Edit ModuleEdit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Pittsburgh City Guide: 12 Great Main Streets Waiting For You

A trip to these well-populated thoroughfares promises access to shops, restaurants and things to do.

(page 1 of 4)

Every Pittsburgh neighborhood has its own identity, trademark quirks and proud residents eager to preserve their town’s colorful history. Among our favorites: these 12 communities in which you can experience the heart of the area on or near well-populated thoroughfares filled with pedestrians, shops, restaurants and things to do. Take a stroll with us.

photos by john altdorfer


This walkable neighborhood long has carried the motto: “Live. Worship. Shop.” Lincoln Avenue has changed over the years, but those commands still hold true — Bellevue has plenty of places to live, houses of worship (and related stores and spots for post-service dining) and charming shops. And we can definitely add “eat” to the above credo. There’s sure to be something for everyone. — LD

Where to Shop

  • Check out the organic offerings for your little one at Happy Baby Company [558 Lincoln Ave., happybabycompany.com].
  • Pick a Christian gift item or book from nonprofit shop The Shepherd’s Door [563 Lincoln Ave., theshepherdsdoor.org], which also sells fair-trade goods.

What to Do

  • Wander (admission is free) through the new home of the John A. Hermann Jr. Memorial Art Museum [318 Lincoln Ave., johnhermannmuseum.org].
  • Taste a sweet from Lincoln Bakery [543 Lincoln Ave., mylincolnbakery.com].

  • Sip the flavor of the day at the charming Muddy Cup Cafe [419 Lincoln Ave., 412/415-3144].
  • Relieve your stress: All classes at Yoga on Fremont [8 S. Fremont Ave., yogaonfremont.com] are drop-in friendly.

Where to Eat

  • Enjoy being treated like part of the family at homestyle restaurant Joe’s Rusty Nail [560 Lincoln Ave., 412/766-9228].
  • Experience some exotic flavors at Thai Tamarind [172 Lincoln Ave., thaitamarindpittsburgh.com].
  • Opt for the meatloaf, fried chicken or another staple at the Bellevue Diner [513 Lincoln Ave., 412/734-4446].
  • Devour selections from the “backyard barbecue-inspired menu” at the Pitt Stop [564 Lincoln Ave., thepittstopbbq.com].


Pittsburgh’s Little Italy is a bit of an anomaly. You have your old-time Italian grocers not far from a self-proclaimed “radical” bookstore. There’s an all-things-Catholic store run by friendly nuns a few doors down from a contemporary art gallery. Old Pittsburgh blends with the new here, and when we say goodbye to some favorites (Fukuda and Del’s Bar & Ristorante DelPizzo), we say hello to soon-to-be favorites (Bread and Salt Bakery and Station restaurant). Walk down Liberty Avenue — one of the longer main streets on our list — and experience it all. — LD

Where to Shop

  • Buy a novel and stick around for a reading or release party at the East End Book Exchange [4754 Liberty Ave., eastendbookexchange.com].
  • Visit Sacred Heart of Jesus Store [4515 Liberty Ave., 412/683-4001] to hunt for hard-to-find religious tomes and gifts.
  • Put in a custom order at family-owned Best Made Shoes [5143 Liberty Ave., bestmadeshoes.com].

  • Discover books and other items that support a broad range of politics and lifestyles at The Big Idea Bookstore [4812 Liberty Ave., thebigideapgh.wordpress.com].

What to Do

  • Catch the latest exhibition at the artist-run commercial gallery BoxHeart [4523 Liberty Ave., boxheartgallery.com].
  • Savor a doughnut and the delicious smells wafting over you at Bloomfield institution Paddy Cake Bakery [4763 Liberty Ave., paddycakebakery.org].
  • Cool off with a cold treat from Scoops in Bloomfield [4806 Liberty Ave., scoopspittsburgh.com].

Where to Eat

  • At Thai Gourmet [4505 Liberty Ave., 412/681-4373], try the pumpkin curry.

  • Order the ’Burgh-famous burger at Tessaro’s [4601 Liberty Ave., tessaros.com], prepared daily by in-house butchers.
  • Be wowed by the popcorn panna cotta, a hit at the 2015 Pittsburgh Magazine Best Restaurants Party, at Station [4744 Liberty Ave., twitter.com/station_pgh]; the new venture from Curtis Gamble, formerly of Grit & Grace, is set to open in August 2015.


Carnegie is a town marked by continued rebirth. Revitalization efforts, sparked by repeated bouts of flooding in recent years, still are going strong; the results are visible in the form of new stores and eateries popping up, as well as the bright blue bridge railings that match both the trashcans on Main Street and the chairs inside the coffee shop housed in the former post office. Business and restaurant owners love their little borough. You will, too. — LD

Where to Shop

  • Scout for locally made jewelry, candles, soap, art and more at Modern Mercantile [233 E. Main St., modernmercantilepgh.com].
  • Browse the large selection of men’s shoes at Hanna’s Clothing Store [311 W. Main St., hannasclothing.com], an area institution since 1903.

What to Do

  • Take in a show at off the WALL Theater [25 W. Main St., insideoffthewall.com], known for nontraditional performances.
  • Tour the Historical Society and Honus Wagner Museum [1 W. Main St., 412/276-7447] for an homage to the Pittsburgh Pirates legend (and the town).
  • Visit the “Carnegie Carnegie” library [300 Beechwood Ave., carnegiecarnegie.org] and its Espy room — once a meeting place for a Grand Army of the Republic post of Civil War veterans.
  • Get fit at Motion on Main [21 E. Main St., motiononmain.com].

Where to Eat

  • Slow down with a latte inside the cozy Carnegie Coffee Company [132 E. Main St., facebook.com/carnegiecoffeecompany], located in a former post office.
  • Indulge in fine Italian dining at PaPa J’s Ristorante [200 E. Main St., papajs.com].

  • Drink an Irish beer (and pair it with a shepherd’s pie) at Riley’s Pour House [215 E. Main St., rileyspourhouse.com].
  • Discover what the chef calls “world-fusion freestyle” cuisine at the lovely One Thirty One East [131 E. Main St., onethirtyoneeast.com].

Next: Lawrenceville, Millvale, & Mt. Lebanon

Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module

Edit ModuleShow TagsEdit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

A Guide to Pittsburgh

Family City Guide: A to G

A is for Aviary, B is for Baseball, C is for Carousel, D is for Dinosaurs, E is for Earth, F is for Flowers and G is for Glass.
Read More

Family City Guide: H - M

H is for History, I is for Ice Skating, J is for Jumping, K is for Kayaking, L is for Laughter and M is for Museum.
Read More

Family City Guide: N to T

N is for Nature, O is for Outer Space, P is for Pumpkins, Q is for Quiet, R is for Roller Coasters, S is for Swimming and T is for Theater.
Read More

Family City Guide: U to Z

U is for Universities, V is for Volunteering, W is for Water, X is for Xylophones, Y is for Yinzer and Z is for Zoo.
Read More

Choosing A Family

Frequent PM contributor Amy Whipple always intended to become a foster parent. Now the adoptive mother of a 3-year-old boy, she shares the story of her new family.
Read More

Eat, Do, Shop, Play and Learn

In and around Pittsburgh, the offerings for families looking for food, fun and more go so much deeper than the expected family outings. From places to outfit and entertain to natural wonders and city treasures, here are some of our favorites.
Read More

City Guide: The Best Things to Do in the 'Burgh and Beyond

We scour Allegheny County (and beyond) and visit the region’s neighborhoods and municipalities to bring you our favorite things to do, eat, drink, buy and more.
Read More
Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags

The Latest

Kraft Heinz Squeezes Out New Ketchup with Vintage Taste

Can a recipe from 1896 still taste as good?

Tour It: Historic Wilkinsburg Mansion Gets a Makeover

The Junior League of Pittsburgh's Show House is a 112-year-old mansion featuring 28 rooms decorated by a different local design professionals.

Today’s Home Relocating North Hills Furniture Store

Owner Jeff Lenchner says a Discount Tire store will open in place of the store’s current location along McKnight Road in Ross Township.

Is Gabby Barrett the Next Carrie Underwood?

The 18-year-old singer from Munhall wowed the “American Idol” judges once again.

17 Vintage Photos of the Steel City of Old

Take a trip back to a very different Pittsburgh.

These Creative Couples Transformed the Traditional Guestbook

Find out why these couples ditched the traditional guestbook and instead chose a drum head, a giant wooden letter and a dictionary for their guests to sign.

PIT Turns to CMU to Make Airport Smartest in the World

The airport authority will use minds at CMU to discover ways to make it easier for passengers to get from the terminal’s parking lots to their seat on the plane.

Celebrate August Wilson's Birthday With a King and a Block Party

The ninth play in the 10-part Pittsburgh Cycle will open outside at the August Wilson House.

First Look: Soju in Garfield

Simon Chough’s Korean restaurant is six years in the making.

I Feel Pretty Isn't What You're Expecting (And That's Okay)

Reviews of "I Feel Pretty" and "Super Troopers 2," plus a rundown of events at the Pittsburgh Underground Film Festival.

Get Your Clark Bars While You Can – They May Soon Be Gone

Production of Pittsburgh native candy bar may halt if the current producer cannot find a new buyer.

Coughlin's Law Wants To Be Your Mount Washington Destination

Notes on the busy new bar and restaurant near Grandview Avenue.

The 2018 Return of the Burgh-y Mother's Day Gift Guide

It's back! From the dog mom to the working mom, we've got you covered with these locally made must-haves.

Patriot Games Can’t Diminish Harrison’s Place in Steelers History

James Harrison intimidated opposing players in a way not seen since the days of Jack Lambert and Mean Joe Greene.

Bruno Sammartino Dies; Wrestling's Longtime Champ Was 82

The Italian-born star died surrounded by family in his adopted home of Pittsburgh.