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

Published by Jeremy. Last Updated on November 26, 2019.

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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!

Cheap Drinks Are The Library's Special

Craft Beer at The Library South Side

Now, before diving into this one we should make a note that many bars in South Side have cheap drinks. If you want a domestic beer or a basic mixed drink, you can find great prices at many of the bars. But if you want craft beer, with some local options mixed in, then that limits the options considerably.

The Library offers a modest selection of craft beers (about a dozen in total) from some larger craft producers like Founder's and Bell's to smaller and more regional options like Full Pint, Cigar City, Platform, or Odd Side Ales. The real perk of this list was that every beer (except for one exceptionally high ABV option) was locked in at a fixed $4 (lower ABV in pints and higher ABV in 12 oz pours). 

For a decent craft selection, this is one of the best prices we've found in the city outside of happy hours, and for that we have to give The Library a nod. Likewise, their cocktail program ran just $5 for a modest spread as well, meaning you can drink here without breaking the bank as you may do at other nearby bars.

A Robust Food Menu With More Specials

Half Off Appetizer Happy Hour at The Library

To simply call The Library a bar would be doing it a disservice, as they have a food menu (with even more specials) that is fairly robust- so much so that this one could also be considered a full-service restaurant at the same time.

The menu here runs the gamut of small plates, salads, all-you-can-eat wings, sandwiches, to pizza, calzones, and even desserts. Throw in the fact that there are food happy hour specials from 5 pm to 7 pm and 10 pm to midnight and you can surely find something here to enjoy for a low price.

I arrived just about five minutes before the 5 pm to 7 pm happy hour was ending and opted to place two appetizer orders for our table to enjoy the 50% off promotion while it was available. I settled on The Magic Pretzel (a large homemade pretzel with beer cheese) and an order of the Billy Goat's Gruff (poblano peppers stuffed with goat cheese and topped with chipotle cream sauce with chicken added).

While I would say that the pretzel was not the most remarkable other than its size and happy hour price (just over $6), the stuffed poblano peppers delivered a nice bit of heat, an appreciable amount of goat cheese, and a modest portion of chicken as well. As an appetizer for about $14.50 on its own this would be a great option, but for $7.25 for happy hour you really can't beat it.

Fahrenheit 451 Burger

Since we were making a night of it with friends we finished the meal out with an order of the Fahrenheit 451 burger- topped with jalapenos, pepper jack, and a fried egg and served with a side of sweet potato fries. While this was a fairly straightforward burger for its topping combinations, the portion size is hard to beat for a $12 price tag- thus furthering The Library's already solid reputation of being a fairly cost-effective establishment.

For a decent craft beer list and a fairly solid food menu, you'll be hard-pressed to beat the prices at The Library- in South Side or otherwise. So if you are looking for a cheap night out in Pittsburgh, especially in this neighborhood, you may want to give this one a try!

The Library is located at 2302 East Carson Street in South Side.

Looking for more affordable spots in South Side? Give Cilantro & Ajo, La Palapa, or Cambod-ican Kitchen a try!

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