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The 5 Best Neighborhoods in Pittsburgh
Call it Steel City, the City of Champions or just The ‘Burgh, one thing is for sure: Pittsburgh is an energetic place that seems to be constantly reinventing itself. The steel mills closed in the 1980s, Pittsburg didn’t miss a beat – it’s become a technology hub, a regional education powerhouse Carnegie Mellon University, the University of Pittsburgh, Duquesne University, and other higher-learning institutions are all here) and home to major corporations like PNC Financial Services, Howmet Aerospace, Wesco International, U.S. Steel and Wabtec.
A reasonable cost of living (5.5% lower than the national average, according to Salary.com), plenty of green space, strong community spirit and plenty of professional opportunities make Pittsburg an exceptionally attractive option for anyone looking for a new place to call home. The biggest decision is not if you should move to Pittsburgh, it’s which one of the city’s 90 neighborhoods you should choose. We can help you make that decision. We’re Bellhop, local movers in Pittsburgh, and here’s our list of the best places to live in The ‘Burgh.
Highland Park’s mixture of beautiful historic homes, friendly neighbors and quiet streets make it a desirable choice for young families and established professional couples. While this neighborhood isn’t within walking distance of a bustling business district, it offers a little more space and plenty of easy access to popular Pittsburgh spots.
Mostly a residential community, this inviting neighborhood is more diverse than many other areas of Pittsburgh. The neighborhood’s namesake park, its accompanying zoo and aquarium, and the nearby coffee shops and restaurants give Highland Park its desirable forever-home feel, making it first on our list of the best neighborhoods in Pittsburgh.
What’s Happening in Highland Park
When it comes to finding the perfect place to live, people usually want one of two neighborhood options: a location in the heart of the city with plenty to do within walking distance or a family-friendly neighborhood that offers a little more space and an escape from all the urban hustle and bustle. Highland Park is the sweet spot – a perfect balance of those two options.
The neighborhood offers easy access to city hot spots. It features one of the best coffee shops in all of Pittsburgh, Tazza d’Oro. You’ll find our favorite Pittsburgh brunch at Park Burges, as well as Italian food at Joseph Tambellini Restaurant, Massaman curry and other Thai dishes at Smiling Banana Leaf, and hot buffalo garlic fries and beer at Park Place Pub.
Willing to take a cuisine adventure? Teppanyaki Kyoto is one of the most authentic Japanese establishments you’ll find in Pittsburgh. This restaurant offers an incredible menu full of Japanese items you may never have tried. (And if you are already a fan of Japanese food, you’ll love Teppanyaki Kyoto).
While the neighborhood’s 380-acre park is leafy, you won’t achieve that “lost in nature” feeling like you will in some other city parks. Instead, Highland Park offers playgrounds, picnic shelters, a swimming pool, and sandy volleyball courts. Its .75-mile track circles one of the city’s water reservoirs, built back in 1879.
Nestled within the park is one of the city’s top attractions, the Pittsburgh Zoo and PPG Aquarium. This inviting neighborhood has a variety of other family-friendly amenities. Get crafty with the kids and take a ceramics class at Union Project. Or, after a day in the park, cool off with a sweet treat at LaScola’s Italian Ice & Custard.
Schools in Highland Park
Highland Park offers a number of great local schools in the Pittsburgh Public School District, like Dilworth or Fulton PreK-5.
Homes in Highland Park
Highland Park’s historic homes come in a variety of styles including Victorian, Edwardian, Tudor, and Craftsman. As is true almost everywhere, housing prices have gone up in Highland Park over the past few years. The median price of a home, according to data supplied by Redfish, is $396K.
Settled a little further afield from downtown, three miles to the northeast, you’ll find Pittsburgh’s Little Italy. Bloomfield is the perfect spot for those who want a taste of the older world. Fascinating architecture and a bustling Italian-American community make Bloomfield famous. But Bloomfield’s appeal extends to its unique character, diverse cuisine, and neighborhood pride.
Walkable and affordable, Bloomfield attracts residents from all sides of life. The area is filled with Italian markets, bakeries, restaurants, and bars. It’s just a short 1.5-mile bus-ride, walk, or bike ride to Carnegie Mellon University, the University of Pittsburgh, and other education hubs making Bloomfield a popular home to ‘Burgher grad students, and one of the best neighborhoods in Pittsburgh.
What’s Happening in Bloomfield
Despite its prominent Italian history, Bloomfield’s food options go well beyond focaccia and gelato. Dining spans from Thai, Vietnamese, and Indian dishes to Station’s garlicky chicken wings and Tessaro’s wood-grilled burgers. APTEKA serves a European-vegan version of Pittsburgh’s classic pierogies.
The list of diverse dining and drinking spots is nearly endless. Sonny’s Tavern has become one of the more popular neighborhood hangouts. Big Idea Cooperative combines a book store with a cozy cafe. And you can’t skip Bloomfield’s amazing Italian cuisine served at spots like Alexander’s Italian Bistro and Lombadozzi’s.
Bloomfield’s heritage is on full display during Little Italy Day when the neighborhood erupts with a procession of the Madonna Della Civita. Liberty Avenue comes alive and spills over with vendors, Italian food, and live entertainment.
The neighborhood hosts a variety of other popular annual events, like the parades for Columbus Day and Halloween. Throughout the year, Liberty Avenue is the strip where locals and visitors can thumb through classic vinyl records, flip through novels written by local authors, or rifle through vintage and thrifted clothing.
Schools in Bloomfield
Families in Bloomfield have access to a variety of educational options. The Pittsburgh Public School District offers neighborhood schools and specialized magnet choices like Pittsburgh Liberty International Studies Magnet School and Pittsburgh Peabody High School.
Homes in Bloomfield
Bloomfield’s housing options are a mix of packed houses and rowhomes, shiny apartment flats, and condos built into gorgeous old-brick warehouses. If narrow alleys and city-homes aren’t your jam, the sliver of a neighborhood, Friendship, sits right next door. This area features leafy streets with large (and much more expensive) Victorian homes. Median price of a home in Bloomfield is $364K.
Certainly one of the most popular neighborhoods for families in the city, Mount Lebanon features great educational opportunities, low crime rates, affordable homes, and attractive nearby business districts. The neighborhood sits about 25 minutes southeast of downtown, making commutes or date-nights in the city manageable.
Set up in a suburban-style, Mount Lebanon still has its own identity and features great amenities and a strong sense of community. Here, you’ll be able to meet at a coffee shop with a fellow parent who is equally as engaged in the education of their kids and the local community, making it ideal for families on our list of the best neighborhoods in Pittsburgh.
What’s Happening in Mount Lebanon
In Mount Lebanon, you’ll find plenty of activities for the whole family, including an ice rink, a public pool, tennis courts, and a golf course. If you have younger kids, you’ll quickly get connected with other young families at one of Mount Lebanon’s many parks, including Bird Park, Mount Lebanon Main Park, Clearview Common, and Williamsburg Park.
Mount Lebanon’s walkways and jogging paths (like the Three Rivers Heritage Trail) run throughout the neighborhood and connect to popular neighboring districts like Uptown. Here you’ll be able to sample a wide range of cuisines: sushi, pizza, Mexican, pancakes. Check out Hitchhikers Brewing Co. or Orbis Caffe for meetups with friends.
Visit Beverly Road, a popular main street in the neighborhood, and sample Bados’ pizza or and Scoops’ ice cream.. Do some solo shopping at Barefoot Stitches & Gifts and then some soulful shopping at Inner Rutz Wellness Retreat. Or grab your date and enjoy the shrimp and sea scallop linguine at Cafe io.
Schools in Mount Lebanon
Mount Lebanon features a few excellent education options. Top schools in the area include Washington Elementary School, Lincoln School, and Mt. Lebanon High School among others.
Homes in Mount Lebanon
Homes in Mount Lebanon fit a range of budgets. Prices vary from humble homes at $90k to million-dollar mansions. Many of Mount Lebanon’s homes are large and sit on elegant grassy lots, and you can find stunning structures for half the price of popular inner-city neighborhoods. The median price of a home here is $358K
It takes less than 15 minutes to drive from Squirrel Hill to downtown Pittsburgh. But even though this charming neighborhood sits so close to the inner-city, it offers an impressive array of its own dining options, coffee shops, bars, local shops, and green spaces. On top of all its amenities, Squirrel Hill is one of the most affluent and well-educated neighborhoods in the city, thanks to its proximity to several universities and hospitals, making it a top choice on our list of the best neighborhoods in Pittsburgh.
What’s Happening in Squirrel Hill
Local shops, craft breweries, dive bars, theaters, and parks—Squirrel Hill has it all. If you’re looking to switch things up during a night out, Squirrel Hill features some of the best ethnic restaurants in the city. Here, you’ll find dishes from across the world, including China at Everyday Noodles, the Middle East at Naya Cuisine, and Italy at Aiello’s.
One of our favorite hubs is NU Modern Jewish Bistro, a hat tip to the neighborhood’s historically high population of Jewish residents. You’ll also have to visit the gorgeous Gaby et Jules and sample one of their French pastries.
Schools in Squirrel Hill
Families love Squirrel Hill partly because of its solid school list. Some on the list include Sacred Heart Elementary School, St. Edmund’s Academy, and Central Catholic High School among others.
Homes in Squirrel Hill
Housing prices in Squirrel Hill range wider than any other neighborhood we’ve discussed in this post. Regardless of the price, many homes in Squirrel Hill feature old brick and large front porches. Squirrel Hill North home prices range around $628K, while the median price of a home in Squirrel Hill South is $412K.
Shadyside has been described as posh, and the neighborhood does feature some of the most beautiful and upscale homes in the city. Shadyside also offers great shopping spots, nightlife hubs, eateries, and activities. And the neighborhood is also home to the highly-ranked UPMC Presbyterian Shadyside hospital.
What’s Happening in Shadyside
You’ll never be without amenities in Shadyside, with all the amenities of Walnut, Highland, and Ellsworth streets. One of our favorite restaurants in Shadyside is the incredible Indian bistro, Masala House. Other popular spots include Noodlehead, The Tipsy Cow, Casbah, and Eden. Wash down dinner with a drink at Le Mardi Gras or The Yard.
Looking for a neighborhood that little ones will love too? Spend a Saturday at Mellon Park. Have older kids? Check out the exhibits at the Pittsburgh Center for the Arts. Be sure to hit up the summer block party, Jam on Walnut, and the annual Art Festival.
Schools in Shadyside
Shadyside’s great local schools include Sacred Heart Elementary School, Winchester Thurston School, and The Ellis School among others.
Homes in Shadyside
In Shadyside, this is where you’ll bump into the more upscale homes and luxury condos. The area offers gorgeous 8-bedroom mansions pushing well past $2 million. But you can also find smaller Victorian-style homes for much less. The median price of a home here is $432K.
There you have it: the 5 best neighborhoods in Pittsburgh!
We hope this guide to the best neighborhoods in Pittsburgh was helpful, and if you decide that Pittsburgh is where you want to be, we’d be happy to help you make it happen. At Bellhop, our mission is to make moving as easy as possible. We coordinate local and long-distance moving services in Pittsburgh, so whether you’re moving across town or across the country – we’re here for you!
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