With hundreds of bars in the heart of the city and its nearby neighborhoods, Pittsburgh may be best-known as a drinking town, but these various watering holes also offer some of the city’s best bites. Local foodies flock to downtown and South Side bars for unique pairings and perfectly cooked concoctions. From Mediterranean menus and Japanese appetizers to casual bar bites, Pittsburgh’s foodie-friendly bars offer something for all palettes. If you’re looking to get drunk on food, don’t miss these five Pittsburgh bars.
2216 Penn Ave.
Pittsburgh, PA 15222
Bar Marco, located in the heart of Downtown Pittsburgh, has one of the city’s most interesting menus with its selection of vegetarian dishes, unique cocktails and hundreds of red, sparking and white wines. Swing by the bar for sweet and savory brunch specials, including whiskey cured salmon ($13), pumpkin pancakes ($9) and broiled grapefruit with hints of mint, ricotta and honey ($5). Bar Marco is the perfect place for a romantic evening out or a girl’s get together thanks to its wide selection of spirits and one-of-a-kind cocktails. Pair those with some of the most delicious dishes in town and you’ve got perhaps the most foodie-friendly bar around!
Dish Osteria and Bar
128 S. 17th St.
Pittsburgh, PA 15203
Despite its small, intimate setting tucked away in South Side, Dish Osteria and Bar delivers on the flavor and presentation of its Mediterranean and Sicilian dishes. Foodie favorites include its Grigliata Mista di Pesce, Rigatoni alla Scamorza sans prosciutto and pumpkin flan. The bar’s Lavender Lemon Drop Martini is the perfect end to a romantic, well-prepared meal. With an ever-changing menu of signature dishes, Dish Osteria and Bar, you’ll appreciate the outstanding food portions coupled with fine service and a beautiful setting.
1611 E. Carson St.
Pittsburgh, PA 15203
Nakama, Pittsburgh’s award-winning Japanese Steakhouse and Sushi Bar, brings you the ultimate culinary experience with its knife-wielding hibachi chefs who have been serving up the best sushi and exceptional appetizers in the city for the past eight years. Nakama prides itself on using only the highest-quality, freshest vegetables, cuts, meats and seafood and just one bite of its salmon sashimi, for instance, and you’ll see why this sushi bar ranks among the favorite with locals. Even if you’ve filled up on sushi, you still have plenty of room for the bar’s Black & Gold sake, red and white wines, beer or champagne. Be sure to visit Nakama’s website, where you can sign up for a free appetizer.
Salt Of The Earth
5523 Penn Ave.
Pittsburgh, PA 15206
Constantly changing local and seasonal menu items and unexpected flavor combinations make Salt Of The Earth a must for adventurous foodies who aren’t afraid to sample uniquely prepared dishes. Foodie favorites include the tartare starter ($12), halibut ($29), duck ($25) and cheese dessert ($9). Wash your meal down with $10 cocktails, including rye and bourbon, a $5 draft beer or one of 22 wines priced from $8-$17 per glass. Salt Of The Earth is located on Penn Avenue is the city’s Garfield neighborhood.
The Barking Shark Saloon
611 North Ave.
Millvale, PA 15209
If you like your food with a side of sports, be sure to check out The Barking Shark Saloon, Millvale’s most popular watering hole. You won’t find any pretentious dishes here — just good old-fashioned bar bites, most of which are priced between $2-$7. Among the saloon’s most ordered items are its fried spicy dill pickles ($3.95), Shark Burger ($5.75) and loaded nachos with cheese ($5.95), which are perfect for munching on while playing a game of pool or darts. Consider stopping by on Monday’s customer appreciation nights for free pool, buy-one-get-one drinks from 10 p.m. to midnight and half-priced appetizers.
Related: Gift Guide For The Foodie
Jessica Wasik lives in Pittsburgh where works as a full-time figure skating coach sharing her passion with today’s generation of young skaters. A graduate of Robert Morris University with a degree in English Studies, Jessica is also a contributing writer for Allegheny West Magazine. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.