Remember that time in your life when you could barely sleep due to your excitement for gift-opening on Christmas morning? Surely you've still got that sense of wonderment, but instead of games and action figures, your desires lean boozier. So when the spiked eggnog has run dry, get to one of these 10 bars as fast as your legs can carry you while singing “all I want for Christmas is boooooooooze."
You’re gonna have to put up with the Bing Crosby Christmas collection for the first nine hours of Christmas. But at 7pm, you can swim in the sweet sounds of anarchy (punk music, people) and drink straight through to 2am on Boxing Day.
Nadine’s opens at 11am, so if your family’s anything like mine, you’ll be able to escape just before your adult sister insists on opening the first present and proceeds to bitch about it for the rest of the day.
For those of you who plan on sneaking out before the rest of the family even wakes up, Jack’s welcomes you with flowing spigots of reasonably priced hooch starting at 7am. According to Jessica the bartender, Christmas is Jack’s “biggest day of the year,” which, depending on your outlook, is either great or devastating.
Sonny’s is one of the few bars in Pittsburgh open every day of the year, and it doesn't take Christmas lightly. Its anti-Christmas celebration kicks off at 11am with a huge spread of holiday food and is the ideal destination for loners, black sheep, and those who want an icy tallboy to match their icy heart.
If you’ve ever wanted to live out that scene from Lost in Translation where Bill Murray sings his woeful rendition of "More Than This," then this is your moment. There’s no day like Christmas to channel your melancholy. Pair with a shot of whiskey for true authenticity. Opens at 2pm.
South Hills residents, Apple Inn is accepting party bookings for Christmas Day. It'll be opening at 8pm to soothe your soul tortured by the 10,000 times you've heard Celine Dion's rendition of "O Holy Night" since before Thanksgiving.
Described as having a “could give a shit” vibe, Dee’s has reasonable well drinks, comfy booths, and an older crowd of nicotine-saturated patrons serving as gentle reminders of the judgmental elders waiting for you back home. And while the pudding shots aren’t of the figgy variety, they get the job done. Opens at 7pm.
Smiling = happy; happy = merry; moose = gigantic reindeer; reindeer = a Christmas thing. In conclusion, by way of the transitive property, Smiling Moose = merry Christmas. Holiday cheer commences at 7pm.
Don’t worry, we didn’t forget about those of you trapped deep in Pittsburgh’s eastern suburbs this year. Pub in the Park has recently gone smoke-free, so as long as you stick to vodka, no one in your family will ever suspect you stepped foot in a bar. Opens at 7pm.
Take the 10 crisp $1 bills your aunt sent you for Christmas to Howlers and trade them in for five High Life pounders. Oh, holy night. Opens at 8pm.
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Julianna Bagwell is a freelance writer who can’t even take advantage of this list because she will be spending the holidays navigating a series of airports. So here’s to in-flight, layover, and jet-lagged drinking that will lead to a massive Christmas Day hangover. Follow her: @JuliannaLocal.
1. Gooski's3117 Brereton St, Pittsburgh
2. Nadine's Bar and Restaurant19 S 27th St, Pittsburgh
3. Jack's Bar1121 E Carson St, Pittsburgh
4. Sonny's Tavern630 S Millvale Ave, Pittsburgh
5. KBOX214 S Craig St, Pittsburgh
6. Apple Inn2895 W Liberty Ave, Pittsburgh
7. Dee's Cafe1316 E Carson St, Pittsburgh
8. The Smiling Moose1306 E Carson St, Pittsburgh
9. Pub In The Park7034 Blackhawk St, Pittsburgh
10. Howlers Coyote Cafe4509 Liberty Ave, Pittsburgh
Gooski's is the gold standard for Pittsburgh dive bars. The spot's true character is revealed by mottos scrawled onto the wall behind the bar like: “We decide who has a good time,” “If you needed Yelp to find this place, you don't belong here,” and “The Rules: Know what you want; have your money ready; don’t make us kill you. P.S. No making out at the bar. Crying at the bar is also forbidden.” With a dozen drafts and plenty of bottled beers to choose from don't forget to also order Gooski’s beloved pierogies and wings.
This unassuming family-owned bar may not look like much, but try their famous deep-fried mac & cheese and you'll see why we love Nadine's.
This bar is so brightly lit up at night, that they can be pretty hard to miss. Also, they have great cocktails.
You'll have found Sonny's Tavern when you see the mural of cats drinking PBR on the outside. And on the inside, you’ll find plenty of humans drinking 24oz cans of PBR (no cats, though).
Let our your inner Adele at this super fun Pittsburgh establishment. With over 1500 songs to choose from, there's something for everyone at KBOX, plus a substantial drinks menu.
This underrated dive boasts a wide beer selection and a relaxed vibe, perfect for happy hour, or really any hour.
Dee's maintains a diner aesthetic with a hipster vibe, dubbing itself, "The Adult Playground." PBR is always on special -- $1.75 every day. Head upstairs to “The Attic” for seven pool tables and karaoke night.
In addition to creative bar food and snacks (such as three chesee grilled cheese and polenta fritters), The Smiling Moose also offers a variety of drafts and live music and comedy several nights a week.
This classic Irish pub serves up a number of beers on tap plus weekly specials like $1 off Fireball shots on Fridays. Count us in.