The New North
This segment of the city contains PNC Park, which has the distinction of being the most Instagrammed location in Pennsylvania, according to a recent TIME Magazine analysis of Instagram data. And if you’ve sat down for a ballgame and been distracted by the stunning skyline, you know why. But if you venture to this neighborhood only to attend a sporting event or concert, you’re missing out; the area is full of restaurants, museums, cultural landmarks and churches, as well as some lovely historic homes.
photo by chuck beard
Maybe you’ve never heard of it, but you’ve likely been to this neighborhood of mostly industrial buildings along the Ohio River; it contains Rivers Casino (777 Casino Drive, riverscasino.com) and the Carnegie Science Center (1 Allegheny Ave., carnegiesciencecenter.org).
Walled off by Route 65 and train tracks, Manchester is full of Victorian mansions. The Manchester Historic District is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Home to landmarks such as Allegheny General Hospital and the Mattress Factory Museum (500 Sampsonia Way, mattress.org) as well as the Mexican War Streets, the West North Avenue border of this neighborhood contains the former Garden Theater, which sits on a block with historic buildings that have been awaiting redevelopment for more than two decades.
You’ve almost certainly tailgated here — both Heinz Field and PNC Park are situated along the bank of the Allegheny River, along with restaurants, bars, office buildings and a riverfront trail.
Once the heart of Allegheny City, which Pittsburgh annexed in 1907, this area is dominated by a massive former mall that’s being redeveloped into Nova Place (100 South Commons, novaplace.com) and aims to connect Allegheny Center with the North Shore. It’s also home to several city institutions, including the New Hazlett Theater (6 Allegheny Square East, newhazletttheater.org), the National Aviary (700 Arch St., aviary.org) and the Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh (10 Children’s Way, pittsburghkids.org).
This residential neighborhood is distinguished by beautiful homes obscured by tall trees that line its streets. The Community College of Allegheny County is here, as is a smattering of restaurants and bars.
photos by kristi jan hoover
The Mexican War Streets’ Monterey Pub is a favorite among Central Northsiders. This cozy bar and restaurant offers Irish comfort food such as bangers and mash and stoner pie as well as American fare. 1227 Monterey St., montereypub.com
The BYOB Nicky’s Thai Kitchen in Allegheny West, with its intimate dining room and small outdoor seating area, is a great spot for a date night. 856 Western Ave., nickysthaikitchen.com
Burgatory is a welcome addition to the North Shore restaurant lineup. This branch of the local burger-and-shake chain opened in the fall, giving Pirates fans another option for pre-game grub and workers from nearby office buildings another spot for lunch. 342 North Shore Drive, burgatorybar.com
Grab a lovely latte from the Central Northside’s charming Commonplace at the Mexican War Streets and don’t forget to post a picture hashtagged #CPMWS. 1501 Buena Vista St., thecommonplacecoffeehouse.com.
Neighborhood bar The Modern Cafe in Allegheny West boasts a great selection of beers. Drafts are half-off during the Modern’s happy hour — which should actually be called “happy hours,” as the special runs from 4:30 to 7:30 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays. 862 Western Ave., themoderncafe.com.
When the Pirates are in town, don’t miss the opportunity for a street beer: grab a cold brew from a vendor outside PNC Park, stand in the middle of the closed block of Federal Street and enjoy a drink before the first pitch. 115 Federal St., pirates.com.
Head to the North Shore to stock up on all of your black and gold gear at the Majestic Clubhouse Store at PNC Park (15 Federal St.; 412/325-4465) and the Steelers Sideline Store at Heinz Field (Gate B, 100 Art Rooney Ave.; 412/697-7728).
Not quite shopping, but adopting: The Western Pennsylvania Humane Society in Chateau might just house your new best friend. 1101 Western Ave.; wpahumane.com.
City Books in Allegheny West is easy to miss, tucked on a side street off of Western Avenue. This store, which sells both new and used books, seems to be a perfect fit for the historic neighborhood. 908 Galveston Ave., citybookspgh.com.
The Manchester Craftsmen’s Guild and Bidwell Training Center (1815 Metropolitan St., mcgyouthandarts.org, bidwell-training.org) are nestled amid unassuming industrial buildings in Chateau, but a lot goes on here, including training and education. You’ll also find the best jazz in the city at MCG Jazz (mcgjazz.org). Its 30th anniversary season begins in September 2016.
PHOTO BY RENEE ROSENSTEEL
Brightly painted Randyland is hard to miss if you’re wandering through the Central Northside. The free museum, where visitors are encouraged to take in public art, is the home of artist Randy Gilson. 1501 Arch St., randy.land.
The Central Northside’s Allegheny YMCA is more than a neighborhood gym. In addition to exercise classes and swimming lessons, this location offers child care and transitional housing for men. 600 W. North Ave., ymcaofpittsburgh.org.
Food Critic's Pick
Subba’s Asian Restaurant in East Allegheny is a bit tricky to find; trust your instincts that the door with a little sign will indeed lead you upstairs to the spacious dining room. The menu is pan-Asian, with nations from China to India represented, but you’re here for owner Deo Subba’s Nepalese cuisine. Choose from chicken, pork, lamb or fish curry that’s served with a fabulous mix of sides such as dal, mustard greens, rice and pickled vegetables. (700 Cedar Ave., 412/586-5764) — Hal B. Klein
Billed as the oldest house tour in Pittsburgh, the Mexican War Streets House & Garden Tour takes you through one of Pittsburgh’s most beautiful residential neighborhoods and into some of its oldest homes. Typically held in September, the self-guided tour offers a “midway of vendors and mobile eateries.” You’ll also discover refined gardens and architecturally significant renovations along the way. (mexicanwarstreets.org/events). — Lauren Davidson