Pittsburgh has a thriving bar scene, with a variety of options for every taste and preference. For those who prefer a more laid-back atmosphere and a cold beer, dive bars are the way to go. These no-frills establishments offer a chance to unwind and socialize without breaking the bank. In this article, we will explore some of the best dive bars in Pittsburgh, each with its own unique charm and character.
First on the list is Gooski’s, a beloved dive bar located in the Polish Hill neighborhood. With its dimly lit interior and eclectic decor, Gooski’s has a cozy and welcoming vibe. The bar features a rotating selection of craft beers and a menu of hearty comfort food, including pierogies and sandwiches. Live music and karaoke nights add to the festive atmosphere.
Another must-visit dive bar in Pittsburgh is Dee’s Cafe, located in the trendy neighborhood of Lawrenceville. Dee’s is known for its cheap drinks and friendly regulars, as well as its quirky decor that includes a giant papier-mache shark hanging from the ceiling. The bar also has a pool table and jukebox, making it a popular spot for a casual night out with friends.
The Culture of Dive Bars in Pittsburgh
Pittsburgh is home to a vibrant dive bar scene that has been thriving for decades. Dive bars are known for their unpretentious atmosphere, affordable drinks, and unique character. They are often frequented by regulars who come to socialize, unwind, and enjoy a cold beer or cocktail.
One of the defining characteristics of dive bars in Pittsburgh is their sense of community. They are often located in working-class neighborhoods and attract a diverse crowd of locals. Regulars at these bars often know each other by name and enjoy catching up over a drink after a long day at work.
Dive bars in Pittsburgh are also known for their eclectic decor. Many of these bars have been around for decades and have accumulated a mishmash of decorations, from neon signs to vintage beer cans. The atmosphere is often dark and cozy, with dim lighting and a jukebox playing classic rock or country music.
Despite their rough-and-tumble exterior, dive bars in Pittsburgh are often home to some of the city’s best bartenders. These bartenders are skilled at making classic cocktails and pouring a perfect pint of beer. They are also known for their friendly demeanor and ability to strike up a conversation with anyone who walks through the door.
Overall, the culture of dive bars in Pittsburgh is one of community, character, and affordability. These bars offer a unique experience that can’t be found at more upscale establishments. Whether you’re a regular or a first-time visitor, you’re sure to feel welcome at one of Pittsburgh’s many dive bars.
Top Rated Best Dive Bars in Pittsburgh
When it comes to dive bars in Pittsburgh, there are plenty of options to choose from. However, some stand out above the rest. Here are the top-rated dive bars in Pittsburgh:
Located in the Polish Hill neighborhood, Gooski’s is a popular spot for locals looking for a no-frills dive bar experience. The bar has a laid-back atmosphere and is known for its extensive beer selection and delicious pierogies. Gooski’s also hosts live music and karaoke nights, making it a great spot for a night out with friends.
Belvederes Ultra-Dive is a popular spot in Lawrenceville that has been serving up drinks and good times since 2004. The bar has a retro vibe and is known for its cheap drinks, friendly staff, and fun events like dance parties and trivia nights. Belvederes is a great spot for anyone looking for a low-key night out.
Kelly’s Bar and Lounge
Kelly’s Bar and Lounge is a classic Pittsburgh dive bar located in the Strip District. The bar has been around since the 1950s and has a loyal following of regulars. Kelly’s is known for its cheap drinks, friendly bartenders, and laid-back atmosphere. It’s a great spot to grab a drink and shoot some pool with friends.
The Squirrel Hill Cafe
The Squirrel Hill Cafe, also known as “The Cage,” is a popular spot in the Squirrel Hill neighborhood. The bar has a divey feel and is known for its cheap drinks and great food, including their famous “Dirty O” sandwich. The Squirrel Hill Cafe also hosts live music and comedy shows, making it a great spot for a night out.
Overall, these top-rated dive bars in Pittsburgh offer a unique and authentic experience for anyone looking for a laid-back night out with friends.
Pittsburgh is known for its dive bars, but some of the best ones are hidden gems that only the locals know about. Here are three of the best hidden gem dive bars in Pittsburgh.
Take A Break Bar
Take A Break Bar is a small, unassuming dive bar located in the Lawrenceville neighborhood of Pittsburgh. It has a laid-back atmosphere and a friendly staff. The bar is known for its cheap drinks, including $1.50 PBRs and $2.50 well drinks. They also have a pool table and a jukebox that plays a mix of classic rock and country music.
Tiki Lounge is a dive bar located in the South Side neighborhood of Pittsburgh. It has a tropical-themed interior with bamboo walls and tiki torches. The bar is known for its strong, fruity drinks and its friendly bartenders. They also have a small menu of bar food, including burgers, wings, and nachos.
Gooski’s is a dive bar located in the Polish Hill neighborhood of Pittsburgh. It has a punk rock vibe and is known for its live music and cheap drinks. They also have a pool table, pinball machines, and a jukebox that plays a mix of punk, metal, and classic rock music. The bar has a small menu of bar food, including pierogies and hot dogs.
These hidden gem dive bars offer a unique and authentic Pittsburgh experience that should not be missed.
Best Dive Bars in Pittsburgh with Live Music
For those who like to enjoy live music while sipping on a cold beer, Pittsburgh’s dive bars offer a great selection of live music venues. Here are two of the best dive bars in Pittsburgh that offer live music:
Howlers is a popular dive bar located in the Bloomfield neighborhood of Pittsburgh. The bar has a divey atmosphere with a stage for live music performances. The bar features a variety of music genres, including rock, punk, and indie. The bar also has a pool table, dart board, and jukebox for those who want to enjoy some entertainment while waiting for the next live performance.
Club Cafe is another great dive bar in Pittsburgh that offers live music. The bar is located in the South Side neighborhood and has a cozy atmosphere with a small stage for live performances. The bar features a variety of music genres, including folk, country, and blues. The bar also serves food and drinks, making it a great spot for a night out with friends.
Both Howlers and Club Cafe offer a great selection of live music in a dive bar atmosphere. Whether you’re looking for rock, punk, indie, folk, country, or blues, these dive bars have something for everyone. So grab a cold beer and enjoy some live music at one of Pittsburgh’s best dive bars.
Safety Tips When Visiting Dive Bars in Pittsburgh
Visiting dive bars can be a fun and exciting experience, but it is important to keep safety in mind. Here are some tips to help ensure a safe and enjoyable night out:
- Stick to a group: It is always best to go to a dive bar with a group of friends. Not only is it more fun, but it also provides safety in numbers.
- Be aware of your surroundings: Keep an eye out for any suspicious behavior or potential dangers. If something seems off, trust your instincts and leave.
- Watch your drinks: Always keep an eye on your drink and never leave it unattended. Unfortunately, drink spiking can happen anywhere, including dive bars.
- Avoid confrontation: Dive bars can sometimes attract rowdy crowds, so it is best to avoid any confrontations or arguments. If someone is being aggressive or threatening, leave the bar and seek help if necessary.
- Plan ahead: Make sure you have a designated driver or plan for a safe ride home. Drinking and driving is never a good idea and can have serious consequences.
By following these safety tips, visitors can enjoy the unique atmosphere and experience of dive bars in Pittsburgh while staying safe.
Pittsburgh is home to some of the best dive bars in the country, and this list highlights just a few of them. Whether you’re looking for a no-frills watering hole or a place to catch a game and enjoy some cheap drinks, Pittsburgh has something for everyone.
From the classic charm of Jack’s Bar to the laid-back vibe of Dee’s Cafe, each of these dive bars has its own unique character and appeal. Whether you’re a longtime Pittsburgh resident or just passing through, be sure to check out at least a few of the bars on this list.
Remember to always drink responsibly and be respectful of the other patrons. With that in mind, grab a cold one and enjoy the best dive bars that Pittsburgh has to offer.