With classic row houses, a rich Italian heritage and an eclectic mix of businesses lining Liberty Avenue, Bloomfield is one of Pittsburgh’s can’t-miss neighborhoods.
Stats (via Niche)
- Population: 8,675
- Size: 0.702 sq. miles
- Median Rent: $847
- Median Home Value: $147,530
Though Bloomfield is still known as Pittsburgh’s Little Italy, the food options go well beyond red sauce. The tiny Bread and Salt bakery has received national attention for their super-local breads and Roman-style pizza. Station, which opened in 2015, serves up original takes on classic dishes, including garlicky and spicy (and insanely tasty) chicken wings. And Tessaro’s juicy, wood-grilled burgers are widely regarded as some of the best in town.
Dining options in Bloomfield span a wide range of cultures. Grab Thai food at Thai Gourmet or Thai Cuisine, Vietnamese at Tram’s Kitchen, and (of course) old-school Italian dishes at spots like Alexander’s Italian Bistro and Lombadozzi’s.
There is no shortage of watering holes in Bloomfield. The bar scene is dominated by classic neighborhood hangouts like Sonny’s Tavern and Nico’s Recovery Room. For one of the best beer selections in the city, head to Caliente Pizza & Draft House, where the tap list is filled with beers rarely seen in this neck of the woods.
A fine afternoon can be spent checking out the shops that line Liberty Avenue. Rifle through classic vinyl at Juke Records (formerly Sound Cat Records), pick up books by local authors at East End Book Exchange, or trade in your old clothes for someone else’s at Clothes Minded. Bloomfield also boasts a number of independent food merchants, including DJ’s Butcher Block and Donatelli’s Italian Food Center.
Bloomfield boasts a variety of popular yearly events, including annual parades for Columbus Day and Halloween. But the true can’t-miss event of the year is Little Italy Days. For one weekend every August, Liberty Avenue comes alive with vendors, Italian food and multiple stages of live entertainment.
Though Bloomfield is a bit short on green space, the park under the Bloomfield Bridge provides some recreational respite. The small park features a public pool and, in true Little Italy fashion, several bocce courts.
For music, head to Brillobox or Howlers Coyote Café. You’re likely to find a snarling local punk band or touring rock band at one (or both) of the bars’ intimate concert spaces any night of the week. For a great mix of contemporary art, check out BoxHeart Gallery, a Liberty Avenue staple for 15 years.
Bloomfield owes its name to none other than George Washington. In a journal entry from the mid-1700s, Washington described the neighborhood as a “field of many blooms.”
Bloomfield once boasted a semi-professional football team called the Bloomfield Rams who played on the field underneath the Bloomfield Bridge. Though the team dissolved years ago, the name of one player—Johnny Unitas—lives on.
Prior to becoming Pittsburgh’s Little Italy, Bloomfield was dominated by German immigrants, who tended the farmland that covered much of Bloomfield in the neighborhood’s early days.
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