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Pittsburgh NightlifePittsburghers like to mingle, and the city’s thriving brew pubs and neighborhood bars provide the perfect setting for a game of pool, some friendly chat or nibbling on homemade pierogis and other flavorsome bites. The musically inclined can spend an evening at one of the live music venues or dance the night away to the pulsating beat of DJ-inspired tunes. Clubs providing entertainment may include cover charges and usually require drink minimums. To avoid surprises, phone ahead and confirm prices, opening hours, scheduled acts and dress codes.

If you appreciate well-crafted drafts, you’ve come to the right place. Ironically, copper tanks have replaced the altar at Church Brew Works (Lawrenceville/(412) 688-8200). Instead of sermons, this former cathedral now serves up piously named house brews and creative pub grub under its soaring ceilings—fans of dark lager should try the heavenly Pious Monk Dunkel. Fat Head's Saloon (South Side/(412) 431-7433) attracts all walks, from business types to partying sports fans. Knowledgeable bartenders in this bustling spot will provide tips on which of the tapped beers, bottles or artery-clogging headwiches (head-size sandwiches) are right for you.

German-style lagers are showcased at Penn Brewery (North Side/(412) 237-9400), where live polka tunes and an outdoor biergarten add to the merriment in a family style atmosphere—try their top-notch Penn Pilsner along with some authentic German fare. No more authentic German experience will be found though, than at the Hofbrauhaus Pittsburgh (South Side/(412) 224-2328), modeled after the famous beerhall in Munich. Piper’s Pub (South Side/(412) 381-3977), offering a solid selection of English draughts and bottles, entertains a jolly assortment of British expats who gather to watch soccer and feast on across-the-pond favorites like bangers and mash. Belgian beer fans can indulge themselves with hard-to-find concoctions at Sharp Edge Bistro (Downtown/(412) 338-2437), but it’s hard to go away unhappy with a menu touting some 300 international choices. The budget-minded should hit the weekday happy hour (4:30-6:30) for half-off Belgian and craft drafts.

Pittsburgh’s dance clubs appeal mostly to 20- and 30-somethings looking for a rousing party scene. Check out Cavo (Strip District/(412) 651-4713), a large club offering VIP service, a lounge with a small dining menu and an oversize dance floor. If you’re looking to party the evening away, you’ll find a variety of DJ nights ranging from salsa to pop to hip hop on the weekends, plus the occasional live band or burlesque show. There’s also Belvedere’s Ultra Dive (Lawrenceville (412) 687-2555) which features everything from themed DJ nights to karaoke Mondays to “silent disco” yoga to country dancing lessons.

Pittsburgh offers a decent selection of live music venues showcasing diverse talent. Hipsters interested in listening to underground, alternative and indie bands frequent Brillobox (Lawrenceville/(412) 621-4900)—downstairs caters to diners, so venture upstairs to catch live acts. If you like the type of place where you’re just a stone’s throw away from the performers, Club Café (South Side/(412) 431-4950) hosts emerging and established artists presenting everything from jazz to blues to pop in a stylishly cozy spot catering to the sophisticated urbanite. Moondog’s (Blawnox area/(412) 828-2040) is a little out of the way—you’ll definitely need a set of wheels to get there—but the journey to this no-frills neighborhood pub is worth it for fans of quality rhythm and blues, country and rock.

The congregation at Mr. Smalls (Millvale/(412) 821-4447), in a former Catholic church, is now made up of reggae, punk, rock and hip-hop followers—the great acoustics also make this a popular concert stop for nationally known bands. The art deco-inspired Rex Theater (South Side/(412) 381-6811), a Pittsburgh institution that has been around since the early 1900s, also delights with an array of local and national acts in a refurbished movie house.

If you’re into sipping an inventive cocktail, chatting with friends or just plain people watching, Pittsburgh has a healthy sampling of lounges to choose from. Happy hour is the time to pop into Harris Grill (Shadyside/(412) 362-5273 for discounted seasonal frozen cocktails and tasty bar bites. Downtown professionals decompress at Olive or Twist (Downtown/(412) 255-0525), an upscale enclave known for its tantalizing menu of classic and contemporary martinis. If you like to get in on the act with a little piano bar/karaoke fun, hit Howl at the Moon (Downtown/(412) 586-5692) for your shot at local stardom for a night.

Wine connoisseurs may land at The Allegheny Wine Mixer (Lawrenceville/(412) 252-2337) where they can choose from over 50 dry and dessert wines by the glass and even more by the bottle. For a tropical twist, head to Tiki Lounge (South Side/(412) 381-8454), where the South Pacific ambience is countered by the lively DJ scene. Cocktails with names like Coconut Kiss, Head Hunter and Blue Shark help you unwind, and you get to keep the kitschy yet fun drink container as a souvenir.

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Pittsburgh, PA

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Travel Information

City Population

305,704

Elevation

1,370 ft.

Sales Tax

Pennsylvania's statewide sales tax is 6 percent. An additional 1 percent is collected by Allegheny County, as is a 7 percent lodging tax. The city levies a 5 percent amusements tax.

Emergency

911

Police (non-emergency)

(412) 323-7800

Time and Temperature

(412) 391-9500

Hospitals

Allegheny General Hospital, (412) 359-3131; UPMC Mercy, (412) 232-8111; UPMC Passavant—McCandless, (412) 367-6700; UPMC Presbyterian, (412) 647-2345; UPMC St. Margaret, (412) 784-4000; West Penn Hospital, (412) 578-5000.

Visitor Information

120 Fifth Ave. Pittsburgh, PA 15222. Phone:(412)281-7711 or (800)359-0758

Air Travel

Pittsburgh International Airport

Rental Cars

Hertz, at the Pittsburgh International Airport, offers discounts to AAA members; phone (412) 472-5955 or (800) 654-3080.

Rail Service

An Amtrak passenger service station is on the lower level of The Pennsylvanian, formerly Penn Central Station, at 1100 Liberty Ave. at Grant Street; phone (800) 872-7245 or TTY (800) 523-6590.

Buses

The Greyhound Lines Inc. terminal is at 55 11th St. near Liberty Avenue; phone (412) 392-6514.

Taxis

The leading taxi company is Yellow Cab, (412) 321-8100. Cabs are metered, and the base rate is $4 plus $1.75 per mile. A fuel surcharge may be charged.

Public Transportation

Port Authority of Allegheny County Transit operates public transportation throughout the city and Allegheny County. A section of downtown Pittsburgh is a fare free zone. Other areas have a base fare of $2.75; exact change is required. Discounted fares are available through the purchase of weekly or monthly passes, which can be purchased at the transit's downtown service center at 534 Smithfield St. For route information, phone (412) 442-2000.

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