Caliente Pizza & Bar

BA SCORE
89
very good

29 Ratings
PLACE INFO

Type: Bar, Eatery, Beer-to-go

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

(412) 682-1414 | map
calientepizza.com

Notes:
No notes at this time.

Added by WVbeergeek on 05-20-2013

PLACE STATS
Score:
89
Ratings:
29
Reviews:
9
Avg:
4.03
pDev:
9.93%
 
 
View: Place Reviews | Events
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 29 |  Reviews: 9
Photo of heddar33
3.84/5  rDev -4.7%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3.75 | selection: 4.5

Photo of gcasher
4.59/5  rDev +13.9%
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!

 247 characters

Photo of ArtAttackEd
4.31/5  rDev +6.9%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4 | selection: 4.75 | food: 4

Photo of Brian29
4.07/5  rDev +1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.25

Photo of brother_rebus
4.18/5  rDev +3.7%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.25 | selection: 3.75 | food: 4

Did a happy hour. Good offerings. Had some leftover beers from christmas in July which was annoying. Also four cider options. But otherwise no complaints. Good pizza. Friendly staff. Cool place.

 194 characters

Photo of JArt
4/5  rDev -0.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

Photo of kkdowning
3.89/5  rDev -3.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 2.5 | selection: 4.25 | food: 4.5

Photo of Possum77
4.15/5  rDev +3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.25 | service: 3.5 | selection: 5 | food: 3.5

Photo of Brown120
4.23/5  rDev +5%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.25 | food: 4

Photo of psuKinger
4.75/5  rDev +17.9%
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 ...

 2,302 characters

Photo of Jeff412pgh
3.83/5  rDev -5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3.5

Crazy selection, insanely expensive even laughable, ok food. Happy hour makes it worth it otherwise I wouldn't bother.

121 characters

Photo of greg4579
3.85/5  rDev -4.5%
vibe: 3.25 | quality: 4 | service: 3.25 | selection: 4.25 | food: 4.5

Photo of baybum
3.75/5  rDev -6.9%

Photo of McMatt7
4/5  rDev -0.7%

Lost Abbey Serpent Stout 2012? on tap last weekend, buffalo chicken rolls are super dope

88 characters

Photo of robgage
4/5  rDev -0.7%

Photo of Brewski
2.5/5  rDev -38%

Photo of rolltide
3.5/5  rDev -13.2%

Photo of steelerbrian1
4.5/5  rDev +11.7%

Photo of outoffocus
3.39/5  rDev -15.9%
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.

 1,157 characters

Photo of RblWthACoz
4.04/5  rDev +0.2%
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.

 797 characters

Photo of Stigs
2.5/5  rDev -38%
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.

 778 characters

Photo of potestethehero
5/5  rDev +24.1%

Photo of RVMII
5/5  rDev +24.1%

Photo of Saxboy10
4.5/5  rDev +11.7%

Photo of glass_house
4.03/5  rDev 0%
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.

 1,194 characters

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Caliente Pizza & Bar in Pittsburgh, PA
4.03 out of 5 based on 29 ratings.
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