Last Updated on September 3, 2020 by Jeremy
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When it comes to drinking in Pittsburgh, you have a lot of options. But if you are looking to go out without spending a lot of money, your first thought may turn to everyone's favorite time of the day- happy hour!
It would be very easy for us to come up with a list of every happy hour special in Pittsburgh, but most would end up being unpalatable beers or daily discounts that aren't that interesting ($1 off a frozen cosmo on Wednesdays is not a good happy hour in our books). Instead, we wanted to focus on the best- we're focusing only on craft cocktails, delicious wines, and local beers from bars do it right- with a discount to match.
So if you're looking to try a unique and delicious libation in Pittsburgh without emptying your wallet, check out these personal favorites for great cocktails, local beer, and wine!
Note: In other posts in this series we like to start off with a baseline to have a benchmark to compare businesses that are better and worse. However, in this one we are already featuring what we think to be above average, so we are well beyond having a baseline for comparison purposes. As such, this list is organized starting with our favorites and working our way down.
Yes, yes- you all know how much we love Kaya. But there is a reason for that. Besides the food being amazing, Kaya is home to one of the best bars and happy hours in the city with Caribbean inspired cocktails being the main feature.
At Kaya's happy hour, which occurs Monday to Friday from 4:30pm to 6:30pm, all single serving drinks and draft beers are 50% off. Yes- every single cocktail on their menu is half price! So head on down to the Strip District during happy hour and enjoy a Kaya burger and two cocktails for around $25, and thank us later.
You truly cannot beat that.
Kaya is located at 2000 Smallman Street in the Strip District.
The Wine Bar at Market Street Grocery
The Wine Bar at Market Street Grocery is one of our favorite spots for wine downtown and features an exclusive spread of wines from Collefrisio Vineyards in Abruzzo, Italy.
So while you'll be drinking purely Italian wines here, you can taste your way through the menu from the entry-level wines to the premium options at this bar. For happy hour, which occurs Monday to Saturday from 5pm to 7pm (yes, Saturday happy hour downtown!), you can get glasses of wine for either $5, $10, or $15 based on the price and vintage of the wine. The amount you save is variable based on the order, but can be up to $7 per glass!
That, coupled with the Saturday hours, makes this one a great spot to visit.
The Wine Bar at Market Street Grocery is located at 435 Market Street near Market Square.
Federal Galley is the second restaurant in Pittsburgh by Galley Group, and operates under the same incubator premise. Like Smallman Galley they have four chefs that rotate in and out, and like Smallman Galley they offer a happy hour from 4:30 to 6:30pm on Monday to Friday for 50% off everything.
As far as cocktails are concerned, Federal Galley offers many amazing house creations that change periodically at relatively attractive prices. But during happy hour, everything is 50% off which makes this one a great deal! We rate this one a bit lower than Smallman Galley in this one if only because the beer list has a smaller percentage of non-local beer. But for these discounts, we can certainly get over it.
Federal Galley is located at 200 Children's Way in North Side's Allegheny Commons.
Wigle Whiskey at the Omni Hotel
Pittsburgh's resident whiskey distillery, Wigle Whiskey, opened a tap room at the Omni William Penn hotel in downtown Pittsburgh in early 2017. To celebrate, they began a happy hour from 5pm to 7pm on Tuesday through Friday with half off select cocktails, flights, and drams (a few exceptions may apply). As this location also offers a build-your-own Old Fashioned option, the 50% off discount makes it a perfect chance to try and see what your favorite flavors are!
Wigle's tasting room at the Omni is located at 530 William Penn Place at the Oliver Street entrance. Wigle also has a happy hour menu at their main distillery in the Strip District for select $5 cocktails.
Hidden Harbor is an incredible tiki bar in Squirrel Hill and features a plethora of boat drinks that do not disappoint.
Happy Hour here runs Tuesday through Friday from 5 to 6pm and includes a selection of tropical cocktails for $5 or $6- often classics such as the painkiller and mojito over the more elaborate house creations. So, if you are wanting a tiki-inspired drink without paying the typically high price that comes with it, happy hour here is for you!
Hidden Harbor is located at 1708 Shady Avenue in Squirrel Hill.
One of the newer additions to Mount Washington's bar scene is The Summit, and this establishment is quickly becoming one of the top places for craft cocktails in the neighborhood.
Although you may not have a view of Pittsburgh at this one, the bar offers a long list of incredible cocktails with a $6 happy hour special from 5 to 7 pm on weeknights (a discount of $3-$4- tax included) and a pretty impressive food menu to go along with it. After trying this one, we can certainly say that the restaurant and bar scene on Shiloh Street will never be the same again.
The Summit is located at 200 Shiloh Street in Mount Washington.
Spirit and Slice Island Pizza
Tucked away off the main drag in Lawrenceville in an old Moose lodge is Spirit, a combination bar, pizza shop, and performance venue that is about the perfect definition of dive bar as you can imagine but with much better food.
What sets this one apart from the rest is that their beer menu is almost entirely local, with the only exceptions from our most recent visit being Straub and Pizza Boy- both from within the state of Pennsylvania. With about a dozen beers on draft, we have to give them a nod for keeping it all close to home.
Happy hour here is from 5 to 8pm on Tuesday to Friday (late happy hour, yes!) and all of their draft beers are 50% off. Even better? If you order a full pizza you get a free salad and side of garlic knots too. Who knew going out for pizza could be this good?
Spirit is located at 242 51st Street in Lawrenceville.
Pittsburgh Winery is an interesting one in the Strip District as they import grapes from all over the world to make high-end wines locally (as opposed to using our regional grapes which are often on the sweeter side).
This means you can find an array of international wine styles at this local producer, and if you want a discount when drinking here you should head down from 6pm to 8pm on Fridays and Saturdays for their happy hour- $5 a glass!
It is hard to beat a $5 glass of wine just about anywhere, and when it comes from a local producer doing great things, well, sign us up.
Pittsburgh Winery is located at 2710 Penn Avenue temporarily while their original location is undergoing renovations.
Burgh'ers is a burger and brewery combo with two locations- one in Zelienople and one right in the heart of Lawrenceville. While this one first grew in popularity due to its burgers, they have since expanded considerably with housemade craft beers with an array of styles.
This particular spot got into the happy hour game in 2019 to feature half off all draft beers Monday to Friday from 2:58pm to 5:58pm! As far as happy hours are concerned, we'll never say no to half off. When its local beer? Even better.
Burgh'ers has two locations, one at 3601 Butler Street in Lawrenceville and one at 215 W New Castle Street in Zelienople.
The grilled cheese focused restaurant known as The Yard has locations in Shadyside, Market Square, and Mt. Lebanon set to fill your need whenever you need a cheese-forward sandwich. But to us, the best thing about The Yard is their roughly 40 or so taps that can be found at each location- with many regional beers on tap!
Each of the locations of The Yard has different happy hour specials (check them out at the location links in the last paragraph), but generally include a 1/2 draft list on weeknights (and sometimes Sunday nights) plus nightly specials such as local pint night, half off apps, and more. Not bad for a cheap dinner with good local beer!
The Yard has multiple locations around the city. We visit the Market Square and Shadyside locations.
Pig Iron in Cranberry is a modern gastropub that takes craft beer to a new level. This one features 66 beers on draft, with roughly half being from Pennsylvania!
During their happy hour, Monday to Friday from 5pm to 7pm in the bar area, all beer is $2 off. While this is not the best deal highlighted in our list, it gets our seal of approval when factored in with their monster selection. Don't miss this one when exploring north of the city!
Pig Iron is located at 926 Sheraton Drive in Mars, PA.
Other Happy Hour Specials Worth Checking Out
When it comes down to it, there are many amazing places in Pittsburgh worth checking out for happy hour if you're in the mood to try a few unique cocktails.
Although the above offer some of the best specials in the city, the following are also worth checking out if you are looking for great specials and prices during everyone's favorite time of the day. In our opinion, these may not be as good as the features above but are still leaps and bounds better than the rest.
So if you're looking for more, check out:
- Butterjoint – This small bar and restaurant in North Oakland offers $4 draft beers during their weekly happy hour from 4:30 to 6:30pm. This beer menu has a larger regional rotation than most, but only amounts to roughly three to four Pittsburgh breweries at a time. Please note, this restaurant is being merged with two other restaurant concepts by the same owners and may not be open at this time. We will update as we learn more.
- Independent Brewing Company – This bar has a fantastic rotating draft list featuring roughly eight western Pennsylvania breweries. Daily happy hours are from 5:00 to 6:00pm and feature $2 off draft beers.
- Emporio Meatballs – This restaurant in Sienna Mercato offers off half off drafts from 4 to 6pm on weeknights. While the beer selection is mostly not-local, a half dozen or so local breweries often makes the draft list.
- Industry Public House – Industry Public House features one of the largest regional draft beer lists in the city, with several local options, and their happy hour specials on Monday to Friday from 4:30 to 6:30pm offers $2 off all drafts!
- Proper Brick Oven – This delicious artisan pizza shop in downtown Pittsburgh has 30 taps with many local favorites. Although the happy hour is only $1 off drafts from 4:00 to 6:00pm on weeknights, their large selection is worth the mention.
- 412 Brewery – This North Side brewery offers a Thursday and Friday happy hour for $4 draft beers from 3 to 5pm- great for an early beer!
- Grist House Brewery – As another one of the few local breweries in the city to offer happy hour specials, we would be doing you a disservice to not mention Grist House's $1 off pints from 5:00 to 7:00pm on Wednesdays through Fridays. Not the greatest of deals, but a discount is a discount!
- Bier's Pub – This North Side burger joint features a draft list of Pennsylvania breweries and a $2 off pints happy hour from 4:30 to 6:30pm on weekdays (plus 50% off most appetizers!). Bier's Pub is also home to War Streets Brewing so several of the beers on draft here are from them as well!
- Caliente Pizza and Draft House – This international award-winning local pizza chain has a 50% off special for all draft beer from 4:30 to 6:30pm on weeknights. The draft list may be hit or miss with local selections at times depending on location (spots like their Monroeville location have a bit better local selections than the Bloomfield store we go to). Check out their calendar of nightly specials as well!
- City Works – This Market Square bar and restaurant features 90 beers on top with 25% sourced locally to Pittsburgh and Pennsylvania at large (roughly 20 beers at any given time). Their happy hour special runs from 4 to 6pm Monday to Friday and includes $4 rotating drafts. While we cannot confirm how many of those 20 local beers are on special in any given day, odds are good you may find a few here!
- Soba – This Shadyside restaurant focusing on Asian fusion offers select cocktails for $6 during their happy hour from 5 to 7pm, Monday to Friday, in their lounge area only.
- Casbah – The craft cocktails at this fine dining restaurant from big Burrito are $7 during happy hour from 5 to 7pm, Monday to Friday. With drinks ranging from $10-$14 regularly, this is a great discount!
- Eleven – Another upscale eatery from big Burrito in the Strip District offers select cocktails and menu items for $7 during their happy hour from 4 to 6pm, Monday to Friday.
- Iron Born – The Strip District location of Iron Born has a full bar program, and during happy hour (5pm to 7pm presumably on weekdays) beer and wine glasses are 50% off! While the local draft list here is somewhat limited, this is a great discount we can't say no to.
- Umami – The Japanese izakaya bar Umami in Lawrenceville has select cocktails for $6 during their happy hour Tuesday to Friday from 4:30 to 6:30!
Check back soon as we add more amazing happy hour specials to our list of favorites! If you have a favorite happy hour that isn't featured, comment below to let us know about it too!
Please note that happy hour specials, pricing, and hours are subject to change. We recommend confirming via each bar's website prior to visiting as their information may have changed since publication. We do our best to stay up-to-date with this, but sometimes we miss them!