| A Public Service of Mark Kantrowitz|
A Pinch of Pittsburgh
A Pinch of Pittsburgh, also known as burgh.info,
is a quick guide to the best of Pittsburgh. For more detailed
guides to Pittsburgh, see
Excite Travel: Pittsburgh,
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette's Metro Guide,
The Pittsburgh Guide,
Telerama's Tour of Pittsburgh,
Travelbase Pittsburgh, and
All area codes are 412, except where otherwise noted.
This guide is written with a focus on the Oakland, Squirrel Hill, and
Shadyside suburbs of Pittsburgh.
A Brief Introduction
Pittsburgh is situated at the nexus of three rivers, the Allegheny,
the Monongahela (the Mon) and the Ohio. Downtown is often referred to
as the Golden Triangle, with Point State Park and a magnificent
fountain located at the tip.
Pittsburgh's main selling points are that it is affordable, comfortable, and
safe. Pittsburgh is literally Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood. (Fred Rogers
lived in Pittsburgh for most of his life.) It has
everything you could want from a city, except perhaps
professional basketball. It has dozens of historical and cultural
attractions, a mild
climate, numerous parks and hiking trails, and several major universities.
Pittsburgh is well known as the origin of the emoticon :-), the
Mr. Yuk sticker, alternating current, the Ferris Wheel, the Whiskey
Rebellion, the polio vaccine, the Big Mac, pull-tab soda cans, Heinz
Ketchup, the movie theater, Bingo, the Zippo lighter, daylight
savings, the Klondike Bar, Rosie the Riveter, the Clark Bar and the
first gas station.
Directions to Pittsburgh
The local taxicab services are Yellow Cab (665-8100) and Peoples
Cab (681-3131). Some of the Yellow Cab drivers have cell phones
in their cabs and you can schedule a cab to pick you up on-time for
your return trip to the airport. Airlines Transportation Company
(321-8147) offers less expensive shuttles to major Pittsburgh
hotels. PAT, the local public transportation, offers an inexpensive
bus from the airport that stops in front of Carnegie Mellon University.
If at all possible, fly into Pittsburgh at night. When you exit from
the tunnel onto the Fort Pitt bridge, the city will unfold in front of
you, lit up like diamonds in the rough.
To get to Pittsburgh from the airport, take I-279 to the Fort Pitt
If you will be heading for Oakland, Squirrel Hill, and Shadyside, look
for the signs for Monroeville (I-376
East) on the right as you exit the tunnels. The Forbes Avenue/Oakland
exit will take you through the heart of Oakland, past the University
of Pittsburgh (note the Cathedral of Learning on your left), the Carnegie
Museum on your right, and Carnegie Mellon University on your
right. Continuing on Forbes Avenue will take you to Murray Avenue, the
main Squirrel Hill shopping district.
If you're headed for Shadyside, turn left on South Craig Street just
past the Carnegie Museum and right on Fifth Avenue. If you're headed
for Squirrel Hill, you can either drive along Forbes Avenue, or take
the Squirrel Hill exit. If you're new to Pittsburgh, we recommend
avoiding the Squirrel Hill exit. Eventually you'll learn the best way
to Squirrel Hill (Oakland exit to Boulevard of the Allies and through
Housing prices in Pittsburgh are cheap compared to prices in Boston
and the West Coast. Local realtors include
Northwood Realty Services,
Metro Real Estate.
Many of these real estate web sites include listings. You will need to
specify Southwestern Pennsylvania and Allegheny County. The most
popular residential suburbs are Squirrel Hill and Shadyside.
The closest hotel to the two universities is the Holiday Inn at University Center at
the corner of Fifth and Lytton (1-800-465-4329 or 682-6200, fax 681-4749). Somewhat less
expensive and still in Oakland are the
Howard Johnson Lodge (Boulevard of the Allies, 1-800-245-4444 or 1-800-654-2000),
Hampton Inn (3315 Hamlet Street, 1-800-426-7866 or 681-1000, fax 681-3022), and
Best Western University Center (3401 Boulevard of the Allies, 683-6100, fax 682-6115).
For extended stays, there's the
(5405 Fifth Avenue, 1-800-767-8483 or 441-4444, fax 687-7312).
Downtown there's a
Doubletree (281-3700, fax 227-4504),
Hilton (1-800-445-8667 or 391-4600, fax 594-5161),
Marriott (471-4000, fax 394-1017),
Ramada Plaza Suites (1-800-225-5858 or 281-5800, fax 281-8467),
Westin William Penn (1-800-228-3000 or 281-7100, fax 553-5239), and
Sheraton at Station Square (1-800-255-7488 or 261-2000, fax 261-2932).
There are also several outstanding bed and breakfasts, including
Appletree Bed and Breakfast (703 S. Negley Avenue, 661-0631),
Shadyside Bed & Breakfast (5516 Fifth Avenue, 683-6501, fax 683-7228),
and Morning Glory Inn (431-1707).
Good restaurants in Oakland include:
Craig Street Coffee,
Lu Lu's Noodles,
Michael's Brick Oven,
Original Hot Dog Shop,
Prince of India,
Spice Island Tea House
Takeout Indian lunches can also be obtained from Kohli's Indian Grocer.
Other Oakland restaurants include
Kane's Courtyard (Winthrop Street, 683-9988),
Original Hot Dog Shop (3901 Forbes, 621-7388),
Mai Thai (328 Atwood, 683-7066),
Star of India (412 South Craig, Oakland, 681-5700),
Subway (415 South Craig, 687-6728).
The best restaurants in Pittsburgh are
- Cafe Sam (5242 Baum Boulevard, Oakland, 621-2000)
- Duranti's (128 North Craig, Oakland, 682-1155)
- Gullifty's (1922
Murray Avenue, Squirrel Hill, 521-8222)
- Union Grill (413 South Craig, 681-8620)
- Palomino (Four Gateway
Center, Downtown, 642-7711)
- Pamela's Restaurant (5813 Forbes Avenue, Squirrel Hill, 422-9457)
- Lu Lu's Noodles (400 South Craig, Oakland, 687-7777)
- China Palace (5440 Walnut Street, Shadyside, 687-RICE)
- New Dumpling House (2138 Murray Avenue, Squirrel Hill, 422-4178)
- Peking Gourmet (2018 Murray Avenue, Squirrel Hill, 421-1920)
- Sichuan House (1900 Murray Avenue, Squirrel Hill, 422-2700)
- Yen's Gourmet (4219 Murray Avenue, Greenfield, 421-5500)
- Chinese on Carson (1506 East Carson Street, South Side, 431-1717)
- Coffee & Dessert
- Craig Street Coffee (305 South Craig, Oakland, 683-9993)
- Cafe 61C (1839 Murray Avenue, Squirrel Hill, 521-6161)
- El Dolce Cafe (4525 Liberty Avenue, Bloomfield, 681-5225)
- Electra (1814 Penn Avenue, Strip District, 471-3895)
- Kiva Han (420 South Craig Street, Oakland, 687-6355)
- Beehive (Forbes Avenue, Oakland)
- Dining with a View
- Monterray Bay Fish Grotto (1411 Grandview Avenue, Mt. Washington, 481-4414)
- Cliffside Restaurant (1208 Grandview Avenue, Mt. Washington, 431-6996)
- Georgetowne Inn (1230 Grandview Avenue, Mt. Washington, 481-4424)
- Le Mont (1114 Grandview Avenue, Mt. Washington, 431-3100)
- Top of the Triangle (600 Grant Street, Downtown, 471-4100)
- Grandview Saloon
- Bella Vista Ristorante Italiano
- Le Pommier (2104 East Carson Street, South Side, 431-1901)
- Lucca (317 South Craig, Oakland, 681-3533),
- Kleiner Deutschmann (643 Pittsburgh, Springdale, 274-5022)
- Ice Cream Parlors
- Baskin Robins (5819 Forbes Avenue, Squirrel Hill, 521-3100)
- Bruster's Old Fashioned Ice Cream and Yogurt (4070 Beechwood
Boulevard, Greenfield, 422-9555)
- Dave & Andy's Homemade Ice Cream & Yogurt (207 Atwood, Oakland, 681-9906)
- Rita's Italian Ices (Forbes Avenue, Squirrel Hill)
- Shadyside Scoops (5418 Walnut Street, Shadyside, 681-8880)
- India Garden (328 Atwood Street, Oakland, 682-3000)
- Prince of India (3614 Fifth Avenue, Oakland, 687-0888)
- Kohli's Indian Grocer (319 South Craig, 621-1800) - takeout lunches
- Abate (Waterworks Mall, 781-9550)
- Bravo Franco's (613 Penn
Avenue, Downtown, 642-6677)
- Bruschetta's Restaurant (1831 East Carson Street, South Side, 431-3535)
- Cafe Allegro (51 South 12th Street, South Side, 481-7788)
- Davio (2100 Broadway, 531-7422)
- June Trattoria (One Oxford Centre, Downtown, 392-0225)
- F. Tambellini (139 7th
Street, Downtown, 391-1091)
- Primadonna (801 Broadway, McKees Rocks, 331-1001)
- Primanti Brothers (46
18th Street, Strip District, 263-2142)
- Ginza Korean and Japanese Restaurant (239 Atwood, Oakland, 682-9226)
- Kiku's of Japan (Station Square, 765-3200)
- Hana Japanese Restaurant and Sushi Bar (1 Graeme Street, Market
- Koto Buki Japanese Restaurant (9801 Old Babcock Boulevard, North Park, 369-7885)
- Miyako Japanese Steak & Seafood Restaurant (10636 Perry Highway, Wexford, 933-7253)
- Nakama Japanese Steakhouse &
Sushi Bar (East Carson & 17th Streets, South Side, 381-6000)
- Sapporo Japanese Steak & Seafood House (4260 Steubenville Pike, Robinson Township, 920-2988)
- Sushi House (2130 Murray Avenue, Squirrel Hill, 422-4178)
- Sushi Too (5432 Walnut Street, Shadyside, 687-8744)
- Sushi Two (2122 East Carson Street, South Side, 431-7874)
- Pinati Mediterranean Grill (2100 Murray Avenue, Squirrel Hill,
422-0404) - meat
- Milky Way (2120 Murray avenue, Squirrel Hill, 421-3121) - dairy
- Spice Island Tea House (253 Atwood Street, 687-8821)
- Ali Baba (404 South Craig, Oakland, 682-2829)
- Casbah (229 South Highland Avenue, Shadyside, 661-5656)
- Mad Mex (370 Atwood, Oakland, 681-5656)
- Fajita Grill (5865 Ellsworth Avenue, Shadyside, 362-3030)
- Pollo Rey Burritos (3715 Forbes Avenue, 688-0766)
- Pan Asian
- Soba Lounge (5847 Ellsworth Avenue, Shadyside, 362-5656)
- La Feria (5527 Walnut Street, Shadyside, 682-4501)
- Mallorca (2228
E. Carson Street, South Side, 488-1818)
- Lemon Grass (5846 Forbes Avenue, Squirrel Hill, 521-0728)
- Thai Place (5528 Walnut
Street, Shadyside, 687-8586)
- Idlewild Park (Route 30 East, Ligonier, 238-3666). Theme park.
- Kennywood Park (Route 837, West Mifflin,
461-0500). Amusement park with wonderful roller coasters.
- Sandcastle WaterPark (Route 837, West Homestead, 462-6666). Water slides galore.
- Numerous large parks, including Frick Park and Scheneley
Park. Every summer the city shows free movies once a week at dusk on
Flagstaff Hill in Schenley Park.
Flora and Fauna
- Bushy Run Battlefield (527-5584)
- Duquesne Incline (1220 Grandview Avenue, 381-1665). A century-old cable car along the side of Mt. Washington, running from West Carson Street to Grandview Avenue. In operation since 1877.
- Fort Ligonier (Laurel Highlands, 238-9701)
- Gateway Clipper Fleet (9 Station Square, 355-7980). Riverboat tours of Pittsburgh.
- Monongahela Incline (2235 Beaver Avenue, 442-2000). Another of Pittsburgh's vertical railroads, in operation since 1869.
- Nationality Rooms (Cathedral of Learning, First Floor)
- Nemacolin Castle (Brownsville, 785-6882)
- Old Economy Village (14th & Church Streets, Ambridge, 266-1803)
- Pennsylvania Trolley Museum (Gibsonia, 228-9256)
- Point State Park and Fort Pitt Museum
- Rachel Carson Homestead (613 Marion Avenue, Springdale, 274-5459)
- Soldiers and Sailors Memorial (4141 Fifth Avenue, 621-4253)
- Tour-Ed Mine & Museum (Tarentum, 224-4720). A coal mine.
Music, Theater, and Dance
- Benedum Center for the Performing Arts (719 Liberty Avenue, 456-2600)
- Byham Theater
- City Theatre Company (57 South 13th Street, 431-CITY)
- Civic Light Opera (719 Liberty Avenue, 263-2560)
- Mendelssohn Choir of Pittsburgh (561-3353)
- Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre (2900 Liberty Avenue, 281-0360)
- Pittsburgh Camerata (621-2880)
- Pittsburgh Chamber Music Society (Carnegie Music Hall, 4400 Forbes Avenue, 624-4129)
- Pittsburgh Dance Council (355-0330)
- Pittsburgh Opera (281-0932)
- Pittsburgh Public Theater (Allegheny Square, 321-9800)
- Pittsburgh Symphony (Heinz Hall, 600 Penn Avenue, 392-2887)
- River City Brass Band (322-RCBB)
- University of Pittsburgh Theater (1517 Cathedral of Learning, 624-0933)
- Andy Warhol Museum (117 Sandusky Street, North Side, 237-8300)
- Carnegie Museum of Art (4400 Forbes Avenue, Oakland, 622-3131)
- Fallingwater - Frank Lloyd Wright Architecture (Mill Run, 329-8501)
- Frick Art & Historical Center (Frick Park)
- Mattress Factory
(North Side, 231-3169), a museum of contemporary art.
- Pittsburgh Center for the Arts (6300 Fifth Avenue, Shadyside, 361-0873)
- Pittsburgh Filmmakers (218 Oakland Avenue, Oakland, 681-5449)
Every year there are numerous festivals and fairs. Pittsburgh has
many cultural districts, and each has its own festival during the summer.
Some of the more
famous include the Light-up Nights (all of the buildings downtown
leave all the lights on for a wonderful sparkle), Three Rivers Regatta, the Three Rivers Arts
Festival, the Shadyside Arts Festival, and the Vintage Grand Prix.
There's also the City of Pittsburgh Marathon and the Thrift Drug
Classic International Bike Race.
Each community has its own main shopping area, each with a distinctive
The main shopping areas in Oakland are located along Forbes Avenue and South
Craig Street, in Shadyside on Walnut Street, in
Squirrel Hill on Forbes and Murray Avenues, and on the South Side on East
Carson Street and Station Square.
Among the shopping malls of note are the Grove City Factory Shops (off
of I-79 exit 31, 748-4770), Monroeville Mall and the other
shopping areas on the William Penn Highway (Parkway East
I-376 to Route 22), Waterworks Mall (across the Highland Park Bridge,
take third exit when you miss the first exit), Edgewood Town Center
(first exit after the Squirrel Hill Tunnel), and Ross Park Mall
(McKnight Road in the North Hills).
The following advertisements have not been reviewed by the author of
Copyright © 1998-2018 by Mark Kantrowitz. All rights reserved.
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