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Pittsburgh/East End-North

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Allegheny County : Pittsburgh : East End-North
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St. Joseph's Parish

East End-North is a region of Pittsburgh, composed of several distinct neighborhoods of the eastern side of Pittsburgh. Many of the neighborhoods here are former industrial and warehouse districts where many immigrant workers lived. Today evidence of their cultures are prevalent throughout the area, and with the departure of much of Pittsburgh's industry many of the former factories and warehouses have been converted into restaurants, shops, offices, and residential units.

Understand

The Strip District [1] is a bustling warehouse district just northeast of Downtown Pittsburgh, situated along the Allegheny River from 11th to around 31st Streets. The neighborhood has traditionally been a wholesale and retail place for fresh vegetables, fish, and meat. Today it also has many restaurants and nightclubs. If you like to cook this is definitely the place to go: Everything from freshly made sausage to bamboo shoots to expensive cooking gadgets to cut flowers can be found here. Gourmet coffee places mix with Martini bars and pottery stores and ethnic groceries jumble up together. It's also an excellent place to street watch, what with the mix of businesses, people, and a lot of creative marketeers including streetside accordionists. Some of the streets are paved with Belgian block - stone used as ballast for empty boats coming from Europe up the Mississippi and the Ohio via New Orleans.

Lawrenceville[2], located on the Allegheny River just north of the Strip District, is one of the oldest and largest neighborhoods in the city of Pittsburgh with approximately 11,000 residents and three business districts. Butler Street from 34th Street to 62nd Street contains most of the shops, boutiques, art galleries, restaurants, and neighborhood-serving businesses. Penn Avenue from 34th to Friendship Avenue contains some art studios, coffee shops, funky bars, and ethnic restaurants. Liberty Avenue from 33rd Street to the Bloomfield Street Bridge features some artisan studios and restaurants. The neighborhood is quickly becoming known as one of the hottest neighborhoods in the city, with many young entrepreneurs moving in within the past few years. A large, vibrant art community exists in the neighborhood, and galleries and studios attract people to art openings and events.

Bloomfield [3] is often referred to as Pittsburgh's "Little Italy." Despite this, the area was originally occupied by German immigrants in the late 1700s. Irish immigrants later followed after the civil war. In the late 1800s, millworkers in nearby Lawrenceville constructed small row houses designed for single families and businesses in the style of their homeland. Previous to WWI, Liberty Avenue consisted mostly of German businesses. After the war, however, the neighborhood began to take its Italian identity. Today, well-maintained rowhouses sit along quaint, narrow streets. Here homes are often passed down through families, and grandchildren usually live just a few blocks from grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins.

Other neighborhoods in the region include East Liberty, Polish Hill, Highland Park, and several others.

Get in

By car

From downtown, simply take Liberty Avenue or Penn Avenue (they're parallel streets) east. You'll pass right through the Strip District. Stay on Liberty Avenue to get to Bloomfield. To get to Lawrenceville, get on Penn Avenue and continue east. Make a left on to Butler Street to get to Upper Lawrenceville, and continue on Butler to get to Highland Park and the Zoo. Staying on Penn Avenue will take you to East Liberty.

By public transit

The 77D, 77F, 77G, 86A, 86B, and 91A Port Authority bus routes serve the Strip and Lawrenceville quite well. Further east, the East Busway routes (including the EBA to Downtown and the EBO to Oakland) serve East Liberty. The 500 serves East Liberty and the Highland Park area, including the Zoo.

See

  • 16:62 Design Zone, Various locations from 62nd Street to 34th Street, (), [4]. Antiques shops, art galleries, and specialty boutiques all make their home in the 16:62 Design Zone--Pittsburgh's arts and interior design district. Housed in restored turn-of-the-century storefronts or repurposed industrial buildings, the businesses of the Design Zone feature all things design, including home furnishings, art, and handcrafted products from Pittsburgh-area artisans. Many businesses also include working studios, offering visitors the chance to see artists in action.
  • Bloomfield Preservation & Heritage Society Museum, 4727 Friendship Ave., Bloomfield. +1 412 363-0222, [5]. The place to go to brush up local history and learn more about the neighborhood.
  • The Doughboy. Built by the Arsenal Board of Trade and dedicated May 31, 1921, the Doughboy stands at the intersection of Butler St. and Penn Ave. at 35th St. It serves as a memorial for the fallen U.S. soldiers of The Great War.
  • East Liberty Presbyterian Church. Just north of Shadyside in East Liberty, featuring ornate stonework, beautiful stained glass and woodwork.
PPG Aquarium
  • Highland Park, southwest of the intersection of Washington Blvd and Allegheny River Blvd, [6]. One of the largest parks, Highland is home to 2 lakes, Lake Carnegie and Reservoir No. 1, both built for municipal water use and sed for recreation. Also features gardens, overlooks, and a network of trails.
    • Pittsburgh Zoo and PPG Aquarium, 7340 Butler St., Highland Park. +1 412 665-3640, [7]. Daily 9AM-5PM (until 6PM in summer and 4PM in winter). A large zoo complex containing a wide variety of animals in big exhibits. Enclosures simulating natural spaces in Asia, Africa, rainforests, along with the PPG Aquarium, animals and fish. At "Kid's Kingdom", get up-close with animals like goats, deer, sea lions, bats, and meerkats. Busier on weeekends; the zoo is laid out is a very linear fashion, with almost everything aligned along one loop, so expect crowds and viewing waits. $12 adults, $11 seniors, $10 children, children under 2 free.
  • Senator John Heinz History Center, 1212 Smallman St., Strip District. +1 412 454-6000, [8]. Daily 10AM-5PM. An affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution and the largest history museum in Pennsylvania. Features the new Western Pennsylvania Sports Museum and library and archives, and includes 6 floors of permanent and changing exhibitions, telling the 250-year old story of Western Pennsylvania, its people, industries and innovations. $10 adults, $9 seniors, $5 children/students, children 3 and under free.

Do

  • Pittsburgh Glass Center, 5472 Penn Ave, East Liberty. +1 412 365-2145, [9]. A nonprofit, public access glass studio and gallery dedicated to teaching, creating and promoting glass art. The 16,000+ square foot building is one of the top glass art facilities in the country and houses state-of-the-art studios in hot glass, flameworking, coldworking, casting and kilnworking.
  • Bloomfield Events:
    • Little Italy Days is held every September and celebrates Bloomfield's Italian heritage. Liberty Avenue becomes filled with street vendors selling Italian food, art, and souvenirs. Live music is also performed, as well as contests and other activities.
    • Halloween Parade is also held annually. It is Bloomfield's largest nighttime parade.
  • Lawrenceville events:
    • Art All Night is a free, non-juried art exhibit that runs 24 hours straight and features artwork from everyone who submits something.
    • The Lawrenceville Artists’ Studio Tour invites the public into the working studios of neighborhood artisans.
    • A shopping and cookie-tasting event in December both engage community residents and attract people from all over the Pittsburgh area.

Buy

Some of the city's most active business districts are in this area, attracting shoppers from nearby and all over the Pittsburgh region.

Strip District

The Strip contains a huge number of shops, especially ethnic groceries (Italian, Slavic, and Asian). Street vendors also line the sidewalks, especially on Saturdays, and sell almost everything from cookies to clothes to crafts. Below are some shops in the Strip:

  • Ethnic Groceries
  • Pennsylvania Macaroni (Penn Mac), 2010 Penn Ave., +1 800-223-5928, [10]. M-Sa 6:30AM-4:30PM, Su 9:30AM-2PM. One of the staples of the Strip, a large Italian grocery with cheese counter, wide selection of olive oils, fresh bread and pasta.
  • Labad's, 1727 Penn Ave., +1 412-261-0419. Middle Eastern grocery with a small cafe.
  • Lotus Food, 1649 Penn Ave., +412-281-3050. Chinese market with a wide variety of foods and home goods.
  • Kim Do Oriental Grocery, 1808 Penn Ave, 412-338-6588. Sells Vietnamese and other Asian goods.
  • Euro Greetings, 2004 Smallman St., +1 412-281-1808. Eastern European foods.
  • Specialties
  • Wholey's, 1711 Penn Ave., +1 888-946-5397, [11]. Huge seafood selection with cafe.
  • Fortune's Coffee, 2005 Penn Ave., [12]. Coffees and teas, along with brewing supplies and accessories.
  • Mon Aimee Chocolate, [13]. Gourmet chocolate importer. Some chocolate bars cost $20-$30. Will pack your bag with ice in the summer.
  • Arts and Crafts
  • Art of Steel, 2125 Penn Ave., +1 412-288-9945. Features unusual handcrafted metal and glass works.

Bloomfield

Bloomfield along Liberty Avenue has plenty of small shops and grocery stores.

  • Italian Groceries - visit one of Bloomfield's specialty groceries for a taste of Italy.
    • Donatelli’s Italian Food Center, 4711 Liberty Ave.
    • Groceria Italiana, 237 Cedarville St.

Elsewhere

  • Caribbean Grocery, Highland Avenue, Highland Park

Eat

Here you will find a diverse array of cuisines, thanks to the diverse cultural history of the area.

Strip District

  • Primanti Brothers, 46 18th St, +1 412 263-2142, [14]. Famous sandwiches. There are various locations around town, but the one in the Strip is the original, open 24 hours. If you are in Pittsburgh, you need to eat here at least once; they serve famous sandwiches with the french fries and coleslaw right in the sandwich with whatever else you order: deli meat, hot sausage, and ... you get the idea. They have a bar too of course. It was founded in 1934 to serve the truckers that brought vegetables to the Strip District. $8 (sandwich and a pop), cash only.
  • Enrico Biscotti Cafe, 2022 Penn Ave, +1 412 281-2602, [15]. M-F 11AM-3PM, Sa-Su 8AM-3PM. This rustic cafe serves fresh pizzas made in their own wood-burning brick oven. Besides fresh pizza they serve beans and greens, home made soups, and big fat salads. Stop at the bakery for great biscotti, made by hand and served in an abundance of flavors. The bakery serves all sorts of Italian pastries so even if biscotti's not your cup of tea, you will be able to enjoy the place.
  • Firehouse Lounge, 2216 Penn Ave, 412 434-1230, [16]. M-F. This renovated firehouse is home to what most consider to be Pittsburgh's best cocktails, serving organic handcrafted cocktails & market fresh food. Fare includes a menu of traditional pub style items and small plates featuring Pittsburgh classics with a twist. Catering and private rental available. Also home to Farmers @ Firehouse, the area's only Slow Foods farmer's market.
  • Pamela's P&G Diner, 60 21st St. Serving famous pancakes (most recently at the White House to the President himself), Pamela's is a Pittsburgh breakfast favorite. There are a few other locations around town as well.
  • DeLuca's, 2015 Penn Ave, +1 412-566-2195. DeLuca's is another Pittsburgh favorite for down-home breakfasts. Come here for a good hearty breakfast of absurd proportions, but be prepared to wait.

Bloomfield

Bloomfield Bridge Tavern

Bloomfield, as Pittsburgh's Little Italy, is best known for its Italian restaurants, however expect to find a wide variety of other restaurants to meet your needs.

  • Alexander's Pasta Express at 5104 Liberty Ave is frequently rated as having the best Italian in Pittsburgh. Featuring both dining tables and a bar, the menu allows you to choose from various options to create your perfect pasta.
  • Angelo's Pizza, 4766 Liberty Ave. Angelo's is a well know first generation Italian family owned and operated pizza establishment. A popular destination for locals, Angelo’s attracts business from all over Pittsburgh and caters to many hospitals and businesses in the area. Angelo’s is well known for their filling portions, insatiable hoagies, hand crafted pizzas with fresh toppings, and one of a kind homemade “Mayonnaise”. Be sure to catch General Manager Rita during the day, she produces the best hoagies and pizzas in Pittsburgh. Angelo’s offers basic cuisine done exceptionally well.
  • Bloomfield Bridge Tavern, 4412 Liberty Avenue (at the corner of Liberty Avenue and the Bloomfield Bridge), +1 412 682-8611. A neighborhood landmark, as it welcomes visitors into the neighborhood with its "Welcome to Bloomfield" mural. The outside is also decorated with murals of famous Poles, as well as crests for major cities in Poland. On the inside expect to find Polish favorites such as halusky, pierogies, and duck soup. Live music is often featured throughout the week.
  • Cafe Roma, 4770 Liberty Ave.
  • Church Brew Works.
  • D’amico’s Place, 4744 Liberty Ave.
  • Del’s Bar and Ristorante DelPizzo, 4428 Liberty Ave.
  • Pizza Italia at 4512 Liberty Ave.
  • Tessaro's, 4601 Liberty Ave is year in and out rated as the best place in town to get hamburgers. Read the review featured in the Post-Gazette [17]
  • Tram's, 4050 Penn Ave, +1 412 682-2688. Excellent, hole-in-the-wall Vietnamese, owned and operated almost single-handedly by Mr. Tram himself.

Lawrenceville

In Lawrenceville, there are several restaurants and taverns are located along Butler Street (mainly between 40th Street and 62nd Street).

  • Paddy Cake Bakery, 4763 Liberty Ave is the neighborhood bakery. They have an excellent selection of cookies and cupcakes to go, or you can make larger orders as well.
  • Il Piccolo Forno, 3801 Butler St, [18]. An Italian bistro with wood-fired pizzas, homemade pastas and desserts. BYOB.
  • Frankie's Extra Long. For classic Lawrenceville cuisine, this hot dog shop is one of your best bets.

East Liberty

The resurgence of East Liberty has provided some good restaurants on Highland Avenue.

  • Abay. Ethiopian cuisine, economy lunch packages, communal eating and 2-3 person meal specials.
  • Buffalo Blues is a good neighborhood wings/pizza/beer/pool joint.
  • The Sharp Edge, 302 South Clair Street, +1 412 661-3537, [19]. For a place that calls itself a "Beer Emporium", it certainly does not disappoint, with more than 20 Belgians on tap among its offerings. A cozy neighborhood establishment, with a pinball machine to boot.

Drink

Coffee

  • La Prima Espresso, 205 21st St., Strip District, +1-412-281-1922, [20]. Serves some of the best espresso in Pittsburgh, often filled with Italians.
  • Enrico's Tazzo d'Oro, 1125 N. Highland Ave., Highland Park, +1.412.362.3676, [21].
  • Crazy Mocha, 4525 Liberty Ave, Bloomfield; 4032 Butler St, Lawrenceville, [22].
  • Coca Cafe, 3811 Butler Street, Lawrenceville, [23].
  • Your Inner Vagabond, 4130 Butler St., Lawrenceville, +1  412-683-1623, [24]. A bohemian haven, Your Inner Vagabond Coffeehouse & World Lounge offers a variety of international coffees and treats, along with events such as bands, jams, and even belly-dancing lessons. Hours vary (for example, weekend nights, their Gypsy Social provides a gathering place for night owls after the bars close - until 5am). BYOB.

Sleep

  • Courtyard Pittsburgh Shadyside, 5308 Liberty Avenue, +1 412 683-3113, [25].
  • Hampton Inn & Suites, 1247 Smallman Street, +1 412 288-4350, [26].
  • Residence Inn Pittsburgh University/Medical Center, 3896 Bigelow Boulevard, +1 800 513-8766, [27].

Contact


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