Spak Brothers Pizza and Garfield Community Garden (photos by Brian Conway); Garfield condos and Penn Ave. homes (photos by Rob Larson)

Packed with both row houses and art galleries, Garfield is a classic Pittsburgh neighborhood in the midst of a creative rebirth.

Stats (via Niche)

  • Population: 3,839
  • Median Rent: $902
  • Median Home Value: $97,734

Don’t Miss

There is a slew of art galleries and performance spaces along Penn Avenue, including Assemble, The Mr. Roboto Project and The Irma Freeman Center for Imagination. And there is no better way to experience them all than Unblurred, the first Friday gallery crawl that includes music, drinks and of course, plenty of art.

If you’ve ever been on Penn, you’ve surely noticed the striking Pittsburgh Glass Center, a nonprofit school, gallery and glass studio dedicated to teaching, creating and promoting glass art. It’s top-notch and known throughout the country. Visit during an exhibit — there are plenty to choose from — and don’t leave without checking out their gift shop.

If you’re looking for something cheap and tasty in the neighborhood, try the Indian food at People’s Restaurant, Vietnamese at Pho Minh, or the very popular pizza at Spak Brothers.

Voluto is a good bet for well-crafted coffee drinks that use Commonplace’s locally roasted beans. If tea is more your speed, head over to Bantha Tea Bar, a beautiful Penn Avenue tea shop that opened in 2015.

For a place that does a little bit of everything, check out Artisan. Primarily a tattoo shop, Artisan also functions as a gallery, community space and store for local clothing and art. There’s even a cafe!

Garfield borders Allegheny Cemetery, a 300-acre cemetery with over 15 miles of roadways. The trees, ponds and roaming deer make it a beautiful place for a stroll or jog.

Fast Facts

The neighborhood is named after president James Garfield, who was buried on the same day that the first plot was purchased in Garfield in 1881.

Many notable people are buried in Allegheny Cemetery, including congressmen, industrialists and former mayors of Pittsburgh. Songwriter Stephen Foster is perhaps the most famous, and each summer the cemetery hosts the Annual Stephen Foster Music and Heritage Festival.

Each Thanksgiving, residents of Garfield organize The Turkey Bowl, a full-contact, just-for-fun football match between the neighborhood’s “Young Bucks” and “Old Heads.”

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(Photos of Pittsburgh Glass Center, Garfield condos, Penn Ave. homes, Rob Larson)

Named for President James Garfield, this once-blighted neighborhood is bouncing back with an experiment in incubating creative culture and a cluster of mom-and-pop retail along a vibrant stretch of Penn Avenue.

Arts communities – from galleries to an architects’ studio and the renowned Pittsburgh Glass Center—are helping to make Garfield a destination. Creative expression is alive and well in Garfield in the form of public art, ornate graffiti adorning 90-year-old brick buildings, and outdoor murals by students from Rogers School for the Creative and Performing Arts.

The first Friday of every month, up to 1,000 visitors hit Garfield’s streets to tour gallery exhibits, take in glass-blowing demos, and catch music and art at hot spots like Assemble and Garfield Artworks. Unblurred also directs revelers to North Pacific Avenue for the Garfield Night Market, an after-dark bazaar with locally made food, produce from an urban farm, and handmade wares. The Night Market grew out of 6% Place, cityLAB’s strategic urban planning experiment in Garfield based on the theory that a neighborhood becomes an attraction in its own right once creative workers make up 6% of its population.

In the 1990s, tiny family-owned Vietnamese restaurants, African-American barbershops and salons and arts-oriented businesses offered the first wave of retail resurgence in the 1990s. Now they’re joined by trendy upscale eateries like Salt of the Earth, Verde Mexican Kitchen and Cantina (a tequila bar). Together, Garfield’s roots and its rebirth are drawing visitors from across town to this neighborhood less than half a square mile in size. The area is referred to as the Penn Avenue Arts District and also known Garfield/Friendship due to blurred boundaries.

Active community groups serve Garfield’s more than 3,000 residents, who inhabit Victorians, modest row houses, stately old “Pittsburgh Boxes” and modern mixed-use condominiums.

Garfield is still very much a neighborhood in transition. But Penn Avenue’s ever-increasing assets put this community on the cusp of an arts revival.

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