Edit ModuleEdit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

The Eastern Border

Most of these communities, which lie to the east of the Squirrel Hill Tunnels, are residential suburbs with small business districts — but don’t take that as a reason not to visit. There’s 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, with warehouses, former blast furnaces and brownfields lining the Monongahela River and small waterways such as Turtle Creek.

photos by kristi jan hoover

What’s Here?

Swisshelm Park
While it lies within the city limits, this residential neighborhood has a very suburban feel. It’s surrounded by Frick Park, the Monongahela River and Swissvale.

Regent Square
Several municipalities lay a claim to a slice of this neighborhood, including Pittsburgh, Wilkinsburg, Edgewood and Swissvale; the portion within Pittsburgh is the officially recognized neighborhood of Regent Square. Its South Braddock Avenue business district divides the municipalities but unites the neighborhood, boasting restaurants, bars, bakeries, boutiques and salons.

This borough along Pittsburgh’s eastern border has faced a challenging year; six people were killed here in a mass shooting in March, and the borough’s school district opted to shutter its high school in the face of budget constraints and dwindling enrollment. The borough is working to draw businesses back to storefronts, churches and homes, however.

The Parkway East cuts through this picturesque, residential community, and Edgewood Towne Centre (1763 S. Braddock Ave.) and the Western Pennsylvania School for the Deaf (300 E. Swissvale Ave., wpsd.org) sit within its borders.

This bedroom community, minutes from Downtown and situated along the Parkway East, is a longtime working-class hometown known for reasonably priced food and drink at local favorite bars and take-out spots.

This borough is home to the Carrie Furnace, which once produced iron for U.S. Steel’s Homestead Works. The blast furnace, like most of Pittsburgh’s steel industry, closed its doors 30 years ago; today, it’s seeing new life as a museum and event space.

Braddock Hills
In the middle of this former coal town is the peaceful, 65-acre All Saints Catholic Cemetery (1560 Brinton Road, ccapgh.org/all-saints.asp).

Forest Hills
If you’re driving east on Route 30 through this busy borough, you’ll understand that it’s aptly named well before you get to the sign announcing you’re in Forest Hills, “A Tree City, USA.”

The campus of Woodland Hills High School, which educates students from 12 surrounding municipalities, is located in this largely residential community.

Wilkins Township
Part of busy Route 22 runs through here, so next time a friend suggests meeting at Rey Azteca (3448 William Penn Highway, 412/829-7006) in Monroeville, you can show off your impressive knowledge of municipal boundaries by countering that the Mexican restaurant is, in fact, in Wilkins Township.

This comparatively diminutive borough is just 0.2 acres in size and home to less than 1,000 people.

Turtle Creek
This borough, which boomed when George Westinghouse built a plant nearby, now is home to about 5,000 people — and a mayor named Kelley Kelley. To many Pittsburghers, Turtle Creek is known for being part of Penguins broadcaster Mike Lange’s signature goal calls.


Come lunchtime,  The Green Mango draws workers from nearby Wilkins Township office parks like moths to a flame. Its lengthy menu has something for everyone; the Rad Na noodles are a winter favorite, and a mango salad is perfect for a summer lunch at one of the restaurant’s outdoor tables.  3462 William Penn Highway, 412/824-9500.

​Cibo, an intimate eatery in the heart of Regent Square, prepares Italian and Mediterranean dishes with fresh takes on spaghetti and ravioli as well as adventurous menu items such as elk carpaccio.  1103 S. Braddock Ave., cibopittsburgh.com.

Framed maps line the walls the Map Room Grill & Bar in Swissvale, a friendly neighborhood bar and grill serving American fare.  1126 S. Braddock Ave., 412/371-1955.


If you’re a beer lover, you’re likely to be intimately familiar with The Beer Cave at D’s Six Pax & Dogz in Swissvale. In addition to having one of the best bottle selections in town, D’s also is a great spot for a dog or pizza with a cold one.  1118 S. Braddock Ave., ds6pax.com.

Stop by Roman Bistro in Forest Hills for a six-pack from its bottle shop on the way home from work, or stay and enjoy Italian-inspired fare with a glass of wine or a beer from its large draft list.  2104 Ardmore Blvd., romanbistro.com.

On a warm summer day, nothing beats an iced coffee beverage on the shady porch at Biddle’s Escape in Wilkinsburg.  401 Biddle Ave., biddlesescape.com.


Head to Habitat for Humanity’s ReStore, now located in Braddock Hills after relocating from Edgewood Towne Centre, to stock up on reusable home-improvement materials for your next DIY project.  212 Yost Blvd., pittsburghhabitat.org/restore.

If you’re into upcycling materials for your house, why not upcycle your clothes, too? Edgewood consignment shop Fashion Fix offers shoppers the chance to give clothes, shoes and bags a second life.  1039 S. Braddock Ave., fashionfixpgh.com.

Whether you’re looking for art that lets light through or you’re hoping to preserve cracked stained glass, you’ll be floored by Glenn Greene Stained Glass. Greene does custom work as well as repairs from his Regent Square studio. (Call ahead: 412/243-2772.)  635 S. Braddock Ave., Rear; glenngreenestudio.com.


Nine Mile Run Trail runs between Nine Mile Run in Frick Park and the border of Swisshelm Park. In Pittsburgh’s days as a steel town, the now-picturesque area was a slag dump. Thanks to the efforts of the Nine Mile Run Watershed Association and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, it’s a model of how a city once covered in soot can restore its rivers, streams and green spaces; ninemilerun.org.

Take a tour of the Carrie Furnace, located along the Monongahela River in Rankin. Tours, conducted by the Rivers of Steel National Heritage Area, run from May through October; riversofsteel.com.

The Borough of Forest Hills (foresthillspa.org) offers a number of recreation programs, including tennis, basketball and swimming, and its community pool (400 Braddock Road) is undergoing a major overhaul this summer.

photo by laura petrilla

Food Critic’s Pick

I love how Executive Chef Keith Fuller bends boundaries with his cuisine at Root 174 in Regent Square. His food is familiar enough to be comfortable but edgy enough to keep adventurous diners interested in what’s on the plate. Fuller shows his whimsical side with special events such as the annual “May the Fourth Be With You” dinner, a celebration of all things Star Wars. (1113 S. Braddock Ave., root174.com) — Hal B. Klein

Signature Event

Each fall, you can experience a different Shakespeare play in a different type of setting. Pittsburgh Shakespeare in the Parks brings one of the bard’s classics to life in numerous city parks (including Frick Park) during weekends in September. The free performances feature a full cast with costumes and a minimalist set, and the shows are entertaining as well as community-minded; children and pets frequently are found in the audiences. Don’t leave without a T-shirt that says “As Yinz Like It.” (pittsburghshakespeare.org) — Lauren Davidson


Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module

Edit Module Edit ModuleShow TagsEdit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Hot Reads

Vote for Your Favorite for Our 2019 HOME Readers' Choice Awards

From architects to builders, interior designers to landscape visionaries, everyone has favorite resources when it’s time to renovate or rebuild. Pittsburgh Magazine HOME Readers' Choice Awards highlight the go-to home professionals and best places to shop within the Pittsburgh area.

Top 10 Things to Do in Pittsburgh in July

Your 10 best bets for this month include Van Gogh in Bloom, Star Wars and the return of Hootie and the Blowfish.

City Guide 2019-2020: Hit the Street

More of Pittsburgh’s distinctive neighborhoods are walkable than ever. For the 2019-20 City Guide, our editors and staff take you on walking tours of 12 great stretches of the city. Shop, eat, drink, explore, exercise, watch and experience along with us.

Restaurant Review: Masala House in Shadyside

You'll find excellent Indian cuisine in a Shadyside building with a long culinary history.

A Tale of Two Strands: Theaters With the Same Name

In two small towns nearby, old vaudeville stages — which share the same name — have reopened and revitalized their communities.

From Pittsburgh to the Moon: Our Role in the Space Race

As the nation and private entrepreneurs focus again on space, 50 years after Apollo 11 touched down on the moon, Pittsburgh is once again in the celestial spotlight.

Best of the 'Burgh 2019

Our editors and a few special guests share their favorites on select topics — everything from Kelly Brennan’s favorite bloggers, Hal B. Klein’s favorite non-food Pittsburgh and Dave DiCello’s favorite views for photography (that aren’t Mt. Washington).

2019 Best of the 'Burgh Readers' Poll Winners

Thousands of nominations, hundreds of thousands of votes, and the winners are ...

Top 10 Things to Do in Pittsburgh in June

Your 10 best bets for this month include WizardVue, rooftop yoga and Spamilton.

Best Restaurants in Pittsburgh in 2019

Our annual roundup of Pittsburgh's Best Restaurants covers a lot of ground. The list of 30 includes everything from fine dining at a resort hotel to a scrappy, farm-to-table breakfast and lunch counter in Bloomfield.
Edit ModuleShow Tags

The Latest

After Dark Hall of Fame: Primanti Bros.

The beloved bar-and-restaurant chain has become a Pittsburgh emblem. It's the 10th inductee in the After Dark Hall of Fame.

Do You Want to Pay More Taxes to Improve Parks?

The Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy hopes to restore the city’s parks to their former glory, but they may need a tax increase to do so.

The Latest Restaurant and Bar Openings in Pittsburgh

We say hello to a new concept from Justin Severino, a summer-long dance pop-up and a new spot for cocktails.

PM on KD: Sean Collier Guest Hosts for the Day

PM associate editor Sean Collier appeared on KDKA's Pittsburgh Today Live as a guest host to fill in for Heather Abraham. He shared some details about our latest special edition: City Guide.

Book a Band for a Different Kind of Wedding Sound

For many couples, family and tradition means everything. Having a band that helps reflect those can be a great way to pay tribute to your heritage, while getting your guests on the dance floor.

Recommended Pittsburgh Eating: 4 Recent Dishes I Loved

PM Dining Critic Hal B. Klein says corned beef inside an import business, Sichuan smashed eggplants, smoked chicken wings and a cornbread dessert have his attention.

How to Celebrate the Moon Landing Anniversary in Pittsburgh

To celebrate Apollo 11’s golden anniversary, several local events are set to take place, from film screenings to new exhibits and more.

5 Pittsburgh Vintage Homes Stores You'll Want to Explore

PM Editoral Intern Ellie Pesetsky shares some of her favorite up-cycled furniture and home decor stores in and around Pittsburgh.

Eleven Couples to be Married after Love at First Bite

Wedding bells will be chiming for multiple couples this weekend … and it’s taking place at Primanti Bros. in the Strip District.

Pop Culture Pop Up Bars Are Here to Stay

Nintendo-themed Level Up is in Market Square for another week, but if you miss it, you can catch the Pokémon-themed bar coming this fall.

How Scary is the New Steel Curtain Coaster at Kennywood?

The ride claims records for the world’s tallest looping coaster and tallest inversion; it also has more inversions than any coaster in North America. We rode it this morning. Here's what we have to say.

The 400-Word Review: Point Blank

Netflix's action thriller is forgettable, but serves well as a quick throwback.

Pittsburgh Marks the First Stop of the New Whiskey Rebellion Trail

Think the story of American whiskey begins in Kentucky? Think again.

Pirates’ Possibilities Include Contention in Surprising Season’s Second Half

It hasn’t gone according to the original script, but the Pirates have found a way to stay relevant — and may yet be capable of finishing what they started.

The 400-Word Review: Stuber

There are laughs in the new buddy comedy, but they're dragged down by bad decisions.
Edit Module