Things to do in Carnegie

With a charming and increasingly lively Main St. and a historic library endowed by Andrew Carnegie himself, the old borough of Carnegie is now attracting young residents.

Stats (via Niche)

  • Population: 7,935
  • Size: 1.6 sq. miles
  • Median Rent: $768
  • Median Home Value: $109,100

Don’t Miss

As Hans Gruenert, manager of off the WALL productions, told us, “Carnegie is now a destination. It’s no longer a dead end.”

Take the very walkable Main Street with its impressive mix of retail stores and eateries that continues to attract an interesting collection of independent businesses. Just ask Chuck Beard of Abandoned Pittsburgh, who loves the location of his new photography gallery so much that he convinced Blake Anthony of Pittsburgh Pottery to move in down the street. 

Larry Scott and George Arnold are the pair behind the very appealing Modern Mercantile, which carries lots of cool goods, including many by local makers. The store’s picture-perfect displays are ever-changing and reason enough to visit.

More interesting stores await: Lungo Vita, a tiny shop housed in the old Masonic Hall, is brimming with an irresistible selection of earrings and jewelry.

Firebox Art Studios features only women artists, and Glam Earth is a super spot for getting pampered. And 3rd St. Gallery is a long-time art and framing gallery that features music and other events.

One of the best things about Main Street are the places to eat and drink. Start with Carnegie Coffee Company for Italian espresso and pastries served within a striking former post office. There’s lot of natural light and two floors with ample seating.

Bakn is a fun and popular spot for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Don’t miss One Thirty One East, a “world fusion freestyle restaurant.” For fans of Asian cuisine, there’s Kasai and Don Don Chinese Restaurant. And for fresh Italian dishes, head to LeoGreta, which is helmed by chef Greg Alauzen, who grew up in Pittsburgh, moved to New York and was previously head chef at Eleven and Steelhead Brasserie and Wine Bar. Like many others on the street, he takes great pride in being in Carnegie. 

There’s more in Carnegie, such as Barb’s Country Junction Cafe, Sunset Pizza & Grille, Slice on Broadway and Cafe Delhi (just off Main St.).

Papa J’s, a long-time staple on Main St. closed due to a fire, but they have big plans to take over the entire block and remodel before reopening (see photo above).

Across the street is a good ‘ol Irish pub, Riley’s Pour House, which owner Jim Riley established in late 2011 in a building that’s housed various watering holes since 1936. Their Saturday brunch with $3 mimosas and bloody marys packs ’em in. Cantley’s Nightlife is another friendly pub where you can sing karaoke, play darts and shoot pool.

Like sweets? You’ll find plenty at Appleicious and Scoops in Carnegie.

Or if you’re into meads (aka honey wines), check out what’s on tap at the uniquely inviting space of Apis Mead & Winery. More boozy delights await at Quantum Spirits.

Beyond Main St., this borough features an Aldi, Family Dollar, and Rahma Grocery, which specializes in African, Asian and Middle Eastern products.

For recreation, Carnegie Park on Forsythe Road boasts walking trails, a dog park, tennis courts, a hockey rink, miniature golf and more. Skateboarders, rollerbladers and BMX bike riders especially adore Pitcher Park Memorial Skatepark.

Another public hotspot for children and adults of all ages is the Andrew Carnegie Free Library & Music Hall, which opened in 1901 and is recognized as a historic landmark. The “Carnegie Carnegie” is undergoing impressive renovations inside and out. The borough also has its own Boys & Girls Club, which hosts a range of programs for kids 6 through 18.

Community members gather for several popular annual events, including DogapaloozaOpen Streets Carnegie and a 5K Run/Walk in support of the Volunteer Fire & Rescue Bureau. On the second Friday of every month is the Carnegie Crawl. Visitors are encouraged to shop hop along Main Street from 5 to 9 p.m.

For all these reasons, more young people are moving to this borough located five miles southwest of Downtown.

“I’ve noticed a younger crowd moving into Carnegie,” says chef Randy Tozzie of Bakn. “Its proximity to Pittsburgh is a big win for a lot of people that want affordable living close to the sporting activities and events in town.”

Fast Facts

Like many places in and around Pittsburgh, Carnegie is named after Andrew Carnegie.

Former NFL player and coach Mike Ditka, Pittsburgh Pirates shortstop Honus Wagner and former Pennsylvania Governor and U.S. Senator James H. Duff were all born in Carnegie.

Carnegie has four borders: Rosslyn Farms to the north, Scott Township to the east, south and southwest, Collier Township to the west and Robinson Township to the northwest.