Football season is upon us, the Steelers are back in action, and in a sports-obsessed city like Pittsburgh, there’s no shortage of places to post up and watch a game. But not everyone is into a scene with hot wings, bucket o’ beer, and 70 million screens surrounding you. So, after a lot of thought and research (going to bars counts as research, right?), we’ve compiled a list of some of the best places to check out a Steelers game — if you really want to enjoy yourself. Now, this isn’t necessarily a list of the best sports bars in town, but a list of the best places to go if you’ve got a certain experience in mind. So, as the most fervent Steelers fan might say, here we go!
Best Bar to watch a Steelers game by yourself
1227 Monterey St., North Side
Want to take in the game, have a beer and maybe a bite to eat on your own? (I recommend the classic smashburger — one of the best burgers in the city.) Cozy up to the bar inside the North Side’s Monterey Pub. Don’t expect the place to be empty, but don’t expect a particularly rowdy crowd either when the Steelers take the field. The patrons of the pub normally save their craziness for European football, which is also regularly shown there, bright and early. Really? A bar in Pittsburgh that doesn’t go absolutely batty during a Steelers game? It’s the kind of juxtaposition you could only find in an Irish pub located in the Mexican War Streets.
Best Brewery to watch a Steelers game
Grist House Craft Brewery
10 E. Sherman St., Millvale
There’s no shortage of breweries in the Steel City, but if you’re looking for the best one at which to watch football, Grist House is the place to be. It’s probably the area’s biggest Penn State bar on Saturdays, but on Sundays, they go just as crazy for the black and yellow.
It was always a great place to take in a game, however, Grist House improved its game watching situation this year, expanding with another taproom on site, lined with brand new TVs. Don’t worry, though, the outside TVs and firepits are still there if you prefer an open-air football viewing experience. The folks at Grist House sling beer from 15 different taps, and new can releases happen all the time. Weekend food trucks are a Grist House staple, so come hungry.
Bonus: the outside area is dog friendly, so squeeze your pup into that old Juju Smith-Schuster jersey and head over to Millvale in time for kickoff.
Best Bar to watch a Steelers game and have lunch
Sunny Jim’s Tavern
255 Camp Horne Rd., Kilbuck
Sunny Jim’s Tavern is an easy place to miss. It’s situated north of the city, on Camp Horne Road (in between the Home Depot and Emsworth). It’s a little bit out of the way for city dwellers, but so worth the drive. There’s a great bar area, but also a large dining room — both spots offer plenty of screens to watch the game. The menu is great, offering standard bar fare, as well as other entrees that seem just a bit too tasty to be coming out of a bar kitchen. Get there early on a Sunday, though. Seats fill up quickly, no matter if they’re in the bar or the dining room. This place is a day game staple for any hungry Steelers fan.
Best Bar to watch a Steelers game and make new friends
Pub in the Park
7034 Blackhawk St., Swisshelm Park
There are reasonable prices, lots of big screens, and a long bar that stretches across the building, but the thing that sets Pub in the Park apart from most places is the friendliness of the people on both sides of the rail. Like many bars, the staff is extremely friendly — that’s what they’re paid for. But the hospitality is matched by the regulars and patrons at PiP. I’ve never been there and not had someone start up a friendly conversation, especially during football season. Add in that the food is top notch, and this place should rocket to the top of your list of places to check out on a Steelers’ Sunday.
Best Bar to watch a Steelers game if you’re rooting for the other team
BetRivers Sportsbook Bar (inside Rivers Casino)
777 Casino Dr., Pittsburgh
While the patrons of every bar on the list will probably* tolerate you cheering on a Steelers’ opponent, you’re probably going to get some side eye. In other words, don’t expect to be comfortable.
Fret not, though, there’s still a place for you here in Pittsburgh.
Make your way over to the North Shore and head on inside Rivers Casino to the BetRivers Sportsbook Bar. It’s arguably the most comfortable bar in the city to watch a game — in fact, you can watch any and all NFL games there on the dozens of TVs they have. They’ve got a wide selection of beers and cocktails, and a large food menu as well.
You can even place a bet on your favorite team or go play a couple of hands of Black Jack during halftime. Best of all, it’s unlikely anyone is going to give you a hard time for that Patriots jersey you’ve got on. They’re too busy hoping the Bears will cover the spread.
*If you are a Browns or Ravens fan, for your own safety, just go to the casino. You’ve been warned.
Best Bar to watch a Steelers game and eat Hungarian food
627 E. North Ave., North Side
OK, so Huszar is more of a restaurant than a bar, but here’s the thing, it has a bar and a big-ass TV, so for the purpose of this list, it makes the cut.
Don’t let the tucked away corner lot or the unassuming vinyl sign out front fool you; Huszar is a North Side gem. The food is the star of the show here, but a nice selection of eastern European beers (don’t worry, they have domestic drafts too), is a close second. Personally, it’s one of the few reasonably-priced restaurants, not just in Pittsburgh, but anywhere, that I’ve been to on multiple occasions and walked away every single time feeling like I got my money’s worth. So approach the menu with confidence. However, you can trust me on this: get the Langos — a type of Hungarian fried bread — as an appetizer. You can thank me later.
Best Bar to watch a Steelers game if you’re a true Yinzer
Birmingham Bridge Tavern
2901 Sarah St., South Side
So far, we’ve kind of run the gamut when it comes to different kinds of places to watch Kenny Pickett do his thing. So it only makes sense that, when we get to a proper neighborhood bar, it would be right down the street from where Pickett and the rest of the Steelers practice all week.
The Birmingham Bridge Tavern (which, perplexingly, isn’t really that close to the Birmingham Bridge), is just a few blocks away from the UPMC Rooney Sports Complex in the South Side. It’s the epitome of a Yinzer bar. Lots of beers on tap? Check. Pittsburgh sports memorabilia all over the walls? Check. A salad with fries on top? Check. On Steelers Sundays expect both the bar and the parking lot (the BBT screens games and serves fans under a tent in the adjacent lot) to be filled with Yinzers young and old hoping for another Steelers first dahn.
Best Bar to watch a Steelers game with kids in tow
Pins Mechanical Co.
407 Cinema Dr., South Side
Pins Mechanical Co. opened earlier this year in the ever-improving SouthSide Works, taking over a spot formerly occupied by an Irish pub. The arcade bar offers duckpin bowling, pinball, skeeball, and video games of all stripes. It also has screens all around for a prime football-watching experience.
If you’ve got youngsters with you, set them loose on Pins’ large bank of old-school arcade games. They’ve got them all: Q-Bert, Ms. Pac Man, Donkey Kong and even BurgerTime. The best part? You can leave the quarters at home. All of Pins’ arcade games are free. You still have to pay for bowling, but kids bowl free on Sundays until 8 p.m.
Sure, it might not be what you think of when you think “bar,” but they’ve got a huge selection of beer and specialty cocktails. And you weren’t really planning on taking your kid out to a regular bar anyway, right? Pro tip: Have your own outdoor tailgate before the game with a beer from the Levity Brewing Co. beer truck that’s parked by the dog park across the street.
Best Bar to watch a (not) Steelers game
Redbeard’s on Sixth
144 6th St., Downtown
So, what if you’d like to watch a game that the Steelers aren’t playing in? To me there’s only one choice: Redbeard’s on Sixth. Located downtown in the Cultural District, Redbeard’s has essentially become the hometown bar for whatever team you’re rooting for. Don’t get me wrong, the Steelers game will be on, but so will every other game. It’s one of the few places in the city that ponies up for the NFL Sunday Ticket package and screens all of the games that are being played around the league. Just walk in, ask what TV the game you want to see is going to be screened on, and someone will direct you to the proper section.
As a Detroit transplant and a wayward Detroit Lions fan, it took me a while to find a spot to watch my team play. Redbeard’s fills that void for me. Toss in that they have amazing wings and the rare, but appreciated, 32 oz draft beer option, and it’s a no-brainer for me. Word to the wise: if the Steelers are in town, pay attention. If the Pittsburgh game ends, a flood of fans leaving Acrisure Stadium could hem you in. So leave early, or plan on ordering one more beer.
Best Bar to watch a Steelers game with friends
2 PPG Place, Downtown
Of course, there are those times when you have to think about more than just you. If you have a big group and need a crowd-pleasing place, you can’t go wrong with City Works.
With a massive layout, dozens of tables and booths, and even a couple of private rooms, City Works is a great place to take in a Steelers game either with a big group or just a few buddies. With large, high- def TVs all over the place, there isn’t a bad seat in the house.
An elevated sports bar, it features a sprawling menu that includes everything from appetizers to burgers to pasta to tacos and everything in between. The beer flows freely as well, with a beer list that has 90 selections, including more than 30 dedicated to local breweries.
Located in a landmark corner of Market Square, City Works sits in the shadow of one of the city skyline’s most recognizable buildings, PPG Place. It’s a walkable location that’s close to everything, but still far enough from Acrisure Stadium that, on home game days, patrons won’t have to deal with tailgate shenanigans on the way.