Things to do in Downtown Pittsburgh

Stats (from Niche)

  • Population: 4,823
  • Size: 0.64 sq. miles
  • Median Rent: $1,530
  • Median Home Value: $290,559

Downtown Pittsburgh offers residents and visitors more than ever: From the Pittsburgh Cultural District and its many theaters, restaurants and nightspots to Market Square with its European piazza flair, there is a spot for everyone and every occasion. (Not to mention, it has some of the best food in the city!)

If you’re meeting friends Downtown or grabbing a bite before a show, take your pick from the different flavors in the Cultural District. Pork & Beans on 6th Street offers savory barbeque and local craft beer, and just around the corner on Penn Ave. its sister restaurant, Meat & Potatoes, is a perfect choice for New American dishes and inventive drinks. Under the same restaurant group, Butcher and the Rye on 6th Street is a bustling rustic-chic restaurant ideal for whiskey lovers, and TÄKŌ brings Mexican street food to heart of Pittsburgh.

In Market Square, they started the day with yoga, held every Sunday at 10 am.

Dining choices don’t end there. Visit the stylish Fl. 2 inside the Fairmont Hotel, sample the seasonal menu at Union Standard in the iconic Union Trust building, enjoy sustainable seafood options at Or, The Whale, or grab a cocktail and farm-to-table dishes at The Commoner inside the Kimpton Hotel Monaco. Yet another option: Check out the liquid works of art at Bridges and Bourbon on Penn Ave.

On Wood St., cozy up to a bowl of ramen at Yuzu Kitchen, a tasty spot for unique cocktails and authentic Asian fusion food. For one of the most beloved spots Downtown, take your tastebuds to Liberty Ave. to try Bae Bae’s Kitchen — a fast-casual eatery that has Downtowners hooked on Korean comfort classics like glass noodles, bulgogi (beef) and kimchi.

Il Tetto rooftop beer garden at Sienna Mercato, Downtown. Photo courtesy of Sienna Mercato.

For a sweet treat, seek out a scoop at Millie’s Homemade Ice Cream in Market Square, share gourmet shakes at The Milkshake Factory on Fifth Ave., try tasty French pastries and tarts at La Gourmandine on Forbes Ave or order the famous burnt almond torte cake from Prantl’s bakery on Market St.

Downtown has a list of healthy spots, too, like Corner Mercantile, Earth Inspired Salads, Bluebird Kitchen and more. Find those here.

There are also plenty of entertainment and shopping options. Check out the newest attraction — Liberty Magic — for an entertaining night out on the town or visit Pittsburgh specialty boutiques like PG&H, Steel City and love, Pittsburgh.

And beyond working hard and playing hard, the city is all about studying hard: Downtown, you’ll spot students from Point Park University, Urban Pathways Charter School, City Charter High School and Pittsburgh CAPA.

In the warmer months, Downtown’s green spaces and common areas bloom with life. Market Square offers a charming and lively meeting spot and is home to a weekly Farmer’s Market and many summertime events.

And recreation options? They’re plentiful. The three rivers are perfect for kayaking, boating and even sailing, and miles of riverfront trails make for great walks and scenic biking. Point State Park, with its glorious refurbished fountain, offers green space for tossing a frisbee, walking a dog or enjoying one of the many concerts or festivals held on its grounds.

If you’re itching to travel outside this walkable neighborhood, it’s easy. Downtown is the hub of the transit system, so bus service and T-stations can carry you all the way to the outskirts.

To explore beyond Downtown, cross a bridge and you’re on the North Side or South Side. Or walk a mile or two and find yourself in the Strip District. Or stay put and simply gaze across the water for a wonderful view of the bluff and Mt. Washington perched on the top.