[Bloomfield] is a feast, as rich to the eyes as the homemade tortellini and cannoli in its shop windows are to the stomach.
Pittsburgh Architectural Historian Franklin Toker
Centrally located, Bloomfield is only minutes away from several universities, as well as Pittsburgh’s Cultural District, new stadiums and new Convention Center. Its colorful mix of shops and restaurants attracts thousands of visitors from other city neighborhoods and the Pittsburgh region.
Bloomfield is known as Pittsburgh’s Little Italy, with Italian roots that go back five generations or more. The historic mix also includes German and Polish ancestries, all of which have strong ethnic pride, customs and commitment to family and neighborhood. Descendants from both groups still give the neighborhood its character today. This character can perhaps best be described as earthy, gritty, close-knit, and proud; as local author Chris Potter puts it, “Bloomfield has always taken pride in its modest working-class aspirations and a lack of…upper-class trappings.” The local rowhouses, constructed mostly of wooden frames covered long ago by aluminum siding, have unpretentious exteriors that often conceal lovingly maintained interiors.
The business district along Liberty Avenue puts most of life’s necessities, and several luxuries, within an easy walk of Bloomfield residents: besides the two churches and West Penn Hospital, there are many bars and restaurants, one supermarket and two Italian markets, plus tanning and hair salons, gifts and card shops, several gyms, a barber shop, two cobblers, a sweeper repair shop, and much more. Many restaurants serve Italian cuisine, although the neighborhood does feature a noted Polish restaurant. There are also two great Thai restaurants and two Chinese restaurants on Liberty Avenue.
Bloomfield is known as a great place to live. The Bloomfield Bridge, built in 1914, makes Bloomfield convenient to downtown and the universities in Oakland. On the side streets of Bloomfield, tree-lined avenues complement lovely, restored Edwardian and Victorian homes built in the late 1800s. Within a mile of the heart of the district live 38,000 of the newest generations, the majority employed in white collar service industries: Bloomfield is located in the center of several world class medical facilities including West Penn Hospital, UPMC Shadyside Hospital, Children’s Hospital and the Hillman Cancer Center, all of which bring visitors and employees to the business district.
Come and enjoy Bloomfield’s historic, ethnic and culinary flavors!