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This weekend in Pittsburgh

I have a group of guys in their 30's coming into Pittsburgh for this weekend to watch the Cubs / Pirates and hopefully eat some good food. Also, plan to spend some time in a bar drinking and watching football.

Sounds like Pamela's is good for breakfast. Is it near our hotel or would you have another place you can recommend for Saturday breakfast. Not looking for anything fancy.

I'm told we will be having lunch at Church's Brewery one of the days.

We will be staying at the Doubletree Hotel in downtown Pittsburgh and probably will not rent a car. We're happy to walk and take a cab if needed.

Not looking for pizza and would welcome any ideas on all types of ethnic food. Planning to go to Primanti one late night for Pittsburgh's famous sandwich.

Where would you recommend to watch the Steelers and Bears game on Sunday? Planning to spend Sunday in a bar for opening of NFL season.

Any info would be appreciated!

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  1. Some "Sport Bars" are close to PNC Park. You may want to look into Bettis' new restaurant b/w PNC & Heinz, "36". Pamela's is good but take a look a DeLucca's for a more classic diner atmosphere. Both will likely have a wait. You might enjoy Six Penn upscale restaurant either for dinner, snack with drinks at the bar or the open air Patio on top. Lemon Grass is good Cambodian/Thai/asian. Enjoy Pittsburgh and PNC Park.
    PS Lots of options on Carson Street on the Southside

    1. At the Sharp Edge you can do some serious Belgian beer drinking and watch a game. At Fat Head's you can eat headwiches and watch a game. You won';t want to walk to either of these joints - or back again, either. But they aren't far.



      You can walk up into the strip to Pamela's. Big skinny pancakes and Tex-Mex omelet with chorizo.

      1. Sharp Edge would certainly fit the bill for better beer, but better TV is at Sports Rock, on the lower end of the Strip (about 6-7 blocks south of Pamelas, across the street from Lidias). They've got big screens plus small TVs at each table that you can control yourself so you can follow a couple of games at once quite easily. There are other places, but most of the better ones are in the burbs.

        The food is fairly normal sports bar food - filling, but not CH-worthy - but you can get Yuengling in addition to all the usual sports bar lite-beer atrocities.

        1 Reply
        1. re: Panini Guy

          The Sharp Edge Creekhouse in Crafton has the same great beer selection as the original Sharp Edge, but more and bigger TVs, if that is something important to the OP. It's not far from the South Side and is probably a $15 cab ride from downtown. The food is much better than the regular "sports bars," also.

        2. For beer, you definately get a good selection at sharp edge, but fatheads on E. Carson St. in the South Side is a younger hangout in a better place to eat definately. It has HUGE sandwiches and other good appetizers and wings. I think that fatheads is a great place to eat lunch and watch a game. I also like Bettis' "36 Grill" by PNC park, it has pretty good food and a fun atmosphere.

          1. Also, you should do Pamela's for breakfast...there is one 21st street in the strip district, which is by your hotel (it's walking distance, but it would be a little bit far). There is usually a line out the door, but the pancakes, lionaise potatoes and omlettes are well worth it in my opinion. Nothing fancy, just good, diner-style breakfast.

            1. Also, there is a Primanti Sandwich shop inside PNC Park, so in case you want to do something else for late night eats, you can hit Primanti's while you're at the game.

              8 Replies
              1. re: SaraMiller

                Actually you can eat extremely well at PNC Park. But be advised the CH area is in the right field box level, where you'll find Primantis and Benkovitz (fish) among other places. The left field has Manny Sanguillen's bbq and some other stuff that is fairly common to most parks. Right field is the CH place to be.

                And they serve Penn Pilsner and other local beers, probably have Oktoberfest about now.

                But Sara has me scratching my head on why HUGE is important when it comes to food.... IMO, Fathead's is OK, sandwiches are fine, but taste-wise, they don't stand head over heels above other local bar food. It's unclear just how much the OP likes beer, but it should be noted Sharp Edge has the edge here - they've got appropriate glassware for just about everything they serve and small snifters for sampling most everything on tap. However, if you like lagers above all others, you should look elsewhere. Ain't no light beer to be found there.

                1. re: Panini Guy

                  Well, Fatheads has a HUGH selection of HUGH headwiches. And it IS a Pittsburgh thing.

                  1. re: yayadave

                    I agree...plus, if these guys are anything like the guys I know, when its guys weekend out the more beer and food the better

                  2. re: Panini Guy

                    Don't you think that the food at Sharp Edge is terrible?

                    1. re: SaraMiller

                      I think most food at most bars is mediocre, although I've had a decent burger at Sharp Edge in Crafton. My point was that if the OP really, really liked beer, then Sharp Edge would be a better choice than FatHeads. Had nothing to do with food, only with beer.

                      1. re: Panini Guy

                        Agreed, beer selection is better at Sharp Edge. I also think that that the Crafton Sharp Edge has a little bit better food than the one in east lib.

                        1. re: SaraMiller

                          The one in Sewickley might beat them both.

                          1. re: yayadave

                            Hmm, I've never been to that one. I live in Shadyside and I normally don't travel into that area of town...I'll have to try. All I know is that the one in East Lib. is not a place to eat a good meal.

                2. I don't know about watching the game, but I put in my vote for the Sharp Edge. There are 2 locations Crafton is more restauranty, and East Liberty is more of a down and dirty bar, but the food is good and the beer is better! Also being at the Doubletree you should try Bigelow Grille in the lobby, the atmosphere appears a bit formal, but I have had my best meals in Pittsburgh there. The chef is known for taking pittsburgh classics and placing a spin on them. Also a few more fav's; Gypsy Cafe in the southside, D's hot dogs in reagent square, and any of the Big Burrito restaurants.

                  1. As an insider in the Pittsburgh bar scene (I am a rep for yuengling brewery), take my advice and head to the South Side for all your eating and drinking needs. It is about a $10 cab ride from your hotel to an area that has 120 liquor licesences in about a fifteen block area. Legitimately a one stop shop for all your eating and drinking needs. You'll find everything from great bar food and beers (fatheads), to sports bars (carson city saloon), to fine dining (nakama, abruzzi's, cafe allegro), to college (barry's pub and 1311), to night clubs (town tavern and diesel), to upscale (elixir, library), to alternative (tuscany), to chain's (cheescake factory), to grunge/hard rock (smiling moose), to classic pittsburgh drinking bars bars (jack's, kopy's, and white eagle-all open at 7 am except sundays at 11). There is also a 24 hour diner (Tom's), a Primanti's, and a great late-night gyro place (mike and tony's) for your breakfast or late night munchy needs. Jack's is a must for one to catch true pittsburgh flavor!

                    1. Hey all - I have a question that's been bugging me for years, and no one can answer. Short of driving to Pitt again and walking streets, I am hoping for some insight so I can make a better planned trip.

                      Anyway, about 5 yrs ago I was there in Pitt over the weekend, staying at the Hilton on the point. Sunday morning there was a Steeler's game, and I first walked away from the point maybe 10 blocks at the most and sorta got lost. I found my bearing again, got a glimpse of the hotel, and started back. At the point where I was famished (I had gone looking for food) I stumbled upon a small pedestrian-only square with a few restaurants. I was NOT market square.

                      I scanned a handful of options and saw a guy on the sidewalk with a grill and decided that was the place. CLASSIC Pitt bar was inside. Turns out they didn't serve food except on NFL Sundays when the Steelers were playing (home or away).

                      I'm pretty sure the bar had a man's name (Mike's, Tommy's, etc), but I'm pretty sure it's not Jack's based on what I've found through search.

                      Any ideas? A find on this would be huge - especially now with at least half of the NFL schedule still to go.

                      5 Replies
                      1. re: Dennis S

                        You're sure there was a pedestrian-only square? I can't think of anything like that anywhere within 10 blocks of the Hilton. If you didn't cross a bridge this has to be within the Golden Triangle downtown area, and even Market Square wasn't strictly pedestrian-only. (It will soon be closer; right now it's all under construction.) I mean, I'm at a loss for even little corner pedestrian spaces at all, let alone next to a bar. But maybe that's just our different interpretation of pedestrian square, not sure.

                        It's also possible such a place has evolved from the guy on the sidewalk with a grill days. Maybe that will spark some other memories, but I'm trying to go by your location description and am coming up with nothing. There is a bar on Penn called Mark's Grille and catering. Fits the name requirement and would be several blocks from the Hilton. But it's not on a pedestrian square and they've always had food. It could be this place has history in a different location, though.

                        Jack's definitely does not make sense if you mean the Jack's on the South Side. I think you would remember if you crossed a bridge. :-) Then again, if you got a glimpse of the hotel, that could be tough, although maybe you could see it looking straight down Liberty Ave. Because there are other buildings in the Triangle that are taller, though, from most vantage points you would not be able to see it. But, then again, if you had crossed to the South or North Sides, you also wouldn't be able to see it from places you would have gone, I don't think.

                        1. re: CrazyOne

                          Hey there, I see most of this is kind of old, we're heading this weekend with a bus full of ND fans to see the Pitt/ND game. I see a big recommendation is for South Side...where exactly is that? We're staying at the Sheraton Station Square so we have all that going on right there for entertainment/food. Is this not a good locale for food and beverage? We were also looking for an Irish Pub to cavort at (not all 52, some are quite elderly, but probably like around 25 here and there)...any suggestions? We won't have access to the bus, so it's walking or taxi cab....

                          Irish Pub
                          2007 Walnut St, Philadelphia, PA 19103

                          Station Square
                          2 E Station Square Dr, Pittsburgh, PA 15219

                          1. re: shellbellc

                            Plenty of bars to choose from in Station Square to watch the game, but expect chain style food. If your main goal is to have drinks and watch the game, I see no reason to go through the hassle of moving 52 people to the South Side. South side is a mile or two down the road from Station square, ask anyone once you are at the hotel and they can point you to Carson Street. The closest Irish pub that I know of is Claddagh. I've never been there so I can't comment on it. Also in South Side Works is a brand new Hofbrauhaus that you might like, again I've never been there but from reviews on here the food seems to be OK but everyone seems to have a really fun time.


                            1. re: shellbellc

                              Irish pub, eh? Does that mean serve Guiness and Harp or does it mean has a Setanta satellite feed for Rugby League? Because we've got both ends and everything in the middle.

                              On the Southside, skip Claddagh (chain) and go to Piper's Pub, which is 10 blocks closer to your hotel anyway. It's got the satellite feeds and the rugby history.

                              In the Strip, Mullaney's Harp and Fiddle. It's a typical city Irish bar.

                              Near Heniz on the North Side, Finnegan's Wake. More a standard issue bar than a pub, but the requisite Guiness, Harp and Smithwicks on tap. With a group of 25 they might even give you the side room off the main bar for your own use.

                              FWIW, Carson St. between 11th and 31st has what's been reported as the 2nd largest concentration of bars in the USA on one street. Lots of food there too. While it's on the same street as your hotel, it's a bit of a hike. Your group would probably also like Fatheads for bar food and big sandwiches. It's also on Carson, but might be tough getting 25 in there.

                              Piper's Pub
                              1828 E Carson St, Pittsburgh, PA 15203

                            2. re: CrazyOne

                              Thanks for the response. Potentially it wasn't a pedestrian only square. I'm pretty sure I entered from the East (heading West), the bar I ended at was on one of the Western corners, but there was a place which was doing big business with outdoor tables for breakfast/brunch. I think there were green umbrellas for the tables. But upon thinking of my memory more, the center may have been a small parking lot.

                              The bar itself I remember a bit better. Big bar running perpindicular to the door, itself filling narrow galley and then at least two rows of tables on a raised platform. On the darker side, lighting wise, and just a classic bar.