Is it just us, or is Lawrenceville the only place in Pittsburgh?
Surely that’s not the case, Pittsburgh has a seemingly endless list of neighborhoods. But, right about now, there’s one place in particular getting all of the love. Here’s looking at you Lawrenceville.
Now, don’t mistake that statement as a slight. It’s more of an observation. And we can’t pretend we’re not excited and impressed with the turnaround taking place all along Butler Street. It’s just that, while Lawrenceville soaks up the limelight, other noteworthy spots continue to fly under the radar.
From the Northside to the East End, and the South Hills to the riverfront, Pittsburgh is ripe with underrated neighborhoods doing their best to steal of the spotlight. So we’re giving it to them. Here are 9 locales in and around that deserve more love.
Located a few seconds from Squirrell Hill and Schenley Park, Greenfield has become a go-to for families and first time home buyers. Here, the price is right for homes boasting loads of character and lots of yard space. New residents won’t have a problem making friends. Just stop by Hough’s, your friendly neighborhood bar. Or head next door to the former hardware store turned brew-your-own beer spot, Copper Kettle Brewing. If coffee is more your speed, stop into Staghorn the local coffee shop meets boutique for some shopping and snacking. Last, but not least, beware of the looming bridge project that promises to wreak havok for Greenfield and surrounding communities.
Let’s see, where do we begin? It’s tough to pick a starting point because there are so many reasons to be bragging on Brookline. For one, the energy is undeniable. A walk along Brookline Boulevard proves that statement true. Sure, the $5 million renovation didn’t hurt. But the residents have held up their end of the bargain, locating and supporting businesses along the Boulevard. Pitaland has long been a staple. And others, like Las Palmas, Mateo’s and Cannon Coffee are helping to put Brookline on the map.
In the real estate world everything comes down to location, location, location. That saying also holds true when referencing Bloomfield. Pittsburgh’s little Italy offers plenty of options for dinner or a drink. A trio of coffee shops line Liberty, and Constellation Coffee is right around the corner on Penn Avenue. Not to mention the recent arrival of Bread and Salt Bakery – the bread and pizza are enough to make you want to move to Bloomfield. If not that, then the proximity to, well, everything. Cozy up to Lawrenceville and the Strip, Shadyside and CMU while saving some cash on your rent or mortgage.
Which neighborhood in the North Side, you ask? How about all of them? From the Mexican War Streets to Troy Hill and Deutschtown to Allegheny West, the North Side is packed with history and character. With affordable rents available, for businesses and residents alike, a younger population is moving in along with businesses like the Farmer’s Daughter and Commonplace Coffee. Last, but certainly not least, don’t forget art spaces that include the Warhol Museum, Mattress Factory and Randyland to name a few.
East Liberty is exploding with energy. There’s Google and Bakery Square, Hotel Indigo and a trio of accelerators (Alpha Lab, Gear and Thrill Mill) all in one building. No wonder East Lib landed on a list of 10 neighborhoods to be on the lookout for. The thing of it is, as the excitement builds, so does the cost of living. Highland Park is benefiting from the hype down the street, sending housing prices on an upswing. But, if you venture east, ever so slightly, you’ll find the up and coming neighborhood flying under the radar. Welcome to Morningside. Here, a new, younger demographic is taking notice of the close-knit community vibe meets affordably priced houses within a stone’s throw to all of the excitement in East Liberty.
It’s hard to go wrong with a neighborhood named Friendship. Especially when you consider the tree-lined streets, massive, yet reasonably priced apartments and houses, complete with front and backyards. Not to mention the fact that you could be at one of three nearby grocery stores in seconds. But if you don’t feel like chefing it up, you’ll find plenty to eat (and drink) in nearby East Liberty. And Garfield too. Same goes for Shadyside, Bloomfield or Lawrenceville. All and all, Friendship features family friendly living without the pricetag that accompanies places like Shadyside or Squirrell Hill.
The charm and appeal of Carnegie is hard to deny, especially if you were to take a walk along Main Street. It’s a place where locally owned businesses line the street and, as you wander past, you find yourself wondering how everyone could be so happy. And chatty too. Maybe there’s something in the water? Then you realize it’s probably the wine, from Apis Mead & Winery. If not that, then the pizza from Slice (one of the absolute best spots in town, who opened a second location in Carnegie). Better still, maybe they’re on a caffeine kick following an espresso at Carnegie Coffee. This former Post Office turned coffee house is so cozy that, if you go, there’s a good chance you won’t want to leave. Come to think of it, should you stop by Carnegie, there’s a good chance you’ll feel exactly the same way about the entire neighborhood.
After a massive flood almost wiped out Millvale’s entire business district residents started to rebuild and still haven’t stopped. Here, old (see the Maxo Vanka’s murals at St. Nicholas Parish) meets new (grab a drink at Grist House Brewing) to create an atmosphere that embodies Pittsburgh’s rust belt past and reinvented future. Millvale mainstays like Pamela’s, Mr. Smalls, Jean-Marc Chatellier’s and Attic Record Store are benefiting from a new public library and larger plan for this community’s redevelopment. Fringe benefits like riverfront access and bike trails make it hard to argue with Millvale’s appeal.
Not long ago Pittsburghers didn’t even want to go Downtown, let alone live there. But times sure are changing. And, as the 2015 State of Downtown Pittsburgh report showed us, the future promises more positive chances. In the past five years more than $2.1 billion have been invested Downtown resulting in growth among restaurants and retail, as well as occupancy of offices and housing. Going forward plans are underway for even more improvements including plans for Complete Streets and more than $526 million in new investments announced. Now, if Pittsburgh could just get this public transportation thing figured out.