By Jessica LaRosa

Just minutes east of downtown, Shadyside is home to an affluent and eclectic crowd of families, artists, students, and young professionals alike. It boasts beautiful mansions, local boutiques, high-end shopping, and the historic Chatham University. No matter what you’re into, you’re almost guaranteed to find something that sparks your interest in town. Here are some of my personal suggestions.

(Photo by Daniel Berehulak/Getty Images)

Shadyside House Tour

Pittsburgh, PA
(412) 361-3771
Date: Sunday, September 25
Time: 11 a.m. – 5 p.m.

The Shadyside House Tour, now in its 34th year, is a great way to see some of the most beautiful homes in Pittsburgh. Every year 7-8 homeowners open their doors to the public, showing off some amazing renovations, restorations, and décor. The tour showcases a wide selection of homes, including the urban contemporary, traditional, and historical Victorian varieties. In addition to seeing beautiful homes, you’ll also be supporting the Shadyside Action Coalition, a group dedicated to improving the quality of life in this trendy neighborhood. If you can’t make this event, you can always take a stroll down 5th Avenue and see some of the mansions from the early 1900s on your own.

(Source: Pamela

Pamela’s Diner

5527 Walnut Street
Pittsburgh, PA
(412) 683-1003
Hours: Mon to Sat – 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Sun -9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Although Pamela’s Diner has been in business for over 30 years, after President Barack Obama specifically requested pancakes from Pamela’s in 2009, visitors have been increasingly interested in trying them out for themselves! Dubbed as the “Best Breakfast in Pittsburgh,” Pamela’s sells unique crepe-style pancakes as well as a traditional breakfast & lunch menu. The fan favorite remains the strawberry hotcakes, but you’ll need to stop in yourself and pick your favorite! CBS Pittsburgh Insider’s tip: Bring cash to Pamela’s as credit cards are not accepted.


Prantl’s Bakery

5525 Walnut Street, Shadyside
(412) 621-2092
Hours: Tues to Sat – 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Sun – 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Closed Monday
Reviews, Directions & More Info

Whether you’re looking to satisfy your sweet tooth, or just enjoy looking at the beautiful creations of some very talented pastry chefs, Prantl’s Bakery is definitely a great place to visit while in Shadyside. The location has been home to a working bakery for over 100 years, and has been home to Prantl’s for over 40. This German style bakery provides a wide variety of baked goods, but their specialty is their famous burnt almond torte. It’s so popular that you can even order the tortes online!

(Source: Pittsburgh Center for the Arts -

Pittsburgh Center for the Arts

6300 Fifth Ave
Pittsburgh, PA 15232
(412) 361-0873
Hours: Tues to Sat – 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Sun – 12 p.m. to 5 p.m.; Closed Monday
Admission: $5 suggested donation
Local Business Directory

Shadyside is a community that truly embraces art. Walking through the streets of Shadyside, you’ll find a number of galleries highlighting local artists, photographers, and jewelry artisans. Dating back to 1945, the Pittsburgh Center for the Arts serves as a non-profit community arts program for Pittsburgh. The Center offers art classes as well as art exhibits that highlight art of all forms created here in our own city. According to their website, the Center for the Arts offers the chance for people to “see, create, support, and learn about visual arts.”

Three Corridors

One of the unique things about Shadyside is that there are three major “corridors” that attract totally different crowds, even though with so much to do and see, there’s a fair amount of overlap, bringing together people of all backgrounds.

  • Walnut Street: If you’re looking for high-end shopping in the city, take a stroll down Walnut Street. You’ll find Coach, United Colors of Benetton, J. Crew, Banana Republic, and more. A little window shopping never hurt anyone!
  • Ellsworth Avenue: Embrace Pittsburgh’s locally-owned businesses while walking along Ellsworth Avenue. You’ll find numerous art galleries, consignment shops, specialty boutiques, a yoga studio, and plenty of unique bars and restaurants. I suggest stopping by Designer Days Boutique for high-quality shopping at very affordable prices, and you can feel good knowing that proceeds benefit community service projects.
  • South Highland Avenue: Highland Avenue features some upscale design and furniture stores that are fun to browse through even if you’re not in the market. The entrance to the EastSide shopping complex is also on S. Highland Avenue, featuring a Whole Foods, Eva Szabo Spa, and the always popular Starbucks.

Now, make sure to check out our Guide to Shopping in Shadyside.

Jessica LaRosa is a fitness and Pittsburgh enthusiast currently displaced in suburban Philadelphia. You can follow her healthy living journey at

Comments (2)
  1. jenny says:

    just a reminder…..there are many fantastic INDEPENDENT retailers too, not just all CHAINS and larger stores 🙂

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