Pittsburgh’s best happy hour spots that won’t break the bank


TPN File Photo

Fuel and Fuddle on Oakland Avenue.

By Grace Hemcher, Senior Staff Writer

With the constant buzz of going out late at night, it’s easy to forget that there’s always another option — day drinking. But more specifically, early evening drinking at your favorite happy hour spot, sitting at a table with good friends, appetizers and the cheapest drinks you can find. 

The search for tasty, affordable happy hour spots in any city is sometimes tricky. It’s good to find a good atmosphere and food without breaking the bank. Here are five local happy hour spots with good vibes and great drinks. 

  1. Fuel and Fuddle

This quaint bar and restaurant offers an extensive menu of shareable appetizers, burgers, wraps, brick oven pizzas and more. Located on Oakland Avenue, Fuel and Fuddle is a short walk from most off-campus housing and offers weekday happy hour, where customers can enjoy personal twists on traditional cocktails and a constant rotation of draft and canned beers. 

The warm rustic environment is complete with quirky menu captions and a playlist full of oldies that always get me singing along. But the star of the show, towering up the walls on either side of the bar, is the 100 Beers Cult. This list of brave souls completed one or several “Beer Bibles,” each consisting of one hundred beers. Now, that is far more gluten than I personally could ever handle, but if beer is your go-to happy hour drink, Fuel and Fuddle certainly has plenty to choose from. 

  1. Urban Tap 

Students and locals alike flock to Urban Tap for the sophisticated ambiance, beautifully decorated cocktails and a sometimes overwhelming draft list of local brews, craft beers and ciders. I have to try something new every time. Some of my favorites are the Spicy Archibald from the local Arsenal Cider House and the classic espresso martini from their latest specialty cocktail list. They are constantly changing up their options, with each visit bringing a fun new cocktail I’ve never tried.

There are two locations of Urban Tap in Pittsburgh. One location is on East Carson Street in Southside, and the other is in Shadyside. The Shadyside location offers outdoor seating on warmer days with views of bustling Walnut Street. I’ve never waited for a table during the weekday happy hour, but if there is a short wait, both locations offer plenty of shops to browse and kill some time before your table is ready. 

  1. City Works 

City Works is less known as a popular happy hour spot and more recognizable for its convenient location downtown in Market Square. Take any 61 or 71 bus to Liberty Avenue to end up in the picturesque central plaza of downtown Pittsburgh, where City Works sits among several other restaurants and bars. This fine dining-spot-meets-sports-bar offers guests an upscale feel without the price tag. Splitting appetizers with the table is one of my favorite happy hour activities, and the cheese curds and fried pickles are always crowd favorites with my friends.

Besides the discounted “Bar Bites,” City works offers an array of options for entrees, including steaks, salads, burgers and tacos — if you want to turn happy hour into dinner. Still, if you just want to grab a drink and a quick bite, their drink menu covers all the basics, including margaritas, mules, mojitos, wine, cider and countless draft options. I’ll take a spicy margarita wherever I can get one, but this one remains one of my personal favorites in Pittsburgh. 

  1. Yuzu 

If you’re looking to expand your palate past traditional American and try some sake or a delightful floral cocktail, try Yuzu. Located in Downtown, Yuzu offers a delicious variety of meals and snacks, including small bites such as spring rolls, bao, karaage and gyoza to pair with their extensive drink menu. Entree options also include rice bowls, ramen, stir fry and lunch specials.

Happy hour is on weekdays, with select beer, wine, sake, cocktails and appetizers at a discount. Along with their sizable alcoholic drink menu, Yuzu also offers specialty mocktails and drinks, including jasmine tea, da hong pao and even a “dealer’s choice” created by the bartender if you’re feeling spontaneous. After you’ve dined, Yuzu also offers specialty after-dinner drinks to cleanse the palate. 

  1. Grand Concourse 

Grand Concourse is among our most “Instagrammable” happy hours. Located in Station Square, this restaurant overlooks the Monongahela River. It has some of the best views of the Pittsburgh skyline, most beautifully illuminated at sunset or after dark — perfect for a late summer happy hour. 

Not only is Grand Concourse a scenic dining destination, but it is also a historical landmark, previously the P&LE Railroad Station. Grand Concourse’s high, intricately detailed ceilings and softly lit dining area are breathtaking. With mostly meat and seafood items, the menu can seem a bit pricey, but the restaurant happy hour offers discounted food and drink that make this charming restaurant an ideal restaurant for a classy night out.