Last Updated on December 30, 2021 by Jeremy
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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!
Miracle on Liberty
Miracle on Liberty is the epitome of holiday bars. This international pop-up can be found in many states as well a few other countries around the world. The Pittsburgh iteration does its best to have almost every single inch of bar space covered in decorations (in fact, probably the most out of any bar in Pittsburgh), and for that we can't get enough of it- although their delicious cocktails don't hurt, either.
The Miracle bar has a rather popular following behind it, so when you visit be prepared as there may likely be a line!
The pop-up Miracle on Liberty is located at 705 Liberty Avenue in downtown Pittsburgh in 2021. We had visited this popup in previous iterations.
The holiday pop-up Jingle Bar goes after Miracle bar for the title of ‘most decorated' and offers a rather large space that is covered with Christmas decor everywhere you look.
The cocktails here are a significant miss to us, but the over-the-top ambiance is really hard to beat, even if the decorations felt a bit rushed. So if you are in the Christmas spirit but would prefer to have a domestic beer over a cocktail, give Jingle Bar a try.
Jingle Bar was located at 268 Forbes Avenue in downtown Pittsburgh in the above review. In 2021, it will be located at 24 Market Square in the former NOLA on the Square location.
The Tipsy Elf
The Tipsy Elf is located just next to Hough's Taproom in Greenfield and is a different kind of pop-up bar experience as you have to purchase a ticket with timed entry to enjoy this one. Each $15 ticket includes a welcome drink (which for us was a very poor mulled wine) and 90 minutes inside the space where you can then purchase additional cocktails (which were much more enjoyable despite being somewhat small) or shots at varying prices.
One thing we like about ticketed pop-ups like this is that the crowds are better managed than at other bars which may have long, long waits to get into. This allowed us to enjoy the two themed rooms quite well (one was an outdoor winter wonderland and the second, larger room was a cozy cottage decked out for Christmas- both tastefully done and not over-the-top) while being spaced out from other guests.
Beyond the beverages, the hosts also engage in some fun holiday activities like a challenge at the bar to win a free shot, an emoji-based word game to win candy canes, limbo, and more. Suffice it to say, the 90 minutes here went by a whole lot faster than we thought it would!
The Tipsy Elf is located next to Hough's at 563 Greenfield Avenue. Tickets can be purchased here.
To wind down this list, we end on a bar that is not a pop-up, but instead changes its decorations for the holiday season. This is what is often considered to be the original Pittsburgh Christmas bar, Bob's Garage.
Bob's Garage is known as being a dive bar that is covered with decorations from floor-to-ceiling just about everywhere you look. The only difference is that this one has been doing it for years, well before the pop-up holiday concept even was a thing. This one may not have a specially curated menu and only serves a limited selection of draft and canned beer, but the decorations more than make up for the limited offering!
Bob's Garage is located at 1372 Freeport Road in Blawnox, PA- just east of Pittsburgh off of 28.
Other Holiday Popup Bars in Pittsburgh
The above pop-up bars are the holiday bars we've personally visited. In 2021, there will be many more holiday popups that we hope to visit over the course of the season.
- Lorelei is hosting a Krampus Baby themed menu in East Liberty.
- 5801 Video Lounge is hosting First Noellsworth on various nights in December in Shadyside.
- North Star Restaurant in Imperial
- J&D Cellars in Washington
- Good Cheer at Ruggers Pub in South Side
- Ski Lodge at Market Street Grocery in Market Square
So, where will you be drinking this holiday season? Comment below to let us know!