St. Clair Social Review – A Neighborhood Bar in East Liberty

When it comes to bars in East Liberty, finding an approachable, low-key spot can be somewhat tricky. This trendy neighborhood has a lot of bars with unique themes and higher-end offerings, but when you want something a bit more straightforward, that may be a bit harder to come by.

Enter St. Clair Social- the kind of bar that East Liberty truly needs.

Read more

Alta Via Pizzeria Review – Monster Pizzas Come to Bakery Square

If you were wondering when Big Burrito would open another restaurant in Pittsburgh, the answer is spring 2022. A few years after they opened the popular (and quite delicious) Alta Via in Fox Chapel, the restaurant group expanded with a pizza shop, aptly named Alta Via Pizzeria, in Bakery Square.

While this one leans in heavily on their pizza menu, the appetizers and supporting dishes are very much reminiscent of the namesake Italian joint nearby.

We were fortunate enough to be invited to a soft open as guests of Alta Via Pizzeria, and share a bit more about what the meal was like in this review!

Note: Part of our meal was provided complimentary as part of the opening but we purchased additional food on our own. As always, all opinions are our own.

Read more

Margaux Review – A Cafe, Restaurant, and Bar in East Liberty

East Liberty's recent growth always has made us wonder what will open in the neighborhood next. One thing East Liberty felt like it was lacking was a large, approachable coffee shop where you could both hang out for hours to work or stop by for a quick drink in a unique ambiance.

When Margaux opened, we knew it would be just that- this spacious cafe, bar, and restaurant space satisfies the need for a space to hang out as much as it is to drink and dine.

While we will need several visits to truly work our way through the menu here, on the first visit we visited for a light brunch and coffee.

Read more

tako Torta Review – A Fast Casual Adaptation in Bakery Square

In the past, we've raved about the high-end taco restaurant, aptly named tako (Japanese for octopus), in Pittsburgh's Cultural District. This restaurant features artisan tacos, a stellar tequila bar, and an ambiance that perfectly fits its location downtown.

One thing the restaurant is not, however, is approachable. Prime reservation slots are often booked up weeks in advance, and an order of their namesake tako tacos (yes- an octopus taco) clocks well over $20. A decent price for octopus, but an extreme one for tacos all the same.

So when we heard that the Richard DeShantz Restaurant Group was opening another tako in Bakery Square, we had a moment of pause. “A high-end restaurant there?!” was our immediate gut reaction. Thankfully, the restaurant, called tako Torta, takes a fast-casual approach to this restaurant's delicious menu with tacos, torta sandwiches, and more!

Read more

Lorelei Review – Bringing Alpine Cocktails and Beer to East Liberty

Lorelei is another stellar bar concept operated by the team behind Independent Brewing Company and Hidden Harbor in Squirrel Hill.

But rather than adding into their collection of bars at the corner of Forbes and Shady Avenue, this one is located in the heart of East Liberty– bringing a much welcomed addition to the neighborhood's drinking scene.

We were recently invited out by the team at Lorelei to check out the new space, and share our thoughts in this full review! (Note that this review has been updated to reflect additional visits that we made on our own as well.)

Read more

BrewDog Review – Large Beer and Food Menu Options in East Liberty

BrewDog is an international brewery and gastropub chain that has expanded into many cities thanks to its crowdfunding system called Equity for Punks.

This crowdfunding system is a lot like a Kickstarter in that there are numerous perks for investors, such as free beers and discounts, while also retaining ownership (while shares can be sold, there is currently no open market for these nor does BrewDog appear to be going public anytime soon- so we look at it mostly as a perks system). The system has allowed the brewery chain to expand at a rapid pace and through it, they opened a Pittsburgh taproom in East Liberty in early 2020.

I visited this one shortly after opening and share a bit more about what it is like in this review!

Read more

Two Sisters Review – Serving Up Vietnamese in East Liberty

Two Sisters Vietnamese Kitchen in East Liberty is a cute little spot for fulfilling all of your Vietnamese pho, noodle, and rice dish needs.

The menu here includes classic pho (noodle soup), bun (vermicelli noodles), co'm (rice dishes), as well as a few specials like bun bo hue and egg noodles. Side options include spring and summer rolls with different fillings, and several salad offerings.

We recently ordered takeout including bun bo hue, the pork special co'm, a grilled pork summer roll, and fish sauce wings.

Read more

Commerce Bar Review – A Proper Speakeasy in East Liberty

After the COVID pandemic, Commerce Bar has only opened for private parties. We hope they will return to being open to the public here soon.

From the moment you arrive at Commerce Bar in East Liberty, you know you'll be getting the full speakeasy experience. 

That is because to even access this one you need to make your way to a back alley behind a popular stretch of restaurants and seek out the door to the bar. We could tell you which door, but where is the fun in that? (The end of this article will have a hint.)

Once you enter, the fun of this bar begins.

Read more