Best Places to Drink by the Fire

Don't have a fireplace of your own? No worries – we've assembled a quick list of local spots that offer plenty of warmth and a place to relax.

Soba photo by John Altdorfer


We had a wonderful summer and early fall, didn’t we? The months of rooftop dining, sidewalk coffee and backyard cocktails seemed as if they would never end. But end they must. Pittsburghers like to joke that we’re not willing to cross a bridge or go through a tunnel come winter — and we can’t possibly leave the house. Well, we’ve decided to warm you up to both challenges: Here are a few of our favorite hangouts that boast a roaring fire. Forget the fact that your own fireplace is boarded up (or nonexistent) and get out to enjoy winter in Pittsburgh.

» Six Penn Kitchen
After a nostalgic whirl at The Nutcracker, scurry down the street to Six Penn Kitchen for drinks and dessert in Six Penn’s upstairs dining room. What night shouldn’t be topped with a crackling flame, sparkling wine and one of Six Penn’s smoked graham cracker, fresh marshmallow and dark chocolate s’mores? An alternative: Skip the fireplace and grab a stool at the exhibition kitchen instead. Not only will you sit in awe of the culinary flurry, but you’ll also get the hot kiss of the brick oven right across from your seat.

[146 Sixth St., downtown; 412/566-7366,]

» Soba
When date night rolls around, go for an upscale evening at Soba in Shadyside. Sure, the two-story water wall will wow you, and you could opt for one of the smaller dining rooms or a spot in the lounge. But if you really want to impress your loved one, score a table by the fireplace — there are only a few, so reservations are a must. The menu changes daily, and drinks evolve with the seasons. Whatever the options, you’ll be able to indulge in inspired pan-Asian cuisine, carefully crafted cocktails and the flicker of delight in your date’s eyes.

[5847 Ellsworth Ave., Shadyside; 412/362-5656,]

» Big Dog Coffee
For a different kind of morning, step off Carson Street and amble over to Big Dog Coffee. Grab a cup of your favorite seasonal brew and sample the options at the shop’s oatmeal bar. The best seats are by the entryway fireplace, and nothing will make you feel safer than chairs in which you could lose yourself. In need of a table? Another fireplace awaits in the next room, and it’s as comfortable as home.

[2717 Sarah St., South Side; 412/586-7306,]

» AMC Loews Waterfront 22
We know — we didn’t see this one coming either. Hear us out. After you see the latest ensemble dramedy, head up the stairs near the concession stand. There’s an entire other world up there, with a full restaurant and bar. For a cozy night, grab a movie-themed cocktail and take it over to the salon; you’ll never want to leave as you step into a room worthy of the golden days of old Hollywood. Sink into a velvet armchair under the glorious visage of Clark Gable and relax in the firelight’s shadows.

[300 West Homestead Drive, The Waterfront, West Homestead; 412/462-6550,]

Categories: Eat + Drink Features