Top 5 Clutch Spots in Pittsburgh/Mid East End

Mark Knobil  photo via Flickr, licensed under Creative Commons

Mark Knobil photo via Flickr, licensed under Creative Commons

Every once and a while we plan to invite guest bloggers to share their expertise.  Today’s blog is written by Michael Silvio who is our resident expert on the Pittsburgh Mid East End (he’ll explain shortly).

Take it from here Silvio …

This is my list of my top 5 spots where I like to chill. I live in the East End and have for most of my life. So these top spots are where I like to chill, be a local, meet up with friends, and get to know the other locals and waitstaff.

I’d like to create the word Mid East End, really for Bloomfield and Shadyside because I think the East End is larger and this is Mid maybe even West East end but I like Mid East End. 

Moving on to my list …

1.      Harris Grill

IK's World Trip   photo via Flickr, licensed under Creative Commons

IK's World Trip photo via Flickr, licensed under Creative Commons

This is an amazing bar and restaurant with a selection of simple but strong drinks and a menu filled with delicious plates that you most likely will finish but know you shouldn't.

The margaritas and cosmos are favorites but they always have solid drafts on tap. And for me, they carry my favorite Italian Prosecco.

You can go basically any day of the week and during any season. The outdoor patio is perfect during the summer/summer nights, and the multiple stories of seating allows for dinner seating.

2.      Pleasure Bar

pleasure bar.jpg

The Pleasure Bar is where many of the old school Bloomfielders drink and eat especially after the closing of Del's.

The food is basic casual Italian fare and is reasonably priced. Most of the beers and well drinks are the basic drinks you would see throughout America. It's a good place to look at the pictures on the wall, hear stories about old times and just be in the neighborhood. It's where you can stop in to have a drink, try some food or appetizers, and meet some old school Italians.

3.      Shady Grove


Shady Grove is now an institution . It has survived many of the changes and offers a menu that isn't necessarily gastro but much better that standard bar food.

The salads are always fresh and tasty and the bartenders are very skilled to make you whatever type of drinks you like. They always have good drafts, signature drinks, and of course wines and the famous Wine Wednesday. Wine Wednesday is the one night where wine is half off and it's always crowded with a good mix of young students and professionals.

They also have other specials and continuously upgrade their diverse menu to provide the clientele with more modern and trendy dishes

4.      Casbah

Casbah is different than the other restaurants and bars on the list.  It's is a great place to go for a date, an anniversary, or even a meetup with friends. The menu is high level cuisine and is a major staple of the Big Burrito group. Parking is a pain in the East End at times and the valet parking helps solve that issue. For me, the gourmet chicken and duck dishes are to die for. Additionally they offer wine flights that give you a chance to taste test 3 different wines or sparkling wines at a reasonable price.

I've never left Casbah upset about how much money I dropped on food and drinks. This doesn't happen at other comparable places.

5.  Bites n Brews/1947 Tavern

If you're hungry for a slice and like a good quiz night, Bites is the place to be. The whole pizzas you can order are fully customizable and provide for a great casual environment. The draft selection is vast and they even have a couple dart boards if you're looking for one of those nights.

1947 Tavern is connected and offers an outdoor seating area and an excellent drink and food selection that differs from the casual pizza bar feel of Bites. Finally, with the closing of Buffalo Blues, some of the popular menu items are now available at Bites.

This is my list. There are other restaurants in the East End that offer high level cuisines and a different atmosphere but these are my favorite 5 places to chill and enjoy some free time.  I hope you'll give them a try if you haven't already.