Best Areas Of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania To Buy A Home

Here we go, Steelers, here we go! This is certainly a chant you'll get used to when living in Pittsburgh. After all, Pittsburgh is home to three major league sports teams including the Steelers, Penguins, and Pirates. And those black and gold roots run deep for Pittsburgh natives. However, hometown pride is just one of Pittsburgh's charming qualities, and it extends far beyond just sports teams. If you're looking to buy a home in a new city, look no further than Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. 

One of the most unique qualities of Pittsburgh is that it's a city with a small-town feel. Although it has come a very long way, economically and environmentally, since its steel mill days, Pittsburgh has stayed true to its blue-collar, community roots. Pittsburgh is a wonderful city for both single and growing families because of its workplace opportunities and affordable cost of living. Additionally, the city has become one of the leading areas for restaurants, breweries, art, and environmental innovation. In fact, Pittsburgh was voted #9 on the list of Best Places to Live in the U.S. in 2022, per Livability.  

With 90 unique neighborhoods, major league sports teams, world-class universities, a growing tech industry, a thriving art and entertainment scene, and lots of green space for outdoor activities, there's something for everyone in Pittsburgh. Here are the top eight neighborhoods to check out when considering a forever home in Pittsburgh. 

Opt for a small-town feel in Oakmont

Do you love small-town vibes? Well, then Oakmont is your borough. Oakmont is the perfect location for anyone who wants to be near the city without being right in the middle of the hustle and bustle. Located just outside of Pittsburgh, Oakmont is a borough in Allegheny County. It is a Pittsburgh suburb and part of the Pittsburgh Metro Area. Residents can be downtown in less than a half hour. But proximity to the city isn't the only thing this Pittsburgh suburb has going for it. Oakmont is also the perfect place for families looking for a small-town feel. The center of Oakmont is lined with independently owned restaurants and shops, according to the Oakmont Chamber of Commerce, including Moonbeam Cafe and Oakmont Bakery. Outdoor adventurers can also get their exercise fix at 10.7 Marina. The business is located on the Allegheny River and offers kayak rentals and outdoor equipment. The best part is that when you're finished kayaking, the marina offers food trucks and live music for patrons to enjoy. 

Niche book lovers are also in for a treat in Oakmont with the town's bookstore, Mystery Lovers Bookstore. The cozy shop has been nestled in Oakmont's business district for over 30 years, and it's been a mecca for all mystery book fans, per Next Pittsburgh. Other local places to visit include Urbana Boutique, Embroidery from the Heart, and The Good Home of Oakmont. The average cost of homes in Oakmont, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania is $245K, per Redfin.

Enjoy river-life in Aspinwall

The borough of Aspinwall was originally developed as a residential area along the river bank for those working in Pittsburgh's steel mills and their families, per Pittsburgh Beautiful. Today, Aspinwall has fully transformed since its industrial days. With coffee shops, restaurants, a weekly farmers market, a holistic wellness center, and more, there's a little something of everything in Aspinwall. And, it's all located right next to the river. 

Outdoor enthusiasts will love Aspinwall. There are ample opportunities to go for boat rides and to enjoy water sports. The local park even hosts riverfront concerts throughout the summer. Once you put your jet skis away for the summer and river life winds down, there are still ample exercise opportunities in the area including Yoga Flow, the area's only hot yoga studio. The studio is open year-round and offers special classes on major holidays including Thanksgiving and Christmas. Additionally, during warmer months, the studio holds sunset classes on the river dock. Does it get more zen than that? 

However, riverfront concerts and yoga aren't the only reasons Aspinwall is an ideal area to live in Pittsburgh. The neighborhood is also located next to the Waterworks Mall where residents can enjoy shopping, dining, and theater experiences. Aspinwall is conveniently located just 15 minutes away from downtown Pittsburgh and the median cost of homes is $295K, per Redfin.

Celebrate local flair in Etna

If up-and-coming neighborhoods with lots of local flair are your thing, then Etna is the neighborhood for you. According to Next Pittsburgh, Etna is the next best-kept secret neighborhood turned hot spot. The town has developed exponentially over the last five years, and new restaurants, bars, and activities are constantly popping up around the area. You won't find very many chain stores in the area. However, you will find locally owned businesses whose owners are filled with hometown pride, including a local pierogi shop that offers cooking classes. The owner of the pierogi restaurant called Cop Out, is a retired police sergeant who wants to bring Pittsburgh pierogi pride to the area. The restaurant offers the largest selection of fillings in the Pittsburgh area and will create any flavor filling customers request. 

Etna is also a great area for artists. The neighborhood boasts STORExpress art studios that offers studio space and equipment to local actors and artists. Additionally, the area is also home to PGH Print Ship, where local artists can customize prints, stickers, decals, and other merch for their artwork. For the past three years, the neighborhood has also hosted the Etna Art Tour to celebrate Pittsburgh artisans. Since Etna is also located near the river, there are ample opportunities for walking trails and riverfront biking. 

Etna's main drag connects the neighborhood with a main highway that offers easy access to Sharpsburg, Aspinwall, and Downtown. Locals can be downtown from Etna in just over 10 minutes and the average cost of homes in the area is $173K, per Redfin.

Grab a beer in Millvale

If you enjoy sipping local beer with loved ones, then you're going to fall in love Pittsburgh, according to Sports Illustrated. Pittsburgh is home to some of the country's best breweries. And Millvale residents are lucky enough to host not one but two of the city's major breweries: Grist House Craft Brewery, and Strange Roots Experimental Ales. 

However, Millvale doesn't pigeon-hole itself as simply a brewery-focused neighborhood. The borough also offers an eclectic variety of local shops. After grabbing a drink from Grist House, locals can walk over to Maude's Paperwing Gallery, the neighborhood's only mystical shop, where they can purchase crystals, sage bundles, and tarot readings. Residents can then walk just across the street to a local tea shop, Abeille Voyante Tea Co. Not only does the shop offer an extensive variety of loose-leaf teas, but they also have an area where patrons can order a cup of tea and a pastry, and cozy up in a comfortable chair and read a book. 

Music lovers can then stop at Mr. Smalls Theatre. The venue offers a cafe, bar and restaurant, and a concert venue. No matter what time of day it is, those who enjoy music can find something to love at Mr. Smalls. Millvale is a fun neighborhood with lots of things to do. However, it's the community vibe that draws in residents. Millvale's neighborhood library is a perfect example of this. The library offers a community fridge where local restaurants and community members donate meals and food items. Anyone in the neighborhood can bring home food from the fridge, free of charge. Millvale is also one of the most affordable areas in the city, and it's only 10 minutes away from downtown. The average cost of homes in Millvale is $138K, per Redfin.

Singles will love Lawrenceville

Over the last 15 years, Lawrenceville has grown rapidly and become a destination spot in Pittsburgh, per Trib Live. Lawrenceville is one of the best neighborhoods in Pittsburgh for 30-somethings and single families. The area offers a thriving nightlife without the club scene of other neighborhoods where university students dwell. So, residents can grab a few drinks, have a nice dinner, and enjoy live music, all while also getting to bed at a decent hour and heading to work the next day. Lawrenceville also offers a fun variety of local shops and boutiques including vintage clothing, antiques, home goods, candles, food and other treats, and more. Wild Card is an independently owned business that offers cards, shirts, art, and jewelry with a focus on local or independent makers. 

There are also several spaces for those who have a fondness for quirky activities. Kickback Pinball Cafe offers a space for pinball enthusiasts to play their favorite games while enjoying homemade sandwiches, salads, and coffee drinks. Arsenal Bowling lanes was referred to as the place "where old-school bowling meets nightclub atmosphere," by the New York Times. The bowling alley's vintage charm has been preserved through rich wood paneling, red velvet curtains, and gold wall sconces with faux-flame lights flickering around the alley. Locals can grab a drink at the bowling alley bar and enjoy a few frames of the age-old game. 

Right across the street from the bowling alley is Redfishbowl art gallery. The gallery features a year-round rotation of different local artists. Locals can bring their own drinks and tour the gallery for free or with a small donation. With a boba tea cafe, and Japanese, Korean, Mexican, seafood, and barbecue restaurant all on the same street, there is more than enough to explore in Lawrenceville year-round. The average cost of homes in Lawrenceville is $380K, per Redfin.

Never miss out on international cuisine in the Strip District

The Strip District began as home to Pittsburgh's iron mills, foundries, and glass factories as early as the 1820s and 1830s. Today, the area has managed to maintain its industrious charm of days gone by while offering some of the most diverse international cuisines the city has to offer. If access to international cuisine is important to you, then the Strip District is your neighborhood. The borough boasts a large assortment of international grocery stores including Lotus Food Company, Sambok Korean Groceries, Reyna Foods, Pennsylvania Macaroni Co., Stamboolis Brothers Co., Salem's Middle Eastern Market, and so many more, per Discover the Burgh. There's a Polish deli and market, an Italian grocery, a seafood market, a butcher and meat deli, a spice store, a candy store, a chocolate store, and an olive oil store, and that's just the start of it. Food is at the heart of every corner in the Strip District. 

The Strip District is another great area for young professionals and single families. The area offers a large assortment of both day and evening entertainment. As if daily access to mouth-watering groceries isn't enough, the Strip District also offers some of the best restaurants and nightlife in Pittsburgh. Locals can grab coffee at over 10 different coffee shops and specialty stores including Soluna Coffee & Mezcal Bar, Allegheny Coffee & Tea Exchange, and De Fer Coffee & Tea. If residents are craving a hearty, American breakfast Pamela's, Deluca's, or Kelly O's are the perfect diner options. Almost every grocery store in the strip also offers either to-go items or sit-down dining. Then, everyone with a full tummy can make their way to one of the award-winning libation spots including Wigle Whiskey, Kingfly Spirits, or Helltown Brewing

Additionally, the area offers a weekly street market where vendors of all kinds come to sell their goods. During the summer, the area frequently hosts free workout classes and animal adoption events. The Strip District is located within the city of Pittsburgh limits, and the average home cost for the area is $445K, per Redfin.

Get family-friendly in Brookline

With over 13,000 residents, Brookline is one of the largest of Pittsburgh's 90 neighborhoods, per Next Pittsburgh. And it's the perfect neighborhood for young families. The neighborhood has great walkability and the town's main drag, Brookline Boulevard, is one that every homeowner dreams of. From hole-in-the-wall diners like No Name Coffee Shop, to Mexican grocery stores like Las Palmas Carniceria that offer some of the city's best tacos from their street-side stand, there's something for everyone in Brookline. 

Outdoor adventuring families can take to the trails at Moore Park or Brookline Memorial Park. Both parks offer ample recreation activities for both families and outdoor enthusiasts. There's even a neighborhood 5k, called the Brookline Breeze, that has been held annually since 1982. Speaking of legacy and tradition, Brookline residents are dedicated when it comes to hometown pride. 

Some of the area's 100 businesses have been in the borough for decades including Pitaland which offers Middle Eastern fare and has called Brookline its home for almost 50 years. Brookline natives can also wet their whistles at a couple of the breweries in nearby neighborhoods including Sly Fox PGH Highline Brewery & Pub, Back Alley Brewing, and Hitchhiker Brewing. Brookline is also one of Pittsburgh's more affordable neighborhoods with the average cost of homes in Brookline being $181K, per Redfin.

Get away from the city in Robinson Township

For anyone who wants access to the Pittsburgh scene but wants to be removed from the hustle and bustle of city life, Robinson Township is the place for you. Located just 20 minutes outside of the city and just under 15 minutes from Pittsburgh International Airport, Robinson Township really offers the best of both worlds. The area boasts the largest shopping area in the city with both a central mall and several other mini-shopping malls around the borough. Although the area offers mostly shopping, restaurants, and movie theater experiences, there is still some nightlife available in Robinson including Latitude 360, per Trip Buzz. Latitude 360 offers dining, luxury bowling, live entertainment, games, a dine-in restaurant, a bar, and a cigar lounge. This is the perfect location for adults who want to have some fun on the weekends. The area is a big attraction for bachelor and bachelorette parties and the venue even hosts the occasional line dancing event. 

For those who are opting to live in Robinson to get away from nightlife and face-paced city life, you're also in luck. Robinson is located under a half hour away from Raccoon Creek State Park. The park is beautiful and offers lots of hiking trails. Hikers can even make their way to Frankfurt Springs where they'll be greeted by a gorgeous flowing (or frozen depending on the time of year) natural waterfall, per Uncovering PA. The park also offers lots of opportunities for biking. There are baseball fields on the grounds as well as a pool. There's even a large lake where locals can go fishing, swimming, or canoeing. In conclusion, Robinson locals have the option of living in more secluded areas while still having access to the largest shopping area in the city and Pittsburgh International Airport. The average cost of homes in Robinson Township is $275K, per Realtor.