Oakland: Diverse, Delightful and Delicious

Oakland: an eclectic mix of business and healthcare professionals, educators and college students. When you spend a day here, you’ll be mingling with a diverse crowd of people.

Hemingway’s Cafe

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They say that breakfast is the most important meal of the day — have yours at Pamela’s Diner (3703 Forbes Ave., pamelasdiner.com). One of six — we’ve also included the Squirrel Hill location in our roundup — the Oakland location is decorated in a retro style, with old board games hanging on the walls. Try one of their specialty hotcakes if you’re a fan of sweet breakfast (or even if you’re not)

There’s hardly a Pitt student who doesn’t have wistful memories of ordering a shot pitcher at Hemingway’s Cafe (3911 Forbes Ave., hemingwayspgh.com). Try one for yourself, or stick to one of the bar’s more than 40 draft beers.

Cathedral of Learning

If you haven’t yet noticed, you’ve been surrounded by the University of Pittsburgh’s campus all day. Exploring the campus could easily fill a day, so focus on its pièce de résistance, the Cathedral of Learning (4200 Fifth Ave.). Inside the 535 foot, Gothic Revival tower, you’ll find incredible architecture, 30-plus Nationality Rooms and a breathtaking view — but be respectful of studying students.

After all the stairs you just climbed (764, if you made it to the 36th floor), it’s time to recharge. Schenley Plaza (4100 Forbes Ave., pittsburghparks.org), the acre of green space across Forbes, offers benches, tables and chairs where you can rest your aching muscles — or, if you took an elevator to the top floor, just bask in the sun. Take a ride on the PNC Carousel, then stop at The Porch at Schenley (221 Schenley Drive; dineattheporch.com), also located in the plaza. The Porch offers handcrafted cocktails and seasonal dishes that you can enjoy al fresco.

If you’re a baseball fan, the next stop is a must-see. A portion of the Forbes Field Outfield Wall (Roberto Clemente Drive) still stands not far from Schenley Plaza. Although the stadium was torn down in 1971, this part of the field serves as a monument to Pittsburgh’s baseball history.

Carnegie Museum of Natural History

Now that you’ve seen a piece of baseball history, keep diving into the past at the Carnegie Museums of Art and Natural History (4400 Forbes Ave., cmoa.org & carnegiemnh.org). Selections from a collection of more than 30,000 visual arts objects — photographs, paintings, sculptures and much more — can be found on the art side, while the natural history side strives to teach visitors about science, nature and world cultures.

Into comics and gaming? Check out the two Phantom of the Attic (406 and 411 S. Craig St., pota-oakland.com) locations, situated across the street from each other. Once you’ve picked out a new favorite, go sing your heart out at KBOX (214 S. Craig St., kbktv.com), an Asian-style karaoke club with nine private boxes.

Legume Bistro

End your Oakland walking tour with dinner and a drink at Butterjoint (214 N. Craig St., butterjoint.com). Owned by Trevett and Sarah Hooper, the location features great food and drinks made from thoughtfully sourced products. Legume, an eatery also owned by Trevett and Hooper, shut down in February 2020, but nineteen months after it was meant to launch, a combined Legume and Butterjoint venture called Butterjoint All Day is beginning to take shape. Check it out!

This article has been updated to reflect recent closures. 

Categories: Neighborhoods