Shop Small, Pittsburgh: a Guide to the City’s Coolest Stores
2 min read
Author: Olivia Greene
If you’re a shopaholic like me, you’re ready to find the best places to go shopping in Pittsburgh this summer! Lucky for you, Pittsburgh is home to many shopping districts filled with an abundance of unique shops that you’ll be sure to love! Pittsburgh is a great city for shopping small. Below is my list of small business recommendations in Pittsburgh’s beloved neighborhoods.
The Strip District
Grandpa Joe’s Candy Shop
2124 Penn Avenue
Grandpa Joe’s candy shop that originated in Pittsburgh’s Strip District. They offer a wide selection of yesterday’s retro favorites to today’s most popular candies. Grandpa Joe’s also has old fashioned sodas, a $5 candy bar, novelty items and more. The store is fun for the whole family, and it is a true Pittsburgh gem. I highly recommend you visit the store in person because “it’s not just a store… it’s an experience!” But you can view their website here if you are interested in checking out their selection online as well!
Pennsylvania Macaroni Company
2010-2012 Penn Avenue
Nicknamed by locals as “Penn Mac,” this Italian groceria is a one-stop shop for deli meats, fresh produce, and so much more. Penn Mac originally started as an Italian Pasta shop in the 1940s, and has since evolved into an Italian Imports Shop. They currently stock over 5,000 specialty products in store, and it is yet another Pittsburgh Must-See! View their website here
1728 Penn Avenue
Love, Pittsburgh is a local gift shop full of an abundance of Pittsburgh related products. There are currently 3 locations in the Strip District, Downtown Pittsburgh, and Mount Washington. I’ve personally visited the Strip District location and loved the store! It’s airy and bright, and the product line is wonderful! The store features a variety of gifts, stationery, home décor, apparel, and one-of-a-kind gifts! Everything at love, Pittsburgh is designed by a local Pittsburgh Artist. Check out their website here!
420 S 27th Street
Shop 412 is an apparel line featuring Pittsburgh’s area code ‘412.’ They sell a range of products from shirts, hoodies, and shorts to hats, shoes, and other accessories. The iconic 412 logo serves as the (unofficial) logo for the city of bridges. Check them out in store or shop online using this link.
1931 E Carson Street
Buy. Sell. Trade. That’s Zed’s motto. The store features a series of vintage clothing and accessories. They have a wide variety of vintage Pittsburgh sports apparel, graphic t-shirts, shoes and so much more. The store has a really cool atmosphere, and the employees are so cool and down to earth. Zed’s also has a t-shirt rack where you can get tees for $10. I highly recommend checking out the store when you’re in town, but you can also shop online at shopzeds.com.
1214 E Carson Street
NOLAC is an apparel store featuring a line of streetwear that contains the perfect balance of luxury and leisure. The brand was founded by Bethel Park native, Jared Zych (Go Hawks!). NOLAC sells outerwear, sweatshirts, tops, bottoms, shirts and more, and the product quality is amazing! The store has a really cool vibe with clothing racks suspended from the ceiling, a polaroid wall, a basketball hoop, a seating area, and black brick wall with a neon sign of the iconic NOLAC logo. Check out their website for more!
1406 E Carson Street
Figleaf is a trendy women’s boutique featuring dresses, tops, and bottoms for many occasions. The store is organized by color making it really easy to find what you’re looking for! Prices are reasonable, and the styles are very fashion-forward! Check out their website!
Highway Robbery Vintage
2012 E Carson Street
Highway Robbery is a men’s and women’s vintage apparel store featuring clothing from the 1950s to the 1990s. The company’s goal is to curate a selection of items that are both unique and affordable. If you’re interested in selling vintage apparel, set up an appointment with them ahead of time. View their website here.
If you’re into vinyl, this is the place for you. Jerry’s records is a massive, used record store located in Pittsburgh’s Squirrel Hill neighborhood. They have been in business for 37 years, buying and selling vinyl records in a brick and mortar fashion. Jerry’s is home to approximately half a million albums, singles, 45s and EPs across a very wide range of genres. Th records are screened for condition and cleaned before they are filed alphabetically on Jerry’s shelves. The store also has record players for you to sample a record before you buy. Check out their website here.
New to Pittsburgh’s North Oakland neighborhood, What’s Good is a vintage resale shop owned and operated by Jessica Erceg. Take the stairs down to her store to browse a collection of thrifted vintage finds. Jessica is so down to earth, and she is open to price negotiations! When I visited, she had a $5 rack, so be sure to ask her about any special deals! She shops for the best quality items and most interesting finds to stock her store, and she takes great pride in what she does. Show her some love and see what’s good in store. Check out the official What’s Good? Facebook Page here.
Pittsburgh is a town full of many hard-working small business owners that it is impossible to name them all. These are just a few of my top picks based on personal experiences I’ve had at each of these locations. Leave a comment with other stores that you know and love to inspire others to shop small in PGH! Be sure to check out store hours before you make the trip out!
(If you haven’t already booked a place to stay for your trip to Pittsburgh, check out “Where to Stay in Pittsburgh: The 10 Coolest Places for any Visit.”)