Many Pittsburgh bars have solid beer lists, well-mixed cocktails or a bartender who's handy with a shot and a story. We need more than that. What makes these bars the best?
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Best Bar for a British Bite and Beer
There are 1,000 bars around Pittsburgh where you’ll find boisterous fans watching Pittsburgh Steelers games. There are far fewer where you’ll find throngs fixated on Premier League Football — and at Piper’s, they sometimes arrive at the crack of dawn. Piper’s Pub stands as the South Side outpost of the British Isles, from the football on the telly to the food and drink. Pints of British, Irish and Scottish beer sit among a fine collection of taps, and the Scotch selection rivals any in town. Perhaps most importantly, though, Piper’s maintains the welcoming, sit-and-sip-all-day attitude of the best British pubs. Whatever troubles you, this is where you can have a nice cold pint and wait for it all to blow over.
1828 E. Carson St., South Side Flats, piperspub.com
Others Worth Visiting
There are bars that didn’t make the cut for what we felt is a best bar but still deserve attention for something specific they bring to the fold. We love the bright Christmas lights and karaoke at Bob’s Garage, and boozy brunch at Meat & Potatoes is a treat, as is its Monday Night Cap. A handful of bars serve at 7 a.m., and we suggest that Nadine’s or Jack’s are where you should go if you’re looking for a nightcap after your overnight shift.
We’re partial to a duo of neighborhood bar crawls. In Lower Lawrenceville, you could make an evening by starting with a mezcal old fashioned at Round Corner Cantina, sake and a light meal at Umami and an amaro nightcap at Grapperia. Or, head to East Liberty for oysters and bubbles at Muddy Waters, a burger and bourbon at Ace Hotel, and then a cocktail at The Livermore.
Over the rivers and up two (steep) hills are two bars that combine neighborhood taverns with crafty cocktails: The Summit on Mount Washington and Scratch Food & Beverage in Troy Hill. Or go underground and visit The Speakeasy at Omni William Penn Hotel
If you’re looking to pair wine with your meals, head to Bar Marco in The Strip District and Casbah in Shadyside. Both restaurants feature engaging sommeliers who can guide you through the excellent wine selections.
Morcilla in Lawrenceville combines a strong wine list with vermouths, Spanish ciders and beer.
Then there are the neighborhood bars, which could be a list to itself. Take a Break, Moondogs, Howler’s, Riley’s Pour House, Big Jim’s, Dee’s Cafe and D’s Six Pax & Dogz are among our favorites.