Squirrel Hill is one of Pittsburgh's largest neighborhoods and one of its more diverse in terms of ethnicity and age. Scores of locally owned businesses along the main thoroughfares of Murray and Forbes avenues reflect this diversity, offering everything from used vinyl, tribal drums and old- fashioned toys to high-tech bikes, independent films and Bikram yoga. It's the geographic and cultural hub of the Jewish community in Pittsburgh and home to 20+ synagogues and temples, the Jewish Community Center and the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh, in addition to great kosher fare at many of the local eateries. An international array of dining options range from Burmese, Greek and Indian to Mexican, Argentinian and American. Third-generation pizza shop owners, kosher delis, a gluten-free bakery and diners give a genuine and lively feel to the business districts and continue to draw an eclectic mix of loyal locals. For eating at home, the neighborhood has several walkable grocery options including Giant Eagle, Ruggeri's, Murray Avenue Kosher, Young's Oriental, Allegro Hearth Bakery, Frick Park Market, Goldenseal Natural Foods and Greek Gourmet. Longtime pizzerias Aiello's and Mineo's pit neighbor against neighbor as diehard loyals to one or the other.
While many residents live in historic single-family homes along tree-lined streets, apartments and condos also make up a large part of the housing stock. Professors and graduate students, particularly from nearby Carnegie Mellon University and the University of Pittsburgh, often choose Squirrel Hill for its diversity and proximity.
The 90-year-old Manor Theater has stayed true its heritage of screenings, independent, documentary, limited-release art and foreign language films while adding to the experience with a newer ‘M Bar' that serves small food bites and signature cocktails with names like “Cool Hand Cuke” for in-theater enjoyment.
Squirrel Hill is flanked by two city parks, Schenley and Frick, giving residents expansive green space nearby for hiking, cycling, playgrounds, tennis, swimming, golf, picnics and free outdoor concerts.