6 Pittsburgh Dive Bars You’ve Been Missing Out On!

February 8, 2019
Food & Drink
jason wolfe

Sometimes you just want to go where everyone knows your name-- or at least go to a familiar place to relax after a long day at work. Dive bars have always been a part of the Pittsburgh scene.

It goes back to the city’s hard-working, blue collar mentality. Pittsburghers don’t need a whole lot of extras at their bars-- they just want a place they can stop by, have a few drinks, and catch up with friends. Recently, dive bars have become a sought after commodity, especially amongst the hipster crowd.

We’ve put together a list of 6 you might have overlooked.

GiftYa offers virtual gift cards to all the dive bars on this list and many other not so divey bars in Pittsburgh. If you know someone looking for a new hangout, or even someone new to Pittsburgh, why not treat them to an authentic Pittsburgh dive bar experience? You never have to worry about them losing their GiftYa voucher since it’s totally electronic. There’s no better way to hang out with the locals than at their favorite bars. Who knows-- you might even make some new friends in the process!

1. Jack’s Bar

rainbow lights & neon sign outside Jack's Bar in Pittsburgh
Perhaps the most iconic dive bar in Pittsburgh. If you haven’t been there yet, you don’t know what you’re missing! Image courtesy of Lost City
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South Side
1117 E. Carson St.
Pittsburgh, PA 15203

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Mon-Sat 7am-2am
Sun 9am-2am

If you haven’t checked out Jack’s Bar in Pittsburgh’s Southside, you haven’t been to a dive bar yet!

...nice little dive bar in Pittsburgh's South Side area. There are two sides to the establishment, each with its own bar...This place is a melting pot in regards to age-set. - Yelp Review

They wrote the book on the don’t-care-what-you-think attitude that now comes standard with every dive bar.

This place is a must-stop for locals and out-of-towners alike. Their reputation has reached so wide that people come from all over just to see what all the fuss is about. They never seem to leave disappointed!

Maybe it’s the “shot and beer” atmosphere or the super cheap drinks, but this place is packed every weekend with college students and older people alike.

They open up at 7am each weekday morning, which is a nice nod to the Pittsburgh’s steel mill days, when shifts would start and end in the wee hours of the morning.

2. Korner Pub

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Mt. Lebanon
4 Bower Hill Road
Pittsburgh, PA 15228

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Mon-Fri 11am-2am
Sat-Sun 12pm-2am

You might just miss it if you’re not paying attention, but the Korner-- literally on the corner of Washington Rd. and Bower Hill Rd.-- is a dive bar hiding in Mt. Lebanon.

The staff and the craft brew selection is great. With games, dart boards and a pool table, the KP is a great local hangout. - Yelp Review

Something else that’s unique about this place, besides its location, is that it is one of very few bars in western Pennsylvania that serves only beer. Their license specifically forbids the sale of hard alcohol and wine. That doesn’t seem to bother the patrons, new and old alike.

Always changing their drafts, you can be sure to find a great craft brew here. Everything from craft, European and local Pittsburgh staples. The staff is knowledgeable about their beer too, and it definitely changes according to the seasons.

In true Pittsburgh dive bar style, the floor is carpeted and there are neverending pretzel rods available should you happen to crave something salty.

3. Gooski’s

pool tables at Gooski's

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Polish Hill
3117 Brereton St.
Pittsburgh, PA 15219

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Mon-Sun 3pm-2am

Another iconic Pittsburgh dive bar, Gooski’s, has been unchanged and well-loved for years.

This place is so anti-hipster that it might be hipster..lol. The most authentic dive bar in a really good way in the city.  Excellent place for punk rock as well when they have shows. - Yelp Review

If you haven’t ventured over to this Polish Hill favorite, take the time to do so this weekend. Their beer and kitchen offerings are just one reason why people all over Pittsburgh seek out this bar.

The other reason is that they have arguably the best bartenders in the city, and the tunes on their juke box are legendary. Just when you think one little dive bar cannot possibly offer you anything more, you realize it’s also a music venue. That’s right-- depending on what night it is, you can expect to hear a punk show, a rock concert, or anything else the owners decide to put on their stage.

4. Belvederes Ultra Dive

people roller skating inside Belvederes Ultra Dive bar & dance club
Pittsburghers can’t get enough of this part dive bar, part dance club. Somehow both work under the same roof. They hold many shows and events, sometimes even disco roller skating derbies! Image courtesy of David Ferguson
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4016 Butler St.
Pittsburgh, PA 15201

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Belvederes Ultra Dive deserves to be on anyone’s list who up for a good time.

Cheap drinks, awesome people and usually a great time. I think my appeal to this place is honestly the fact that everyone fits in and has a good time no matter what age or their background. The bartenders tend to be very nice and helpful. - Yelp Review

As soon as you walk in the unassuming entrance, you know you’ve just hit dive bar heaven.

Even though it’s located in the trendy Lawrenceville neighborhood, you’ll find no pretentious people here. The eclectic mix of graffiti, exposed brick, and Christmas lights is a sure sign you can cozy up to the bar and knock back a few with friends.

Popular with younger and older people-- as well as everyone in between-- this bar is also known for its theme nights and its roller derby. Only in Pittsburgh would a bar that seems to be so many different things at the same time also be a really fun night out.

5. Hemingway’s Cafe

Inside of Hemingway's pub in Oakland
A Pittsburgh staple in Oakland. More than just students love the laid back atmosphere of this pub! Image courtesy of Yelp
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3911 Forbes Ave.
Pittsburgh, PA 15213

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It’s almost like a rite of passage, and each and every University of Pittsburgh student seems to be required to experience at least one night at Hemingway’s Cafe in Oakland.

...Definitely my favorite bar in Oakland by far, both for the food and the drinks...Throughout the day there is usually a mix of students older adults in the space because of their multiple happy-hour times” - Yelp Review

It could be the fact that it’s located right in the heart of from the campus-- or because they have cheap drinks-- but more than just students like to spend time here.

You have to check this dive bar off your list, especially if you stop in for their $5.50 food menu. This doesn’t just happen once per day at happy hour but rather at three separate times during the day! They just want to make sure they can make this menu available to anyone, no matter what your schedule is.

6. Brewski’s

men playing foosball in Brewski's Bar in Pittsburgh
This is a Southside staple! Image courtesy of Foursquare
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South Side
801 E. Carson St.
Pittsburgh, PA 15203

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Mon-Fri 3pm-2am
Sat-Sun 12pm-2am

Located in the part of the Southside just out of the downtown Pittsburgh area, this dive bar is where many people go to relax and hang out with friends-- and sometimes scrawl things on the wall.

I'm pretty sure Brewski's is my favorite dive bar.  Definitely in the South Side, possibly in the whole city...Even when it's packed, it's still a good time...And you can't beat the prices. - Yelp Review

That’s right, the whole back area of the bar is one big, open graffiti display. For years, people have written their names, numbers, and sometimes interesting messages on the walls at Brewski’s.

It’s also a good place to catch the game and get some good, cheap drinks. And no, they don’t supply the pens-- customers have to get those themselves.

Pittsburgh has so many small bars that cater to locals in the neighborhood. They don’t claim to offer anything except cold drinks and good bar food. Sometimes these no frills dive bars end up being the best place to hang out and relax amongst friends.

What’s your favorite Pittsburgh dive bar? Let us know in the comments!