10 Christmas Bars in Pittsburgh to Visit During the Holidays

The holiday season is a wonderful time of year, and Christmas in Pittsburgh is truly a sight to behold.

But as the holiday season is as much about spreading goodwill, taking in the decorations, and the like, Pittsburgh also has another avenue for enjoying the holiday- via its libations scenes!

In fact, there are several Christmas bars in Pittsburgh to enjoy during the holiday season, ensuring that you'll have some holiday cheer from Light Up Night (or in the case of a few of the pop-ups, Black Friday) to New Years. Check them out below!

Please Note: We are featuring all of the holiday popups we are aware of in this guide, whether we have personally visited or not. As such, experiences may vary. When available, click the link to read our full review of the bars we have visited!

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Sia’s Garden Grown Review – Vegan Dining in East Liberty

Sia's Garden Grown is a casual vegan restaurant in East Liberty offering counter-service sandwiches, soups, salads, and desserts. Even though we're not vegan, we're always on the lookout for new vegetarian and vegan spots in Pittsburgh as our town could definitely use more options in this category.

Our recent takeout meal from Sia's hit all the right notes for us – sandwiches bursting with flavorful veggies and spreads, hearty soups, and tasty desserts combined to make a healthful and filling meal.

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Ross Cafe Review – Approachable Turkish Fare on McKnight

Ross Cafe on McKnight Road initially opened as a breakfast and brunch spot, focusing on items like omelettes, waffles, and crepes. We're always looking for bright spots on McKnight to invigorate our mundane shopping trips, and this spot seemed like an interesting break from the mold.

Our interest was piqued even further when we saw a few Turkish options like Menemen (a scrambled egg dish with tomatoes and peppers) and Sigara Boregi (rolled phyllo dough stuffed with cheese and fried). Shortly after opening, we checked out their menu again online and noticed that they had started serving dinners, too, focusing on Turkish dishes like kebabs, wraps, and pide (Turkish-style pizza). 

We went in for a meal right away and are already planning our return.

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Poetry Lounge – Delicious Cocktails at a Neighborhood Bar

If you've been enjoying Pittsburgh's cocktail scene, odds are good you've had a creation from Sean Enright. From local bars and restaurants, he's been found creating stellar menus at quite a few of our favorite places over the years.

But in late 2023, Sean opened his latest project, Poetry Lounge in Millvale.

This one combines a welcoming neighborhood bar with the added splash of craft cocktails featuring a mix of house creations, classics, and shots- all with reasonable price points. Just the kind of neighborhood bar we like!

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Unspeakable Brings Speakeasy Vibes with Asian Twists

We always love it when several brands collaborate for something greater than the sum of the parts. Unspeakable does just that with Vietnamese influences from Ineffable Ca Phe and select spirits from Noire Distillery next door, all with a speakeasy vibe.

A cocktail bar with Asian elements, local spirits, and well-executed drinks? We're in for this combo!

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Three Brothers Bagels Review – Fast Casual in Glenshaw

Pittsburgh's bagel scene has been rapidly improving in recent years with the opening of many great shops with house-made bagels, bagel sandwiches, and more.

Those in the North Hills looking for a delicious bagel received one more option in the form of Three Brothers Bagels, which opened in Glenshaw in mid-2023.

The popularity of this one skyrocketed overnight, with frequent early sellouts, so of course, we had to visit shortly thereafter to check it out. For those who need a bagel, this one is a treat!

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Hemlock House Review – A Modern Take on Pub Fare

Hemlock House opened in a prime location on S. Braddock Street in Swissvale (near Regent Square) in 2023 and serves up an array of modern pub fare with some flavor twists that you're unlikely to find anywhere else.

We visited this one with eager anticipation shortly after they opened and discovered this one is quite the gem.

Although we did not get to try the full bar menu just yet as the liquor license was still a work in progress, this pub is worth a visit for the food alone!

Note: At the time of our visit, Hemlock House had popups from local producers Kingfly Spirits and Arboretum Trail Brewing. So, while perhaps not their own bar program outright, you could still get a great drink with a meal all the same!

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5 of the Best Spirits Made in Pittsburgh and Southwest PA

There is a lot to love about Pittsburgh distilleries and locally-made spirits. From the numerous options to the great local grains and products sourced, those who love a good cocktail are truly spoiled when it comes to all things local drinking.

In the past, we've liked to highlight the distilleries themselves that we have visited over the years. But in this one, we wanted to shift and look at the spirits as there are five bottles made in Pittsburgh and southwest Pennsylvania that we always seem to have on hand in our home bar.

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Fat Cat Review – A Modern Pub With Throwback Vibes

Fat Cat Lounge in the North Side is a new concept from the owners of fine dining spot Fig & Ash next door. With a retro vibe, casual food and drinks, and a second floor music venue, Fat Cat adds to the growing list of destination eating and drinking spots on East Ohio Street.

Fig & Ash is one of our favorite restaurants in the city, so when we heard the owners were opening up the Fat Cat concept we were thrilled. On our recent visit shortly after their opening, we were instantly amazed at the transformation of the space.

The front door opens into the bar space with a retro vibe including 70s-style couches and old cartoons playing on the TVs. To the left of the bar is a separate dining area that continues the retro theme, and upstairs is an open space that serves as a music venue, complete with another bar.

Yes, this space will do just nicely, and thankfully the experience got even better from there!

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