The 4 Best Neighborhoods in Pittsburgh

Pittsburgh features 90 distinct neighborhoods. We have ethnic enclaves that are home to generations of families, newly revitalized communities, and trendy areas boosted by Pittsburgh’s recent tech boom.

If you plan to move to Pittsburgh, there’s definitely a place that fits your lifestyle and needs. Here are some great places to live in and near the city.

1. Squirrel Hill

Squirrel Hill. Pittsburgh, PA

Perfect neighborhood for: families, students, outdoor lovers.

Squirrel Hill is not a misnomer – it has plenty of squirrels and gently sloping hills. Featuring a mix of restaurants, upscale shops, and nightspots, it’s not uncommon to hear Russian, Hebrew or Mandarin spoken as you walk the main artery, Murray Avenue.

Squirrel Hill is the nexus of the Jewish community of Pittsburgh. On Murray Avenue, the Smallman Street Deli not only boasts some of the best kosher fare in the city, but is also a gathering spot for intellectual conversations.

Some of Pittsburgh’s most scenic neighborhoods are in Squirrel Hill. Sale prices for homes range between $300,000 and $500,000. Squirrel Hill is about five miles from Downtown Pittsburgh, which is easily accessible via the public bus system.

Highlights:

Mineo’s Pizza House is rated the best in Pennsylvania and one of the top 26 pizza shops in the U.S., according to Tasting Table.

The Jewish Community Center hosts numerous events including the annual JFilm Festival.

Frick Park is a lush, urban oasis featuring 644 acres of woodland and trails for hikers, joggers, cyclists, and birdwatchers.

One of the best vinyl stores in the country, Jerry Record’s just changed ownership. The store still houses approximately half a million records, and past customers include Robert Plant, Ben Folds, and Paul Winter.

2. North Side/North Shore

Perfect neighborhood for: millennials, artists, outdoor lovers.

Despite the presence of Allegheny General Hospital and Three Rivers Stadium, the North Side was long considered dangerous after dark.

When PNC Park, home to the Pittsburgh Pirates, opened in 2001, the neighborhood’s fortunes started to improve. Today the North Side – the area closest to the Allegheny River is called the North Shore — is thriving. Areas within the neighborhood – including Allegheny West and the Mexican War Streets, offer easy access to Downtown Pittsburgh and affordable rentals and homes.

The area gets gridlocked when the Pirates play baseball at PNC Park or the Steelers play football at Heinz Field. But there are numerous places to dine or drink including The Foundry Tap & Table, Southern Tier Brewing, and the Steel Cactus Mexican Restaurant and Cantina.

Highlights:

The Andy Warhol Museum is the largest museum in the United States dedicated to one artist. The museum features the largest collection of Pittsburgh native Andy Warhol’s works in the world, including 350 films, 4,000 videotapes, and 610 cardboard boxes known as time capsules that contain items ranging from Warhol’s telegrams to dead bees and fingernail clippings.

The 24-mile Three Rivers Heritage Trail offers picturesque riverside scenery for hikers, runners, and cyclists.

The National Aviary is the only independent indoor zoo in the U.S. devoted to birds. Along with penguins, rare parakeets, and other avian species, the Aviary features a flight simulator that literally affords you a birds-eye view of the world.

Stage AE is a mid-sized concert venue featuring national and international acts, including Franz Ferdinand, Lil Wayne, and The Avett Brothers.

3. East Liberty/Lawrenceville

Perfect neighborhood for: millennials, artists, startups.

Not too long ago Lawrenceville and East Liberty were among Pittsburgh’s most decrepit neighborhoods, grimy, destitute and neglected by city planners. But over the last ten years these formerly woebegone areas have been transformed into the Coolest Neighborhood in America, according to Money magazine.

This seemingly miraculous revitalization is the residue of the city’s tech boom, with Apple, Google, and Uber opening offices in the East Liberty-Lawrenceville corridor. The resulting influx of cash-flush workers coincides with the opening of new restaurants, microbreweries, and artisanal shops.

Since 2000, the median home value in Lawrenceville has jumped from $34,000 to $155,000 in 2017. That’s still about 31 percent below the median home value in the United States.

Highlights:

Cure is one of the hottest restaurants in Pittsburgh and features urban-Caribbean fare overseen by James Beard Foundation nominee Justin Severino.

The Ace Hotel, located in a former YMCA in East Liberty, offers boutique accommodations for visitors and dining and drink options for residents. .

The Row House Cinema, a single-screen theater, offers a different movie theme every week. Renown special effects artist and Pittsburgh native Tom Savini (“From Dusk till Dawn,” “Django Unchained”), celebrated his birthday here in a most unusual way.

For a retro experience, the Kickback Pinball Café offers a variety of classic pinball machines.

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4. Oakmont

Downtown Oakmont

Perfect neighborhood for: families, empty nesters, golfers.

If you prefer to live outside the city, Oakmont, 13 miles northeast of Pittsburgh, is an excellent alternative. Located along the Allegheny River, Oakmont, incorporated in 1889, is a cozy community with an approximate population of 6,500.

The town’s main thoroughfare, Allegheny Boulevard, features a variety of boutiques, shops, taverns, and restaurants. Railroad tracks bisect the boulevard, giving the town a bucolic feel.

The median home value in Oakmont is $188,000.

Highlights:

Oakmont Bakery is famous for its sugary confections, including special occasion cakes, cookies, and breads.

In 2010, Mystery Lovers Bookshop received the Raven Award from the Mystery Writers of America in recognition of its support of mystery and suspense authors. The bookshop’s notable visitors include bestselling writers Laura Lippman, Dennis Lehane, David Baldacci, and Michael Connelly.

The Oaks Theater was renovated three years ago to become a multipurpose venue in order to host comedy acts and musicians in addition to independent and cult films. Candlebox and Colin Hay are among the performers who recently played the venue.

Oakmont Country Club, which opened in 1903, has hosted more major golf tournaments than any club in the United States. Oakmont is ranked as the fifth best golf course in the country by Golf Digest.



Rege Behe