food tours of South Side, Squirrel Hill to launch




’Burgh Bits & Bites Food Tours is launching a tour of the South Side, one of several new food tours around town.

The company already runs regular tours of the Strip District, as well as Brookline, Bloomfield, Lawrenceville and the North Side.

Owner Sylvia McCoy decided to add South Side after visiting friends at Zoltun Design on Bedford Square and learning that the building once housed the Yost Produce Co. It has a tunnel that was used to deliver produce and eggs to the South Side Market House, which is on the National Register of Historic Places.

Taking a walk, Ms. McCoy discovered Tootie’s Famous Italian Beef on South 16th Street and met the owner, Karl Horn, while trying a sandwich. Continuing on down Carson Street, she got a shake at the Milk Shake Factory, some dolmades (stuffed grape leaves) at the Mediterranean Market and sampled a giant slice of pizza at Benny Fierro’s.

She grazed the trail, and a tour was born. It will also include stops at Le Petit Chocolate and S&S Candy & Cigar Co. and will cost $39 per person on Fridays starting June 10. Ms. McCoy will do a practice run on Tuesday for a 20 percent discount — $31.20 per person. For more details, visit http://​burghfoodtour.com.

’Burgh Bits & Bites also is working with Bike the Burgh Tours to do a first-time bicycle food tour of Lawrenceville and Millvale. The ’Burgh, Bites & Bikes tour will run from 2 to 4 p.m. June 4 and include tastings of Greek spanakopita, pierogies, local chocolate and a Croatian pastry in honor of the famous Maxo Vanka murals at St. Nicholas Croatian Catholic Church. It starts at the Healthy Ride station at 4200 Butler St. in Lawrenceville, where attendees can rent bikes. Cost is $45.

Ms. McCoy says that tour could become a regular one, as she enjoys partnering with Bike the Burgh owner Valentina Scholar. Ms. McCoy is from Switzerland, and Ms. Scholar is from the Italian Alps. “We speak Swiss-German together!”

On the following Saturday, June 11, Bike the Burgh is offering a Bike to Barrels whiskey history tour starting on the North Shore and ending at the Wigle Whiskey Barrelhouse & Whiskey Garden in Spring Garden ($30). Details at http://​www.biketheburgh.com.

Also firing up a new bus-shuttled food tour — its fourth — is Pittsburgh Tours & More. This summer, its Feast of All Nations: Squirrel Hill Culinary Tour will celebrate the diversity of residents and foods and landmarks such as Mineo’s and Aiello’s, two pizza shops that enjoy an intense and friendly rivalry.

Tourgoers can try pizza from both camps, as well as tastes of French, Chinese, Russian, Korean and Jewish deli foods. They can also visit local landmarks such as the Keeping Tabs Holocaust sculpture, made from 6 million beverage can tabs. A portion of the proceeds benefit nonprofit Ten Thousand Villages, which has a store in the neighborhood.

The tour company’s director, Sherris Moirera, says it plans to start the tour by August and run it once or twice a month. Cost is to be $85 single, $160 for two, $225 for three and $280 for four.

Pittsburgh Tours also offers Flavor of Pittsburgh, Rust Belt Brews & Bites and Delicioso Latin food tours as well as a winery tour and various PA Brew Tours. For more information, visit pghtoursandmore.net.

This past Saturday, PA Brew Tours launched a collaboration tour with Golden Triangle Bike Rental. On monthly Bikes & Brews Tours, attendees spend two hours touring the city on a bike and tasting beer ($25). They’re also doing Bike Happy Hours every other Thursday at the shop (www.bikepittsburgh.com/​pittsburgh-bike-tours#guidedtours).

Bob Batz Jr.: bbatz@post-gazette.com, 412-263-1930 and on Twitter @bobbatzjr.





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