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The 10 Best Bars In Oakland, Pittsburgh
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The 10 Best Bars In Oakland, Pittsburgh

Picture of Shyla Watson
Updated: 9 February 2017
Home to Carnegie Melon University and the University of Pittsburgh, Oakland is the educational hub of Pittsburgh. The college town is crawling with students and professors. For those that have to teach a class or take a test, the environment of Oakland can be pretty stressful. Where do you go to unwind and relax? Read our list to discover the best bars in Oakland, Pittsburgh.
Outside of Garage Door Saloon | © HoboJones/WikiCommons
Outside of Garage Door Saloon | © HoboJones/WikiCommons
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Garage Door Saloon

Garage Door Saloon (known by the locals as GDoor) is the classic dive bar, you can smoke inside, they’ve got three dartboards and two pool tables, the wall sports a guest-operated jukebox so you can pick the music, and they even have a window into the pizzeria next door so you can grab a slice to go with your beer. The bartenders are friendly and are happy to make a Trashcan for you any time (you’ll have to get one yourself to find out what’s in it), and things can get pretty crowded late at night, but be sure to stop in for karaoke on Tuesdays to hear college students belting out Beyonce and Kesha.

Address and Telephone: 223 Atwood St. Pittsburgh, PA, USA 15213, +1 412 621 4842
Cocktail at Legume | ©Edsel Little/Flickr
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Located inside of family-run bistro Legume, Butterjoint is a full-service bar with its very own small plate and late night menus. Visitors may sip on an ice-cold draft beer, premium wine, or handcrafted cocktail. For lower prices, stop by during happy hour, offered from 4:30pm-6:30pm every day throughout the work week. However, if you really want to get your money’s worth, attend a class at Butterjoint’s free school. Learn about fermenting everything from sauerkraut, to wine. Butterjoint hosts other special events, such as Date Night, which features a fixed three-course menu, or community events with live entertainment. Finally, be sure to sample one of their signature burgers, ranging from average to extra fancy. Top the grass-fed beef with a number of cheeses, greens, condiments, and more. Butterjoint’s burger bites and beer are just what you need.

Address and Telephone: 214 N. Craig St. Pittsburgh, PA, USA, +1 412 621 2700
Spirited Window of Hemingway’s Café | ©sabreguy29/Flickr
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Hemingway’s Café

This award-winning bar is a local watering hole and hang out spot for co-eds in the Oakland area. Mingle around a table with friends, sip on one of the many craft brewed ales available, and discuss that crazy lecture you attended last week. Or, unwind after a crazy study session by dancing the night away; a DJ spins Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays. For a more chilled atmosphere, attend the acoustic open mic night on Wednesdays or win prizes at pub trivia on Tuesdays. Seeing as how college students seldom have money, the food and drinks are cheap, yet delicious. Although primarily a college bar, Hemingway’s welcomes all and is a perfect place for a casual outing.

Address and Telephone: 3911 Forbes Ave. Oakland, PA, USA, +1 412 621 4100
Karaoke Mic | ©Derek Gavey/Flickr
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KBOX Entertainment

If you’re looking for a place to belt it out, look no further than Oakland’s KBOX. This deluxe karaoke joint has over 1,500 songs to sing to. Participants may pay per person or get a group rate. For those that need a little liquid courage to perform on stage, there are beers and cocktails available, there’s also wine and champagne bottle service available, if you want to pretend you’re a star for a night. Since you’ve got to have something to do while you’re cheering on your friends, take a look at their dinner menu. Have a casual American bite like hotdogs and nachos, or fill up on tasty Chinese cuisine, such as curried fried rice and dumplings. This is a great location for a private event, and there’s even a membership available for discounted rates.

Address and Telephone: 214 S. Craig St. Pittsburgh, PA, USA, +1 412 621 2860

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Gene’s Place

Gene’s Place is more than a dive bar, it’s an authentic hideaway. The small space creates a cozy atmosphere for people to enjoy pleasant conversation with the friendly bartenders or charming regulars. The bar serves inexpensive drinks and tasty, casual pub grub. They even serve Iron City brews for a dollar. Sit in a booth with friends, play a round of darts with coworkers, or play a classic tune on the jukebox. Gene’s is such an Oakland secret, that it’s one of the few bars in the area that isn’t consistently swarming with college kids. If you’re of a more mature age, but want to visit a down-to-earth place, try Gene’s. You won’t regret it.

Address and Telephone: 3616 Louisa St. Pittsburgh, PA, USA, +1 412 682 2158
Peter’s Pub | ©sabreguy29/Flickr
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Peter’s Pub

You know you’ve found something special when a place feels like home; this is what the regulars at Peter’s know to be true. This inviting pub offers different specials each day, ranging from drinks to eats. There’s a plethora of domestic, imported, and draft beers to sample, in addition to delicious foods, such as wings, po boy sandwiches, burgers, cheese steaks, and much more. Peter’s also caters and hosts private parties in their dining room and upstairs bar, so when you’re cramming for a test and can’t leave the library, order up some snacks for yourself and all of your study buddies. Be on the lookout for some of their special holiday events.

Address and Telephone: 116 Oakland Ave. Pittsburgh, PA, USA, +1 412 681 7465
Drinks at the Bar | ©Jason Doctor/Flickr
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Uncle Jimmy’s

Jimmy’s is swarming with regulars who refer to the bar as a home away from home. The neighborhood bar is dark and divey, smells like smoke, and has a varied clientele, ranging from 20-year old college students to 60-year old retirees. If conversation with the cool bartenders isn’t enough to keep you occupied, there are a couple of pool tables in the back, video games at the bar, a dart board, and a retro jukebox that plays both classic and modern hits. Though there are weekly specials on drinks and grub throughout the week, the really special weekly event is the live music. Performances range in genre, from folk to rock; there are also open mic nights on Tuesdays, if you’re brave enough to make some music of your own.

Address and Telephone: 418 Semple St. Pittsburgh, PA, USA, +1 412 681 7480
Fuel and Fuddle | ©Sage Ross/Flickr
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Fuel And Fuddle

Fuel and Fuddle is an Oakland gastropub and hungry college student hot spot. Fill up on tasty grub like their sweet potato fries, smashed potato flat bread pizza, fire wings, and beef and brisket burgers. Wash it all down with one of the 10 beers on tap or select from 100 bottled beers. If you still have room, there’s a s’mores pizza with ice cream for dessert. The environment is comfortable and casual, so sit back and let your worries fall away. Stop by for happy hour with your coworkers and sip on a hand crafted cocktail, or pop in with friends and grab something off of the exclusive late-night menu, where everything is half-off.

Address and Telephone: 212 Oakland Ave. Pittsburgh, PA, USA, +1 412 682 3473
Gooski’s | ©Matt Niemi/Flickr
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Gooski’s is truly a diamond in the rough. Although the place has a retro-hipster vibe to it, the people that frequent it are down to earth and love a good dive bar. The bartenders are extremely likable and friendly, and serve up cheap beer and tasty eats. Sample the pirogies and hot wings, they’re the local favorites. Gooski’s has great happy hour prices, occasional live music, pool tables and darts, and a killer jukebox filled with punk rock classics. If you like funky art, the bathrooms and game area are covered in awesome graffiti. Be sure to note that smoking is allowed indoors, and that the bar is cash only.

Address and Telephone: 3117 Brereton St. Pittsburgh, PA, USA, +1 412 681 1658
Classic Jukebox | ©Alain Bachellier/Flickr
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Le Mardi Gras

Le Mardi Gras knows how to set the mood. Established in 1954, it doesn’t seem like the bar has changed much, it oozes old-school class and is something out of an old black and white film. Simple and sweet, the bar is tucked away and only has so many stools at the bar for patrons, but is definitely worth a visit. They have 20 signature cocktails, many of which are freshly squeezed with the freshest fruit of the season. There are over 20 beers on tap, and over 10 available bottle brands. Sip on a Dark and Stormy in one of their intimate booths, while listening to the classic hits playing on the jukebox. If you’re looking for a casual spot with a cozy atmosphere, Le Mardi Gras is the place to go.

Address and Telephone: 731 Copeland St. Pittsburgh, PA, USA, +1 412 683 0912