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 five 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!
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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!
In 2018 the pop-up Miracle on Liberty is located at 717 Liberty Avenue in downtown Pittsburgh.
Auld Lang Syne
Celebrate the upcoming new year at Auld Lang Syne pop-up bar in Market Square (located at The Original Oyster House)! This pop-up is by the folks behind the Halloween-themed Zombie Den cocktail bar and features a remarkably similar cocktail menu to the previous concept (but a marked improvement) as well as subtle decorations ranging from a cozy winter cottage to a New Year's Eve nook.
If you are looking to drink in a holiday inspired atmosphere that isn't over-the-top, this one is for you.
In 2018 the pop-up Auld Lang Syne is located at the Original Oyster House at 20 Market Street.
Tinsel Town Cocktails
Tinsel Town Cocktails is the pop-up holiday bar of the downtown restaurant Harris Grill. The decorations at this one are a bit more reserved and the cocktails are more along the lines of spiked cocoa and eggnog over craft cocktails.
So if you are in the mood for some holiday cheer with libations that are a bit more traditional, give this one a try.
Tinsel Town Cocktails is located at Harris Grill at 245 Fourth Avenue in downtown Pittsburgh.
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 ambiance (and size) is really hard to beat. So if you are in the Christmas spirit but would prefer to have a domestic beer over a cocktail, give Jingle Bar a try.
In 2018 Jingle Bar is located at 268 Forbes Avenue in downtown Pittsburgh.
Buddy's Bar Pop-Up
Buddy's Bar is a two night only pop-up bar at The Hotel Monaco on December 13th and 14th (Thursday and Friday). The bar celebrates all things Elf with the movie playing on repeat, posters for the upcoming Elf musical performance in the Cultural District, and more in a moderately festive (if maybe a fair bit subdued for Elf's standards) environment.
The bar has many Elf themed cocktails including The Four Main Food Groups (a cider with spiced gumdrop infused whiskey, maple syrup, and candy cane infused whipped cream), Buddy the Elf, What's Your Favorite Color (a pineapple, lime, white cranberry, vodka and blue curacao cocktail), Son of a Nutcracker (featuring Cap'n Crunch cereal milk washed bourbon), and more. Suffice it to say, this one has some fairly unusual cocktails like those The Commoner is known for at a $10 price point (a fair discount compared to most at the restaurant's bar)!
Buddy's Bar is located at the Hotel Monaco and is managed by the team behind The Commoner. In 2018 the pop-up bar takes place on Thursday December 13th and Friday December 14th only. I was able to attend at a media preview night in advance of this pop-up.
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 specialty 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.
So, where will you be drinking this holiday season? Comment below to let us know!