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Top Bars in Pittsburgh's South Side



Busy River Michael Righi

Living in the South Side of Pittsburgh, you know there's no shortage of bars vying for your business. In 2006, 80 new bars and pubs were opened in the Flats alone. To get the most out of your next bar crawl, you've got to separate the best from the rest. Here's the rundown on the best bars on the South Side.


1. Piper's Pub (View info and get directions)

From the Scottish saltires on the wall to the Guinness and Belhaven on tap, you know Piper's is the real deal. Their extensive selection of local craft beers, cask ales, and Scotch stands heads and shoulders above the rest. Can't-miss eats include the open-faced roast beef sandwich with onion and whiskey gravy, decadent Scotch eggs, and lamb and smoked chestnut shepard's pie.


2. Hofbrauhaus (View info and get directions)

If you're looking for a theme bar that doesn't pull any punches on ambiance or authenticity, Hofbrahaus ("royal beer factory") is your place. The eclectic experience comes complete with beer wenches, a biergarten with a breathtaking view of the Monongahela River, and a live Polka band. There's plenty of Prince Ludwig on tap and all kinds of spatzel, strufdel, schweinsbraten, and weiner schniztel to pass around the table.


3. The Smiling Moose (View info and get directions)

Eye-popping horror-themed decor and live rock music make The Smiling Moose a favorite with the alternative crowd. The fun, casual menu includes items like watermelon gazpacho, Atlantic cod fish tacos and pastrami sliders. Moose's main attraction is its Happy Hour where, between 5 and 7 on weekdays, you can get top-shelf beers for half-off.


4. Carson Street Deli & Craft Beer Bar (View info and get directions)

This place delivers exactly what the name implies - exemplary sammies and suds. Wash down a Veggie Deluxe, Donny Brascoe, Cheesy Beefy or any of their other mouthwatering signature subs with a clean, craft stout, amber ale or cider. This deli-bar hybrid also includes a pretzel shop.


5. Smokin' Joe's Saloon (View info and get directions)

Seasoned bar hoppers owe themselves a trip to Smokin' Joe's. It gets four stars for its extensive and well-organized beer list and is the place to go if you want a beer drinking experience like no other. Aficionados will be pleased.


6. Local Bar + Kitchen (View info and get directions)

With a rooftop bar and outdoor patio, this chic spot is perfect for sipping mimosas or munching on a margherita pizza. They also have almost 26 draft beers on tap.


7. Diesel Club Lounge (View info and get directions)

Calling all dancers! With its generous dance floor, flashing lights and eccentric d├ęcor, Diesel is the perfect place to enjoy strong drink and live music while gyrating amongst a bustling crowd. Bring your wallet as cocktails can be pricey.


8. Birmingham Bridge Tavern (View info and get directions)

This comfortable, cozy tavern will make you feel right at home with its hot wings, cold beer and warm atmosphere. They boast the "Best Wings in Pittsburgh," but their burgers, barbeque and beer aren't bad either.


9. Club Cafe (View info and get directions)

The intimate atmosphere of this popular concert venue facilitates an up-close and personal experience with your favorite performers. Their increasingly popular weekend brunch includes omelets, Bloody Marys and a mean French toast.


10. Jack Rose Bar (View info and get directions)

Jack Rose has perfected the art of simplicity. Cheap drinks, tasty bar food and friendly people make this classic Pittsburgh dive a worthwhile stop on your next bar crawl.


11. Excuses Bar & Grill (View info and get directions)

This Carson Street dive doesn't make any excuses. It's a low-key, no-frills establishment with good food, good beer and a good vibe- all the necessary ingredients for an unforgettably good time.


12. Brewski's (View info and get directions)

For dirt-cheap food and drinks, it doesn't get much better than this down-home dive. They've got a free buffet and drink special plus a dart board, punching machine and pool and Foosball tables. The crowd is lively and the place can get packed, so it's perfect if you're feeling sociable.


13. Dee's Cafe (View info and get directions)

This legendary spot has the cheapest drinks on E. Carson Street and one of the most unique crowds you'll find in all of Pittsburgh. The colorful bartenders, fun games, and solidly good food and drink make for a satisfying bar experience.


14. 1311 (View info and get directions)

Five dollar mixed-drink pitchers, six draft beers on tap, and the most extensive microbrew collection in town make 1311 a real bar-goer's bar.


15. Acacia (View info and get directions)

If you're serious about enjoying a good drink, plan a visit to Acacia. They don't serve food, but they do have the rarest whiskeys, most exotic bitters, freshest juices and most flawless mixology techniques you'll find in Pittsburgh. Their draft list isn't too shabby either.


Now you know where to go for the best bar experiences the South Side has to offer. Grab some friends and go discover new drinks, get your grub on, and mingle with awesome new people. You really can't go wrong at any of these places.


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