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.
The Strip District 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, 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 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.
East End-North Map
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.
Bloomfield Preservation and Heritage Society Museum, 4727 Friendship Ave, Bloomfield, ☎ +1 412 363-0222, . 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, 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. The church features a labyrinth, open 10AM to 3PM on Monday and 10AM to 9PM on Wednesdays. When walking the labyrinth, you are supposed to pray or meditate. In the past, they served as a substitute for the pilgrimage to Jerusalem. For Christians who have never walked a labyrinth, it's quite an interesting way to worship.
Highland Park, southwest of the intersection of Washington Blvd and Allegheny River Blvd, . One of the largest parks, Highland is home to 2 lakes, Lake Carnegie and Reservoir No. 1, both built for municipal water use and used 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, . 9AM-5PM daily (until 6PM in summer and 4PM in winter). A large zoo complex containing a wide variety of animals in big exhibits. There are lots of enclosures simulating natural spaces in Asia, Africa, rainforests, along with the PPG Aquarium. In the "Kid's Kingdom" area you can get up-close with animals like goats, deer, sea lions, bats, and meerkats. Busier on weekends; 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, ☎ +1 412 454-6000, . 10AM-5PM daily. An affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution and the largest history museum in Pennsylvania. Featuring 6 floors of permanent and changing exhibitions, this museum gives a very detailed look at the past 250 years in Western Pennsylvania, with displays on Pittsburgh-area innovations, people, and industries. Notable exhibits include artifacts from the French & Indian War, a hall dedicated to the Heinz company, a room full of old vehicles, and the Western Pennsylvania Sports Museum - a two story exhibit dedicated to a wide variety of Pittsburgh-area sport legends.$10 adults, $9 seniors, $5 children and students, children 3 and under free.
Pittsburgh Glass Center, 5472 Penn Ave, East Liberty, ☎ +1 412 365-2145, . 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.
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.
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.
Some of the city's most active business districts are in this area, attracting shoppers from nearby and all over the Pittsburgh region. The Strip in particular 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. Bloomfield, along Liberty Ave., also has plenty of small shops and grocery stores.
16:62 Design Zone, Various locations from 16th Street to 62nd Street, (email@example.com), . Stretching from the Strip District up to Lawrenceville, this arts and interior design district is the home of many antiques shops, art galleries, and specialty boutiques housed in restored turn-of-the-century storefronts or repurposed industrial buildings. Many businesses also include working studios, offering visitors the chance to see artists in action.
Art of Steel, 2125 Penn Ave., ☎ +1 412-288-9945. Features unusual handcrafted metal and glass works.
Specialty foods and groceries
Donatelli’s Italian Food Center, 4711 Liberty Ave, ☎ +1 412 682-1406. Bloomfield Italian store.
Euro Greetings, 2004 Smallman St, ☎ +1 412-281-1808. Eastern European foods.
Fortune's Coffee, 2005 Penn Ave, ☎ +1 412 471-5557, . Coffees and teas, along with brewing supplies and accessories.
Kim Do Oriental Grocery, 1808 Penn Ave, ☎ +1 412 338-6588. Sells Vietnamese and other Asian goods.
Labad's, 1727 Penn Ave, ☎ +1 412 261-0419. Middle Eastern grocery with a small cafe.
Lotus Food, 1649 Penn Ave, ☎ +1 412 281-3050. Chinese market with a wide variety of foods and home goods.
Mon Aimee Chocolate, 2101 Penn Ave, ☎ +1 412 395-0022, . Gourmet chocolate importer. Some chocolate bars cost $20-$30. Will pack your bag with ice in the summer.
Pennsylvania Macaroni (Penn Mac), 2010 Penn Ave, ☎ +1 800 223-5928, . 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.
Wholey's, 1711 Penn Ave, ☎ +412-391-3737 (toll free: +1 888 946-5397), . M-Th 8AM-5:30PM, F 8AM-6PM, Sa 8AM-5PM, Su 9AM-4PM. Huge seafood selection with cafe.
This guide uses the following price ranges for a typical meal for one, including soft drink:
$8 or less
$8 - 15
$15 or more
Here you will find a diverse array of cuisines, thanks to the diverse cultural history of the area. 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.
Bloomfield Bridge Tavern
Bloomfield Bridge Tavern, 4412 Liberty Ave (at the corner of Liberty Ave and the Bloomfield Bridge), ☎ +1 412 682-8611. "Welcome to Bloomfield" mural 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 throughout the week. Every Friday and Saturday is pierogie happy hour from 5-7pm. Pierogies are $.50 a piece.
Buffalo Blues, 216 S Highland Ave, ☎ +1 412 362-5837, . M-Th 11AM-midnight, F-Sa 11AM-1AM, Su 4PM-midnight. A good neighborhood wings/pizza/beer/pool joint.$8-$18.
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.
Frankie's Extra Long, 3535 Butler St, ☎ +1 412 687-5220. For classic Lawrenceville cuisine, this hot dog shop is one of your best bets.
Paddy Cake Bakery, 4763 Liberty Ave, ☎ +1 412 621-4477. A neighborhood bakery with an excellent selection of cookies and cupcakes to go, or you can make larger orders as well.
Primanti Brothers, 46 18th St, ☎ +1 412 263-2142, . Founded in 1934 to serve the truckers that brought vegetables to the Strip, Primanti is famous for their 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 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.$8 (sandwich and a pop), cash only.
Abay's Ethiopian cuisine
Abay, 130 S Highland Ave, ☎ 1 412 661-9736, . Tu-Sa 11:30AM-2:30PM,5PM-10PM, Su 11:30AM-2:30PM,5PM-9PM. Ethiopian cuisine, economy lunch packages, communal eating and 2-3 person meal specials.$10-$14.
Angelo's Pizza, 4766 Liberty Ave, ☎ +1 412 621-5330, . M-Sa 11AM-11PM. Well known first generation Italian family owned and operated pizza establishment. Caters to many hospitals and businesses in the area. Hefty portions, hoagies, hand crafted pizzas with fresh toppings, and one of a kind homemade “mayonnaise”.$7-$13.
Enrico Biscotti Cafe, 2022 Penn Ave, ☎ +1 412 281-2602, . 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.
Il Piccolo Forno, 3801 Butler St, ☎ +1 412 622-0111, . An Italian bistro with wood-fired pizzas, homemade pastas and desserts. BYOB.$7-$15.
Pamela's P&G Diner, 60 21st St, ☎ +1 412 281-6366. 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.
Tessaro's, 4601 Liberty Ave, ☎ +1 412 682-6809. Year in and out rated as the best place in town to get hamburgers.$8-$13.
Tram's, 4050 Penn Ave, ☎ +1 412 682-2688. Hole-in-the-wall Vietnamese, owned and operated almost single-handedly by Mr. Tram himself.
Alexander's Pasta Express, 5104 Liberty Ave, ☎ +1 412 687-8741, . Su-Th 11AM-10PM, F-Sa 11AM-11PM. 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.$10-$20.
Firehouse Lounge, 2216 Penn Ave, ☎ +1 412 434-1230, . M-Th,Sa 5PM-2AM, F 4PM-2AM, closed Su. 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.
The Sharp Edge, 302 S Clair St, ☎ +1 412 661-3537, . 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.
Enrico's Tazzo d'Oro, 1125 N Highland Ave, Highland Park, ☎ +1 412 362-3676, .
La Prima Espresso, 205 21st St, Strip District, ☎ +1 412 281-1922, . Serves some of the best espresso in Pittsburgh. The place is often filled with Italians.
Istanbul Grille (previously Your Inner Vagabond), 4130 Butler St, Lawrenceville, ☎ +1 412 683-1623, . A bohemian haven, offering 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.
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