We’re lucky: Pittsburgh has a growing number of big and small breweries serving great beer. And some of these local taprooms have also opened kitchens as noteworthy as their beer rosters.
Who has the best brewery food in town? Here are 12 that serve food worth a visit even if you’re not craving beer. (Have we mentioned your favorite? Let us know below in the comments or on our Facebook page.)
Bier’s Pub/War Streets Brewery, North Side
The best craft breweries feel like old neighborhood pubs, but with even better beer. Bier’s Pub — which includes the War Streets Brewery downstairs — has that beloved neighborhood tavern vibe, even though it’s fairly new. It helps that it’s in one of the North Side’s most walkable neighborhoods. Bonus: They’ve become known for excellent burgers made from a blend of sirloin, brisket and short ribs, ground fresh daily. The Top-Shelf cheeseburger comes with either brie, bleu cheese, cheddar, manchego, candied jalapeno cream cheese or rosemary balsamic goat cheese. Specialties include My Morning Burger, which comes with bacon, a dippy egg and bacon fat home fries on top.
Enix Brewing Company, Homestead
This big, open space in Homestead with an in-house bowling alley is home to one of Pittsburgh’s best food-and-beer combinations. The restaurateurs behind Enix also operate breweries in Spain, and the menu is peppered with Spanish touches. Croquetas, empanadas and patatas are the perfect salty accompaniment to one of their distinctive beers, like the MadRed, a malty red IPA. The flatbreads are also terrific — thin and chewy, and cooked to perfection in a wood-fired oven. Try the Don Antonio, with clams, bacon, onions and garlic cream sauce.
Spoonwood Brewing Company, Bethel Park
Spoonwood specializes in good pizzas with pun-filled names, like the Never Met Herbivore (basil pesto, peppadews, arugula, artichokes, house-made mozzarella) and the Pretty Fly for a White Pie (heirloom tomatoes, house-made mozzarella, basil). They’ve got a smoker, too, so don’t miss the smoked pork shoulder, brisket and Texas hot links.
Larder of East End, East End Brewing Company, Larimer
If there’s a sure bet in Pittsburgh, it’s that the Pirates aren’t making the playoffs. Want a second sure bet? The Severinos (of Cure and Morcilla fame) will always serve good food. At their latest restaurant, they’ve partnered with the great East End Brewing Co. to deliver counter service pub fare with style. Try the Monkey Boy steamed mussels, which uses one of East End’s beers to excellent effect. Smoked chicken wings are available with a classic Buffalo sauce, a dry coffee rub or a mix of harissa, za’atar and apricot honey.
Threadbare Cider House and Meadery, Spring Garden
This out-of-the-way spot on the North Side specializes in cider and mead but also features an impressive kitchen. Their thin crust pizzas are the main draw, with their basic pepperoni and Margherita ranking among the best in town. But it’s worth trying some with more unusual toppings, like the roasted apple topped with mozzarella and slow-cooked Fallen Aspen Farm pork, or the bok choy with sweet onion, brie and salad turnips. Cider is their thing, so try the Apple Cider Donut Cake with homemade whiskey-barrel vanilla ice cream.
Cinderlands Beer Company, Strip District (and Lawrenceville)
Tastes in Pittsburgh have changed since this building (well, most of it) was the Spaghetti Warehouse, and Cinderlands has done their best to create a modern yet still comforting menu. There are dishes both trendy and classic, from banh mi sandwiches to beer-can chicken (half a bird!) and pierogies. Their snacks are particularly great, like the spent grain chicharrones with beer cheese, baby Scotch eggs (made with quail eggs) and Goat Rodeo cheese curds with strawberry sauce. The food is just as good at the small but charming storefront location on Butler St. in Lawrenceville, which opens onto the street in good weather.