The Best Bars in Pittsburgh

From contemporary cocktail lounges to historic neighborhood gems, our updated Best Bars list has you set for a night on the town.

From precision-driven cocktail bars to beloved neighborhood taverns on hilltops and in hollows, Pittsburgh continues to be one of the best cities in the country to get a drink. So what makes a bar “best” in a city full of outstanding watering holes? There isn’t a simple rubric.

There were a few factors that spun a common thread — inclusivity, hospitality and commitment to the space. These bars are places where anyone who walks in should feel at ease, and they’re run by people who care about the details that sometimes go overlooked. Beyond that, our Best Bars cut a pretty wide swath of genre. And that’s precisely why we like it.


The list:

Click on the bar you want to check out first or continue scrolling through the entire list.

Independent Brewing Co.
Hidden Harbor
Lorelei
Con Alma
Mixtape
Apteka
Butterjoint
Allegheny Wine Mixer
Spirit
Dish Osteria and Bar
Acacia
tina’s
The Warren Neighborhood Bar
Piper’s Pub
Poulet Bleu
Morcilla
Umami
Kelly’s Bar & Lounge
Park House
Bob’s Garage
Spirits & Tales
Scratch Food & Beverage


We love that a new generation of bar owners are taking their place on a classic bar continuum — establishments such as tina’s and Allegheny Wine Mixer have the ethos of an old-school spot while tapping into modern mixology methods and design aesthetics. Of course, we still have our beloved actual classic joints such as Park House, too. We adore classy, escapist rooms such as Con Alma, our Best New Bar, and Dish Osteria and Bar, the space that most tugs at our heartstrings. Finally, we found that we really love bars that are attached to restaurants — you’ll find a good number of those on this list.

This year, we decided to exclude bars that still allow smoking, primarily because subjecting employees to hours of secondhand smoke every shift is unfair, and, frankly, a dangerous labor practice. From a consumer perspective, choosing to not go to a bar because you’ve just washed your jeans that day is a pretty good reason to disqualify an establishment from this list; if you have to leave your clothing piled on the porch after a night out, the bar you visited probably isn’t a Best Bar. There is good evidence, both quantitative and anecdotal, that eliminating indoor smoking from a bar doesn’t do anything to harm either the atmosphere or the business; just look at an establishment such as Bob’s Garage, which decided to go non-smoking in 2017. While this decision leaves a few of our favorite bars on the sideline, this is the right thing to do from a public health perspective.

We’ve also decided to leave brewery- and distillery-attached bars off the list. We love them, but they operate under a separate set of liquor laws. That’s a story for another month.

These are the 22 Best Bars in Pittsburgh Right Now.

Best Bar Group

Independent Hospitality Group

In 2014, two lawyers walked into a just-closed bar and decided to open one of their own. Brothers Peter and Matthew Kurzweg took over the former Fanattics space in Squirrel Hill, spruced it up and rebranded it Independent Brewing Company, an ode to the Pittsburgh’s pre-Prohibition consortium of local breweries. They aimed to open a neighborhood tavern with a draft list comprised exclusively of beer produced by Pittsburgh’s emergent craft brewing community. Peter Kurzweg’s law school classmate, cocktail enthusiast Adam Henry, stepped behind the bar on Saturday nights to run a drinks program featuring Pittsburgh-distilled spirits.

Now, Kurzweg and Henry (Matt Kurzweg maintains ownership but isn’t involved day-to-day) operate three establishments — IBC, neighboring Hidden Harbor and Lorelei in East Liberty. The core of each bar is a knowledgeable staff dedicated to the art of hospitality. Yet each establishment is distinct in voice and a top-notch example of what a bar in that specific category should embody. Between them, they are the Best Bar Group in Pittsburgh.

Over the past five years, Independent Brewing Company (IBC), a comfortable, two-tier space, has evolved from a hyper-focused beer bar into a well-rounded modern gastropub. IBC’s 16-tap system is demonstrative of why we prefer a curated list over a massive one: the beer always is fresh and the tap lines are kept in tip-top shape, ensuring a tasty mug (or other vessels; we also appreciate the attention paid to appropriate glassware, too) every time. The focus of the list continues to feature Pittsburgh-area breweries, but it now is rounded out by an alluring selection from international breweries rarely found on-tap at Pittsburgh bars.

For those who prefer cocktails and wine, we dig IBC’s low-key excellence in both of those categories, too. Jamilka Borges, a James Beard Award Best Chef: Mid-Atlantic semi-finalist and 2018 Pittsburgh Magazine Chef of the Year, offers a menu that transcends typical pub grub in favor of dishes, many of them vegetable-forward, such as loaded sweet potato with miso, kimchi and crema and mussels with squash, basil and coconut curry. Pastry Chef Dianne DeStefano adds her magic with sweet treats and breads, which also are offered at the bar group’s other destinations.

SQUIRREL HILLS: 1704 Shady ave.; 412/422-5040, independentpgh.com

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Hidden Harbor opened in January 2016. It’s not just one of our favorite bars in Pittsburgh — we believe it is one of the best tiki bars in the United States. What’s set the establishment in the upper echelon from the start is it’s a drinks-first destination. At the beginning (it was our Best New Bar in 2017), the drink offerings almost entirely were outstanding cocktails created by Hidden Harbor’s ace bar team. Over the years, they’ve recognized the value of tiki classics, and pitch-perfect versions of the Zombie, Tropical Itch and other old-school gems grace the menu, too. That’s not to say that the decor and music at Hidden Harbor don’t also transport us (especially in the winter) to a tropical fantasy.

It’s a common saying among tiki enthusiasts that a tiki bar is never finished being decorated, and that rings true at Hidden Harbor, which has seen a steady increase in paraphernalia over the years.

SQUIRREL HILL: 1708 Shady ave.; 412/422-5040, hiddenharborpgh.com

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Independent Hospitality Group introduced Lorelei in mid-2018. The East Liberty bar exemplifies ownership’s ability to adapt while still sticking to a theme. The original intention of Lorelei was to use the two separate-but-connected spaces as separate-but-connected bars. The front room, formerly The Livermore, and, prior to that, The Waffle Shop, would be a dimly lit cocktail bar featuring lesser-known spirits. In contrast, the larger back room, which once housed the legendary Shadow Lounge, would be a beer hall dedicated to smooth drinking lagers and pilsners.

What they learned is that people wanted more flexibility in the space; sometimes, a large group of cocktail nerds might want to spend time in the more convivial beer hall and a couple on a date might want to enjoy a beer in the moodier front room. That’s precisely the way the bar now operates. Longtime bartender Max Stein, another tiki enthusiast turned bar guru, now is using Lorelei as an outlet for his burgeoning career as a sommelier, rounding out the offerings with an outstanding selection of Alpine wines.

LORELEI: East Liberty: 124 S. Highland Ave.; loreleipgh.com

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Best New Bar

Con Alma
Rarely have we seen a new bar in Pittsburgh instantly feel like a classic gem. Such is the case with Con Alma. Tucked into a circa 1880s brick building on Ellsworth Avenue in Shadyside, the establishment is a true triple-threat, with owners John Shannon, Aimee Marshall and Josh Ross combining strengths to create an immersive space that, from the day it opened in April, ranked among our favorite in Pittsburgh.

It starts with jazz. Shannon is the music curator, and he oversees a rotating line-up of Pittsburgh’s top musicians, as well as world-class visiting players; the intimate venue now is at the heart of Pittsburgh’s jazz revival. Marshall is the beverage director and general manager, overseeing an excellent cocktail and wine program while also floating above the hubbub, organizing the elbow-to-elbow crowd in the sleek front room so that everyone has a view of the action on the stage. Rounding out the trio is Ross, who as executive chef offers a menu of tasty pan-Latin cuisine, with dishes such as ropa vieja, jackfruit mole enchiladas and various permutations of ceviche.

We love that ownership went the extra mile in refurbishing the space, which previously had housed a litany of less successful establishments. For example, what appears to be a tin-plated ceiling is high-quality PVC sound-proofing, weaving jazz-era design into functional, top-notch acoustics. The seating is comfortable, the staff hospitable and the vibe makes you feel as if you’re on top of the world. We dig it. Con Alma is very, very cool. If it’s this good already, we’re keen to see what happens as it continues to grow into the space. Reservations recommended.

SHADYSIDE: 5884 Ellsworth Ave.; 412/363-5316, conalmapgh.com

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Most Inclusive Bar

Mixtape
We love Mixtape because it’s a cocktail lounge that is good at setting your expectations and then delivering with aplomb. This lounge exudes casual, cool ’90s vibes with its decor; large bean bags and semi-circular couches invite guests to sink into long conversations or enjoy the curated playlists. Bar service is some of the best we’ve had in Pittsburgh, even if you have to leave your table to get it. The attentive bartenders are both highly knowledgeable and fast. After overhearing my lament to a friend that I hadn’t seen the White Russian before I ordered another cocktail, one of the bartenders happily whipped me up one, mid-order, right after offering us some complimentary house-made popcorn. The cocktail menu features both signature and classic drinks, all made with high-quality ingredients at reasonable prices. The bar’s “come as you are” attitude extends to its staff as well, who are offered bonuses and paid sick days. Charity is also an important part of Mixtape’s ethos as seen in its “Tips for Charity” program. Each month, all tips are donated to a featured local charity; recent recipients have included Pittsburgh Action Against Rape, Thomas Merton Center and Level Up Youth programs. Mixtape’s approach of centering the experience of its staff and the community as well as its clientele, while still offering excellent drinks and service, makes it a leader in Pittsburgh’s bar community.

GARFIELD: 4907 Penn Ave., 412/661-1727, mixtapepgh.com

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Best Bohemian Paradise

Apteka
We dig that the vibe at Apteka straddles an uncanny divide between cool-as-can-be and welcoming congeniality. The bar’s minimalist design is accented with just enough pop in the form of dried flowers to keep it lively. The glow from real candlelight sets a vibe that’s both romantic and friendly. During the warmer months, the backyard garden offers a tranquil sense of escapism. We love Apteka’s thoughtful cocktail program, which follows the same ethos as the Eastern European vegan menu offered; it’s a distillation of owners Kate Lasky and Tomasz Skowronski’s rooted-in-place philosophy. House-made tinctures, syrups and preserves all find their way into cocktails such as Slivovitz with apricot, Lillet and scotch and rye shaken with poppyseed and Riga black balsam. The bar program also boasts some excellent non-alcoholic drink options — black pepper soda is a peppy cocktail substitute, Russian kvass is a malty beer stand-in and birch water from Belarus is refreshing. Sunday evenings bring Lonely No More, when guest DJs spin soundtracks that range from mellow jazz to peppy disco to, well, super-weird noise electronics (that somehow work).

BLOOMFIELD: 4606 Penn Ave., aptekapgh.com

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Best All-Arounder

Butterjoint
Butterjoint stands out among Pittsburgh bars because of how seamlessly it synthesizes so many qualities we love in a bar. It’s a lean-forward cocktail bar with an excellent list of classics, spins on classics and original creations — some of which are prepared with house-made shrubs and tinctures. It’s a destination for beer lovers, with a well-curated list that leans heavily local but isn’t afraid of an airplane ride, with a mix of styles that satisfy a range of tastes. The bar team, some of whom have been with Butterjoint since 2014, are knowledgeable, hospitable and ebullient, and they’re quick to make you feel like a regular. With its cozy-academic design peppered with colorful paintings, it also is a perfect spot for smart conversation. There are terrific things to eat at Butterjoint, including one of the city’s best hamburgers, house-made pierogi with a variety of fixings and large, complex salads — the latter still uncommon in pub grub — plus a limited selection from Legume’s menu.

OAKLAND: 214 N. Craig St.
412/621-2700, butterjoint.com

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Best Wine Bar

Allegheny Wine Mixer
When we think of this bar, we feel all warm and fuzzy. Named in honor of the Catalina Wine Mixer in the movie “Step Brothers,” this charming spot doesn’t take itself too seriously but does excellently curate its wine list. Each season brings a different regional or varietal focus into the spotlight, allowing returning clientele to explore wines from all over the world. The small snacks are excellent, such as the dressed-up grilled cheeses they call “toasties.” The walls are loaded with bizarre artwork (and Hal B. Klein’s Los Angeles headshot, hidden in plain sight) and window seats offer a few romantic nooks. The cocktail program is also excellent, folding in some classics, new riffs and a few lower-A.B.V. options. Guest bartenders and occasional events — such as the champagne and hot dog night, Champers ‘N Dogs — help keep things lively and fun.

LAWRENCEVILLE: 5326 Butler St.
412/252-233, alleghenywinemixer.com

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Best Modern Clubhouse

Spirit
Spirit, housed in a former Moose Lodge, has kept all of the charm of a members-only, community-run bar while adding an aura of effortless, DIY cool. The building boasts two large, distinct spaces: a spacious, upstairs room with a raised stage and small bar, and a long, dimly lit downstairs bar with a smaller stage. During the warmer months, the back patio and its charming bar-in-a-school-bus are a popular hangout for an al fresco drink and slice from the in-house pizza shop, located in the back of the downstairs bar. Even though it’s surrounded by cityscape, the patio feels like an oasis of wooden furniture, the occasional campfire and planters blooming with herbs and flowers. With some of the most consistent and interesting programming in the city, Spirit is bound to have something for most people, whether it’s a thrash metal band, Sunday brunch, art installation or indie film screening. As busy as it can get for the staff during events and happy hour rushes, the bartenders remain friendly and attentive, happy to make a quick recommendation or say hello.

LAWRENCEVILLE: 242 51st St.
412/586-4441, spiritpgh.com

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Best Bar For The Ages

Dish Osteria and Bar
It’s no small irony that one of Pittsburgh’s classiest bars is located a block away from the city’s most notable party-bar corridor. Dish Osteria and Bar is pure old-world charm, the antithesis of the cheap shots and loud rooms on nearby East Carson Street. The vibe at Dish is adult, romantic even, but that doesn’t mean it’s stodgy. Michele and Cindy Savoia opened Dish as a neighborhood bar in 2000 and it remains a place where regulars come for a sense of community and amusing conversation. A perfect night at Dish might include hyper-fresh sardines or anchovies paired with a crisp glass of wine at the establishment’s signature copper bar. Or, perhaps, it’s a nightcap that calls for a nip from Dish’s deep amaro collection paired with an outstanding dessert such as a crostata of peak-summer berries. Then again, you could go full tilt and have a Peroni or another selection from the beer list alongside a full meal of Michele Savoia’s best-in-town Mediterranean cuisine. Whichever route you choose, you’ll be in the hands of one of the city’s most hospitable and experienced bar teams.

SOUTH SIDE: 128 S. 17th St.
412/390-2012, dishosteria.com

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Best Spot to be Low-Key and Highbrow

Acacia
Behind its unassuming, newspapered-over windows, Acacia is running a ferocious cocktail program. The simple interior is a breath of fresh air in a strip of bars focused on volume (both crowd-wise and musical) and collegiate revelry. Acacia has kept all positive elements of the speakeasy-style craft cocktail movement but dropped the stuffy pageantry that often accompanies it. The bar is staffed by veteran bartenders who are passionate about the business as a lifetime career; that dedication shows through in the knowledgeable, yet never-pretentious, hospitality. The collection of spirits on the back bar is enough to excite any scotch lover; the menu, a small booklet of carefully curated cocktails, offers pleasurable reading for cocktail enthusiasts. The front room of the bar is quaint and cozy, offering a line of bar seats and a bank of tight booths. The back room provides a bit more space for group socializing.

SOUTH SIDE: 2108 E. Carson St.
412/488-1800, acaciacocktails.com

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Best New Classic

tina’s
A beloved after-shift hang out for Pittsburgh’s service industry employees, we dig this place because it feels like the proverbial “Cheers” of Pittsburgh. Whether you’re in the industry or just enjoy a good drink, this isn’t the kind of place you come to only once; it becomes a part of your routine. The vibe is casual but moody, helped by the free jukebox in the corner, the lone-but-always-busy pool table in the back and the congenial staff behind the bar. A wall of booths and long bar provide plenty of seating although tina’s is often standing room only (but without the jostling and pushiness that plagues some popular spots). The reasonably priced and well-crafted cocktails, running mostly between $8 and $12, live up to tina’s promise of serving “classic cocktails at vintage prices.”

BLOOMFIELD: 4114 Main St.; facebook.com/tinaspgh

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Best Downtown Escape

The Warren Neighborhood Bar
In a town where many bars and restaurants close on the early side, The Warren Neighborhood Bar is always open until 2 a.m. By day, this spot entertains Downtown’s business crowd, serving lunch from the attached Penn Cove Eatery and happy hour drinks. By night, it’s a bumpin’ bar that caters to those up late and ready to have a good time. Seasoned bartenders from all over the city often do “celebrity” shifts, and the regular staff of highly experienced bartenders keeps a tight cocktail menu that blends classic recipes with humor and creativity (priced affordably for both their high-quality ingredients and the area of town). Mismatched glassware, a long row of booths and a large bar with comfortable stools lend a cozy vibe. Oh, and the kitchen is open until midnight during the week and 1 a.m. on weekends.

DOWNTOWN: 245 7th St.
412/201-5888, thewarrenpgh.com

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Best old-school British Pub

Piper’s Pub
Piper’s Pub is as close as Pittsburgh gets to the platonic ideal of a pub you might hope to find on a trip to the British Isles. The selection of beers on Piper’s 38 well-tended taps strikes a broad range of hard-to-find British beers, easy-drinking session brews selections from Pittsburgh-area breweries (a long-standing focus at Piper’s). We love Piper’s low-key, yet extraordinary, Scotch whisky selection; that list is augmented with Irish and American whiskey offerings. Fans of Premier League Football have a home at Piper’s — games air on one of the many screens at the bar. Many regulars, and some of the staff, have been around since Piper’s Pub opened in 1999 — if you spend a little time there, you’ll begin to feel like an old-hat, too. The old-school pub grub, particularly selections such as Scotch eggs, curry and chips and a traditional Sunday Supper with all the fixings, makes visiting Piper’s Pub a tasty experience, too.

SOUTH SIDE FLATS: 1828 E. Carson St., piperspub.com

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Best Bars That Are Neighbors

Poulet Bleu and Morcilla
We dig how escapist bars are a fixture of Richard DeShantz Restaurant Group establishments. Its Downtown ventures, particularly the massive bourbon wall at Butcher and the Rye, are worth visiting — but it’s the upstairs bar at Poulet Bleu in Lawrenceville that stands out as our favorite. The comfortable, tiki- and antebellum-influenced space is transportive, and we dig the rum-focused cocktail menu, which features drinks such as the Jungle Bird and Queen’s Park Swizzle; the service-forward bar team also is ace at preparing other classic cocktails. On top of that, the wine selection, both here and in the elegant downstairs bar, ranks among the very best in the city thanks to the work of Pittsburgh’s Dean of Wine, John Wabeck. Bonus: You can order the full Poulet Bleu menu at the upstairs bar. The bar at Morcilla, meanwhile, provides a different transportive experience. Our favorite spot is by the picture window, which opens to the street in the warmer months. We love Morcilla for the thoughtfully curated depth of choice offered in its beverage program. There is a best-in-town sherry collection and a terrific vermouth list. Morcilla’s gin portfolio is among Pittsburgh’s deepest, and its gin-tonics, each built to match the flavor profile of specific gins, will have you forgetting all the lousy ones you’ve ever had. Morcilla’s cocktail list features drinks that competently and creatively veer from the classics, fitting to the space. There are funky European ciders and smooth Pittsburgh beers and a deep wine list composed primarily of Spanish vintages. Even better — you can pair all of this with a selection of house-made charcuterie, small plates or larger-format dishes from executive chef Nate Hobart’s menu.

Poulet Bleu: LAWRENCEVILLE: 3517 Butler St., 412/325-3435, pouletbleupgh.com

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Morcilla: LAWRENCEVILLE: 3519 Butler St., 412/652-9924, morcillapittsburgh.com

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Best Late Night Bar

Umami
Let’s be honest: Pittsburgh’s late-night eating and drinking game isn’t strong. Thank goodness for Umami, the brainchild of one of Pittsburgh’s top chefs, Roger Li (Ki Ramen, Ki Pollo, Dim Sum pop-up), and one of its nightlife impresarios, Derek Burnell (Round Corner Cantina, Cobra, El Burro). Their Lawrenceville izakaya weaves contemporary-cool party culture with an outstanding menu of Japanese cuisine, including some of the best sushi offerings in the city. What’s more, you can get something to eat until midnight during the week and 2 a.m. on the weekends. You’ll encounter the space’s transformative design elements such as moody lighting and colorful murals as you ascend the staircase to the third-floor room, and you’ll feel it in the soundscape, which is curated by a rotating cadre of Pittsburgh’s top DJs. Umami has the city’s best sake list, as well as a terrific selection of beer imported from Japan, and we dig the Japanese-influenced cocktail list, too.

LAWRENCEVILLE: 202 38th St. 412/224-2354, umamipgh.com

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PHOTO BY HAL B. KLEIN

Best Neighborhood Mainstay

Kelly’s Bar & Lounge
The last 10 years have brought rapid development (and gentrification) to East Liberty. Throughout it all, Kelly’s Bar & Lounge has remained a mostly unchanged oasis, awash in the comforting glow of red neon and fairly priced drinks. Choose from the selection of classic cocktails (there’s a special for every night of the week) or grab one of the rotating draft beers and snuggle into a booth with a few friends. At the bar, you’ll receive brisk and charmingly gruff service from one of the veteran bartenders, many of whom have worked at Kelly’s for years. Summer nights make the back patio a good spot to hang out and drink al fresco.

EAST LIBERTY: 6012 Centre Ave., 412/363-6012, facebook.com/Kellys-Bar-and-Lounge

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Best Historic Bar

Park House
The North Side building that’s home to the Park House was constructed in the 1890s, and ownership lays claim to it being one of, if not the oldest, post-Prohibition licensed bars in Pittsburgh. But an establishment needs more than just a lot of ghosts in the attic to become a beloved institution. The Park House has all the things we love in a neighborhood bar: It’s a longstanding destination for craft and local beer, and the price per pint is reasonable; there’s a good selection of spirits, too. Bartenders are personable on quiet nights and know how to keep things moving on busy nights. There are comfortable booths for games and catching-up chats and larger tables for more boisterous fun. There’s live jazz and bluegrass every week, plus a night for coloring books, as well as other bands and karaoke. Peanuts and popcorn are free, and owner Zamir Zahavi makes a mean falafel.

NORTH SIDE: 430 E. Ohio St., 412/224-2273, parkhousepgh.com

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Best Forever Festivus

Bob’s Garage
Bob’s Garage is a bold peacock. You’ll spot the classic tavern from down the road — all year long it is awash in the glow of colorful lights. Inside is even more of a fever dream, the walls and ceiling festooned with rainbows of vivid bulbs. Bob’s Garage reaches peak-glow during the winter holiday season, but, as they like to say, it’s a celebration all year long; holidays from St. Patrick’s Day to Halloween each get special treatment. Early in the week, Bob’s Garage shows its roots as an outstanding neighborhood bar, with friendly bartenders and relatively inexpensive drinks.

It’s nothing fancy, but you can expect an honest pour and a solid beer list at this long-standing establishment, which opened in 1968. On Wednesdays through Saturdays, Bob’s Garage morphs into a karaoke haven. Expect a mellow-crooner vibe on weekday evenings, while Friday and Saturday nights feature a mix of singers of all ages and styles; it might be crowded, so call ahead if you’re coming with a group.

BLAWNOX: 1372 Freeport Road, 412/963-9552

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Best Hotel Bar

Spirits & Tales
A great hotel bar transcends being a resource for its guests into a space that provides a sense of escapism for its city’s residents. And that’s what we love about Pittsburgh’s best hotel bar, Spirits & Tales. Take the elevator at the Oaklander Hotel to the 10th floor for sweeping views of Oakland’s landmarks. The dimly lit bar is romantic in the evening, making it a perfect spot for intimate conversation. Comfortable seating in other parts of the space makes it a terrific destination for after-work drinks with colleagues. Benjamin McCarney, Spirits & Tales food and beverage director, is responsible for creating a vibrant cocktail list, and the bar team, particularly lead bartender Randolf Boitel-Hance, excels at hospitality.

OAKLAND: Oaklander Hotel, 5130 Bigelow Blvd.; 412/297-4080, spiritsandtales.com

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PHOTO BY BRITTANY SPINELLI

Best Contemporary Tavern

Scratch Food & Beverage
Perched on Troy Hill, Scratch Food & Beverage has all the charm of a neighborhood bar while also having a bar program and menu perfect for a night out with your restaurant-hopping friends. Scratch is the Pittsburgh establishment that is fully embracing the national trend toward vermouth, with more than 20 offerings, as well as flights and rotating special features. Wines and beers are a companion to a balanced selection of cocktails (divided into hot and cold drinks for the winter months) and effort is made to use local brands. The knowledgeable staff is eager to answer questions or introduce you to something new on the back bar. While the kitchen and bar might present serious-minded menus, the atmosphere is as warm as your favorite tavern. The large bar still seems cozy in spite of the actual square footage, making it comfortable if you’re solo or with a larger party. Scratch hosts live music on Thursday nights with jazz brunch on Sundays, while Friday nights are for its popular karaoke nights.

Troy Hill: 1720 Lowrie St., 412/251-0822, scratchfoodbev.com

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Alcohol isn’t for everyone. This package is intended for readers 21 and older and despite some fun prompting, should not be considered a suggestion to over-consume alcoholic beverages.

If you’re feeling unsafe at a bar because a fellow customer or a staff member is behaving inappropriately toward you, talk to a manager or bartender. If he or she is unwilling to assist you, talk to the police. Pittsburgh Action Against Rape (P.A.A.R.) is one of the oldest rape crisis centers in the country and works with the Pittsburgh chapter of the United States Bartenders Guild and directly with bars on Project Last Call, which aims to train staff on issues of sexual harassment and violence in the service industry. Nobody should feel harassed or threatened while out drinking. Ever.

The legal limit for driving in Pennsylvania is a blood-alcohol level of .08 percent, but don’t even take it that far. Arrange for a designated driver, or take a rideshare home. Getting home in your own car isn’t worth receiving a DUI citation, or worse, taking your life or someone else’s life because you were driving while intoxicated.

If you believe that you or someone you love has a problem with alcohol abuse, seek help.

Alcoholics Anonymous (900 Fifth Ave. #500, Uptown; 412/471-7472, pghaa.org) and other organizations are there to aid in your recovery.

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