An Attraction, Drinking, and Eating Guide to Pittsburgh’s South Side

Pittsburgh's South Side is often known as its bar crawl neighborhood, and you do not need to spend much time exploring this one to understand why that is- the bars are everywhere.

While this one is incredibly popular for college kids looking for a cheap drink and anyone in need of a night out with libations, there is actually quite a bit going on in the neighborhood beyond your typical bar. For us, while we visit this one for a periodic adult beverage ourselves, we often visit for other reasons, and wanted to highlight some of our favorite attractions, restaurants, and of course, bars in this neighborhood guide!

It is worth noting that the following is not a collection of every business in South Side. This article only features businesses that we personally visit when we explore the neighborhood. As such, it should only be taken as a starting point and is certainly not a list of every establishment. If you see an interesting business while exploring the South Side, do yourself a favor and go inside!

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The Library Review – A South Side Gem for Cheap Eats and Drinks

Sometimes when we try and find a new bar to hit in South Side, we go numb at the sheer number of choices. In many cases when visiting this neighborhood we often pick a reason for going out (deals, cocktails, draft list, etc.) and then limit our options down from there in order to make a choice.

On a recent night out we wanted to keep our tab low while having good beer and settled on The Library. Known for a cheap craft beer list and happy hour food specials, an affordable outing was exactly what we got!

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Cocktails from the Crypt Review – Halloween Themed Libations

Pittsburgh's Halloween season is in full force with a number of hauntingly fun attractions to enjoy. Naturally, some pop-up bars have jumped onto the scene to celebrate this spooky season with themed libations!

One of these themed bars is Cocktails from the Crypt, a South Side pop-up managed by Spencer Warren of The Warren (a popular cocktail bar in downtown Pittsburgh).

I checked this one out shortly after it opened for its limited run and share a bit more on what the bar and cocktails are like below! 

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Dish Osteria Review – An Italian Gem in South Side

Dish Osteria in South Side is a cozy, traditional Italian restaurant that initially opened way back in 2000. While we had never made a visit before they closed in 2017, the spot had long been on our list of places to try. When they re-opened in the spring of 2019 we knew we had to make it a priority to hit up this much-loved Pittsburgh institution.

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South Side Traveler’s Rest Review – Finally, A True Pittsburgh Hostel

As avid travelers, we've done our fair share of overnight stays in hostels- from $3 hole-in-the-walls in central China to high-end lodge-esque accommodations dedicated to hikers in Patagonia. Whenever we need to travel economically, we look toward shared dorms and private rooms at hostels in order to meet our travel goals.

One thing that always bothered me about the Pittsburgh hotel scene is that we never had a hostel to call our own- until now.

South Side Traveler's Rest is what we would call the first true Pittsburgh hostel, and all we have to say is its about time! 

I recently was invited to the hostel for an overnight stay and wanted to share a bit more about this hidden gem in the South Side.

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Cambod-Ican Kitchen Review – Go for the Cambodian Staples

If you find yourself in South Side and are looking for dinner, or a late night snack, or a late late night snack, a visit to Cambod-Ican Kitchen may be for you. This particular spot serves staples from Cambodia from 6pm until 3 or 4 am!

So if you are in the mood for a different kind of Asian fare, you may want to try this one out!

During my first visit I opted for a Cambodian classic which hit the spot!

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The Colombian Spot Review – Go for the Arepas

The Colombian Spot is a casual restaurant in the South Side with a menu full of authentic Colombian dishes like arepas, empanadas, ropa vieja, tostones, and bandeja paisa.

There aren't too many places in Pittsburgh where you can find Colombian food, which is why we're super happy that The Colombian Spot exists and is delicious to boot.

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Mike & Tony’s Gyros Review – A Cheap Lunch in Pittsburgh

Mike & Tony's Gyros is a local restaurant chain with several locations in and around the city serving up what we believe to be the world's perfect food- the gyro!

Much to our delight, we found that this one goes all in on gyro and souvlaki meat and is exactly what we were looking for during our visit.

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Ascend Pittsburgh – Rock Climbing and Bouldering in South Side

When we heard that Pittsburgh was getting a rock climbing gym within the city limits, I was pretty excited. (Angie, not so much.)

I had tried this activity out a few times when I was in college, but in being a college student couldn't quite afford to go as much as I would like.

I knew that once Ascend opened at their location in the South Side I would have to go and see if I still enjoy it as much as I remember, and of course had to drag Angie along with me for her first rock climbing experience as well.

As it turns out, I like rock climbing now even more than I remember, and even Angie was on board with it after we got there!

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