Hip to be Square

There’s lots to do during the day and night in the brand new Market Square.

Welcome to Market Square—the new Market Square. Gone are the intersecting streets that sliced through the social possibilities of the Square. In its place is a spacious piazza that’s surrounded by businesses—both old and new.

Several Market Square classics remain, like the Original Oyster House, which at 140 years old, is Pittsburgh’s oldest restaurant.

Next door (and upstairs) to the Oyster House is one of the babies on the block, Las Velas, an authentic Mexican restaurant that’ll celebrate its first anniversary this month; it has a reputation for unbeatable margaritas, musically spirited “Mariachi Nights,” and a birds-eye view of Market Square.

Also coming up on its first anniversary is Bella Sera Urban Trattoria, an Italian eatery with a range of salads, sandwiches, classic Italian appetizers and pasta entrées.

There are exciting choices available for those who need food to go, including MixStirs Cafe with its unusual blend of smoothies and “fruit stirs,” baked goods from Mancini’s Bread Co. (including the popular pepperoni log) and Prantl’s Bakery with its legendary burnt almond torte. Coffee is a Market Square staple, with Nicholas Coffee Co. and other java shops making a home here.

The revitalized Market Square feeds shopping hunger, too: Visitors can stroll through stores like Serendipity, an accessory hot spot; Heinz Healey’s, which sells classic menswear; and WEAR, one of the city’s newest, trendiest fashion spots on Graeme Street (one of the shortest streets in Pittsburgh).

The newly spacious Square is well suited for events: The Market Square Farmers Market sets up shop every Thursday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. through Nov. 18, and plans are in place for the Square to shine especially bright this holiday season. For details on all that’s happening in Market Square, visit downtownpittsburgh.com, the Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership’s website.

Categories: Arts & Entertainment, From the Magazine