THE BEST COCKTAILS IN THE CITY ARE CURRENTLY IN LOWER LAWRENCEVILLE
From a sourdough pizzas to a Spanish tapas spot from one of the city’s most acclaimed chefs, the small stretch of Butler Street between the 35th St and 38th St is undeniably home to some of the best eateries in Pittsburgh. What many don’t consider, though is the bustling blocks’ equally covetable cocktails — most of which are at the very same spots.
If you’re not quite up for a full blown dinner and you’re looking instead for a late night sip or a buzzy happy hour spot, here are a few of our favorite places in lower Lawrenceville for a really great cocktail.
3517 Butler St, Poulet Bleu. Whether you head upstairs to the Polynesian-inspired bar or stick downstairs to enjoy the impressive wallpaper and French flair, everywhere at Poulet Bleu is the perfect setting for a drink. The new happy hour features a Peach Petillant, an Aperol-based drink that Spritz fanatics will love, as well as a classic French 75 that’s perfectly on theme with the rest of the spot’s Parisian vibes. Added bonus: a newly opened rooftop patio with a view of the city serving as the perfect backdrop for your cocktail.
3519 Butler St, Morcilla. Instead of vying for a table at the mega popular tapas eatery, sneak up to the front bar for post-dinner drinks or late night stiff cocktails. Happy hour starts at 5 here, when you can enjoy $4 bar snacks, sangria pitchers for a steal and discounted gin and tonics (which are hands down the best in the city) until 7 p.m. Otherwise, creative cocktails like the aptly named Keep It On the Aloe are well worth paying full price any time of the day or night.
3720 Butler St, Round Corner Cantina. While the city’s most frequented patio has always been our go-to for Tecates and margaritas, they’ve quietly evolved into one of our favorite cocktail spots, too. The Doctor’s Orders is a bold and unique cocktail featuring Hornitos Repo, pineapple, Crème de Violette, lime and jalapeno, and it tastes even better on a balmy summer night at the outdoor bar.
3801 Butler St, Grapperia. This tiny, tucked-away bar behind Piccolo Forno has one of the country’s deepest grappa list making it a destination for all who love the Italian spirit. While we always suggest turning it over to the staff for a flight, if grappa on its own isn’t your thing, there’s also an impressive list of grappa-based drinks (our favorite: the Italian 75 made with prosecco and balsamic vinegar) that puts Grapperia right up there with the city’s finest cocktail bars.