Pittsburgh has been called a “Drinking Town With a Football Problem,” but this sentiment stands true for all of the city’s hardcore sports fans, including diehard hockey aficionados. Even if you’re not a big drinker, but enjoy meeting a group to watch the game over a piping-hot pie, these next five selections will cover you from hockey season, all the way to football, through baseball and back. Check out these recommendations, but don’t say you weren’t warned: once you visit these bars, you’ll be hooked for life.
1304 5th Ave.
Pittsburgh, PA 15219
Right around the corner from Consol Energy Center – the home of the Pens – is the favorite haunt of hockey and Pittsburgh sports fans alike. With a large variety of beers on tap, friendly service and clever takes on pizza and hoagies (the buffalo chicken hoagie topped with buffalo fries is a clear crowd favorite), this is perfect pit stop before, after or during a hockey game. With plenty of flat-screen TVs to catch the game, with a wide, spacious seating area, this cornerstone of the Hill District should be your go-to bar for every hockey game. If you’re a Duquesne student, be certain to show your ID for outstanding student discounts on food and drinks.
Rick’s Sports Bar
5400 William Penn Highway
Export, PA 15632
Spacious, spacious, spacious – Rick’s Sports Bar can only be described as the aforementioned. With dozens of jumbo flat-screen televisions to catch simultaneous hockey games (plus the odd jai alai match), a staggering array of beer on tap and arcade games to tickle the fancy of old and young alike, Rick’s is a colossal sports fan’s dream come true.
563 Greenfield Ave.
Pittsburgh, PA 15207
A fantastic craft beer selection, good crowd and convenient location make Hough’s a trifecta of awesome for your next hockey watching experience. The best part of Hough’s outstanding beverage selection are the smaller “sample” pours of everything on tap, so you can try and try again before settling on your perfect pitcher for the next period. Take in the abundance of televisions with your wings, burgers, sloppy joes and cold beer cheese dips, because once you settle in, you’ll be at Hough’s for the night. The establishment is pronounced “Huff’s” – you don’t want to get dirty looks on your first visit.
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The Saloon of Mt. Lebanon
622 Washington Road
Pittsburgh, PA 15228
There’s no better place to get your hockey fix in the South Hills than at the Saloon. A friendly vibe from the moment you walk in, enjoy spacious seating, ample televisions for your Pens fix and an abundance of sweet potato fries that will never let you down. The best part, however, is the vantage point of the various televisions. You’d be hard-pressed to not see that sweet hat trick, because there’s literally not a bad seat in the house. Watch your parking, however, as Mt. Lebanon police are extremely sensitive and will ticket over a minute.
1818 Morningside Ave.
Pittsburgh, PA 15206
Fast and friendly service, outstanding burgers and some of the best prices in town give Bulldog Pub a five-star rating across the board. Be sure to visit for a hockey game, which hopefully coincides with Craft Beer Night, when the bar gives free samples to its patrons. Great swag, plenty of energy and within walking distance of a number of residential areas make Bulldog Pub one of the best bars to hit Pittsburgh in some time. If you happen to run into the owners, be sure to commend them on their labor of love.
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Nikki Tiani-Moroney is a full time mum of two boys, wife of a professional poker player/photographer/amateur pencil-sharpening competitor and writer from Pittsburgh, PA. When she isn’t studiously neglecting her housework in favor of a good book, she’s out simultaneously fighting crime and picking up sidewalk litter while savoring an occasional cigarette. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.