Things to do in Bloomfield

Mural photo by Tracy Certo; Bitter Ends Garden & Luncheonette and Tessaro’s American Bar & Hardwood Grill photos by Tom O’Connor

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: 8,685
  • Size: 0.702 sq. miles
  • Median Rent: $871
  • Median Home Value: $176,648

Don’t Miss

Though Bloomfield is still known as Pittsburgh’s Little Italy, the food options go well beyond red sauce. Station serves up original takes on classic dishes, including garlicky and spicy (and insanely tasty) chicken wings. Bitter Ends Garden and Luncheonette supplies a changing menu of fresh-baked breads, pastries and savory bites, all with ingredients fresh from its little farm. APTEKA, a vegan Central and Eastern European restaurant, brings a fresh take on a Pittsburgh favorite – pierogis. 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, Indian at Masala House Indian Bistro, Mexican at Baby Loves Tacos, Southern comfort food at Sugar and Smoke and (of course) old-school Italian dishes at spots like Alexander’s Italian Bistro and Lombadozzi’s.

For more casual eats or a cup of coffee, check out Azorean Café, a shop specializing in delicious breakfast and lunch dishes that pay tribute to Portuguese cuisine or stop in the Big Idea Cooperative Book Store and Café for a tasty treat and some good reads.

The bar scene is dominated by classic neighborhood hangouts like Sonny’s Tavern, Nico’s Recovery Room, Lot 17 and the new-but-classic Froggy’s Bar. 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.

Bloomfield also boasts a number of unique shops like Commonwealth Press, White Whale Bookstore and Merante Gifts (which has an upstairs that doubles as a venue for cooking classes).

Don’t leave Bloomfield before grabbing something tasty from independent food merchants including Chantal’s Cheese Shop, Paddy Cake Bakery, Linea Verde Green Market and Donatelli’s Italian Food Center. (You can also get farm fresh goodies at the Bloomfield Saturday Market in the summertime.)

Bloomfield hosts 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.

Fast Facts

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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