By Katie Hatcher, Intern

When you think of Valentine’s Day, what comes to mind? For most, it’s chocolate, flowers, dinner by candlelight, perhaps something shiny in a little velvet box. But maybe you and your partner aren’t ones for tradition, and your ideal V-Day is a little more off the beaten path. Whatever your preferences, Squirrel Hill can provide everything you need to celebrate with your significant other on February 14.

When it comes to finding the perfect V-Day gift for your sweetie, the neighborhood has plenty of shops for all styles, interests, and budgets. If you’re looking for something locally made for your honey, check out Pittsburgh Honey down on Murray Ave and their line of bee-based beauty products. Anyone on the hunt for something slightly exotic and handmade can find a range of gorgeous gift-ables at Ten Thousand Villages on Forbes. Maybe your boo is a bit of a bookworm; peruse the stacks at Classic Lines or Amazing Books for a book of romantic poetry to help you express your love. And if you’re looking to really splurge on something shiny for your sweetheart, there’s always Orr’s Jewelers where you can find the perfect piece to match the sparkle in their eyes.

On the day of, be sure to pick up a bouquet of flowers from Squirrel Hill Flower Shop on Murray. They’ve been serving the community for sixty-five years, so you know you and your loved one will be thrilled with the arrangement they’ll handcraft for you (Pro tip: order ahead of time so you’ll know you’ve got the flowers on lock). With the flowers taken care of, head over to Forbes to the Chocolate Moose to find something sweet for your sweetie. You and your babe not so into chocolate or candy? Just hop across the street to Gaby et Jules for French-inspired confections to sate your sweet tooth.

When searching for the perfect place to take your special someone out to dinner, look no further than the intersection of Shady and Forbes, where you’ll find three excellent choices for a romantic and fun dining experience. If the two of you are local craft beer enthusiasts, give Independent Brewing Co. a shot. With fifteen taps of beer brewed in western PA (plus even more bottled brews) and a classic American-style menu to be savored in their candlelit, cozy atmosphere, you and your amour are sure to find something you’ll enjoy. If you’re hoping for something a little more out of the box, scoot next door to Hidden Harbor, where you can sip Polynesian-inspired cocktails and munch on poke bowls and interesting takes on bar classics, like their Crab Rangoon nachos. These options not quite hitting the spot? Take a quick walk down Forbes to Bangkok Balcony, where you and your darling can tuck in to tasty Thai cuisine while
you take in the view of the neighborhood in this intimate little spot.

After dinner, there are a few fun places in the neighborhood to round out your Valentine’s night. Check out what’s playing at The Manor on Murray where you can grab a drink while you enjoy a film. If bowling is more up your alley, headed on over to Forward Lanes to put a playfully competitive edge on the evening. These ideas not quite adrenaline-pumping enough for you? You can always up the ante at the Mystery Key Escape Room if you and your sugar are in search of adventure. Whatever your style, Squirrel Hill has something fun for you and your sweetheart to get up to.

Valentine’s Day is a special day of the year for the couples out there. It’s an opportunity to really celebrate each other and take the time to make your loved one feel special. Squirrel Hill makes it easy to spoil your sugar on this holiday while supporting our fantastic local businesses. So start making plans—and reservations! It’s right around the corner!