Published by Jeremy. Last Updated on February 16, 2024.
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Bloomfield in central Pittsburgh grew to be known as Pittsburgh's Little Italy in the 20th century; however, the neighborhood's recent revival has seen many non-Italian restaurants, bars, and more move in. This has resulted in a diversification of the vibrant business district along Liberty Avenue full of many spots we absolutely love- Italian or otherwise.
So, in this neighborhood guide, we wanted to share a few of our favorite restaurants, bars, and coffee shops in Bloomfield you should check out!
As with all of our neighborhood guides, this feature is not a collection of all of the businesses you can find in Bloomfield but rather a cross-section of spots we love and other crowd favorites. As we visit more businesses, we'll update this guide accordingly!
Bloomfield History and Map
The neighborhood known as Bloomfield was first settled on by Casper Taub and was said to be stolen from the native Delaware tribe (much like Garfield and Friendship nearby). This land was held in the family for roughly a century before it was subdivided and sold into lots- roughly around the time when the neighborhood was annexed by the city in the mid-1800s.
While the first landowners were mainly German, many Italians began moving into Bloomfield in the early 1900s which led to the neighborhood becoming a de facto Little Italy. Remnants of this are still visible to this day with a few Italian restaurants, bakeries, and markets remaining; however, the density of these is much lower than in other Little Italy neighborhoods you may find around the country.
Today, Bloomfield has been growing with the addition of many restaurants, breweries, and cafes moving in. As many of these are often not Italian in nature, the historical highlights of the neighborhood are becoming less and less prominent as time goes on.
Bloomfield likely gets its name due to many blooming flowers that were said to be found in the area.
Bloomfield is a large neighborhood in central Pittsburgh that has a somewhat rough boundary. It runs from Penn Avenue to the North, S Graham Street to the East, Centre Ave and Baum Blvd to the South (depending on the cross-street), and a mix of streets to the west including Neville Street Ramp, the MLK Busway, the Bloomfield Bridge, and 40th Street. For most; however, it is easier to think of the western boundary at 40th Street and N. Craig for simplicity's sake.
For the purposes of our neighborhood guides, we consider most businesses that are found along the Penn Avenue border to the north to be in Garfield if only because it feels like a distinctly separate business district; however, a few exceptions apply that we'll feature in this guide. Likewise, depending on where you define the boundary at the southern end could mean some businesses may be considered Shadyside as well. We used our best judgment here.
Beyond this, most of the businesses we generally think of when it comes to Bloomfield are found along Liberty Avenue which cuts through the neighborhood. While this guide does not exclusively feature spots on this street, it is worth highlighting that this is the most vibrant business district all the same and makes up a good chunk of this guide.
Attractions in Bloomfield
While the biggest reasons you may likely visit Bloomfield are for its wonderful restaurants, bars, and cafes, there is one attraction that is worth highlighting in the neighborhood- the Bloomfield Saturday Market.
This market takes place on Saturdays (albeit with reduced frequency in the winter), and is often one of the largest and most vibrant farmer's markets you'll find in Pittsburgh. Just be prepared for the crowds at this one as it is also quite popular and highly sought-after vendors have been known to sell out of products before the end of the day.
Likewise, beyond the farmer's market, the neighborhood throws a popular event known as Little Italy Days each August which closes down Liberty Avenue for live music, food trucks and carts (of all backgrounds), and more.
Restaurants in Bloomfield
Bloomfield's restaurant scene can only be described as vibrant. There are the staples that have been around for decades as well as new spots opening seemingly left and right. A few of our personal favorites and other widely celebrated spots include:
- Tram's Kitchen – A small Vietnamese restaurant with delicious bowls of pho.
- Apteka – An Eastern European vegan restaurant that serves up some stellar food including what is arguably the city's best pierogi.
- Caffe Mona la Bistro – A popular breakfast and brunch spot with a beautiful rooftop dining space.
- Chantal's Cheese Shop – An artisanal cheese shop run by one of the nicest people you'll ever meet that also serves up some great sandwiches (limited menu).
- Baby Loves Tacos – A fast-casual taco and burrito joint with unique ingredients like barbecue, sweet potato, buffalo cauliflower, and more.
- Tessaro's – An old school pub known for making highly sought-after classic American burgers.
- Caliente Pizza – A popular local pizza chain that has won best in the USA for specialty pies at competitions.
- G's on Liberty – An upscale restaurant with a great wine list and approachable menu.
- Cobra – One part Japanese barbecue and one part karaoke bar and club.
- Jak's Bakery – A delicious Bulgarian bakery located right next to Trace Brewing. Get the banitsa and kifla!
- Paddy Cake Bakery – A popular Italian bakery in central Bloomfield.
- Ritter's Diner – A diner near the Shadyside border known for late-night eats.
- Khalil's – Middle Eastern fare near the border with Shadyside and North Oakland.
Bars and Breweries in Bloomfield
Beyond restaurants, Bloomfield is home to a modest bar and brewery scene with some of our favorites including:
- Tina's – Old school neighborhood bar with new school twists.
- Brillobox – A stellar bar with something for everyone. Re-opened in early 2022.
- Trace Brewing – A brewery just off the center of the neighborhood with a beautiful space and tasty beer.
- Liberty Beer – A beer distributor known for its quality selection of craft cans (including a large portfolio from local breweries).
- SPiLL Wine Bar – A welcoming wine bar that primarily features wines from select Italian vineyards.
Coffee Shops in Bloomfield
Need a quick pickup when exploring Bloomfield, you may want to check out the following coffee shops as well:
Parking in Bloomfield
For the most part, the main stretch of Liberty Avenue running through Bloomfield is metered street parking. Parking here can be hit or miss at times, especially during busy lunch or dinner hours. Side street parking can be found, but it may take driving around the block a few times to find a spot. Likewise, it is also worth noting that many of the streets closest to the business district are permit parking with limited duration free for non-permit holders- so be sure to look out for the signs.
Beyond street parking, there you may also find paid parking in lots at 201-273 Cedarville St and 5000-5098 Liberty Ave; however, depending on the time of day they may be full. Generally speaking, we almost always look for street parking when visiting Bloomfield and regularly find parking on Liberty or a side street. It is also worth noting that the Liberty Avenue lot is closed during the Bloomfield Saturday Market.
Hotels in Bloomfield
There are a few hotels at the southeast border of Bloomfield that, depending on where you consider the neighborhood line to be, may also be pushing into Shadyside. These are the Hyatt House and Courtyard by Marriott.
These hotels offer a strategic location within a 1,000 feet to half-mile walk to the business districts of Bloomfield, East Liberty, and Shadyside respectively, and could offer a good base if one of these three neighborhoods is your primary reason for visiting Pittsburgh.
Beyond hotels, Bloomfield has a number of apartment rentals you may want to consider as well as the neighborhood is heavily residential.
Recent Articles about Bloomfield
For our most recent articles about Bloomfield, check out the following:
- G's on Liberty Review – Classical Dining With a Twist
- Spork Review – One of Pittsburgh's Finest Dining Experiences
- Apteka's Crapteka Review – Get Your Vegan Burgers for a Limited Time
- Little Italy Days Misses Out on Italy and Bloomfield
- Spill Wine Bar Review – A Welcoming Ambiance in Bloomfield
Where should we visit in Bloomfield next? Comment below to share!