A Local’s Guide to Visiting Bloomfield

Row houses in Pittsburgh's Bloomfield neighborhood.
Photo by Rossilynne Culgan

Pittsburgh’s Bloomfield neighborhood is known as “Pittsburgh’s Little Italy” because of the town’s Italian roots. The town celebrates its Italian heritage with Little Italy Days every summer.

Bloomfield was named after George Washington noticed the land’s “field of many blooms.”

The town is mostly residential, with plenty of rowhouses flaunting varied styles of architecture. It is flanked by two large business districts, one on Liberty Avenue and one on Penn Avenue. Both business districts are home to shops, restaurants, and bars.

For visitors to the city, Bloomfield is a great example of a classic Pittsburgh neighborhood. And for locals, there’s always something new to discover in Bloomfield, whether it’s a quirky store or a place for a bite to eat. The Burgh Bits and Bites food tour in Bloomfield is fun for both natives and newcomers.

Where to Shop

Two Italian grocery stores operate in Bloomfield. Groceria Italiana sells homemade pastas, sauces, and breads, along with meats and a small selection of dry goods. Donatelli’s Italian Food Center is a larger store with a produce section, along with Italian fare, including pizelle cookies.

On Liberty Avenue, find Merante Gifts, and Italian-themed gift shop with cooking classes; Sound Cat Records, an independent music shop selling vinyl; and Clothes Minded, a store to buy, sell, and trade clothing.

Bookworms can find two local bookshops on Liberty Avenue, too: The Big Idea Cooperative Bookstore & Cafe and East End Book Exchange.

Where to Eat

Known as Little Italy, Bloomfield, of course, has its share of Italian restaurants, such as Pleasure Bar Restaurant and Angelo’s Pizzeria.

The town is also home to an array of international cuisine, including Thai, Chinese, and Indian restaurants.

Tessaro’s, is a Bloomfield institution, serving some of the best hamburgers in Pittsburgh. The unmistakable smell of wood-fired burgers often permeates Liberty Avenue, thanks to Tessaro’s.

On a side street and new to the Pittsburgh food scene, Bread and Salt Bakery has already become an institution — even the New York Times has noticed. Order delectable fresh breads or slices of pizza sold by the pound.

For a pick-me-up, 4121 Main is a part coffeehouse, part art gallery, part floral shop. It serves up tasty, gourmet coffee inside a bright storefront that’s idyllic and restorative. It’s located on Main Street, nearer to Penn Avenue.

Where to Get a Drink

On Liberty Avenue, grab a drink at Bloomfield Bridge Tavern, dubbed “The Polish Party House;” Caliente, a large beer selection plus pizza; and Silky’s Pub, the classic neighborhood tavern.

Dive bar fans: Check out Sonny’s Tavern, a short walk from Liberty Avenue, with pickle shots, cheap beer, and arcade games.

Specialty cocktails and beers flow at Brillobox on Penn Avenue, a hipster bar with dance parties upstairs on the weekends.