You’ll be hard-pressed to find a bar in Pittsburgh that doesn’t have a Terrible Towel proudly on display, offering game-day drink specials, or a TV blaring at game time. In fact, if you’re out on game night and not watching the Steelers play, it’s basically blasphemy. If you’re new to the city, or visiting and don’t fully understand the Black and Gold pride, grab a drink without getting caught in the middle of a fight at the closest thing to anti-football bars this city offers. Granted, in Pittsburgh you may not be able to escape watching the game, but at least you won’t have someone chanting “Here we go, Steelers!” in your face.

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930 Penn Ave.
Pittsburgh, PA 15222
(412) 697-3120

When the boys in black and gold are hitting the field, it might just be time for you to hit the dance floor. Touting itself as Pittsburgh’s best Latin & Tapas restaurant, Seviche will definitely give you a little kick that has nothing to do with a football. Located downtown in the Cultural District, you won’t be able to dodge a Sunday game here because it’s closed, but show up on Monday and be treated to salsa night, starting at 9:30 p.m. Grab a partner and take a dip with drinks and dancing until close. Seviche also offers a happy hour Monday through Thursday from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. featuring cocktail and tapas specials.

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Point Brugge Cafe
401 Hastings St.
Pittsburgh, PA 15206
(412) 441-3334

For quality beer and good grub removed from the hoots and hollers of football season, Point Brugge Cafe is the touchdown of Pittsburgh restaurants. The small Belgian cafe in the Point Breeze section of town also offers a full menu (including some of the best crab cakes in the area) but the moules (mussels) and frites (fries) cause regular raves. The classic European styling of the space lends itself to a cozy atmosphere, leaving you feeling all warm and fuzzy inside, as does the delicious Belgian beer. Either way, Point Brugge is a great little getaway whether you’re trying to avoid throngs of crazed Steeler fans or just looking for a quiet and delicious evening to yourself.

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1150 Smallman St.
Pittsburgh, PA 15222
(412) 201-5656

Eleven’s interior may be warm, cast in soft lighting with big comfy chairs in rich browns and greens, but this place is just plain cool. The contemporary styling matches the contemporary cuisine consisting of everything from grilled swordfish with cous cous to caramelized onion and white cheddar pierogies. Also featuring a full bar, Eleven appeals to all of your senses and is probably too rich for the blood of those looking to knock back a few cheap beers with their pals and get fired up about the game. The chances of seeing a Steeler jersey here are slim, unless they’re on the TVs behind the bar. (You just can’t escape it entirely).

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Church Brew Works
3525 Liberty Ave.
Pittsburgh, PA 15201
(412) 688-8200

A favorite among locals and visitors alike, Church Brew Works will probably be the rowdiest spot on this list during a Steelers game, but the cavernous, echo-y former church space remains relatively calm as far as bars in Pittsburgh are concerned. The restaurant and brewery’s open space is separated into a dining room on the right and a bar area on the left, so if the bar side is too crowded, opt to sit on the dining room side with the same menus and, of course, the same beer selection. There may be a few fans there on a Sunday, praying to the football gods, but not enough to turn you away.

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5997 Penn Circle South
Pittsburgh, PA 15206
(412) 362-2333

If you’re just as hungry as you are thirsty, and looking to try something a little different from usual, use game day as an excuse to try out BRGR in East Liberty. Its full menu of specialty gourmet burgers, including the button buster with braised beef short ribs, or the Santa Fe hippie made with a grilled corn and black bean falafel burger patty, are sure to satisfy your appetite. Behind the bar this place mixes up shakes and floats spiked with a variety of liquors. If a milkshake with vodka isn’t your idea of a good time, it offers a full bar and wide beer selection. The calm atmosphere means no one will be waving a Terrible Towel in your face.

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Brooke Keane is a freelance writer who stayed in Pittsburgh after college to explore it’s hidden gems some more. She was found, and writes about delicious dishes, brimming boutiques and libations galore. Here work can be found on



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(Cameron, age 3, enjoys her meal at Casa Rasta / Credit: Dev Meyers)