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Thursday, October 16, 2014

Five Best Pittsburgh Neighborhoods for Dining -

5 Pittsburgh Neighborhoods for Great Dining

Guest Post By Emily Creswick of Zillow

Happy hour on the North Shore.

When it comes to food in Pittsburgh, look beyond the famous Primanti Brothers. Pittsburgh offers an array of dining options sure to tantalize taste buds of any persuasion, celebrating the city’s local produce and multiculturalism.

Here are five Pittsburgh neighborhoods to visit for a great dining experience. These neighborhoods offer everything from fine dining to cheap and delicious late night bites.

1. Strip District

The Strip District is located just northeast of downtown Pittsburgh along the banks of the Allegheny River. The entire 1.5-mile neighborhood has an artisan feel with European cultural influences. The Strip District is home to produce and meat stands, ethnic grocers and an array of low-price restaurants, many catering to dietary restrictions such as gluten intolerance and veganism.

The district offers international flavor such as Caribbean, Thai and Middle Eastern from Kaya, Little Bangkok in the Strip and Salem’s Market & Grill. Chicken Latino is known for its friendly staff and bold Latin American flavor, while Gaucho Parrilla Argentina offers unique wood-fired barbeque. Even food trucks have loyal patrons, especially Edgar’s Tacos and Lucy’s – which serves seasonal banh mi sandwiches. Visit Colangelo's Bakery for Italian pastries, pizza and pasta, Enrico Biscotti for breakfast and sweets or Mancini's Bakery for fresh bread.

2. Lawrenceville

Lawrenceville is located four miles northeast of downtown Pittsburgh and is known as the city’s biggest hipster hub. For a unique dining experience, enjoy a meal at one of the dual restaurant/art galleries. Sip trendy beverages and snack on dessert at Arsenal Cider House and Wine Cellar and The Allegheny Wine Mixer.

After dusk, Lawrenceville offers a multitude of bars and bites. Grab an old-fashioned burger at Nied's Hotel or pub food at Gooski's Bar. Kaleidoscope Café serves eclectic salads, pasta and sandwiches while Pusadee's Garden is a hotspot for Thai food in a chic, garden setting. If breakfast is preferred, nibble on quiche from Lili Café or pop by La Gourmandine Bakery.

3. Downtown

Downtown, the heart of Pittsburgh, is at the intersection of three meandering rivers and offers diverse cuisine. City dwellers gravitate toward quick, affordable lunch stops such as Bob's Sub, Zorba's Gyros, Burgatory, Madonna's Mediterranean Cuisine, Nicky's Thai and Hanlon's Café. Verde Good Beans is a coffee shop and eatery bound to please lunch goers’ appetites. The family-run restaurant’s name is a play on a classic Pittsburgh dish, beans and greens, serving good food with eco-friendly business practices.

Enjoy American eats at Meat & Potatoes or Italian at Stone Neapolitan Pizzeria at River Vue. If ambiance is the attraction, try Butcher and the Rye or Il Tetto: Rooftop Beer Garden. For a more sophisticated dining experience, enjoy Nine on Nine or head to the Terrace Room in the Omni William Penn Hotel.

4. Oakland
Oakland is located three miles east of downtown. It’s also home to the University of Pittsburgh and considered the academic, medical and cultural hub of the city. The neighborhood has a lively college atmosphere, filled with coffee shops and nearly 100 restaurants within walking distance of the city center.

Choose from authentic Asian dishes at Spice Island Tea House, Taiwan Café or Oishii Bento. Legume Bistro in North Oakland manages an evolving menu based on seasonal crops and Red Oak Café serves vegetarian cuisine.  Mouthwatering brunch is served at Pamela's P & G Diner or Crepes Parisiennes. Stop for dessert at Dave & Andy's Homemade Ice Cream. When feeling indecisive in the evenings, walk along the sidewalks of Atwood Street to see the posted menus.

5. Squirrel Hill
Squirrel Hill is located about five miles east of downtown Pittsburgh. The neighborhood’s central district is known as “upstreet,” the thoroughfare along Murray and Forbes Avenues. In the early 20th century, many Jewish immigrants populated Squirrel Hill resulting in kosher menus at local restaurants; NU Jewish Bistro still serves authentic Jewish cuisine. The neighborhood also includes Schenley Park, ideal for family picnics followed by a brief walk to Razzy Fresh Frozen Yogurt.

In Squirrel Hill, pizza lovers battle over Aiello’s Pizza and Mineo’s Pizza House on Murray Avenue. Waffallonia is the hotspot for brunch and Allegro Hearth Bakery offers fresh pastries and breads. On Forbes Avenue, foodies frequent Bangkok Balcony or Silk Elephant when craving Thai. Nearby, Mediterranean fare is served at The Mediterranean Grill or Aladdin’s Eatery on the cheap.

Finding the right community to rent or relocate to is a tough task influenced by community safety, great schools, affordability and cultural fit. Local restaurant owners set the beat at the heart of neighborhoods, making them great sources for information and prime examples of community. Whether visiting, considering moving to Pittsburgh or a longtime local, enjoy the unique flavors of the dining scene. Check out Zillow for more information about Pittsburgh neighborhoods.

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