The Ultimate Pittsburgh Summer Bucket List | North Side Edition

Post by 
Sydney Smith

The sun is shining, the temperature is just right, which can only mean one thing… Summer is finally here! To help kickstart your summer fun, we have curated the ultimate summer bucket list of all of the must-tries and must do’s in the North Side of Pittsburgh! By the end of summer you will be navigating the North Side like a pro and have experienced all of the hidden (and not so hidden) gems it has to offer!

The North Side is just a quick drive from Downtown Pittsburgh. Birgo Realty has an extensive portfolio in the area with a plethora of long-term rentals and short-term rentals. And...coming Summer 2021 is our brand new Stables Lofts!

Check out some of our properties in the area!

North Side Properties

Manchester Properties

Mexican War Street Properties

Troy Hill Properties

Short-Term Rentals

Overview

Top-Rated Coffee Shops

In order to make it through our bucket list you’ll need some serious caffeine! Luckily we’re starting with our favorite North Side cafes to start your summer the right way!

Adda Coffee and Tea House

Located on Western Avenue, this coffee shop has everything you need from a great selection of coffee and teas to friendly baristas! 

P.S. They also have amazing baked goods and a bazaar featuring items from across the globe!

(Open Daily)

Commonplace Coffee

This charming coffee shop is located in the historic Mexican War Streets neighborhood of the North Side. It’s the perfect place for an iced coffee on a nice summer day with outdoor seating (and a really cute outdoor window for ordering).

There’s also a local park directly across the street with tables and chairs to enjoy your drink and cool off from the hot summer sun  

(Open Daily)

The Garden Cafe

Serving La Prima coffee and baked locally sourced pastries, The Garden Cafe is a must try! This local cafe, which is a newer addition to Chestnut Street and the North Side, strives to be a positive presence in the area and looks forward to becoming a landmark for coffee in the neighborhood.  

(Closed Sundays)

Mezza Luna Cafe

Offering high quality coffee as well as a carefully curated menu of sandwiches and salad, Mezza Luna Cafe is the perfect place for a lunch out with friends or a casual business meeting.

Located right on Western Avenue, it is also a quick walk from many of our Birgo properties in the North Side!

(Closed Sundays)

MUST-TRY Restaurants

Historic and diverse neighborhoods are plentiful in the North Side and the area’s cuisine offerings are no different! We have curated a list of all the best spots to satisfy your cravings.

The Coop Chicken and Waffles

The Coop Chicken and Waffles is located on Ohio Street and is the go-to destination for (you guessed it) chicken and waffles! Their combination of Belgian waffles and homemade fried chicken are mouth wateringly delicious and definitely worth a try. 

(Closed Mondays and Tuesdays)

El Burro

El Burro, located on Federal Street, is a Mexican restaurant that serves burritos with all of your favorite toppings! They serve authentic cuisine and Mexican-American favorites. P.S. They even have a breakfast burrito with all the works! 

(Open Daily)

Allegheny Sandwich Shoppe

Allegheny Sandwich Shoppe, which opened in 1981, is located on Western Avenue and is a staple in the North Side. Serving all the classics and new twists on old favorites, it's no wonder they’ve earned themselves a reputation for being one of the best local sandwich spots!

(Closed Sundays and Mondays)

Fig and Ash

Named by Pittsburgh Magazine as “one of Pittsburgh’s brightest new destinations,” Fig and Ash is the perfect combination of trendy and cozy. Be sure to check them out on East Ohio Street for a Modern American meal with European influences.

(Closed Sundays and Mondays)

Nicky’s Thai Kitchen

Nicky’s Thai Kitchen, located right on Western Avenue, just made Pittsburgh Magazine’s Best of the ‘Burgh list. And rightfully so, they serve delicious Thai dishes in a trendy environment. We couldn’t live without their Pad Thai.

(Closed Mondays)

Lola Bistro

Lola Bistro, just two doors down from the Birgo office, showcases international comfort cuisine. This family-run bistro is perfect for dining as a couple or with a small group. P.S. It’s BYOB!

(Closed Mondays and Tuesdays)

Badamo's Pizza

This small takeout only shop on Federal Street serves pizza by the slice or by the pie. With their great prices and quality pies, it is definitely worth a try!

(Closed on Mondays)

Satisfy Your Sweet Tooth

This one is for all our friends with a sweet tooth! The North Side certainly doesn’t have a shortage of delicious sweets and treats. Listed below are some of our favorites!

Gus and Yiayia’s

Located in Allegheny Commons Park, Gus and Yiayia’s is a North Side staple! Gus Kalaris and his late father have been serving ice balls, peanuts, and popcorn out of the infamous bright orange food cart since 1934!

(Open Daily)

Happy Day Dessert Factory

Serving homemade hard ice cream, water ice, frozen custard, cookies, cakes, and more; Happy Day Dessert Factory is sure to put a smile on your face! Located on Western Avenue, they are the perfect way to cool down during the hot summer months.

(Open Daily)

Father and Son Family Bakery

Continuing the Schorr family baking traditions, Father and Son Family bakery offers all of your favorite goodies, including their signature donuts. 

This old fashioned bakery’s location right by Riverview Park is a little farther out, but totally worth the commute! 

P.S. For the widest selection of donuts, go early in the morning.

(Closed on Sunday)

Priory Fine Pastries

Offering a wide selection of goods from delectable pastries to elegant wedding cakes, Priory has everything you need to satisfy your sweet tooth.

Their location on East Ohio Street (formally the D.L. Clark Candy Company in the mid to late 1800’s), is perfect for a quick coffee and sweet run!

(Closed Sundays and Mondays)

For Fans of Happy Hour

There's nothing better than a cold drink after a long week of working!

Bier’s Pub & War Streets Brewery

All streets lead to Bier’s Pub on Western Avenue! They offer an extensive draft list with all of their house brewed beers named after streets on the North Side

They also have an extensive dinner menu and lots of great specials for those ballin’ on a budget! P.S. Check out their brunch served Saturday and Sunday from 11 am-3 pm. 

(Closed Monday-Wednesday)

Threadbare Cider House & Meadery

Threadbare Cider House and Meadery (a sister business to Wigle Whiskey Distillery who was just added to Pittsburgh Magazine’s Best in the ‘Burgh list) is located on Spring Garden Avenue in the Troy Hill neighborhood. 

Their extensive outdoor seating is perfect for a few ciders and a pizza on a warm summer night! P.S. They also host a lot of fun events including cheese making classes.

(Closed Mondays and Tuesdays)

Max's Allegheny Tavern

Max’s Allegheny Tavern, located in Pittsburgh’s historic Deutschtown neighborhood, serves a menu of German pub food and has a full bar.

(Closed Sundays and Mondays)

Outdoor Activities

Embrace the warm weather with some of our favorite outdoor activities!

Enjoy an Afternoon at Allegheny Commons Park

Allegheny Commons Park is an 80-acre park located at the forefront of the Northside’s many diverse neighborhoods. The park, established in 1867, is Pittsburgh’s oldest park and home to lots of mature canopy trees. 

We recommend going for one of Allegheny Commons' many weekly events such as Yoga in the Park or The North Side Farmers Market! The park is also home to Gus and Yiayia’s ice ball stand (which we mentioned earlier in our Sweets & Treats section)!

Hike the North Shore Riverfront Trail

The North Shore Riverfront Trail is great for beginners with a flat path and amazing views of Downtown Pittsburgh and the rivers. This trail is out-and-back 14.4 miles, but also has access to the bridge over to the Herrs Island Trail. 

Go to Riverview Park

Riverview Park is a 259-acre park located between Perrysville Avenue, Woods Run, and Marshall Avenue. There’s something for everyone to do with wooded trails, playgrounds, dog parks, a swimming pool, and the Mairdale watershed.

You may even be able to catch a summertime concert or movie in the park!

Catch a Game at PNC Park

They don’t call it America’s favorite pastime for nothing! There’s nothing better than cheering on your local baseball team up close and personal. Not to mention the amazing river views from PNC Park, located along the North Shore! 

P.S. You can sometimes get discounted group tickets with vouchers for food!

(Check MLB website for game schedule)

Kayak Pittsburgh North Shore

What better way to spend a hot summer day than kayaking along Pittsburgh’s North Shore? Venture Outdoors, located right under the Roberto Clemente Bridge, offers solo and tandem kayaks at a reasonable hourly rate! 

(Closed Tuesdays and Wednesdays)

*Kayak Pittsburgh North Shore recently rebranded to Kayak Pittsburgh Downtown

Go on a Rivers of Steel Boat Tour

If kayaking isn’t your thing, but you still want all of the river views, the Rivers of Steel boat tours are for you. 

We recommend the Uniquely Pittsburgh Sightseeing Tour, which is a 90-minute excursion highlighting the stories of Pittsburgh’s founding and history. While you listen to the amazing history of the Steel City, bask in the views of our beautiful skyline!

(Offering tours Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays)

Museums

The North Side has become a hub for artistic expression and is bursting with museums! If you need a break from the heat, try venturing to one (or all) of these creative oases!

Andy Warhol Museum

Located on the North Shore, the Andy Warhol Museum is the largest museum dedicated to a single artist in North America. 

The Warhol showcases works spanning the entire range of Andy Warhol’s career in  chronological order. A must see while you’re visiting is the Silver Clouds Installation.

(Closed on Tuesdays)

Randyland

Randyland is packed to the brim with vivid colors, fun murals, and unique works of art, and all in its creator’s back yard! 

Located on Arch Street, Randyland is the perfect place for a photo opportunity, plus you may even get to see Randy himself! 

(Open daily)

Mattress Factory

Noted as a pioneer of site-specific installation art, the Mattress Factory on Sampsonia Way has become a popular destination for contemporary art lovers! 

With rotating installations among their permanent installations, there is always something new and exciting to see.

Photo Antiquities- Museum of Photographic History

Photo Antiquities, located on Ohio Street, is an independent photo shop that serves as a museum. They offer informative tours or you can explore their extensive gallery of vintage photographic equipment and pictures!

(Closed Tuesdays and Sundays)

Bicycle Heaven

Pittsburgh has a lot of cool attractions, one of which is called Bicycle Heaven. 

Fun fact: it’s the largest transportation museum in the world and it's dedicated solely to bicycles! 

This museum on Preble Avenue also serves as the largest bike shop in Pittsburgh, so if you're in the market for a new bicycle or need some repairs done, this is the place to go!

(Open Daily)

Carnegie Science Center

The Carnegie Science Center is 1 of 4 Carnegie museums throughout the city and serves as the most visited museum in Pittsburgh! The Science Center, located on Allegheny Avenue, offers 4 floors of interactive fun with something for everyone! 

(Open Daily)

Concluding Thoughts

Pittsburgh has a lot to offer, but we challenge you to tackle our ultimate North Side summer bucket list! 

If you do try, share your photos with us on social media and tag us - We’d love to see your summer of fun!

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