The weather’s getting warmer, the days are getting longer and the calendar is packed with summer events, which means it’s time to take your dinner and drinks outside at restaurants across the Pittsburgh region.
But not all outdoor dining spaces are the same; some boast great views from decks on high, some provide excellent people-watching at street level, and some are secluded and semi-private for a more intimate experience.
Here are a few of our favorite restaurant and bar rooftop decks.
Have a suggestion for our list of patios and sidewalk seating? Let us know for the next installment, coming soon.
620 William Penn Place, Downtown
If you’re looking to impress out-of-town visitors with a view of Pittsburgh’s skyline, it will be hard to do better than the Biergarten on the ninth floor of the Kimpton Hotel Monaco in Downtown Pittsburgh, which is now open for the season. You can enjoy a drink or two on the deck from the craft beer list, a mixed drink (mixgetranke) or a frozen cocktail, along with a BG pretzel from the Biergarten’s bites menu.
There is also live music from Pittsburgh-based acoustic duo Al & Al every first Thursday through September.
The Biergarten is open Tuesday through Thursday from 5 to 9 p.m. and on Friday and Saturday from 5 to 11 p.m.
134 S. Highland Ave., East Liberty
Celebrating its 20th anniversary this year, Square Cafe has settled into its newish home in East Liberty nicely, after more than a decade in Regent Square. The spot at the corner of S. Highland and Centre avenues is right in the heart of one of the city’s hottest neighborhoods, and the rooftop deck provides excellent crowd-watching.
It’s one of the few breakfast and lunch spots in the area that offers this kind of meal-with-a-view vibe — just remember Square Cafe isn’t open for dinner Grab a breakfast burrito, the lemon-berry ricotta pancakes (my personal fave) or a Square summer salad and watch the world go by.
Open from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily.
5847 Ellsworth Ave., Shadyside
OK, so technically Soba’s outdoor patio isn’t on the building’s roof, but it still provides the same kind of neighborhood views as the other spots on our list.
The second-floor patio lets you keep an eye on Ellsworth Avenue while enjoying Soba’s extensive menu of Asian cuisine. I’m partial to the crispy tofu, and the drunken noodles are also excellent; pair them with a delicious Jiji Negroni and definitely save room for dessert.
Soba is open Sunday through Thursday, from 4:30 to 9 p.m. and on Friday and Saturday from 4:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. Happy hour runs Monday through Friday from 4:30 to 6 p.m.
942 Penn Ave., Downtown
This rooftop beer garden is open year-round thanks to its retractable roof, which stays open as long as the temperature is at least 50 degrees.
Located on the top floor of Penn Avenue’s famed meatball emporium, Il Tetto feels cozy and intimate, even though it’s nestled amidst some of Pittsburgh’s tallest skyscrapers.
It’s a beautiful place to enjoy a drink on a summer evening.
Il Tetto is open Tuesday through Thursday, from 4 to 11 p.m. (with happy hour from 5 to 7 p.m.), on Friday from 4 to 11 p.m. and on Saturday from 2 p.m. to 1 a.m.
177 40th St., Lawrenceville
The menu features a variety of eclectic dishes, including small plates like Korean beef lettuce wraps, and entrees that include red curried mussels and seitan tikka masala. Craft beers, a robust wine list and specialty cocktails are also offered.
Over Eden also boasts what may be the best view in Lawrenceville.
The restaurant is open for happy hour from 5 to 7 p.m. and for dining from 5 to 10 p.m. Tuesday through Friday.