Get ready for the biggest bar night of the year, Pittsburgh.
It’s true: Thanksgiving Eve (also known as Black Wednesday or Blackout Wednesday) is one of the biggest drinking nights of the year. Everyone is back in their hometown and ready to celebrate like they did in the old days.
That’s why we’ve put together a list of the very best dive bars in and around Pittsburgh, also known as the perfect kind of place to have a drink or ten before you need to be a fully functioning adult on Thanksgiving Day.
You won’t find house-infused liqueurs or artisan tonics at these places, but if you want a beer or a shot, they’ve got you covered.
Tom & Tuds
Tom and Tuds has been a neighborhood dive since the 1960’s. This old-school spot is known for its game day specials, and smoke-friendly atmosphere.
Tom & Tuds (353 Freeport Road)
Just down the road from Tom and Tuds is Bob’s Garage. This Pittsburgh-famous spot will stop you in your tracks, as their exuberant holiday decorations cover every square inch of the building -inside and out. Bob’s Garage features karaoke, jello shots, and decent grub.
Bob’s Garage (1372 Freeport Road)
Barking Shark Saloon
The Barking Shark is your average dive bar, with an above-average name. Everyone loves their karaoke, pool table, darts, and drink specials.
Barking Shark Saloon (616 North Avenue)
Sidelines Bar & Grill
Within walking distance of the Barking Shark is Sidelines Bar & Grill. A perfect spot to watch anyone any Pittsburgh’s sports game, Sidelines has a great selection of microbrew beer, and an awesome food menu, with a rotating list of daily specials.
Sidelines Bar & Grill (621 Evergreen Road)
Another Millvale haunt, Cousins is a popular neighborhood waterhole. The place opens early, and the bar is almost always packed. When the weather is nice, be sure to head out back to play horseshoes.
Cousins Lounge (203 Grant Ave)
Double L Bar
The Double L Bar is a dive bar with polished decor. Their beer selection is top notch, and they proudly advertise their fried food menu and karaoke. Plus this Thanksgiving Eve, they’re hosting a comedy show with music.
Double L Bar (307 Grant Avenue)
Grant Bar is a beloved restaurant and pub known for their coconut pie and fried fish sandwiches, but you would be remiss to not take advantage of their game day bar specials.
Grant Bar (114 Grant Avenue)
Riggs Lounge & Restaurant
If you want a classic dive with cheap drink and friendly regulars, look no further than Riggs. The staff is great for a chat, and don’t miss out on the dart or bowling games.
Riggs Lounge & Restaurant (1208 Brighton Road)
Formerly “The Recovery Room,” Huszar is now a Pittsburgh’s premier Hungarian restuarant. The restaurant hosts an bacon roast every May that shouldn’t be missed. Be sure to try the plum brandy and Krémes cake.
Huszar (627 E North Avenue)
Allegheny Elks Lodge
A dive bar is great, but a dive bar with live entertainment is even better. That is exactly what the Elk’s Lodge on the Northside provides. With a bowling alley, jazz nights, and live banjo, you don’t want to miss the fun to be had at the Elk’s Lodge.
Allegheny Elks Lodge (400 Cedar Avenue)
Come for the drinks, stay for the food. Located in the Mexican War Streets, head to Monterey Pub to grab a drink, and chat with fellow Pittsburghers. The spot also has Happy Hour every Monday through Friday from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.
Monterey Pub (1227 Monterey Street)
Verdetto’s Bar & Restaurant
Overlooking Interstate 279, Verdetto’s is a blink-and-you-miss-it type of place. This old-school bar has a jukebox playing classic hits, and a wonderful atmosphere of friendly regulars. There are also unique specials, like mason jar full of Yuengling for $2.10.
Verdetto’s Bar & Restaurant (814 Madison Avenue)
Yesterday’s Bar & Grill
Yesterday’s is a classic dive worth visiting for their bottled beer selection alone. The no-frills atmosphere is great for watching a Steelers or Penguins game.
Yesterday’s Bar & Grill (501 Greenfield Avenue)
Head up to Troy Hill for another collection of classic Pittsburgh dives. Hilltoppers is a great place for watching sports, or playing bar games.
Hilltoppers (1700 Lowrie Street)
Another Pittsburgh sport’s bar! Uncle Bill’s is known for hosting the “Worst Open Stage in Pittsburgh,” every Wednesday at 9:30 p.m. Anyone and everyone is welcome to perform.
Uncle Bill’s (1535 Lowrie Street)
Decked out in black and gold paint, it would be hard to miss Darbea’s Tavern. The bar’s atmosphere and staff are friendly and welcoming.
Darbea’s Tavern (1962 Lowrie Street)
Grant Street Tavern
Head Downtown to checkout the Grant Street Tavern. The bar is always fully stocked, and the menu has housemade soups and pierogies.
Grant Street Tavern (310 Grant Street)
Little E’s is a Downtown jazz club. The food is great, and the atmosphere is cozy. If you’re looking for a fun place to hear amazing jazz, Little E’s is the spot!
Little E’s (949 Liberty Avenue)
Most people have spent a night at the classic Strip District dive bar, Lefty’s. With cheap drinks and loud music, its a great place to hang out with friends.
Lefty’s (2021 Penn Avenue)
Take a Break Bar
Take a Break Bar has some of the cheapest drinks in the city, not to mention multiple pool tables, and very cheap bags of chips. This is a great place to spend a night laughing with friends – old and new.
Take a Break Bar (3825 Penn Avenue)
Belvedere’s Ultra-Dive steals the show as both a bar, and unique dance club. With rotating theme nights like “Drake,” “Kanye,” “California Love,” as well as old school rock and metal, there is always something fun happening at Belvedere’s.
Belvedere’s Ultra-Dive (4016 Butler Street)
Get off of the Butler Street and check out Kelly’s Korner. The spot is a neighborhood bar, but everyone is friendly and welcoming. Remember that the bar is cash only!
Kelly’s Korner (285 45th Street)
Stinky’s Bar & Grill
Stinky’s is another dive bar off of Butler Street in Lawrenceville. The drinks are cheap, and the atmosphere is great on a game day. Everyone swears by their grilled burgers and selection of beers.
Stinky’s Bar & Grill (4901 Hatfield Street)
Guests at Remedy are guaranteed two things – cheap drink, and bumping into someone you know. With a bar both upstairs and downstairs, the building straddles two different vibes. It is possible to hang out and relax on the first floor, or head upstairs to dance.
Remedy (5121 Butler Street)
The worst kept secret in Pittsburgh is Gooski’s. Although it is still considered a dive, everyone loves to rave about this space. Go for the laid-back atmosphere, and be sure to follow the house rules – know what you want to order before you approach the bar!
Gooski’s (3117 Brereton Street)
Pope’s is a great neighborhood bar with cheap drinks and delicious homemade pretzels. Need we say more?
Pope’s Place (3055 Brereton Street)
The Rock Room is a classic dive, and don’t expect it to be anything else. There is a straightforward food menu, and killer Bloody Mary’s.
Rock Room (1054 Herron Avenue)
This dive bar is a Bloomfield classic. There is often live music. Head over for cheap drinks and a hazy night with friends.
Howlers (4509 Liberty Avenue)
Sonny’s is another fun spot to bump into someone you know. Located just off of Liberty, there are dart boards, and plenty of space to hang with a large group.
Sonny’s Tavern (630 S Millvale Avenue)
Nico’s Recovery Room
Nico’s boasts one of the best karaoke nights in the ‘burgh, and awesome deals on pitchers of beer. This is the perfect spot to take someone for a fun night out, without worry about spending too much money.
Nico’s Recovery Room (178 Pearl Street)
Lou’s Little Corner Bar
Lou’s back porch is the spot to be on a nice day in the summer. During the winter you can hang inside and cheer on the Steelers or Pens. Don’t miss the $1 bags of Snyder chips.
Lou’s Little Corner Bar (4924 Liberty Avenue)
This cash-only bar is for serious drinkers. If you’re looking for cheap drinks and people to talk to, seek out this hole-in-the-wall.
Mitchell’s Tavern (4632 Centre Avenue)
Garage Door Saloon
The Garage Door Saloon is a classic Oakland dive and a favorite with students in the area. The drinks are unique, delicious, and strong. It’s a fun spot for playing bar games and hanging with friends.
Garage Door Saloon (223 Atwood Street)
Hemingway’s Cafe is the spot in Oakland for college students. The food is great, and there are interest menu items like shot pitchers with gummy worms. They even host different events throughout the year.
Hemingway’s Cafe (3911 Forbes Avenue)
Le Mardi Gras
Le Mardi Gras unapologetically serves very strong drinks, made with fresh squeezed juice. The atmosphere is always lively, and your money will go very far at this bar.
Le Mardi Gras (731 Copeland Street)
The Squirrel Cage (Squirrel Hill Cafe)
All roads in lead to The Squirrel Cage on a late Friday or Saturday night. Famously smoky, take a deep breath of air before entering.
Squirrel Hill Cafe (5802 Forbes Avenue)
The Sharp Edge
The Sharp Edge has locations around the city, but their Friendship location has an over-the-top collection of local and international beers. Head in to try something new, and munch on their mussels or burgers.
The Sharp Edge (302 S St Clair Street)
Kelly’s Bar and Lounge
Kelly’s is another bar that somehow manages to be extremely popular while remaining a total dive. The food is as good as their drink specials. Don’t miss the $4 cocktail of the day, mac and cheese, or hush puppies.
Kelly’s Bar and Lounge (6012 Centre Avenue)
Murphy’s Tap Room
If you’re looking for a bar with shuffleboard, check out the spacious Murphy’s Tap Room in Regent Square. The bar is always crowded with regulars, but there is plenty of room to hang out in the back.
Murphy’s Tap Room (1106 S Braddock Avenue)
Howards Park Place Pub
This neighborhood bar is a neighborhood hangout. Regulars are always sipping on beer and watching sports. The spot opens up early, and has a decent food menu.
Howards Park Place Pub (534 Peebles Street)
This neon bar draws people in off East Carson Street. Jack’s is a pittsburgh classic, with two bars and pinball machine. Legend has it that a scene from Flash Dance was filmed in the back room.
Jack’s Bar (1117 E Carson Street)
Jekyll & Hyde
No matter who you are, you can’t deny that a “Halloween themed bar,” sounds like fun. Luckily, that is exactly what Jekyl & Hyde is offering. This bar can get crazy on the weekends with college students, but it’s always a fun time. The nostalgic karaoke selection is top notch.
Jekyll & Hyde (140 S 18th Street)
Red & Irene’s Tavern
Many Pittsburghers will tell you that Red & Irene’s is the first bar they ever went to. Beers are only $1.50, and word on the street is they will give you a freezer pop if you ask nicely.
Red & Irene’s Tavern (136 S 20th Street)
White Eagle is another classic South Side bar. A quintessential dive, expect cheap drinks and colorful regulars.
White Eagle (2300 E Carson Street)
Melrose Tavern is a hole-in-the-wall located on Brownsville Road in the South Hills. The staff is very friendly, and there are tons of games. The whole space is practically a museum to Pittsburgh’s sports history.
Melrose Tavern (2712 Brownsville Road)
Pleasant Bar is your standard pub, except for the fact they have a very famous “Dollar Burger Night.” Toppings are extra, but roll through for draft beers, strong drinks, and one of the best burger deals in the city.
Pleasant Bar (32 Old Clairton Road)
R Bar in Dormont is a rock n’ roll and blues bar. Stop by for great music and cold drinks. There is always a different band rolling through, and there are jam nights every Sunday and Wednesday.
R Bar (2883 W Liberty Avenue)
Did we miss your favorite? Let us know in the comments below!
Not sure how or why, but you were remiss in noting Moon-dogs. It is located in Blownox just down the road from Bobs Garage and has awesome Blues and always friendly vibe.
Love the Sharp Edge local chain, but would not consider any of them to be diive bars.
Apache lounge north side awesome dive bar
What about Porky’s in Etna? Great beer selection,cheap prices ,good food ,great people,sports always on one of many TV’s
John H. says
Yinz should hit up Stinky’s. Best burgers in town.
Stinky’s is scary. It’s like being inside a TV.
Marcy Giel says
Smokey’s Tavern. Millvale PA.
Nooch’s in Etna…now that…is a dive bar.
Nooches absolutely the biggest dive bar I burgh and the best baryeders too!!!
It sure is !
Let’s be honest; many of these places are NOT friendly, despite the reviewing repeatedly insisting that they are. Stop and have a beer, sure, but often the locals want to be left alone. Respect that and don’t be a pest.
Forgot Y.M.R. on Northside….
Theresa Mayberry says
Danny’s Bar & Grill in West Wiew is one of the best dive bars in the burgh. Great drink & food specials! Awesone to watch games, shoot pool, play darts or pinball. And talk to locals!
Dine & Drinks says
I feel like lots of good bars are missing in this post but i can still see the decent number of good dive bars listed. It’s hard to say how dive bars are determined over other bars but i see most of Pittsburgh bars as dive bars.
All i can say is that Pittsburgh is a great city of partying, drinking, and hub of bars.
Who made this list? It left out the best dive bar in the Pittsburgh area. Clyde and Patties Loungue in Cheswick.
Smoking – check
Hot Bartenders – check
Good People – check
Cash only – check
Mounted animals – check
Weigh in station for the catfish tournament – check