Lawrenceville: Neighborhood Guide

Lawrenceville: Neighborhood Guide

A love letter to Lawrenceville, the sometimes hipster, sometimes not collection of amazing small businesses from fine dining to music venues, art studios and nightlife.

As I sat with a blinking cursor and an empty blog, I found it difficult to write about Lawrenceville, a place I love and have frequented 100s of times. I think it's so tough to write about as a neighborhood because of how much it contains; trying to write a single blog about it is daunting and no matter how you group things, a large number of amazing businesses are left out.

My approach to this neighborhood is very back-to-basics: I'm simply going to tell you about the places I love in this trendy, ever-evolving neighborhood. I hope that my words inspire you to visit, but more than anything my recommendation is to simply drive down on a Sunday morning and explore. 

There's great brunch spots around every turn, there's some of my favorite coffee and beer in the city steps away from each other, there's hidden gems, there's raucous nightlife, and that's just the beginning. Enjoy this love letter to Lawrenceville, a place where you could stay at a hotel, shop, drink and enjoy the best of Pittsburgh without ever leaving the confines of Butler Street.

For the purposes of this blog, I'm considering Lawrenceville as one interconnected neighborhood from 33rd and following Butler Street all the way to 57th. Do not yell at the person doing our social media about this. Think I missed the best place in Lawrenceville? Send me an email and make your case.


There are dozens of deserving dining options in Lawrenceville, from Lola's delicious ube cinnamon rolls on one end to the squid ink pasta at LeVia Trattoria on the other. Selecting just a few restaurants to highlight is maddening, but here are the places that keep me coming back.


If you Google any variation of "best tacos in Pittsburgh" and/or "top restaurants Lawrenceville," you're bound to find Condado recommended near the top of your search results. The funky art adorning this place top to bottom goes well with the upscale hipster vibes found throughout Lawrenceville, but the secret here is that the shells just get as much care as the ingredients piled inside them. Grab anything with a Sweet Lucy, Kewl Ranch or flour soft/hard corn shell combo and prepare to be wow'd. Every dip here is something special, but get the Three Buds so you can choose the queso, guac and salsas you want and find a new favorite.

Photo Credit: @Sopheating on Insta

Parlor Dim Sum

Follow the glowing neon sign and pass the Mahjong tile art to enter The Parlor Dim Sum, probably in my top five restaurants in the city since opening in 2022. Chef Roger Li continues to be a culinary tour de force (Umami, Ki Ramen, Tamari) bringing elevated Cantonese cuisine and dim sum to the Burgh. My recommendation here is to get one of the tables with the sharing-friendly rotating glass countertop and trying as much as you can on the dim sum menu (personal faves are the lo mai gai and taro dumplings) and trying to save room for their roast duck. (Reservations essential)

Abbey on Butler Street

The difference between a good meal and a truly memorable one is in the details, and nowhere is there more of a meticulous focus on a perfect dining experience than the Abbey. This foundry-turned-funeral home-turned-three concept-dining experience now offers upscale dining, a full coffeehouse and bar menu, each lovingly recreated from its past occupants while respecting Lawrenceville's new future. The Arcade remains one of the hottest brunch tickets in the city, but dinner at the Abbey itself is my favorite here. Their always-changing menu never disappoints, but the edamame hummus is what keeps me coming back.

Photo Credit: Abbey on Butler

Piccolo Forno 

The Tuscany region of Italy is the inspiration behind Piccolo Forno, a Lawrenceville staple since 2005. The motto here is Fare Tutto con Amore (Make Everything With Love) and that principle is evident in every tasty bite of their rustic menu. The poricini fettuccini here has been a favorite of mine for a decade plus, a perfect pasta with porcini, parsley and pesto in a delectable rabbit sauce. Be sure to get their house bread for the table and apply compound butter liberally! No carb counting allowed here.

Pusadee's Garden

This far into my list, I've realized every place I've recommended is the total package of fantastic food with the aesthetics that match to make this an entire experience. Pusadee's Garden might be the ultimate example of that mixing their Thai specialties with a glass-covered dining area and perhaps the most picturesque garden to dine in anywhere. Can't-miss menu items here include the roti with yellow curry, sweet potato and chicken and khao yum 17-ingredient mixed salad to start, then the pork belly and crispy shrimp entrees. (Reservations essential, be sure to note that garden seating is preferred). 

Photo Credit: @Celiacinpgh on Insta


Arsenal Cider House

Established in 2010, Arsenal was the first cidery in the region and stands as a testament to the city's rich history and its vibrant craft beverage scene. This hidden gem combines tradition, innovation and a whole lot of passion to create some of the finest artisanal ciders in the region. Whether you prefer a classic dry cider, a sweet and fruity blend or something entirely unique, Arsenal Cider has something to tantalize your taste buds.

Espresso A Mano

Truly great coffee shops aren't just making good drinks; they're community hubs full of regulars, remote workers, first-timers, meetings and first date havers. Besides having my favorite espresso and coffee (house roasted) in the city, the welcoming atmosphere, insanely talented baristas and walls adorned with local art you can take home makes Espresso A Mano my happy place.

Photo Credit: @Willhare on Insta

Pittsburgh Juice Company

It's amazing what a difference it makes when you use fresh, organic ingredients. Not only are the drinks revitalizing and delicious; Pittsburgh Juice Company is also woman-owned, vegan and eco-friendly. The Witch's Brew is what put this spot on the map, but you can also find smoothie bowls, Thai coconut rolls and other treats here that will have your taste buds dancing for joy.

Coven Brewing

You could do a brew tour without ever leaving Butler Street at Hop Farm, 11th Hour, Burghers and Lolev, but for this guide I'm spotlighting Coven Brewing, one of the newest breweries in the Pittsburgh scene. One step into their inviting space and you'll be as enchanted by the relaxed aesthetics and inviting bartenders as their spellbinding brews. While known for their IPAs, their Swatch series of sours is one of my current sips in the city. Even better is their rotating list of food trucks making this a one-stop night out!

Photo Credit: @YelpPittsburgh on Instagram


Lawrenceville Market House

I love starting my shopping spree of Lawrenceville at the Market House, an eclectic collection of boutique shops plus tasty sour cream-based donuts to nosh on while you browse. There's always something new to discover at the friendly vendor's stalls including limited edition fine art at The Waverly Press, plant-filled Camōflage and the sustainable scenes of Fjord & Fable. Be sure to explore every corner, you can even enter the former bank vault within Material Books!


In need of a gift and the perfect card to go with it? Wildcard is positively packed with local products, from pop-art packed books of cocktails to Pittsburgh inspired clothing, baby books and hilarious greeting cards for every occasion, all in a welcoming space. Need a Bigfoot card to go with your Bigfoot sticker and action figure? This is your place.

Photo Credit: @alternatehistories on Insta

Geology Rocks 

Whether you're an avid collector, a metaphysical guru in search of the crystals or just want to identify a weird rock you found, the experts at Geology Rocks are here to help. While this is the only chain on this list, it's owned and operated by a Pittsburgh native! You might leave with a new pendant, some fossilized gastropods or a gigantic chunk of quartz from Brazil; this place, dare I say it, rocks.

Phoenix Boutique

Out of the ashes of other's unwanted wardrobes comes Phoenix Boutique, a curated collection of designer clothing and accessories. Phoenix Boutique invites you to come play dress up and get the look you crave for a fraction of the cost.

No. 14

Regardless of the season, No. 14 has the effortless fashion that perfectly encapsulates this upscale and hipster neighborhood. You can drop in daily to find something new, or follow them on Instagram for new drops every Tuesday!


Arsenal Bowl

Arsenal Bowl perfectly sums of the contrasts that makes Lawrenceville such a unique neighborhood. The old-school wood paneling, red curtains and funky couches have combined with modern nightclub atmosphere to make this the perfect night out. There's also a full bar and DJs are on hand to spin tunes most nights at this second-floor bowling alley. Get here early on weekends, lanes book up quickly.

Roberto Clemente Museum

Humanitarian. Pittsburgh Pirate. Father. Beloved teammate. Roberto Clemente's legacy lives on in Pittsburgh at this only of its kind museum dedicated to The Great One. See how Clemente rose to the challenge of racial barriers to his professional baseball career, artifacts chronicling his many achievements and the continuous connection of Pittsburgh and Puerto Rico. Book tours in advance: you can either do the 90-minute tour of the Museum or (my rec) do the two-hour tour and tasting package that adds on a tasting at the renowned Engine House Twenty Five winery that operates within the same space.

Row House

Cinephiles, this is a must-stop on your visit to Pittsburgh. No 24 screens of the same Marvel movie here; instead, this art house theatre carefully curates themed weeks around a variety of subjects and actors for you to enjoy in your comfy seats. Pro Tip: Grab your drinks from the attached Bierport next door to bring in as you enjoy the film.

Contemporary Craft

Need your space to create? This one-of-a-kind institution is a paradise for art enthusiasts, craft connoisseurs and anyone with an appreciation for the handmade. What sets Contemporary Craft apart is its commitment to showcasing the work of emerging artists and celebrating the fusion of traditional craft techniques with modern concepts. Be sure to check out rotating featured exhibitions or get craft with visiting artist and a variety of other workshops held throughout the year.

Thunderbird Cafe

There's something about those intimate music venues in a city that just makes every concert sound better and be more memorable. In the café area, you can find the wood-finished Front Porch Stage which invites local and touring acts to perform in a stripped down setting as patrons enjoy drinks and pizza. In the Music Hall, expect an intimate show for around ~400 with lower pit and upper loge areas where you'll have the perfect view no matter where you stand.

Mix Candle Company

Mixologists aren't just for bars! Here at Mix Candle Co, they help you sort through the 120 fragrances on hand, trimming down your list and guiding you a fully blended scent you'll love. Pro Tip: Do this activity first when you go to Lawrenceville, it only takes 30 minutes, then cools for two hours, giving you time to shop and take your newly created candle home.

Kickback Pinball Café

If I ever disappear from the group in Lawrenceville, I guarantee you'll find me hypnotized over the flashing lights, fast flipper action and pulsing sound effects emanating from Kickback. 20+ machines inside range from classics to brand new cabinets, and they rotate frequently so I always find something new to play. Even if you lose all your quarters quickly, there's usually a pro or two hanging out in here who are just as fun to watch as they set a high score.



If you're into the dive bar scene, Belvy's (as it's affectionately known) is a self-proclaimed ultra-dive with wooden paneling, PBR-packed bars and some of the best DJs in the city playing Emo, 2000s, disco and other throwback nights. Wednesdays are for waltzing and line dancing!


As you walk around Lawrenceville, make sure you look up, into courtyard and down side streets as colorful murals dot this neighborhood. Some personal favorites are the gigantic murals of Roberto Clemente outside the Clemente Museum and horror icon Tom Savini by the TRYP hotel, a perfect Home Alone tribute in a parklet at 3526 Butler, and some smaller odes to Warhol, Slimer and Yoda on Mulberry Way just off Butler.

Maybe the coolest house in the city


It's easy to walk right past the sign pointing up to this second floor gallery space but, once you do, you'll get lost at this grassroots artist collective. Look for classes, events and meetups offered here on their website! Make sure your trunk and backseat are empty; I'm always leaving Redfishbowl with new art in-hand.


A gigantic food menu of bar favorites and amazing burgs. TVs covering every wall so you never miss a play. Friendly, dive bar vibes. Stinky's is quickly becoming my go-to place to enjoy gameday in the Burgh.

Allegheny Cemetery

If we're talking square footage, most of Central Lawrenceville is dominated not by cute businesses but by a massive cemetery. If that's your type of thing to explore, enter the castle-like gatehouse of the sixth oldest cemetery in the U.S. and seek out the final resting place of the likes of Negro League great Josh Gibson, the massive mausoleum of John Baptiste Ford and the headstone of America's first great songwriter, Stephen Foster.