Caliente Pizza & Bar

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Type: Bar, Eatery

4624 Liberty Ave
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, 15224-1930
United States

(412) 682-1414 | map

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Added by WVbeergeek on 05-20-2013

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Reviews: 9 | Ratings: 28
Photo of gcasher
4.59/5  rDev +13.6%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.75 | food: 4.5

My favorite craft beer bar in Pittsburgh, which is nice, because it serves my favorite pizza in Pittsburgh. They keep their draft list current on their website. As an example, they have Knee Deep on draft right now. That is impossible. Enjoy!

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Photo of brother_rebus
4.26/5  rDev +5.4%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 3.75 | food: 4.25

Did a nappy hour. Good offerings. Had some leftover beers from christmas in July which was annoying. Also four cider options. Both of them i would have prefered to have been filled by other options. But otherwise no complaints. Good pizza. Friendly staff. Cool place.

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Photo of psuKinger
4.75/5  rDev +17.6%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5

As far as rare, hard-to-find, limited-release, goes, Caliente is the best spot in the greater Pittsburgh area. Their tap list (about 24 or so option to choose from) is always highly diverse. I always find some *gems* that I've never seen before. They've also got 3-4 coolers out behind the bar, which patrons can rifle through on their own, both for on-site comsumption or take-out. I always prefer when the coolers aren't behind the bar (Beer Market) or, worse yet, hidden in some no-customers-allowed back room (Sharp Edge), that way I can peruse at my leisure, check freshness dates as-needed, etc. And some of the bottles in the coolers match the tap list in terms of rarity/scarcity.

The criticisms on price are very real. It ain't cheap to drink here.

There isn't a lot of space separating the upstairs bar and the back wall. It can feel pretty cramped/crowded behind it, particularly during any sort of event/release party. There's a small "dining area" back inside, where you can sit down and have a table with a server. The "bar food" (wings, sandwiches, etc) is above average, IMO. The pizza gets high marks from me, particularly the Chicken Ranchero. As far as being kid-friendly, I think it depends on the age. Any 8-9 year old, pizza-loving, red-blooded American is likely going to be content with the pizza menu, the bustling vibe, and the TVs. They even have a Nintendo Wii up in the dining room, you might be able to set your kid up with... As for very small ones, they do have booster seats, so again, kid-friendly. But their isn't a whole lot of room, so if you've got a squirmy 2-3 year old who doesn't want to sit still, I think this place will do everything it can to accommodate you, but there just is only so much you can do when there's not a lot of room to toddle around...

The downstairs "speak easy" isn't always open / in use (I don't believe), but they do like to use it for it's intended functions when they hold events. It's a great vibe/atmosphere for that kind of stuff.

There's a lot to like here, in terms of the quality of the beer, the quality of the service, the quality of the pizza, and the *vibe*. In order to do so, though, sometimes you have to battle the crowds, the street-parking situation, and the toll it can take on your wallet ...

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Photo of outoffocus
3.39/5  rDev -16.1%
vibe: 2.75 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3 | selection: 3.75 | food: 3.75

It is difficult to be objective about rating this place but I tried. They get beer that clearly isn't distributed in Pittsburgh, like Lost Abbey, Port, Russian River, Bruery, and others. I don't know how they do it, but I will assume for the benefit of the doubt that it is an expensive process. So the beer is pricier here than anywhere else in the city. I think the freshness may sometimes be dubious but that also may have just been a bad pour or two. What I can't stand about it is when they get a keg like Stone Enjoy By (which has wider distribution now, but was very limited last year) and sell it for 3x the amount of other bars in the city. And they do this while having one of the most bland bar atmospheres and clueless bunch of bartenders that I have encountered. I am on record in the forums here complaining about various bottle prices at D's and House of 1000 Beers, and they can be bad, but Caliente is the worst offender.

That said, the pizza is pretty good and it isn't like the service is rude or even slow, they just don't seem to have any beer training, which is odd for a place that tries so hard to cater to the educated beer crowd.

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Photo of RblWthACoz
4.04/5  rDev 0%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3.75 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3.75

Popped in here for the first time today. Kind of a typical place in that it doesn't stray from the formula of a bar. It's clean enough and not worn in at all. Tap handles on display on the walls, as well as many beer glasses (that could use a wash); there were a lot of things up that I had never seen before. Beer selection is good. This is like the Blind Tiger in NYC; the more you come, the more crazy stuff you'll see, I'm sure. I had a pizza and it was pretty good. I'd eat there again. The main complaint is the prices. Which, oddly, I find much more an issue here in Pittsburgh than NYC or San Francisco. Bottom line is I like the place. It won't go down as my most favorite spot ever, but with all the unusual stuff they clearly get on a regular basis, I have plenty of reasons to show up.

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Photo of Stigs
2.5/5  rDev -38.1%
vibe: 2 | quality: 2.5 | service: 1 | selection: 4 | food: 3

Idea and potential are there, but the execution is awful.

The place is small, and very poorly laid out. Music is always awful and LOUD. Homeless people also frequent to grab a high-life.

Easily the worst service you will find at ANY place in the city. Everyone from the bar-backs to managers have no idea what they are doing. Most of the workers are rude, inattentive, and clueless.

The fact they list that beers are served in pints but come in 14oz cheaters says enough about the type of place this is. Oh and also, the lines are pretty noticeably dirty for being a "beer bar".

The food is barely OK, pizza is just about the same as you'd find anywhere else around the city.

They get some stuff you don't find around here. So what - its not worth the prices they charge.

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Photo of glass_house
4.03/5  rDev -0.2%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

I'd been wanting to check this place out for a while, and the fact that they were tapping a keg of 2011 barrel-aged Backburner from Southern Tier this past Friday was something I couldn't resist. Glad I made it.

Like most places in the Bloomfield neighborhood, it's a little tight. Not ideal if you're looking to roll in with a group of 10. But if you're looking to enjoy a stellar selection of brews and some better-than-average bar food, this place is more than sufficient. It's obvious they make a real effort to offer a wide variety of brewers and styles--both on tap and in bottles. Beer prices were not unreasonable, but a little on the high side of average. I recommend the happy hour if you're averse to paying upwards of $6 a pour. I split a large pepperoni pizza with a buddy and I can only think of a couple other places in Pittsburgh that could make a case for a better pie. Another guy had a steak hoagie and he was very impressed.

My only critique resembling a complaint is that they seemed understaffed for a busy Friday night. But the bartenders/servers hustled the whole time we were there so I won't hold it against them. I'll be watching their event calendar like a hawk.

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Photo of WVbeergeek
4.68/5  rDev +15.8%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.75

I feel bad even telling other people about this place in the heart of Little Italy "Bloomfield" to be exact. However, it's one of those places I had been hearing about here and there through the grapevine, when one Monday this past Fall a friend in the cigar business told me he was going to Caliente's and he wanted , to stop for some drinks before heading back to his place a couple blocks away. The first visit I was greeted with fresh cans of Cigar City Jai lai IPA and bottles of Maine Beer Company both Peeper Ale and King Titus Porter, both were top notch and pouring on tap was MBC MO one of the most drinkable hopped ales I've had in a long time. During these trips the focus was on the beer so sadly I still haven't had the pizza that I hear great things about. Did I mention on my first trip out to Caliente we met Nick the owner, one of the most gracious and energetic beer guys I've met in the industry thus far, the kicker is he's just excited about other beer drinkers getting excited about the next great hard to find beer...Nick has not drank for the past nine years, but seemed to have never missed a beat when it comes to the craft beer scene. More power to him, to be able to manage this beer selection and not imbibe would be my personal hell, but he's happier than a kid in the candy store. The last trip I made it into Caliente's, there were five Port Beers pouring, we rarely see stuff from Port in the Burgh. Wipeout and High Tide Fresh Hopped IPAs both had some age on them, the 10th Anniversary DIPA held up nicely, I felt the Shark Attack Double Red lost it's hoppy edge, and the stand out of the bunch was one called Board Meeting a coffee/chocolate brown ale that rocked my world. Other adventurous stuff I've seen on tap Firestone Walker Union Jack IPA and Wookie Jack, Sweet Baby Jesus from Baltimore MD heavenly PB chocolate porter from DuClaw. Bottles of Lost Abbey Angel's Share, and more. Prices can be high but draft prices seem fair these guys are doing it legit, picking up the beer with a license out in the Philly Market themselves can't wait to see more fun stuff in the future.

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Photo of Mark5252
4.78/5  rDev +18.3%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5

Caliente on Liberty Ave in Bloomfiled is a gem! I only live a half mile away and not sure why it took me so long to give it a try. This is a great change of scenery from my typical spots - Mad Mex, Sharp Edge, Fat Heads, D'S, Hough's, or Bocktown. All of which are great, but for my first visit I would have to put Caliente at the top! They have 20 beers on tap with more than half of those uncommon for even the best Pittsburgh craft beer bar. A few that I remember - Clown Shoes Muffin Top, Matilda, dead reckoning, double trouble, Sierra Nevada beer camp blood shot, and several Troegs Scratch beers. The bottle selection equally impressive with quality over quantity. I saw in the cooler Firestone and Russian River!

Do yourself a favor and checkout Caliente. Also, me and my three kids give big thumbs up to the pizza. Fresh tomato sauce, crispy crust, and delicious toppings.

Happy hour 430 to 630 M-F all beers on tap are 1/2 off. Other great daily specials as well.

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Caliente Pizza & Bar in Pittsburgh, PA
4.04 out of 5 based on 28 ratings.
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