A booming business district, eateries offering international cuisine and a thriving live music scene...it may sound like a description of downtown Pittsburgh, but cross the Allegheny River, and you'll see that these accolades apply to a neighborhood less than a mile away.
Technically known as East Allegheny, Deutschtown (pronounced "Doychtown") is situated on the city's North Side, between the trees and trails of Allegheny Commons Park and the traffic of Interstate 279. While I am admittedly one of the many commuters who use I-279 to travel home to the suburbs at the end of the day, an afternoon walk through Deutschtown made me truly realize how convenient city living can be.
The Park House is also one of the venues where it's not uncommon to hear live music filling the room. The same can be said of the James Street Gastropub & Speakeasy, located one block north on the corner of Foreland Street and (obviously) James Street. And if you happen to find yourself in Deutschtown on a Wednesday evening after 8:00, you might want to experience the free sing-a-long known as "Banjo Night" at the Elks Lodge #339.
The neighborhood's reputation as a "music city" is supported each summer at the Deutschtown Music Festival, a free, two-day celebration of sound held both indoors and outdoors with a lineup of entertainment that all ages can enjoy. The event started on a single day in 2013 and featured 40 bands, but that number has since grown to nearly 200 in a short amount of time.
While I've presented several reasons to not want to leave Deutschtown, hungry visitors can be transported across the globe by patronizing a number of the neighborhood's restaurants. Browse the German-themed menu at Max's Allegheny Tavern, and you'll find multiple "wursts," "schnitzels" and "Reubens." The unmistakable aroma of an Italian kitchen greets guests at Legends of the North Shore, and being partially Hungarian, I have made it my mission to experience Huszar in the not-too-distant future.
If you need to wash down all that good eating, Deutschtown has gotten into the craft beer craze as well. Allegheny City Brewing was opened in 2016 by a trio who returned to Pittsburgh following several years in Colorado. Their tap room is a tribute to the city of Allegheny, which was the name of Pittsburgh's North Side before it was annexed in 1907, and the revolving list of beers includes Nova Gose, Graham Cracker Porter and Grapefruit Imperial IPA.
You can eat, drink, listen to live music, and if you'd like to stay the night, the neighborhood has you covered there as well. A total of 42 guest rooms are inside of The Priory Hotel, once a 19th century home to Benedictine priests now restored to modern-day standards. The adjacent "Grand Hall at the Priory" is routinely named one of the best event spaces (particularly for weddings) in the city.
Cody Walters, the Northside Leadership Conference's Main Street Director (and creator of the aforementioned music festival) says residing in the neighborhood gives him the opportunity to "live historically." He has easy access to the bright lights, competitive sports and contemporary technologies that Pittsburgh has become known for but can retreat back to his 1857 home at the end of the day, which was standing while the city played a part in the American Civil War.
Deutschtown...you might still be a little unsure of how to say it, but by now it should be clear that you should definitely want to see it.
Previously a lifelong resident of south central PA, Scott Hershberger has a deep passion for his new hometown of Pittsburgh. He particularly enjoys cheering on the city’s sport teams, exploring attractions with his family and attempting to eat at every restaurant in Allegheny County. Contact him at via email or follow him on Twitter.