90 Neighborhoods and What We Love About Them
Explore the ins and outs of Pittsburgh’s incredible, diverse neighborhoods with fun things to do in every part of town.
(page 10 of 10)
South Side Flats
Everything about The Smiling Moose is just a step better than Carson Street’s par. Sure, as do many bars, the menu focuses on sandwiches, sliders and snacks. But this isn’t your usual pub grub; try a shrimp po’boy with roasted red pepper mayo, red cabbage slaw and corn salsa. Yes, there’s a lot of beer and mixed drinks, but not your watered-down, by-the-bucket libations — more like a mighty, I.P.A.-focused beer list and creative cocktails named for horror-movie icons. Even the patronage is a little more refined; you’ll find familiar regulars and out-of-town visitors dropping in on the strength of The Moose’s growing reputation as an island of reliability in the chaotic South Side. Upstairs, the bar regularly hosts punk and indie concerts and comedy shows in a unique space with a towering stage (and satellite bar around the corner). Downstairs, regular features that include comedy and music open-mic nights and trivia competitions pull loyal followings. Ravenous Pens fans know that The Moose is one of the premier hockey bars in town, with all eyes on the giant projection screen as soon as the puck drops. The South Side seems to morph and change every year or so, sometimes for the better and sometimes not. A few institutions stay reliably great no matter what’s going on outside, though, and The Smiling Moose might be the best of them. — Sean Collier
[1306 E. Carson St.; smiling-moose.com, 412/431-4668]
Owned by entrepreneurs Jonathan and Brandy Vlasic, cozy and romantic Alla Famiglia offers a menu that may include such Italian dishes as veal chop Milanese, caprese salad and mussels Diavola. — Kristina Martin
You can't quite smack a home run off the U.S. Steel Tower from Arlington Ballfield, but you can pretend.
The Council of the Three Rivers American Indian Center was formed by a pair of local Native American families to strengthen ties with others in the Pittsburgh area. The group runs several Head Start/pre-kindergarten centers, including one in Knoxville. — Sean Collier
The South Hills Racing Pigeon Club dates back to the early 1900s; club pigeons were once recruited for military service.
It takes more than tennis courts and bike racks to make a good city park. Sometimes, you need to come up with a unique draw — say, a free-to-the-public skateboard park within a few minutes of downtown. McKinley Skate Park in Beltzhoover, not a mile from Saw Mill Run Boulevard, is equipped with half- and quarter-pipes, rails and ramps for your skateboarding, biking or other wheeled needs. Haven’t dusted off that board since Tony Hawk’s glory days? Head to Beltzhoover and see if you remember how to ollie. Got little ones who tend more toward the X Games than the Little League? Buy some elbowpads and get ’em skating. — Sean Collier
[Bausman Street, near Saw Mill Run Boulevard intersection; pittsburghpa.gov/citiparks/skate-parks]
Bring the kids (or the pups) for an evening stroll around Philip Murray Playground.
In one of Pittsburgh’s most troubled neighborhoods, Lighthouse Cathedral of Pittsburgh works tirelessly for its congregation. Meetings, church programs, outreach efforts and youth classes fill the calendar year-round. — Sean Collier
South Side Slopes
On the one hand, Corner Café is a solid little dive on the South Side Slopes. Pints are cheap, service is dependable and, really, what more could you ask for? But Corner Café is also a kind of speakeasy for stand-up comedians. Its small stage hosts a wide range of wise guys, from amateurs working their first mic to local stars plying their craft. As Pittsburgh’s independent comedy scene grows, Corner Café is becoming a favorite stop on our little vaudeville circuit. The Slopes have been home to crackups and storytellers for 200 years; it’s only natural to give ’em a spotlight. — Robert Isenberg
[2500 S. 18th St.; 412/488-2995]