Philadelphia’s East Coast location provides easy access to big cities such as New York, Baltimore, D.C., and more, with each one an easy drive away. However, you can also hop on a train or bus and get to any of those cities with relative ease. From Pittsburgh, you’re looking at quite a trek.
It’s no secret that Philadelphia is a phenomenal beer city—it’s home to Victory Brewing Company, Yards Brewing Company, and a whole host of other local breweries, which are highlighted every summer during Philly Beer Week. If you’re more into spirits, you can visit Manatawny Still Works, New Liberty Distillery, Philadelphia Distilling, and more. Pittsburgh is home to Wigle Whiskey and Rolling Rock, but it simply can’t compete.
Forget cheesesteaks and scrapple—Philadelphia is home to several James Beard award winners, and some of its restaurants, including Zahav and Res Ipsa, have been recognized nationally. Pittsburgh has a solid food scene of its own, but it just isn’t on Philadelphia’s level.
Philadelphia and its surrounding areas are home to Wawa, which serves up excellent hoagies, breakfast food, and coffee at amazing prices. Despite what many western Pennsylvanians would have you believe, Sheetz is simply the poor man’s Wawa.
Sure, Philadelphia’s SEPTA system isn’t flawless, but between buses, subways, regional rail trains, and trolleys, it’s relatively easy to get around Philadelphia proper and even its suburbs. And if you don’t want to take public transportation, it’s a walkable city. Pittsburgh’s buses and meager “T” subway system, with its limited stops, just don’t measure up.
Philadelphia is home to Rocky, It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, M. Night Shyamalan films, and so much more, but when it comes to Pittsburgh’s pop culture, the fact is that nothing comes to mind. Even when The Dark Knight Rises was filmed in Pittsburgh, the filmmakers still felt the need to pretend it was downtown New York.
If you’re looking to visit or move to a new city, Philadelphia’s work-life balance, in that you can work and live in the same neighborhood with ease, attracts thousands of young professionals. Pittsburgh’s downtown, while lovely, isn’t residential, which means longer commutes and empty neighborhoods once the working day is done.