If there's anything better than sipping an icy beverage outside on a warm summer’s night AND looking out over Pittsburgh’s cityscape, we'd like to hear what you've got. In the peak of our city's best season, we can hardly imagine a better setup, so let’s head to these roofs for the best ways to take in all the sun (and booze) we possibly can this summer.
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With a glass retractable roof in the heart of Downtown (meaning, this bar's open even in the coldest depths of winter), Il Tetto's atmosphere and view of the overarching skyline is hard to beat. Somehow, beer from the bar’s impressive draft list tastes even better when you're surrounded by skyscrapers. Along with the brews and full bar, Il Tetto also has classy snackage, like an artisanal cheese plate and beef tartare. If you're looking to impress an out-of-towner, here's where to do it. Don't forget to tell them the literal translation of the place you're at is "the roof."
Biergarten sits at the top of Hotel Monaco's ninth floor, making it the tallest rooftop bar in the city. Good crowd control maintains the space's low-key but playful vibe (have you played giant Jenga yet?), making it easy to spend a whole evening swigging European beers and eating enormous pretzels & sausages here.
A covered roof provides the perfect rooftop perch to watch the happening intersection of Highland and Centre. Order up a juicy burger (go for the Shrooms burger, it's one of the best in the city) and a boozy milkshake, or get there for happy hour when signature cocktails are $6 -- hello, Corpse Reviver!
With TVs galore (yes, built into the wood-planked walls on the roof), Mario’s is a go-to for catching any of the big games, though you might have to wade through a pool of college kids to get a drink. Even better, Tuesday is outdoor movie nights on its newly renovated rooftop.
Steel Cactus is rife with strong margaritas, high heels, and bro, which is to say: expect a full-on party when you come here. If that isn’t your jam, there are plenty of other downtempo rooftops on this list, but if/when you're jonesing for that kind of night, get some chips and salsa and a Yinzerita (beer upside down in a margarita) and head up to this Shadyside roof deck.
Listen: you can order a 64oz drink at Carson City Saloon. Byyyye. It goes without saying, then, that this bar is made for parties. The rooftop space looking over the greenery on the banks of the Monongahela River is also nice enough to host weddings in the summer months.
Take in the brick church and colorful homes of Lawrenceville from the small rooftop deck at Pints on Penn. Along with its quaint surroundings, this corner bar has a rotating draft list and funky beer cocktails, like the Shave & a Haircut: Sailor Jerry rum, Coke, and a stout. We'll try anything twice.
Walled off from any lurkers down on the street level, Six Penn's intimate space, replete with plush benches, big tables for friends, and lush, green trees, feels like a Downtown PGH oasis. (Bonus points for being close enough to hear cheers float across the river from the stadiums on big game days.) It might not be the tallest roof in town, but this charming spot is great for sipping on mojitos and sangria in warmer weather.
The expansive third-floor bar is off the beaten path of Downtown, making Tavern 245 a hidden-in-plain-sight gem for rooftop drinking. Weekday happy hour runs for three hours, so there's no excuse to not drop in for a decompression drink on the roof after work while it lasts.
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1. Il Tetto942 Penn Avenue, Pittsburgh
2. Biergarten620 William Penn Pl, Pittsburgh
3. BRGR5997 Penn Circle S, Pittsburgh
4. Mario's East Side Saloon5442 Walnut St, Pittsburgh
5. Steel Cactus5505 Walnut St, Pittsburgh
6. Carson City Saloon1401 E Carson St, Pittsburgh
7. Pints on Penn3523 Penn Ave, Pittsburgh
8. Six Penn Kitchen146 6th St, Pittsburgh
9. Tavern 245245 4th Ave, Pittsburgh
This space quickly established itself as downtown’s finest rooftop bar, offering 32 beers and cocktails on tap, plus a retractable roof and a view of the city’s tallest skyscrapers. There's a variety of wine options from California, Italy, Germany, Spain and Argentina. It's a great spot to hit if your friend group is split between brews and fine wine.
Biergarten at the Hotel Monaco features an exhaustive list of European beer, like bottled German favorites the Spaten Optimator doppelbock, the Weihenstephaner hefeweizen, and the Spaten marzen, and Belgian Trappist ales and sours. German-inspired bar bites range from house-made currywurst and sauerbraten to giant pretzels and a full array of pickles. And if you think the highlight of the evening will be trying to pronounce all of this German after a few drinks, try your hand at any of Biergarten’s pub games, like Jenga, garden chess, and super-sized Connect Four, and see how long you can last.
BRGR's mouthwatering burgers are a handcrafted blend of Angus, chuck, ribeye and New York Strip (unless you opt for kobe beef or salmon instead). The best of the best is the Shrooms Burger, with forest mushrooms, caramelized onions, brie cheese and mustard aioli, but the Cease and Desist in all its thousand-island glory is a serious contender for the best burger in all of Pittsburgh. You can wash either (or both, no judgement) down with an adult root beer float made with root liqueur, local seltzer and vanilla bean.
With TVs galore (yes, built into the wood-planked walls on the roof), Mario’s is a go-to for catching any of the big games, though you might have to wade through a pool of college kids and locals to get a drink. Mario's hosts Trivia Nights, live music, and outdoor movies on Tuesdays, but no matter when you're there you'll find drinks flowing and pub food like wings and pizza on the menu.
Steel Cactus in Shadyside has a huge roof deck and it's always a party. Plus it has got all the essentials: burritos, tacos, margaritas and Coronas.
An historic former bank building in Southside no longer holds people's money, but instead contains lots of beer, bar food and rows of televisions tuned to sports games in its current incarnation as Carson City Saloon. You'll want to order the wings in fifty-piece portions (yes, that's an actual size here), with flavors ranging from hot-honey to Buffalo ranch, but cheesesteaks, pulled-pork fries and burgers on Texas toast also hit the spot. A rooftop space overlooking the banks of the Monongahela River ensures that the leftover celery garnish on your licked wing plate won't be only greenery you'll see here. 64oz fishbowl cocktails keep the crowd feeling good, and after ordering a Call A Cab (white rum, dark rum, coconut rum, blackberry liqueur, banana liqueur, cranberry, orange), you might want to do just that.
Take in the brick church and colorful homes of Lawrenceville from the small rooftop deck at Pints on Penn. Along with its quaint surroundings, this corner bar has a rotating draft list and funky beer cocktails. Drinks have been served at this address since the 1880s, so you're getting a dose of history alongside great drinks and inventive takes on American eats.
Six Penn's intimate space, replete with plush benches, big tables for friends, and lush, green trees, feels like a Downtown PGH oasis. (Bonus points for being close enough to hear cheers float across the river from the stadiums on big game days.) The roof may not be high enough to look out over the whole city, but this charming spot is great for sipping on summer cocktails in warmer weather.
This expansive third-floor bar is off the beaten path of Downtown, making Tavern 245 a hidden-in-plain-sight gem for rooftop drinking, downstairs smoking lounges and quality American dining. Weekday happy hour runs for three hours, so there's no excuse to not drop in for a decompression drink on the roof after work while it lasts.