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“ONly place to go for food!”
Review of The Strip District

The Strip District
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Private Pittsburgh City Tour
Ranked #12 of 183 things to do in Pittsburgh
Certificate of Excellence
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Owner description: Located on a narrow strip of land in a flood plain, scenic neighborhood features historic points of interest such as Senator John Heinz Regional History Center and Pennsylvania Railroad Fruit Auction Building.
Reviewed January 17, 2013

Wonderful atmosphere, wonderful food vendors, food restaurants and great steeler garb. Take your visitors to the strip - it is a must.

Thank Sharon L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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1,972 - 1,976 of 2,373 reviews

Reviewed January 16, 2013

Pittsburgh's Strip District, or "The Strip," as it is commonly known, represents in approximately half a square mile, the cultural and culinary Heart of this city. Here from roughly 12th-33rd Sts, between Smallman, Penn and Liberty Aves, and running alongside the Allegheny River, the Visitor will find History, Art, Faith, Health, Entertainment, Commerce, Culture, Community and FOOD. I am always bewildered when people say, "There's nothing in the Strip but produce. . . ." Read through the TA Pgh Forum and you will see this comment again and again. Are they coming here blindfolded? With their ears covered and clothespins on their noses?? Or are they just not doing their homework???

First, to the always asked Parking question: If you are a local, you will most likely be driving, but not necessarily. You could take a bus, as several routes from Downtown and other parts of the city run right through the Strip. Check the Port Authority website if you want to avoid Parking hassles entirely. Visitors often ask if they can walk to the Strip from Downtown Hotels, and the answer to this is a definite "Yes!" The route up Penn Ave is extremely walkable for anyone in good health, with level, well-lighted sidewalks, through a very safe, busy area. From mid-Downtown it should take an average walker about 15-20 mins to 16th St where the busiest part of the Strip begins. Add another 10 mins from the Northshore. If you are driving, you should find the best Parking opportunities along Smallman St, just beyond St Stanislaus Church. If you can't find a cheap meter on the street here, there is a reasonable Public Lot right behind the Church.

Best time to visit the Strip for the much sought-after market vibe is most Saturdays from about 8:00am-3:00pm. Other good times, though, are Fridays and Sundays, roughly the same hours, and such special days as Christmas Eve morning and the Wednesday before Thanksgiving. Weekend evenings are great for partying and dancing if you are more into 20-something activities than the general hubub. Most people come early for either coffee or Breakfast in one of the many popular joints such as "DeLuca's" (Penn Ave, you'll see the line), "Kelly O's Diner" (24th St behind Mullaney's), or "LaPrima Espresso" (Smallman St at 20th St).

Once fortified, you can begin your exploration of the Strip, paying special attention to the amazing architecture of the area, which has largely been rescued from demolition and put to re-use as residential, office, retail, exhibition and recreation space. Do not miss the two anchoring houses of worship: ("Old") "St Patrick's" on Liberty Ave at 17th St, and "St Stanislaus" at Smallman and 21st St. "St Patrick's" is the oldest parish in Pittsburgh dating from 1808, and is famous for its Holy Stairs, which attract many Pilgrims, and are replicas of the original Holy Stairs in Rome. "St Stan's," as it is affectionately known here, is known for it's gorgeous stained glass and was visited in 1969 by the future Pope John Paul II, making it another pilgrimage site of sorts..

In the "Terminal Building," along Smallman St, the still-active incoming produce building shares space with the "Pittsburgh Public Market", a year-round indoor space filled with about 30 local vendors, but only open Fridays-Sundays. They also offer classes on healthy cooking and eating, buying local, free (again, "local") musicians and product demonstrations, as well as a public rest room. Check their website for details on participating merchants, Market hours and the entertainment schedule. Also, be warned that the Public Market will be relocating sometime soon; still in the Strip, but exact location yet to be announced. For now, you can find them across from 17th St on Smallman St. Do NOT park beside the Terminal Building as this is not related to the Public Market and it is expensive. The meters across the street, however, are FREE on Sundays.

Be sure to stop in to the "Society for Contemporary Crafts" on Smallman at 21st St, across from St Stan's, where admission is FREE to the lovely airy gallery exhibits, and they have a really fun craft store where you can find one-of-a-kind art objects as well as cool gift souvenirs. Rest rooms available here. A little further up Smallman, at 24th St, is the "Yoga Schoolhouse" where you can take in a FREE class on certain dates (check their website schedule), or just pay a small fee as a one-time drop-in. In the 1700 block of Penn Ave is "In the Kitchen," where you will find all kinds of culinary-related items, as well as cooking demonstrations on Saturdays from 11:00am-1:00pm, which include FREE samples! Other Penn Ave shops of interest include "Enrico Biscotti," "Roxanne's Dried Flowers," "Dreadnought Wines," "Schorin's Paper" and "Mike Feinberg, the Party King."

Food is a big part of the Strip experience, so you will most likely want to sample "Mancini's Bread" and "Breadworks," "Prestogeorge" for great coffees and specialty foods, "Jimmy & Nino Sunseri's Italian Store," (also "PA Macaroni Co," same family) and "Wholey's Fish Market," which is so much more than just fish-- be sure to take a look at their balcony floor just beyond the fresh fish tank. You will also see Polish, African, Greek, Middle Eastern, Korean and other grocers who offer already prepared, as well as fresh, foods and a wide assortment of imported gifts from their native lands. Dining options include everything from Chicken Kabob sold on the street, to elegant service at the upscale and expensive "Eleven," to a casual, balcony meal on the upper level at "Roland's Sea Food," to Island delights at the wonderful "Kaya." A little further up Penn Ave, we also like "Mullaney's Harp and Fiddle," for Irish music and dancing, and "Klavon's Ice Cream Parlor," with its classic art deco soda fountain and other period furnishings.

Make sure you save time for a visit to the "Heinz History Museum", around 12th at Smallman St, for their really fine "Innovation Pittsburgh" exhibit. Public rest rooms here for your convenience. And remember that the 3Rivers Heritage bicycle trail runs along the Allegheny River all the way out to the Strip, in case you feel up to a relaxing stroll back Downtown, carrying all those packages of just-purchased treasures. Of course, you can always hop on an inbound bus instead if you are really worn out.

One last thought: I really urge you to visit the Strip District on a fair day if at all possible, because a lot of outdoor walking is obviously required, but it doesn't necessarily have to be a warm day. Local people do come to the Strip for their meats, cheeses, breads and-- yes-- PRODUCE, so it is always busy on weekends, which is when you probably want to be there,too. Steeler weekends are especially festive, with many street vendors hawking their Black&Gold wares, playing the Steeler fight songs on their boom boxes, and kidding the out-of-town visitors who happen to be wearing the WRONG colors. Enjoy your visit to Pittsburgh's Strip District. And don't ever let anyone tell you "it's just produce, produce, produce. . . ." Have fun!

1  Thank evangeline57
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 15, 2013

It's a really nice place to walk through on a cold, wintery day. Get a bit boozed and warmed up, bundle up and go for a stroll. There's a lot of cheap touristy crap, but there's some really good stuff too.

Thank CaptainAwethume
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 9, 2013

The Strip is a uniquely Pittsburgh experience. The area has some of the best food shopping around, with lots of little specialty shops, from popcorn, to chocolate to pasta and great bread. I like Pittsburgh Macaroni Company for all it's dried pastas, so I can transport them home. The fresh pasta is pretty good too. The fish at Wholly's is fresh as is the produce. There are also plenty of places to eat if you don't feel like cooking.

Take a couple of hours and walk the Strip.

Thank GoodFood88
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 8, 2013

Strip district is the bomb, just a phrase please don't get excited! Doesn't matter about the weather, the sales will be there for you. Go down one side and up the other, inside stores or on the outside on the side walks. Great smelling mouth watering food being cooked as you explore the many items and merchandise. Good affordable prices. Believe me, I'm a penny pincher.

Thank Russ C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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