Since founding Discover the Burgh, we've made it our mission to do everything Pittsburgh has to throw at us. From eating at all the great Pittsburgh restaurants, visiting all the museums, to exploring the many public spaces and hiking trails (to name a few), we've tried to live by the mindset of if it is there, we want to check it out.
Naturally, one of our goals along these lines was to visit all 90 Pittsburgh neighborhoods and find the highlights in each of them.
While we have visited all 90 neighborhoods multiple times throughout the years, we are still working our way to finding something unique in each of them as many are primarily residential. That being said, to date we have found unique highlights in 69 neighborhoods which is nothing to scoff at.
In this guide we wanted to share one recommendation for each neighborhood we've found something awesome in so far.
Are you ready to go exploring?
A Few Notes About This Guide
Before we begin we want to make a few notes about this guide, what it is and what it isn't, and how you should interpret our listings as there is some potential for confusion that we'd like to avoid.
First, this guide follows what we believe to be the official neighborhood designations as recognized by the city and may not sync up with your own terminology. We know that residents of Perry North like to call it Observatory Hill (we still call it Perry North). We know that people hate it when Washington's Landing is lumped in with Troy Hill (okay, this one we get).
Some of the chosen terms can be very personal, but we're going to ask you to get past the semantics we are using for this guide as we simply had to start somewhere- the official names seemed like the best choice.
That being said, we do have a few features in this guide which are right on the line between two neighborhoods. In these cases we are using our editorial discretion for what neighborhood we call it (as we do everywhere on this site).
More often than not this was done because several neighborhoods are primarily residential and have limited offerings, but a business/attraction/sight that is technically on the wrong side of the road worked out well for the feature.
Likewise, neighborhoods that are not featured does not mean there isn't anything to see or do in them, or that we haven't visited (we have), but rather that we have not personally tried something we want to feature yet.
In the future if we find something more fitting for specific neighborhoods, grab photos for a few we're missing, or discover things in the remaining neighborhoods not featured, we will update this guide accordingly.
Finally, this list is only meant to be taken as our suggestion of one cool spot in each neighborhood based on our explorations of the city. It is not a “best of” list. We are not picking out the best neighborhood in Pittsburgh by any means. Some recommendations are popular attractions, some are off-the-beaten-path restaurants, and others may be as simple as a viewpoint, cool bridge, or even a small parklet. To read more about each spot, click the link in the description to be taken to our full article when available!
Have a recommendation for us to check out? Email us at email@example.com as we'd love to check it out if we haven't already. Who knows, maybe it'll be featured in a future update to this list!
Pittsburgh Neighborhood List
To navigate this guide, we've broken up each neighborhood in Pittsburgh based on general region in the city.
If you are looking for our pick in a specific neighborhood over reading each page of this guide individually, we recommend using the below links to jump around first. However, if you wish to read the whole guide from start to finish, use the links at the end of this post to go through neighborhoods by region (we recommend this).
- North: Brighton Heights, Summer Hill, Perry North, Perry South, Marshall-Shadeland, Northview Heights, Spring Hill-City View, Fineview, Spring Garden, Troy Hill, Chateau, Manchester, California Kirkbride, Central North Side, Allegheny West, Allegheny Center, East Allegheny, North Shore
- Downtown: Central Business District, Strip District, Polish Hill, Upper Hill, Middle Hill, Bedford Dwellings, Terrace Village, Bluff, Crawford-Roberts
- Central: Lower Lawrenceville, Central Lawrenceville, Upper Lawrenceville, Stanton Heights, Garfield, Bloomfield, Friendship, North Oakland, West Oakland, Central Oakland, South Oakland, Shadyside, Squirrel Hill North, Squirrel Hill South, Greenfield, Hazelwood, Glen Hazel
- East: Morningside, Highland Park, East Liberty, Larimer, Lincoln-Lemington-Belmar, Homewood North, Homewood South, Homewood West, East Hills, Point Breeze North, Point Breeze, Regent Square, Swisshelm Park
- West: Esplen, Sheraden, Windgap, Chartiers City, Fairywood, Crafton Heights, Elliott, West End, West Wood, Ridgemont, East Carnegie, Oakwood
- South: South Shore, Southside Flats, Duquesne Heights, Mount Washington, Brookline, Beechview, Banksville, Beltzhoover, Bon Air, Carrick, Overbrook, Knoxville, Allentown, South Side Slopes, Arlington, St Clair, Hays, New Homestead, Lincoln Place, Arlington Heights, Mount Oliver
The neighborhoods north of the city are, to us, broken up into two distinct geographies: neighborhoods that are on the hills and neighborhoods that are along the bank of the Allegheny River.
When people generally use the term “North Side”, they may be referring to the lower neighborhoods by the river (in fact, our North Side neighborhood guide only includes these).
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But this term can also be broader to include the neighborhoods on the hills which are primarily residential in nature (making the term quite literally all the neighborhoods north of the Allegheny River).
No matter how you look at it, the North Side of the city as a whole has an abundance of things to do, and its 18 distinct neighborhoods have no shortage of awesome spots to visit- hilltop or not.
Brighton Heights – California Coffee Bar
California Coffee Bar is the resident coffee bar of Brighton Heights, and is located right in the heart of this neighborhood's small business district on California Avenue.
They offer a large selection of coffees as well as mixed juices that truly makes this one a gem worth venturing over for.
Summer Hill – Ivory Avenue Overpass
Summer Hill is primarily a residential neighborhood, so exploration in this one is quite limited. However, those who drive on Ivory Avenue should look south when riding on the McKnight Road overpass.
Here you'll catch a very quick glimpse of the city's tallest skyscrapers behind a collection of on-ramps, off-ramps, and overpasses that connect 279 to McKnight Road. It is one of those chaotic mess of roads that will have you thinking “that's Pittsburgh for you,” and for this reason we love it.
Perry North – Riverview Park
Riverview Park in Perry North is one of our favorite parks in the city limits. It has numerous hiking trails, is often relatively secluded, has a gorgeous observatory at the top which offers periodic tours, and even features live jazz on Saturday nights in the summer months as well. To put it simply, there is a lot to do at this one!
Perry South – Breadworks Bakery
Perry South is primarily a residential neighborhood (generally considered to be on the hilltop) with a small business district at the base of the hill.
Most of the businesses here are industrial in nature but one, Breadworks Bakery, is a must visit. This local bakery is one of the city's most popular and offers a wide range of breads at very good prices.
Northview Heights – Swindell Bridge
The Swindell Bridge is not for those who are afraid of heights as it is one of the tallest bridges in the city. But this one is not on our list because of its size alone, and much like the Ivory Overpass in Summer Hill this one offers quick glimpse of the city on the Northview Heights side right at the fire station.
So be sure to look South when driving by for a great, but quick, view of the city! (Photo Credit: UncoveringPA. My aversion to heights got the better of me when we went out to shoot this together.)
Spring Hill-City View – St. John's Lutheran Cemetery
With a name like Spring Hill-City View, odds are good you should expect a city view. But in this one the city views are plentiful only for those who live there as vegetation has grown between most houses to obscure the scene from most roads.
Visitors should head to St. John's Lutheran Cemetery for the best view (entrance off Buente Street), and offers one of our favorite angles of the city we've seen to date!
Fineview – Fineview Lookout
If you are sensing a theme that the North Side has a lot of places to view the skyline, you're right. The many hills give opportunities to catch city views unlike any you've ever seen.
In Fineview you do not have to search very hard for a good view, as this neighborhood has a dedicated lookout spot on Catoma Street for visitors wanting to take in the view!
Troy Hill – La Hutte Royal
What is La Hutte Royal you ask? Well, we're really not supposed to tell you about it as this unassuming house on the main road in Troy Hill is meant to be a surprise for all who visit (in fact, we didn't take a single photo while there).
Call it an interactive art experience that is truly a must see.
It is weird and wonderful, and those who visit have to have an appreciation for the unusual- but that is the most we're going to say about it. Do yourself a favor and don't Google this one. Just make an appointment and show up. (16+ only with advanced registration.)
Chateau – Bicycle Heaven
Pittsburgh's North Side is home to many unusual museums, and one of our favorites is Bicycle Heaven– a spot that is often considered to have the word's largest collection of bicycles!
This museum / store has 4,000+ bikes in their arsenal and is located in a massive two floor showroom in Chateau. Don't miss the upstairs section as it is one of those spots that will make you say wow many times over.
Manchester – Columbus Avenue Overpass View
Manchester is primarily a residential neighborhood in the North Side. One of our favorite spots in this neighborhood is the overpass on Columbus Avenue as it has a stunning city view framed perfectly with a large set of railroad tracks in the foreground. Be sure to drive by this one next time you are in the area for a quick glimpse of our beautiful downtown skyscrapers!
California Kirkbride – Quik-It Chicken
Quik-It Chicken is a local fried chicken joint that shares a space with a Valero gas station. Yes, you read that right. And yes, it is delicious.
But this one goes beyond just chicken and serves ribs, a plethora of sides, and in massive quantities to boot. Check it out next time you're in the mood for a quick meal to go and you'll be hooked!
Central North Side – Randyland
When most people think of Central North Side, their first thought is the historic district known as the Mexican War Streets. And when you think of the Mexican War Streets, your first thought from there should be of Randyland– Pittsburgh's most colorful spot.
This attraction is the brain child of Randy Gilson, a local artisan who wanted to help transform the neighborhood in the 1990s and make everyone smile. We have to say, he achieved this goal in this must visit spot (and yes, our photo choice is a tease on purpose).
Allegheny West – Gus & Yia Yia's (Seasonal)
But head down the road to where it becomes West Ohio Street in Allegheny Commons Park, and in the summer months you'll find Gus & Yia Yia's– a local shaved ice institution that has been serving up hand shaved ice balls topped with syrup for over 80 years!
Allegheny Center – National Aviary
The National Aviary in Allegheny Center is a non-profit and indoor Aviary that is also the country's largest.
It has many themed habitats for visitors to explore that includes the Tropical Rainforest, the Wetlands, and Grasslands to name a few. Be sure to plan your visit for the penguin and sloth feedings (yes, the Aviary has non-winged animals as well) as they are two of the highlights of any visit in addition to the birds!
East Allegheny – Max's Allegheny Tavern
Max's Allegheny Tavern is an East Allegheny (Deutschtown) institution and focuses on home cooked German fare as well as an impressive draft list of German beer.
If you are in the mood for bratwurst, schnitzel, or a killer potato pancake Reuben (a personal favorite), washed down with some of the world's best beer, a trip to Max's should be on your radar very soon.
North Shore – North Shore River Trail
Pittsburgh's true North Shore is actually a small strip of land just a few blocks wide that spans from Heinz Field to the David McCoullough Bridge. Within this one is two stadiums, the Warhol Museum, several restaurants and breweries, and so much more.
But our absolute favorite thing about the North Shore is the North Shore River Trial which is a walking and biking trail that passes through the neighborhood on the banks of the Allegheny. Take a walk on this one for stunning city views while passing the stadiums and many gorgeous monuments along the way.
North Side Neighborhoods We Still Need to Explore
The two remaining neighborhoods we are seeking information on are Spring Garden and Marshall-Shadeland . While we have a few ideas, we have not visited to confirm if they should appear in this guide yet. If you have any recommendations for these neighborhoods, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Continue reading more neighborhood recommendations by selecting a region at the following links:
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Read Our Latest Posts from the North of Pittsburgh
Check out our latest posts from the northern neighborhoods in Pittsburgh at the following links:
- Leo. A Public House Offers Craft Cocktails in the North Side
- The Behind the Scenes Tour at PNC Park is a Must for Baseball Fans
- Things to Know Before Attending a Pittsburgh Pirates Baseball Game
- Catch a Movie at the Carnegie Science Center IMAX Theater
- Siempre Algo Review – Chef-Driven Dining Comes to the North Side
- Texture Contemporary Ballet at the New Hazlett Theater
- Things to Know Before Attending a Pittsburgh Steelers Game