Pillbox

What is Craig Street?

Tired of college? Sick of campus food? Want to be in a somewhat more relaxing place? Go to Craig Street!

Right across from the Carnegie Museum of Art, Craig Street is a nice place to freshen up a bit, and get just a little away from the Carnegie Mellon bubble. With restaurants and stores from all sorts of places, from Asian to Irish, Craig Street is definitely the place to go when you crave a sense of home or just want to explore a different culture.

EatUnique is one of the restaurants on Craig Street. Featured are sandwiches “hot off the grill” and the fresh salads. Every day, EatUnique also has a daily special menu, and, trust me, every single item on the specials is absolutely delicious. If you’re a vegetarian, EatUnique is a nice place to get a hot freshly made sandwich, for when you’re tired of the cold and stale salads you get on campus. The incredible food aside, EatUnique also scores on convenience for Carnegie Mellon students by allowing us to use Dinex for purchases, thereby providing a wise and guilt-free way to burn away one's extra Dinex at the end of semester. Besides the regular food, EatUnique also provides affordable and tasty catering services.

Not far away from EatUnique, and right next to Little Asia, is a cute little store called Irish Design Center. While unremarkable on the outside, Irish Design Center is incredible once you step inside. It contains a large variety of Irish goods, from knitwear to decorations to candy bars. According to the owner, the store has been on Craig Street for over 40 years now. As one of the oldest Irish stores around the place, Irish Design Center probably has anything Irish you could possibly ever need. What’s even more special is that the large majority of the products are directly imported from Ireland and Scotland, with the remaining minority made at an Irish factory in the United States. The store is a nice place to check out if you’re in the mood for any Irish-style clothes (especially knitwear), jewelry and decorations, or maybe just want to experience the culture, or even just take back a box or two of the finest Irish tea. Irish Design Center also offers a collection of Irish gifts, which are all pretty and affordable. There’s going to be a special discount for St. Patrick’s Day and a side walk sale during summer time, so be sure to drop by then!

Snowlion Import, also along the street, has arguably the most exotic facade of any place on Craig Street. Like Irish Design Center, Snowlion Import is also a store that sells imported goods. That said, Snowlion Import sells items from Nepal, Tibet and India. Having been around for over 14 years, Snowlion Import is the first Tibetan store in the Oakland area, and the store with the largest collection of Tibetan goods in Pittsburgh. The store sells all sorts of items —from artifacts, jewelry and decorations to clothes, religious and ritual items for Buddhist practitioners. You can find everything here: earnings made from meteorite, gift cards with mysterious patterns, sports-wear made of the most comfortable fabric you ever touched, pillows and books for practicing Buddhism, and small spiritual items that wish you good luck. The owner of the store, a Nepalese native, schedules several trips between the U.S. and Nepal just to select the best products to bring back from Nepal. A portion of the benefits of the store also go to underprivileged children in Nepal. Even if you're not to keen to buy anything, Snowlion Import is a great place to just walk through, to feel the calm incense, talk to the owner and learn more about the history of Nepal and Buddhism. Most of the items at Snowlion Import are relatively affordable and you can always ask for a discount. Don’t hesitate if you ever do decide you want something, because as the owner says, “get them now, since they won’t stay long.”

Top Notch Art Supply, more casually known just as the art store on Craig Street, is a great place to visit if you're an art or architecture students. The art store has everything you'd need as an art student, and if you ever want something the store doesn't stock, you can ask the owner and he will be more than happy to order it for you. Compared to the campus store, the art store in Craig Street is better stocked and, most importantly, much more affordable. With a flat 40 percent discount in the back to school season, and a regular 20-50 percent discount for VIP customers, the store is a great place to restock on art supplies, or even just drop in for a chat with the always friendly and fun staff.

Besides the above stores, Craig Street has so many more places to check out. The comic store with a large collection of books and toys, Lulu’s noodles with the tasty bubble tea, the froyo place that opens 24 hours a day, there’re so many more to try and experience.

Get outside the campus and take a short 10 minute walk with your friend to experience everything in Craig Street. It will be worth it.