Cool Things to Do in “The Strip” District, Pittsburgh


“The Strip” is one of the hippest areas of the city, full of coffee shops, dive bars, quirky little shops and so much more.

The neighborhood consists of Penn Avenue and Smallman Street and there’s a lot to discover. It was once an industrial area with mills and factories, home to some of the famous companies that have called Pittsburgh home such as U.S. Steel and Heinz Ketchup. These days it has been revitalized into an entertainment and shopping district – the ideal place to explore when staying in weekly rentals in Pittsburgh.

Here are some of the coolest things to see and do when exploring The Strip.

Pamela’s Diner

Pamela’s Diner has been serving the “best breakfast in Pittsburgh” since 1980. This classic American diner serves up the classics, including omelets, hotcakes, waffles and homemade hash. It’s a favorite spot of Barack Obama – he even hosted a Memorial Day breakfast with at the diner with 80 veterans.

The Pennsylvania Macaroni Company

One of the landmark businesses in the Strip District is the Pennsylvania Macaroni Company, an Italian grocery store that has been around since 1902. You can stock up on delicious items including fresh cheeses, tomatoes, olive oil, handmade pasta and so much more. The shop is owned by a third generation Italian family and they offer over 5,000 mouth-watering speciality products.

Heinz History Center

The Senator John Heinz History Center is affiliated with the Smithsonian and the biggest history museum in Pennsylvania. It is a very cool place to learn about the history of Pennsylvania. There’s also the Western Pennsylvania Sports Museum, a “museum-within-a-museum” located on the second and third floors. Be sure to visit the Special Collections Gallery where you’ll see displays of original items from the Mister Rogers Neighborhood set.

Primanti Bros.

A trip to the Strip District would not be complete without tucking into a famous Primanti Brothers sandwich. These heaping sandwiches are made with freshly sliced turkey, beef or pork, crispy French fries and tart coleslaw piled high on Italian bread. Plus, they are also known for their crispy wings with house-made sauces, hand-tossed dough pizzas and local microbrews.

The Pennsylvania Market

This funky marketplace has something for everyone. The Pennsylvania Market is a 12,000 square foot building with two floors of cool shops and yummy treats. On the main floor you’ll find the Olive Tap (a local tap room run by the East End Brewery), the Courtyard Winery and much more. The second floor has a huge food hall, several bars and a wine library – all within a massive open floor dining area. There’s a charcuterie shop, a coffee bar, a bakery and so much more.

Klavon’s Ice Cream

James and Mary Klavon first opened this iconic ice cream shop in 1923. Klavon’s Ice Cream was closed down for a while in 1979 and was dormant for nearly two decades, but was restored and reopened. Stepping into this historic ice-cream shop feels like taking a trip back in time. All the original features have been preserved, including the original marble countertops, revolving stools and stainless steel fountain equipment.

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