Modern Cafe is an ironic name for an establishment that's been around for more than 80 years, especially since it serves up a menu of such timeless fare. The sandwich-centric selection features classics such as reubens, an award-winning gyro, and tuna melts alongside Mediterranean staples including gyro salads and pita chips with hummus and tzatziki. The noteworthy Spartan sandwich packs in so much steak, gyro meat, veggies, cheeses, and tzatziki sauce that it's wrapped like a gyro rather than folded like a conventional sandwich or jammed inside an after-dinner mint.
Modern Cafe also offers dozens of whiskeys and vodkas and more than 140 types of beer, with varieties from Penn Brewery, Great Lakes, and Bell's frequently among the 12 tap selections. Besides the cafe's allure as a hangout with TVs, a dart machine, and an internet jukebox, it's also a beacon for movie buffs looking to visit one of the filming locations for Wonder Boys.
Named after retired Chicago police officer Jim Mullen, who was seriously injured in the line of duty, Mullen's Bar & Grill first opened its doors in the Windy City before branching out to Pittsburgh. Classic bar fare such as boneless wings, nachos, and burgers shares menu space with deep-fried philly cheesesteak sandwiches and SpaghettiO's straight from the can. An entire squad of flat-screen televisions hangs from exposed rafters so eaters can easily view broadcasted sports without craning their necks or duct taping rear view mirrors to their wrists. Mullen's Bar & Grill has two locations, one stationed near the cheering crowds at PNC Park and the other in the midst of the nightlife scene on Carson Street.
Dominic’s Famous Deli and Bottle Shop stuffs its menu with paninis, hot dogs, soups, and hoagies ranked by WPXI among Pittsburgh’s Best Hoagies. The Cannonball hoagie ($8) slings midday meatballs against the tyranny of cubicles, cubed cheese, and ice cubes, and the Mount Washington cushions portobello mushrooms, olives, and pesto mayo with an italian baguette ($7). Boar’s Head hot dogs extend to a full 12 inches ($4.50), showered with premium toppings of nacho cheese, chili, and sauerkraut ($0.50 each). Eight high-definition televisions and a 220” HD projector broadcast sports games to cheering fans and dumplings bobbing excitedly in pittsburgh pierogi soup ($4).
The original McFadden's, founded in New York City, was known for throwing the wildest parties in the area, and the franchise's myriad locations now carry on the tradition throughout the United States. Resident DJs blast dance beats throughout the night, and, more often than not, both staff and patrons confuse the bar and the dance floor. Guests can steady themselves with burgers or pub fare and watch a Pittsburgh team on one of the 30 high-definition TVs around the bar. The bar also hosts bachelor, bachelorette, and birthday parties, as well as corporate events or fortnightly gatherings to howl at passing satellites.
Don’t let the shepherd's pie, fish 'n' chips, and draft beers fool you. Though Tilted Kilt snatches up the best cultural fragments of Scotland, England, and the Emerald Isle, the eatery started in Las Vegas. Restaurateur Mark DiMartino sought to combine the communal, rousing feel of pubs in the British Isles with the campy fun of American sports bars, pairing hearty food and traditional trappings with televisions and waitresses clad in mini kilts and alluring plaid halter-tops modeled after William Wallace’s eveningwear. Since its founding, Tilted Kilt locations have popped up in 25 states and two Canadian provinces, serving all manner of hybrid dishes such as the Scottish cheese steak, the Sloppy Jane made with sliced turkey or shaved rib eye, and the Tilted Guilt, an ice-cream sundae perched atop a cookie.