The Newcomers Guide to the Strip District | Newcomers Guide | Pittsburgh | Pittsburgh City Paper
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The Newcomers Guide to the Strip District 

click to enlarge Fresh fish at Wholey's - CP PHOTO: JARED MURPHY
  • CP photo: Jared Murphy
  • Fresh fish at Wholey's
This neighborhood is particularly popular for newcomers. The Strip District has served as a wholesale and warehouse hub for years, but over the last decade or so, it has been transitioning to a home for high-tech businesses with adjoining apartments and condos. But since the neighborhood wasn’t really residential before, most people residing in The Strip are new to the city. These new residents, or at least their tastes, are starting to define the new Strip District. Autonomous vehicle companies like Uber and Argo AI are located in the neighborhood, just a short walk from riverfront apartments. Hip restaurants like Kaya (kaya.menu) supply the type of dining preferred in the Strip and craft distilleries like Wigle Whiskey (wiglewhiskey.com) keep the neighbors merry. There are still some wholesalers dotted through the neighborhood, but the Strip District is becoming more a destination for late-night revelers than those looking to ship consumer goods.


Bookmark these websites: stripdistrictneighbors.com, neighborsinthestrip.com

Shopping

The neighborhood’s main purpose for several decades has been shopping. For a wide variety of loose-leaf teas and roasted beans available for purchase by weight, Allegheny Tea and Coffee Exchange (alleghenycoffee.com) has you covered. Take an iced coffee on nitro to go — so smooth.

Insanely packed during the holidays, the Pennsylvania Macaroni Company (pennmac.com) offers old-school grocery shopping, with worn wooden floors, bins of beans, imported Italian specialties, and a famed cheese counter. Another old-school staple is Wholey’s (wholey.com), a Pittsburgh institution with the widest array of fresh and frozen seafood available in the area, as well as many locally produced food products.

The neighborhood is home to Pennsylvania Libations (pennsylvanialibations.com) liquor store, one of the few places in the state to purchase spirits in a private establishment. Every spirit is made proudly in Pennsylvania.



click to enlarge Spiced rum at Kingfly Distillery - CP PHOTO: MAGGIE WEAVER
  • CP photo: Maggie Weaver
  • Spiced rum at Kingfly Distillery

Food + Drink

DiAnoia’s Eatery (dianoiaseatery.com) is a trattoria to make New Yorkers jealous. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner in a bright setting, with right-sized, authentic Italian fare. Get the egg sandwich on a Kaiser roll.

Smoky aromas beckon you to sample flame-charred beef and seafood covered in chimichurri sauce at Gaucho Parrilla (eat-gaucho.com). Expect lines in the evening.

A colorful mural at Salem’s Market and Grill (salemsmarketgrill.com) beckons you to try grilled lamb, falafel, and all your Middle Eastern faves in a no-frills, cafeteria-style joint. And it’s pronounced Sa-lehms.

Enjoy some of Pittsburgh’s favorite microbrews like Big Hop IPA, Fat Gary Brown Ale, and other seasonal specialties at East End Brewing tap room (eastendbrewing.com) in the heart of the Strip.

Kingfly Distillery (kingflyspirits.com) is part bar, part event space, and part living room. Kingfly offers house-produced rum, vodka, and gin. Try the limoncello.

Smallman Galley (smallmangalley.org) is a hip haven with a great local draft list, themed cocktails, and four food stands staffed by a rotating list of chef entrepreneurs. The decor is clean and modern with plenty of exposed brick.


Arts + Culture

The long-running Attack Theatre (attacktheatre.com) dance troupe puts on entertaining shows inside the Pittsburgh Opera headquarters on Liberty Avenue, as well as other spots throughout the community. The troupe also regularly collaborates with other arts groups.

Delve into Western Pennsylvania’s history at the Heinz History Center (heinzhistorycenter.org). Explore Pittsburgh’s African-American heritage and the British-French-Indian War. There’s also a sports museum and, yes, you can learn about all 57 varieties (and more!) of Heinz products.


Music

The wood paneling and a worn wood bar soften the acoustic sounds of live Irish music at Mullaney’s Harp and Fiddle (harpandfiddle.com). After a Guinness, get on your feet and dance.

For a more punk vibe, head up the hill to neighboring Polish Hill and Gooski’s bar. The not-really-best-kept-secret dive bar hosts local bands and national acts. Good beer list and food, but most patrons just order what’s cheapest.

Listen to the smooth sounds of live jazz every Monday at Savoy (savoypgh.com). The restaurant offers drink deals during their jazz sessions.


Where the Locals Go

The Strip is probably the most heavily trafficked tourist neighborhood; most of its establishments are filled with people from out of the neighborhood or out of the region. The BeerHive (thebeerhive.com) has always remained a chill spot to grab a craft brew, play trivia with friends, and watch the Buccos.
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