Last Updated on January 24, 2023 by Jeremy
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The neighborhoods of Garfield and Friendship are located in central Pittsburgh and bridge the gap between neighborhoods like Lawrenceville and East Liberty.
While these neighborhoods may have a smaller list of attractions and amenities compared to others in the city, they have been growing rapidly in recent years with artist spaces, restaurants, and more moving in. So we wanted to share some of our favorites in this neighborhood guide!
Garfield and Friendship History and Map
The area in and around Garfield and Friendship was settled on by Casper Taub who was said to have stolen it from the local Delaware tribe. This land stayed within that family for over a century until it was broken up into lots, sold, and subsequently annexed by the city in the late 1800s.
The neighborhood we know as Garfield is said to be named after the former President who was buried the day of the first lot sale. As it was developed the neighborhood tended to be popular with working-class families. Friendship was supposedly named after a local farm as well as Friendship Avenue which passes through it. Unlike Garfield, the first citizens here were a bit more affluent and constructed larger, Victorian-style homes.
The latter half of the 1900s brought a steep decline to these neighborhoods. Part of this was due to the collapse of the steel industry which affected the entire city. The other part was due to the city's redlining and property destruction going on in and around East Liberty at the same time- the effects of which spilled over into these nearby neighborhoods.
In recent years, these neighborhoods have started to turn around with artist workshops moving into spaces on Penn Avenue, more restaurants coffee shops starting to open in the business district, and many houses being purchased and renovated. While we'd say these neighborhoods are still in a period of transition, it is safe to say that the future is looking bright for Friendship and Garfield.
Both Garfield and Friendship are primarily residential neighborhoods in the center of Pittsburgh that share a border with a bustling business district along Penn Avenue.
The traditionally accepted boundaries of Garfield include Penn Avenue to the South, Mossfield Street at Allegheny Cemetery to the West and North, and continuing on Black Street to Negley Avenue to the East. Friendship is a fair bit smaller and starts at Penn Avenue to the north, Graham Street to the West, Negley Avenue to the East, and runs south to Centre Avenue near East Liberty and Shadyside.
For the purposes of this guide; however, we are primarily focused on the business district in and around Penn Avenue as the vast majority of restaurants, bars, attractions, and other establishments you may want to visit are found along this street.
It is worth noting that the southern side of Penn Avenue at Garfield is technically Bloomfield; however, we're including businesses in this guide as it feels more appropriate to consider this business district properly in Garfield.
Attractions in Garfield and Friendship
Despite its relatively small size, there are several interesting spots to check out in Garfield and Friendship. Some of our favorite include the following:
- Center for PostNatural History – A small museum all about genetic engineering from disease-resistant corn to sheep whose milk has spider silk in it. Typically only open for limited hours on Sundays.
- Pittsburgh Glass Center – A great center for enjoying glass art and taking glass making classes.
- Independent Galleries – There are many independently operated galleries and event spaces in Garfield including The Silver Eye Center for Photography, The Irma Freeman Center for Imagination, The Mr. Roboto Project, and more.
- Octopus Garden – A small garden with a beautiful mosaic octopus sculpture and more just off Penn Avenue.
- Chop, Wok & Talk – A popular cooking school where you can learn an array of dishes.
- Black Cat Market – Garfield even has a cat cafe where you can go play with adoptable kitties.
If you haven't had a chance to check out the independent galleries in Garfield, one of the best times to do so is their Garfield First Friday events where many local businesses are opened late, food trucks may show up, and generally is a great time to walk around the neighborhood to check out some businesses you may not normally get to see otherwise.
Restaurants in Garfield and Friendship
While Garfield and Friendship's restaurant scene could be described as small, it is growing quickly and home to a number of delicious options. A selection includes the following:
- Soju – A stellar Korean restaurant serving up staples and dishes with modern twists.
- Pho Minh – A popular restaurant for Vietnamese dishes like Pho.
- Taquitos – A food truck that has a semi-permanent residence next to Spak Brothers.
- Spak Brothers – A popular pizza shop with an array of vegan options.
- People's Indian – Local Indian restaurant with a large menu including Indian inspired pizzas.
- Spork Pit BBQ – A high-end barbecue joint you shouldn't miss.
- Spork – One of the best fine dining restaurants in Pittsburgh.
- Fish Nor Fowl – A modern American restaurant from the Richard DeShantz restaurant group.
- Primanti Brothers – An outpost for Pittsburgh's most famous sandwich shop.
Places to Grab a Drink
While there is one brewery here, Two Frays, the drinking opportunities in Garfield and Friendship are heavily tilted towards tea and coffee, with some of the following shops being present:
- Bantha Tea Bar – A stunning tea shop with a great selection.
- Adda Coffee – A delicious coffee shop with a bazaar shop including coffee products and local art. Other locations can be found in the North Side and Shadyside.
- Commonplace Coffee – A local outpost for one of the city's most popular coffee chains.
Parking in Garfield and Friendship
For the most part, finding parking in Garfield and Friendship can be easy as metered street parking is readily available along Penn Avenue. During select events, like First Fridays, or prime dining hours, metered street parking may be a bit harder to come by.
From here, you may be looking at parking on side streets which may be a combination of meters or limited permit parking. As such, you'll do well to keep an eye out for signs when you park- although we'd generally consider these to be among the easier neighborhoods for street parking.
Hotels in Garfield and Friendship
Neither of these neighborhoods is home to any permanent hotels; however, some apartment rentals exist within walking distance of the business district.
For those who need to stay close, your best options may be the Hotel Indigo in East Liberty or perhaps the Courtyard by Marriott or Hyatt House in Shadyside. These are located just about a half-mile or so from the business districts in these neighborhoods which could make for an easy walk or a brief drive.
Recent Articles about Garfield and Friendship
Looking for more articles from Garfield or Friendship? Check out our recently published posts below:
- People's Indian Review – A Visit for Indian Pizza
- Soju Review – Delicious Korean Fare and Craft Cocktails in Garfield
- Fish Nor Fowl Review – Creative Plates and Delicious Cocktails in Garfield
- Spork Pit Barbecue Review – Stellar Barbecue in Garfield
- Pizza Fiesta Review – No Frills Pizza, Delicious Fiesta Rolls
Where should we visit in Garfield and Friendship next? Comment below to share!