Around the Point
With exciting options for work and play, these Pittsburgh neighborhoods are the places a rising number of urbanites want to call home. Attractive new housing options are popping up to meet the demand of folks young, old and in between who want to take advantage of the easy access to entertainment, an exploding dining scene and iconic city scenery.
Known as the Golden Triangle, Downtown begins at the Point, where the Allegheny and Monongahela rivers meet to form the Ohio. The heart of the Pittsburgh metropolitan region, Downtown is home to many of the area’s leading businesses and organizations as well as the vibrant Cultural District and the fountain at Point State Park.
There’s no shortage of things to do in this part of town, whether you’re a longtime local or just visiting. The Monongahela and Duquesne inclines offer sweeping views of the city while Station Square has plenty of shopping and dining options.
A food lover’s dream, the Strip is where many home cooks begin their days, on the hunt for fresh produce. Stop by the Pennsylvania Macaroni Co. (2010 Penn Ave., pennmac.com) for meats, cheeses and more, or Robert Wholey & Co. (1711 Penn Ave., wholey.com) for some of the freshest fish in town.
Pittsburgh’s Uptown neighborhood is dominated by UPMC Mercy and Duquesne University. Its residents enjoy quick commutes to Downtown and Oakland.
This Hill District community ended the area’s reputation as a “food desert” when it became home to the Shop ’n Save at Centre Heldman Plaza. The shopping center has helped to bring new businesses and jobs to the Centre Avenue corridor.
This small neighborhood overlooking the Strip District and Polish Hill contains a housing development and a handful of parks.
Making up the biggest section of the Hill District, the Middle Hill is rooted in history. Its thoroughfare Wylie Avenue once was home to some of the most popular jazz venues in the country.
Stop by Robert E. Williams Memorial Park (Adelaide and Milwaukee streets) in this quiet community to take in sweeping views of the city’s East End.
Meat & Potatoes offers a casually cool vibe and indulgent menu options in the heart of Pittsburgh’s Cultural District Downtown. The gastropub specializes in comfort food and is the perfect spot for a pre- or post-show meal. 649 Penn Ave., meatandpotatoespgh.com.
Looking to take your sandwich game up a notch? Stop by Thin Man Sandwich Shop in the Strip for delicious, original creations. The namesake sandwich, The Thin Man, features its popular chicken liver mousse. 50 21st St., thinmansandwichshop.com.
The Commoner, in the Hotel Monaco, serves upscale American tavern classics plus beer and wine on tap. Its proximity to Consol Energy Center is ideal for anyone on the way to a game or show, but if you have time, pop upstairs for a peek at the Downtown hotel’s signature whimsical decor. 458 Strawberry Way, thecommonerpgh.com.
Pittsburgh Winery in the Strip District is an oenophile’s must-stop, whether for a tasting or to take in one of the frequent shows hosted in the intimate wine cellar. 2815 Penn Ave., pittsburghwinery.com.
Gasoline Street Coffee Company, just outside of Duquesne University’s Uptown campus, specializes in locally roasted coffee products, cold brew and all-natural smoothies — and it’s steps away from the Three Rivers Heritage trail and the First Avenue “T” station. 643 First Ave., facebook.com/gasolinestreetcoffeecompany.
Adjacent to the main dining room of Station Square’s Grand Concourse, the Gandy Dancer Saloon is the city’s most dapper spot for a happy hour cocktail or a selection from the seasonal seafood menu. 100 West Station Square Drive, gandydancersaloon.com.
Stop by the PensGear Team Store at Consol Energy Center for all of your Penguins merchandise so you can cheer on the black and gold in (officially licensed) style. 1001 Fifth Ave., Uptown; penguins.nhl.com.
Artistry in the Strip District has something for everyone looking to inject some serious style into their decor. Including handcrafted furniture, custom woven rugs and one-of-a-kind accessories, the wares at Artistry will suit any aesthetic. 2613 Smallman St., artistryathome.com.
Market St. Grocery offers Market Square shoppers an array of dry goods, produce, fresh meat and seafood, baked goods and a variety of prepared hot and cold foods. Sample a sweet from Gaby et Jules patisserie, select a bottle from the Wine Room or recharge at the coffee bar. 435 Market St., marketstreetgrocery.com.
Play out-of-towner for the day with a tour of the city. Several companies specialize in giving visitors and locals a fun new way to look at the history, scenery and waterways, whether on a double-decker bus with The Pittsburgh Tour Company (pghtours.com), amphibious vehicle with Just Ducky Tours (justduckytours.com) or 1920s-style conveyance with Molly’s Trolleys (mollystrolleyspittsburgh.com).
Hill House’s Kaufmann Center, located in Crawford-Roberts, features the Elsie H. Hillman Auditorium, a state-of-the-art space where musical, cultural and arts performances, speaking engagements and more regularly are held. 1825 Centre Ave., hillhouse.org.
Stroll back through 250 years of Pittsburgh’s past at the Sen. John Heinz History Center. Exhibits span six floors and include the Western Pennsylvania Sports Museum and plenty of interactive elements for visitors of all ages. 1212 Smallman St., Strip District; heinzhistorycenter.org.
photo by laura petrilla
Food Critic's Pick
Diners looking for a good time Downtown should head to täko, the third restaurant in the Richard DeShantz Restaurant Group (the group’s adjacent Butcher & the Rye and nearby Meat & Potatoes also are excellent Downtown choices). Tacos, all served on freshly pressed tortillas, range from traditional choices such as carnitas and baja to more adventurous selections such as octopus. The bar here also is outstanding. (214 Sixth St., takopgh.com) — Hal B. Klein
Local food trucks are out in full force, the music is flowing from Friday night through Sunday and the crowds are more navigable than during other Downtown festivals. Be sure to check out the Pittsburgh JazzLive International Festival, held every June in the Cultural District and featuring notable local acts mixed with international headliners. Outdoor performances are free with tickets required for select indoor performances. (pittsburghjazzlive.com) — Lauren Davidson