Pittsburgh has its share of sports bars, college watering holes and cool dive bars, but it also boasts quite a few options for cocktail connoisseurs. For those who prefer something different than the usual light beer or overpriced shot, there are countless cocktail bars scattered throughout the city ranging from upscale lounges to chill martini bars. Each serves up its own diverse drink menu featuring one-of-a-kind cocktails along with delicious bites and happy hour specials. Choose the best cocktail bar to suit your taste from these five local lounges and bars considered by Pittsburghers as the best cocktail bars in the city.
2216 Penn Ave.
Pittsburgh, PA 15222
Locals praise Bar Marco for its creative cocktails as well as its classic concoctions. From unique infusion drinks like a Scarlet Begonia to more traditional cocktails like the gin-based Aviaton, cocktail connoisseurs will love the strong spirits and phenomenal flavors that pair very well with the bar’s menu of diverse bites. There are quite a few gin- and whiskey-based drinks that even the most discerning drinker is sure to appreciate, including the Cooper and The Red Wedding. Although Bar Marco’s cocktails are priced slightly higher than other Pittsburgh cocktail bars, the $10 to $13 price you’ll pay is worth the quality the bar’s mixologists bring to these craft cocktails.
5744 Ellsworth Ave.
Pittsburgh, PA 15232
If you’re tired of the city’s overcrowded clubs and college bars, venture to Ellsworth Avenue for an after-dinner cocktail at SPIN Bartini, Shadyside’s venue for cocktail lovers who crave an intimate and chic hangout. The swanky lounge interior complements the hip cocktail creations, but don’t mistake SPIN Bartini for a pretentious watering hole. Happy hour specials are offered daily from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., providing patrons with plenty of affordable and diverse drink options. The bar’s staff receives high marks for its friendliness, drink knowledge and ability to whip up an amazing cocktail for those unsure of what they’re in the mood for.
2108 E. Carson St.
Pittsburgh, PA 15203
From bourbon to whiskey, you’ll find it all in the cocktails served at Acacia Speakeasy located in the city’s South Side neighborhood. You can count on Acacia’s bartenders to not only mix you an incredible cocktail but serve it to you with the most beautiful presentation that coincides nicely with its prohibition-style atmosphere. Try some of the bar’s more popular cocktails, like the Rusted Root that Acacia describes an “adult root beer,” Death’s Comeback or the classic Stinger, all priced at $10. With its 1920s vibe and bluesy music, Acacia Speakeasy creates a fun and unique cocktail bar that will leave you anxiously awaiting your next visit.
25 Market Square
Pittsburgh, PA 15222
Perle’s cosmopolitan-style champagne and tapas lounge can best be described in one word: luxury. From the European-influenced atmosphere that features a balcony view of Market Square to its innovative food and drink offerings, Perle oozes sophistication and ambiance. Dress your best in tailored evening wear or formal attire and experience an evening of champagne, red and white wines, imported beers and champagne cocktails ranging in price from $7 to $10. Start your evening off right with one of Perle’s more popular concoctions like a classic bellini, the mimosa cocktail or a strawberry-infused Champs-Elysees.
Olive Or Twist
140 6th St.
Pittsburgh, PA 15222
You haven’t tasted a martini until you’ve tasted the unique martinis available at downtown Pittsburgh’s Olive Or Twist martini bar. Voted by Pittsburgh Magazine as the best restaurant for cocktails in the city and the number one martini bar by Pittsburgh City Paper, Olive Or Twist certainly lives up to these recognitions thanks to its selection of more than 30 martinis and cocktails. You won’t want to pass up these incredible cocktails, particularly the Cake Batter Martini, Chocolate-Covered Pretzel or Three Rivers Iced Tea. Happy hour specials from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. every Monday through Friday make Olive Or Twist the perfect spot for unwinding after a long day of work.
Jessica Wasik lives in Pittsburgh where works as a full-time figure skating coach sharing her passion with todays 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.