Nestled along the banks of the mighty Allegheny and Monongahela Rivers, Pittsburgh is a city steeped in history, culture, and an enduring love for libations. From the spirited neighborhoods of Lawrenceville to the iconic Strip District, the Steel City boasts a thriving bar scene that caters to all tastes and preferences. Whether you’re a craft beer enthusiast, a whiskey connoisseur, or a cocktail aficionado, Pittsburgh’s bars offer an eclectic array of experiences. In this guide, we’ll embark on a journey to uncover the very best bars the city has to offer, celebrating the spirit of innovation, community, and tradition that defines Pittsburgh’s unique drinking culture. So, raise your glass and prepare to explore the hidden gems, classic haunts, and contemporary hotspots that make the bars in Pittsburgh a must-visit for locals and visitors alike.
Located a few blocks from the Allegheny River in Lawrenceville, Allegheny Wine Mixer is a quaint and intimate wine bar with a laid-back and casual atmosphere. Their wine list received City Paper and Pittsburgh Magazine’s vote for Best Wine List in the city. They also have craft beer, spirits, and delicious small plates. I enjoyed a glass of prosecco with a roasted peach, brie, and basil sandwich on Texas toast.
Hidden Harbor is a festive and colorful tropical-themed cocktail bar in Squirrel Hill. The interior has palm tree wallpaper walls lined with wood carvings of South Pacific totems. The cocktails come in extravagant and fun tiki-style glasses, and mugs garnished with tropical flowers. They also serve a full menu of island eats from tropical culinary traditions worldwide.
Lorelei is a lively and refined pizzeria, beer hall, and cocktail bar in a beautifully designed urban-chic space in East Liberty. The large-high ceilinged space features a cool mural along the back wall and mid-century modern furniture. Their pizza is Neapolitan-style wood-fired pizza with gourmet and authentic toppings to pair with an impressive list of tap beers from their sister brewery Golden Age Beer Co.
Located in the heart of downtown, across from the David L. Lawrence Convention Center, Bridges & Bourbon is a fine-dining New American restaurant and whiskey bar. Its old-school, luxurious atmosphere and incredible food and drink menu have received praise from Wine & Spirits, Table magazine, Eater, and Pittsburgh Magazine. The whiskey bar has close to 100 types of whiskey, rye, and bourbon, along with cocktails, other spirits, beer, and wine.
A Southside Flats hidden gem, Acacia is a speakeasy-style cocktail bar, its windows covered in newspapers to appear as an abandoned space to passersby. If you’re lucky enough to find the entrance, their cocktail menu and service are incredible. You’ll find expertly mixed classics and creative concoctions in a stunning presentation. I went for a mint julep served in a tin cup.
Bar Botanico is a chic, high-end cocktail bar in Central Lawrenceville, a few blocks from Leslie Park. The minimalist design of the interior, lined with hanging plants, creates a welcoming and sophisticated atmosphere. The drink menu features a well-rounded list of coffee, cocktails, wine, and beer. The cocktail list is botanically and tropically inspired. I was especially impressed by the wealth of mezcal cocktails.
Maggie’s Farm Distillery is a rum distillery and tropical cocktail bar in a large warehouse space in the Strip District that’s pet friendly. Their house-distilled rum has won multiple awards from notable competitions like the San Francisco World Spirits Competition. The expert staff is passionate about their spirits, making wonderful cocktails and offering rum flights to sip.
Located in the same building as the Benedum Center for the Performing Arts in Downtown Pittsburgh, The Warren Bar & Burrow is a bustling cocktail bar, bottle shop, and gastropub in an intimate space cluttered with wine and spirit bottles. The hand-crafted cocktail menu and wine list make for great post Opera or Play drinks. The food offers a gourmet and extravagant take on classic American bar fare. I think the burgers are worth the trip alone!
BUtterjoint is a cute and funky bar, bakery, and eatery in northern Oakland with a country chic dining space and a down-home-cooking menu replete with regional and global soul food. Whether you’re looking for fried pickles, pierogies, or country-fried steak, Butterjoint’s menu has all your comfort food favorites to pair with a creative craft cocktail. I loved the Hannibal Nectar with house-made blackberry mead, vodka, honey, and lemon.
Teetering between Lawrenceville and Bloomfield, Tina’s is a homey and retro cocktail bar and bottle shop with a nostalgic vibe. Tina’s honors the classic cocktail program to pair with its old-school atmosphere. The friendly staff makes anyone feel like a regular and guides you through the cocktail menu. I recommend their perfectly mixed Old Fashioned.
Overlooking the Allegheny Cemetery in Bloomfield, Apteka is an Eastern European restaurant and cocktail bar serving a fully vegan menu. Their healthy approach to Eastern European cuisine bleeds into their drink menu, creating all-natural juices and infusions from scratch for their delicious cocktails. I had a delicious and unconventional sumac cocktail called Slivovitz, with sour cherry, charcoal, and cherry pit.
Grapperia Bar Classico is an Italian Enoteca and cocktail bar in a cute, casual space in Central Lawrenceville. Its expertly curated wine list, cocktails, and Italian cuisine have received praise from the New York Times, Thrillist, and Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. As the name implies, Grapperia has an extensive list of Grappa and Amaro. I ordered a cocktail with my favorite Italian liqueur, limoncello.
Located in a massive industrial chic warehouse space in the Strip District, Kingly Spirits is a distillery, liquor shop, event venue, and cocktail bar with a lively and spacious atmosphere. The best way to sample their craft spirits is through a fun tasting program offered onsite. They distill every spirit and liqueur imaginable. I enjoyed the Kingfly rye whiskey so much that I took a bottle home with me.
Spirit is a massive 10,000-square-foot multi-story music venue, bar, and restaurant in Lawrenceville. They offer a full menu of homemade pizzas and salads with a selection of local craft beers, wine, and cocktails. I went to see a rock concert at Spirit, and I got there early to enjoy a great happy hour with half-off cocktails and 9-dollar personal pizzas.
Brillobox is a kitschy and fun dive bar in Bloomfield, decorated with fake Cherry Blossom trees, Christmas lights, and paper lanterns. There’s a stage in the back for live music. Brillobox has a full food menu with global bar fares like kimchi-loaded fries and pozole rojo. The full-service bar has 18 rotating taps and cocktails.
Overlooking downtown Pittsburgh’s U.S. Steel Tower, The Speakeasy is a classy and luxurious cocktail lounge inside the Omni Hotel. Its 20s-era red leather booths and chairs, carved ceilings, and crystal chandeliers offer a fun and refined atmosphere to enjoy a craft cocktail. The Speakeasy offers creative takes on classic cocktails, with an entire menu of Toms Collins cocktails.
Mario’s East Side Saloon is a casual Shadyside neighborhood sports bar and grill with 20 HD TVs broadcasting all your favorite sports games. They have trivia nights on Thursdays and offer a full lunch and dinner menu. I went for a happy hour on their second-story patio for a cheap beer and spicy Buffalo wings.
J Gough’s Tavern is a modern-day homage to its late namesake tavern that opened in 1786. Descendents of the original owner opened the Tavern a few blocks from its original location in Greenfield, serving an impressive list of whiskeys, beer, and American pub fare. They offer a broad range of Irish, American, Canadian, and Scotch whiskeys. If you want a true taste of Pittsburgh, order a cheese hoagie with your beverage.
A Mount Washington neighborhood favorite, The Summit is a bustling and cozy local spot for lively happy hours and upscale dinners. They have an extensive cocktail menu divided into classics and creatives, along with an extensive list of beer, whiskey, amaro, and wine. I went for dinner to enjoy pork belly over creamy polenta and a wonderfully botanical gin cocktail called What a Charming Boy.
Monterrey Pub is a classic Irish pub in Pittsburgh’s Northside neighborhood with a welcoming, family-friendly atmosphere. They offer a well-rounded cocktail list, wine, Irish and European drafts, and an extensive menu of American and Irish pub fare. I wanted the classic Irish Pub experience, so I got a pint of Guinness with fish and chips.
Bar Marco is an upscale, modern wine bar and New American restaurant in the Strip District, inside a beautifully designed industrial meets urban chic dining space. They offer a small craft cocktail menu, a global wine list, and gourmet Italian food. There’s a bottle shop on the premises, so if you enjoyed your wine program, you can pick up a bottle on your way out.
Why should you trust us?
We use our own local experience and contacts in the city to know which places to include in our lists. We also researched the web and read 6 reputable blogs and websites, including discovertheburgh.com, tripadvisor.com, visitpittsburgh.com, thrillist.com, pittsburghmagazine.com and citybrewtours.com. So that you can be sure you’re receiving the best of the best. We compiled all the results in one spot and ranked them according to how frequently they were referenced.