The New North

Museums, historical landmarks, entertainment venues and elegant 19th-century homes pack this section of Pittsburgh’s North Side. The neighborhoods boast a combination of walkable neighborhoods and trendy restaurants.

photo by john altdorfer

What's Here

Chateau: Don’t let the quaint name fool you. The tiny neighborhood on the banks of the Ohio River is home to some big-time destinations, notably the Rivers Casino and Carnegie Science Center.

Manchester: This architecturally rich, mostly residential neighborhood filled with late Victorian-style manses is home to the Manchester Historic District. Featuring homes built between 1860 and 1900, it is Pittsburgh’s largest district listed in the National Register of Historic Places.

Central Northside: Also known as Allegheny City Central, the vibrant, tree-lined neighborhood includes Allegheny General Hospital [320 E. North Ave.] and the stately homes of the Mexican War Streets within its borders. 

North Shore: Score! The North Shore is home turf for both PNC Park and Heinz Field. But it’s not all sports on the North Shore; among the businesses, restaurants and housing, you’ll also find The Andy Warhol Museum [117 Sandusky St.].

Allegheny Center: There’s always something to do in Allegheny Center. Surrounded on three sides by Allegheny Commons Park, the area is a hive of activity, thanks to must-visit Pittsburgh institutions such as the The Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh [10 Children’s Way] and the New Hazlett Theater [6 Allegheny Square East].

Allegheny West: Ridge Avenue, now dominated by the Allegheny campus of Community College of Allegheny County, was dubbed Millionaire’s Row in the late 19th century as many of Pittsburgh’s elite chose to build homes in Allegheny West.


10 Things We Love in the New North

1 Start your weekend off right by grabbing a burger at Chateau Café & Cakery [1501 Preble Ave.]. Known for savory breakfast and brunch items, sweet treats and locally brewed coffees, Chateau dedicates every Friday to serving up some of the finest burgers in the ’Burgh.

2 Bicycle Heaven [Preble and Columbus avenues] in Chateau is part bike-repair shop, part retail store, part history museum and full-on awesome. But if you really want to get your wheels moving, check out Bicycle Heaven’s Bike Show, Swap Meet and Party. The next installment takes place Sept. 12-13, rain or shine.

3 For anyone looking to get creative with kids — or just have fun adult time — The ARTLab programs at The Mattress Factory [500 Sampsonia Way] in Central Northside are can’t-miss events. Held on the first and third Saturday of each month, ARTLab features fun interactive activities (typically inspired by current exhibitions, artists and ideas) for visitors of all ages.

4 Sure, you’re heading to the National Aviary [700 Arch St.] in Allegheny Center to check out the array of birds, but don’t forget to visit with Wookiee, the Linnaeus’s
two-toed sloth, who resides in the Cloud Forest exhibit.

5 PNC Park [115 Federal St.] is beautiful all around, but the park’s right wall is a subtle tribute to one of greatest players in Pittsburgh Pirates (and baseball) history; it stands 21 feet high in honor of Roberto Clemente’s jersey number. For fans, the 12-foot bronze statue of Clemente is a great place for a photo op.

6 Once a year (but only if you’ve been a good little boy or girl), the annual Old Allegheny Victorian Christmas House Tour allows visitors a peek inside the elaborately decorated edifices that line Manchester. Your tour guide will explain Victorian holiday traditions and provide history behind Allegheny West and its famous 19th-century residents. 2015’s tour is Dec. 11-12.

7 Woof! The popular off-leash dog park at Allegheny Commons Park [Ridge Avenue] is a great way to meet friends — of the two-legged and four-legged varieties. Just don’t let your pup swim in nearby Lake Elizabeth — no dogs allowed!

8 By all means, head to the nonprofit New Hazlett Theater [6 Allegheny Square East], for a live theatrical production or dance performance. Don’t forget to explore the historic venue’s fantastic lobby while you’re there; with spatial design by Edge Studios and sculptural artwork by Kathleen Mulcahy, the room is made for gawking.

9 Good Fridays at The Andy Warhol Museum [117 Sandusky St.] are extra special. Every Friday, the Warhol stays open late — until 10 p.m. — and offers half-price admission, plus a cash bar in the museum lobby. Go on. Get your 15 minutes.

10 If you’re on a mission to destroy — and we mean absolutely annihilate — your diet, may we kindly suggest any of the torpedo-sized burritos on the menu at El Burro Comedor [1108 Federal St.] in Central Northside? As a topper, try the carne asada fries. Your scale may hate you in the morning, but you won’t regret it.


Under-the-radar food and drinks

Joey and Dolly’s North Shore Deli [539 E. Ohio St.] will transport you back to 1982, the year the storefront opened in the Central Northside. Inside you can order from a selection of 20 sandwiches named for neighborhood streets, and you also can purchase deli meats and cheeses. There’s a griddle outside for hot Italian sausages, kielbasa and hot dogs. The “Git and Go” slogan on the deli’s sign reminds customers that you should take these giant sandwiches elsewhere (although the new addition of a small, stand-up counter does provide some space to eat inside). — Hal B. Klein


Under-the-radar activity

Explore the duality of exercise at Urban Elements & Cycology [208 Federal St.] on the North Shore, which offers power yoga and indoor cycling. The cycling uses a style of bike that mimics outdoor riding — the bikes tilt and lean with your body, engaging your core. The gym, which opened in early 2015, currently is offering drop-in prices from $15-$18 per class. Also, watch for special events; Urban Elements leads free group runs on Thursday evenings, followed by a donations-based yoga class. — Jennie Dorris


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21 Great Communities

Around the Point

With exciting options for work, play and attractive new housing – these Pittsburgh neighborhoods are the places a rising number of urbanites want to call home.

The New North

If you venture to this neighborhood only to attend a sporting event or concert at PNC Park or Heinz Field, you’re missing out; the area is full of restaurants, museums, cultural landmarks and churches, as well as some lovely historic homes.

The Old Allegheny Slopes

No matter where you drive or walk in The Old Allegheny Slopes, you are probably going up or down a hill. This makes for a lot of good views, along with hidden surprises tucked into these city neighborhoods.

The Northern 'Burbs

The area commonly referred to as the North Hills maintains its long-held status as a fine suburban place to live or go for a walk in a nature park, but the area also offers plenty of shopping and dining and play options.

The Near East

There’s a reason all of the out-of-town trend pieces praising Pittsburgh’s 21st-century rebirth seem to focus on these neighborhoods. This thriving part of the city is where design, the arts, restaurant culture and high-end shopping are integrated into Pittsburgh’s working-class bones.

Where 8 Meets 28

The river communities that have been home to many families with histories in steel- and glass-making have a wealth of quaint, independent retail stores, restaurants and businesses, as well as much-loved libraries, festivals and community days.

Allegheny River Communities

Each borough and municipality in this northeastern corner of Allegheny County contains surprises. To those who live along the river’s edge, they’re familiar, hometown destinations and sights; to visitors, they’re spots worth making the drive out along (the finally construction-free) Route 28.

College Town

When people talk about the revitalization of Pittsburgh, it usually involves the tagline meds and eds — and meds and eds it is in College Town. You’ll find the sprawling buildings of Carnegie Mellon University, Carlow University and the University of Pittsburgh as well as several UPMC medical complexes.

Green Pittsburgh

Green Pittsburgh is a story of the birth and rebirth of our city: students and young professionals flock to Squirrel Hill and Shadyside, adding vibrancy that radiates from top universities. Meanwhile, redevelopment in Hazelwood and Glen Hazel offers new chances for affordable housing and a blossoming community.

The Hidden East End

The Mellons, Fricks, Carnegies and Westinghouses built their mansions in this most-stylish part of town. But their departure for greener and more secluded pastures — and the mass relocation of families here after the razing of the Lower Hill — left much of this area economically depressed for decades. Now the long-awaited renaissance of East Liberty is beginning to bring major reinvestment here, too.

The Eastern Border

Most of these communities, which lie to the east of the Squirrel Hill Tunnels, are residential suburbs with small business districts. There also are tons of beauty in these hills, which are packed with historic homes, parks, schools and churches, as well as evidence of Pittsburgh’s steel-making and industrial past.
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The Sprawling Suburbs

Roadways, which prompted the construction of shopping malls, always have played a key role in this region’s growth. Research labs for U.S. Steel, Westinghouse and others attracted engineers from around the world, particularly India, and the new immigrants often built temples — one of which is a familiar sight perched on a hillside overlooking I-376

The Mon and Beyond

Past meets the present in the communities making up Pittsburgh’s eastern and Mon Valley regions. Here you’ll encounter reminders of where we started as leaders in the steel industry and — while plenty of these small towns still face challenges — you’ll find glimpses of where we’re going in neighborhoods moving towards revitalization.

Scaling the Mountain

There’s a lot happening in the area between the South Side and the Hilltop, and every time you visit, it seems a new business has cropped up. The communities around Mount Washington enjoy beautiful views of the city as well as parks, strong neighborhood associations and ethnic restaurants.

The Reborn 'Burbs

This is where the city’s southern suburbs begin, at the edge of the city limits and drifting into the areas closest to Pittsburgh proper. Along the south bank of the Monongahela River — in an area with heavy industrial roots — you’ll find neighborhoods in the midst of revitalization, with plenty of business and more quaint places to live.

Far Down the River

Pittsburgh loves its blue-collar industrial history, and at the heart of that are the communities that make up the Mon Valley. Where the Monongahela and Youghiogheny rivers meet is the beginning of a network of proud, tight-knit communities with lots of trails and woods to explore, plenty of fishing spots and — important for any community — a wealth of beloved soft-serve ice cream stands.

The Southern Suburbs

With their abundance of green spaces, thriving business districts and walkable sidewalk communities, Pittsburgh’s southern suburbs offer plenty of incentive for families looking for a peaceful place to call home. Though mere minutes from Downtown, these neighborhoods make residents feel as though they are worlds away from the hustle and bustle of city life.

The Midwest

The neighborhoods west of Downtown were among the region’s first. Most were part of Chartiers Township, which (like the creek) was named for Pierre Chartier, a local trader of French and Shawnee parentage who later became a chief. Formerly farmland, most of this area was transformed by industry into working-class neighborhoods, a legacy which persists today.

Down the Highways

While driving southbound on Interstate 79, don’t be scared to take an exit and explore. These townships and boroughs range from scenic farmland to busy main streets. Regardless of the surroundings, the areas in this region all offer plenty to experience.

The Far-Flung 'Burbs

These primarily residential communities have spent the past years growing — and becoming more and more popular. With Pittsburgh International Airport nearby and increasing economic development, it’s easy to see why so many call this end of the region home.

The Ohio River Valley

The lands north of the Ohio River became part of the Depreciation Lands used to pay Revolutionary War veterans for their service. The numerous small boroughs and townships along Ohio River Boulevard are collected into slightly larger (but still compact) school districts, befitting their continued status as popular hometowns to raise families generation after generation.
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Getting Around & More

Your Guide to Getting There

How to make your way through construction, inscrutable directions and traffic and (quickly) get to everything Pittsburgh has to offer.

Six More Things You Might Not Know about Pittsburgh

The thing that annoyed a young Andy Warhol. A typo broadcast over the city skyline. And how our first mayor outwitted hostile natives at age 13. All of this and much more in the latest edition of Things You Might Not Know About Pittsburgh!

The Easy and Practical Newcomer's Guide to Pittsburgh

Here's everything you need to know about getting settled in the Steel City.
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