Districts surrounding Carnegie Mellon


Just a 10-to-15-minute walk (or five-minute bus ride) from campus lies the neighborhood of Oakland, the home of late-night food, University of Pittsburgh pride, and a population made up almost entirely of college students. Oakland is home to some of Carnegie Mellon students’ favorite restaurants, including Conflict Kitchen, Chipotle, Fuel and Fuddle, and The Porch. For students over 21, Oakland has a solid group of late-night destinations, such as local bars like Hemingway’s, Mad Mex with its margaritas, and a liquor store with an extensive selection, all within walking distance from each other. Another benefit of Oakland is its availability of affordable housing close to campus. Oakland Avenue and Atwood Avenue are lined with housing for both Carnegie Mellon and University of Pittsburgh students.

Most people living here are always up for fun; if you’re looking for a quiet neighborhood, Oakland may not be your cup of tea. Starting on Thursday nights — the start of the weekend for Pitt students — the neighborhood bustles, filled with groups of college kids out to have a good time. Oakland should be noted for its lively atmosphere and is ideal for anyone looking for an extended weekend and college-oriented surroundings.


Shadyside is home to upperclassmen from Carnegie Mellon and the University of Pittsburgh, graduate students, and young working professionals. Accessible by Pittsburgh buses, it tends to be slightly pricier than Oakland or Squirrel Hill; however, it is the most charming of the areas surrounding campus, with its tree-lined streets and boutiques. The neighborhood is best known for two things: shops and bars. Walnut Street is lined with a wide variety of shops, from small boutiques to Apple, J. Crew, Ann Taylor, and Banana Republic. Cozy restaurants like the Walnut Grill are interspersed among the shops.

Just blocks from the restaurants are Shadyside’s bars. William Penn Tavern and Shady Grove are the most popular, known by Carnegie Mellon students as the closest bar locations outside of Panther Hollow Inn. William Penn Tavern in particular gathers a large number of Carnegie Mellon students. On Tuesdays and Sundays, William Penn Tavern is open to all ages for its wing nights, where customers can get 10 wings in a variety of flavors, from traditional BBQ to the flavor mix of “the kitchen sink,” for a great price.

While the area near these bars can be particularly loud from Thursday to Sunday, Shadyside is generally a very relaxed, quiet area. The young professionals and the college students who live there are diverse ­— from artists to technical majors to medical students. Shadyside is a great area for anyone looking for either an escape from campus or a popular shopping and nightlife experience.

Squirrel Hill

is either a 20-minute walk or a three-minute bus ride from campus, and the buses are very frequent — all of the 61 buses serve the route. The cost of living in Squirrel Hill is higher than in Oakland, but lower than in Shadyside. Furthermore, Squirrel Hill is the most residential of all the areas surrounding campus. In addition to housing upperclass students from Carnegie Mellon, it is also home to faculty and Pittsburgh families not associated with the university. Most Carnegie Mellon students know the neighborhood for its restaurants and Giant Eagle. Squirrel Hill has a vast diversity of restaurants, from Thai food at Silk Elephant to Mediterranean food at Mediterranean Grill to the waffles at Waffallonia. The restaurants are dispersed among small shops, including those on the main thoroughfare of Forbes Avenue.

On Murray Avenue, just off of Forbes, Giant Eagle is the perfect one-stop shop for all of your food shopping necessities. Squirrel Hill is relatively quiet, with most noise coming from traffic on Forbes and Murray Avenues. It is not a college neighborhood like Oakland and Shadyside, and it does not have a prominent bar scene. It does have a residential atmosphere, however, that the other two areas lack.

For someone looking for a short ride or walk from campus with all the necessities within walking distance and a wide variety of cuisines, Squirrel Hill may be the right place to look for a home to rent.