Adam Milliron/Courtesy of Biergarten
Palermo Photo/Courtesy of Grapperia
Steve Dalton/Courtesy of Howl at the Moon
Pan Asian Kitchen
Courtesy of Senti
Spirit
Rossilynne Culgan/Thrillist
Swing Truck
Täk?
Rossilynne Culgan/Thrillist
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1. Biergarten 620 William Penn Pl, Pittsburgh, PA 15219

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.

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2. Grapperia 3801 Butler St Rear, Pittsburgh, PA 15201 (Central Lawrenceville)

Grapperia in Lawrenceville is extremely true to its name, as it focuses on grappa. Grappa is an Italian brandy made from the skin of grapes used in winemaking -- and it packs a punch. This Italian bar centers around the liqueur and also offers other Italian beverages, including amari, limoncello, and grappa cocktails like the LaVanda -- lavender-infused grappa, green pepper honey, and lemon juice.

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3. Howl at the Moon 125 7th St, Pittsburgh, PA 15222

The national bar chain has found a home in Pittsburgh, featuring dueling pianos, singers, and guitarists with their own renditions of the latest Top 40 hits. Get the party going with one of their group cocktails like the Fruit Roll Up: peach and apple vodka plus melon liqueur served in a giant bucket.

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4. Pan Asian 3519 Butler St, Pittsburgh, PA 15201 (Central Lawrenceville)

As the name suggests, this spot has plenty of different Asian eats on offer, but the Yellowtail nigiri with wasabi, orange zest, Asian pear ginger slaw, and eel sauce, is the real stand-out winner. Pro tip: sushi rolls are $4 during happy hour.

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5. Senti 3473 Butler St, Pittsburgh, PA 15201 (Central Lawrenceville)

This meat-focused Italian restaurant features items like filetto di maiale (pork tenderloin with house-made sausage), chicken caponata, and tagliatelle with porcetta. Plus, the bar is equipped with a high-tech wine dispenser and an extensive wine list. You can go for a whole glass or just dispense yourself a taste, taking advantage of a good swish and spit opportunity before settling on your favorites.

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6. Spirit 242 51st St, Pittsburgh, PA 15201 (Central Lawrenceville)

Crispy, thin-crust, square-cut pizza meets Pennsylvania booze -- it's a love story to end all others. That's what happens every night at Spirit, a spot on the upper West corner of Allegheny Arsenal that tricks everyday passerby with its outer abandoned warehouse look. Those in the know, however, regularly flock here for the simple Slice Island pies and glass after glass after glass of craft beer, wine, and cocktails alongside some live indie music in '70s-prom kind of dance hall or out on the back patio.

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7. Station 4744 Liberty Ave, Pittsburgh, PA 15224 (Bloomfield)

Station is a Pittsburgh native's culinary dream: half local dive, half gourmet gastropub. With jet-black walls, tin ceilings, and a heavy re-purposed wood bar, this Bloomfield watering hole is built to resemble a turn-of-the-century train station. Without sacrificing its neighborhood gin-joint vibe, the place is serving up a menu far more complex than wings and beer nuts. There are more than enough small plates, but rather than soft pretzels, Station offers corned beef tongue, poached pears with whole grain mustard, and chicken liver mousse over fermented vegetables. The menu offers plenty of full entrees (try the roasted venison leg with hazelnut gnocchi), deserts, and an impressive number of signature house cocktails featuring everything from rosemary and violet liquor to cardamom and rosewater.

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8. Swing Truck 2216 Penn Ave, Pittsburgh, PA 15222 (Strip District)

Chef Jamilka Borges, also of next door Bar Marco, is serving up Puerto Rican street food at Swing Truck. Try the rice bowl, grab yourself a cocktail and head on over for some bocce ball in the courtyard.

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9. täkō 214 6th St, Pittsburgh, PA 15222

Think you know tacos? You haven't tried the Asian-Mexican fusion versions coming out of täkō, serving up modern street food with a global bent. The namesake octopus (täkō is octopus in Japanese) is the must-order: coming grilled and folded into a tortilla adorned with harissa aioli, preserved lemon, greens, and pickled onion. The lineup ranges from unexpected to familiar, with a Korean-inspired taco (with Wagyu short rib, peanuts, and fermented cucumber) balanced by more safe Mexican choices like chorizo or carnitas. Whatever you do, try one of the eight margaritas, which can be spiked with lychee & pepper or sweetened with Thai coconut milk.

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10. The Vandal 4306 Butler St, Pittsburgh, PA 15201 (Central Lawrenceville)

The Vandal is something of a millennial haven with hole-studded white walls, an unfinished, beam-lined ceiling, a hand-drawn chalkboard menu, and meals plated exclusively on classic cafeteria trays. The Pittsburgh favorite serves standard American fare, breakfast through dinner, with a contemporary personal twist -- roasted pork topped with apple and kale chips, crepes with cured trout and sour cream, a fried chicken sandwich with rutabaga slaw and chili-honey. The space's co-owners host and cook full-time, are notorious for recognizing regulars (of which there are many), and curate a soundtrack primarily built of whiney 90's throwbacks . Parlor Coffee is served all day, BYOB is encouraged, and the food is every bit as instagrammable as it is delicious.

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