The Strip is the heart of Pittsburgh not for location or industry but for its feel. It’s gritty, it’s unique, it’s diverse; it’s Pittsburgh. The historic wholesale and warehouse district has evolved over the years to offer up some of the city’s best market shopping from Asian to Italian to Mid-Eastern and is also home to the iconic Primanti Bros’ sandwich (meat, cheese, slaw, fries). The neighborhood has something for everyone and as a result, this bustling hood is on everyone’s short list to bring out of towners Saturday or Sunday mornings.
- The Food: The Strip might be the quintessential food destination but not for the dishes that are landing us in Bon Appetit. You can find all of Pittsburgh’s vices here from Primanti sandwiches (the OG location) and Iron City beers to pierogies for sale in church basements. But don’t forget to add in some new classics like the conch fritters and black bean dip from Kaya and the banh mi sandwiches from Lucy’s streetside cart.
- The Shops: Produce stands, butcher shops, ethnic markets and salt vendors blend seamlessly into beautiful furniture, flower and gift shops. So don’t be surprised when you unload your purchases at home if you have kimchi, prosciutto, barrel aged PA bourbon and a succulent terrarium all from the same morning shop.
- The Buzz: The Strip riverfront is finally ready for its second act. Development seems to be popping up everywhere from the massive new Uber offices to swanky riverfront apartment complexes.
- It’s Flat: You are hard pressed in Pittsburgh to find a place as walker/biker friendly as the Strip in terms of topography. As a result, Downtown, Lawrenceville and the North Side are all easy strolls or rides.
- The Weekend Crowds: Starting around 7am every Saturday and Sunday, vendors start setting up for the weekend droves that pour in from all corners of the city. And they stick around until late in the afternoon and can make traffic and your grocery shopping trip painful.
- Store Hours: The markets open early seven days a week but if you need a lemon or an onion at 6:30 for dinner that evening, you are probably out of luck. And with no convenience store to speak of in the vicinity, you most likely need to pop to Lawrenceville or Downtown or order a quick Postmates delivery to get any after hour needs.
- Lack of Green Space: While a lot of the larger apartment properties have dedicated green space, there is no public park to speak of in the Strip.
For a full line up of all the things we love about the Strip District, head over to our sister publication, Urbanist Guide.