Have you ever loved a book so much that wanted to dive into the pages and life the life you’re reading about? Well, today is your lucky day, bookworms! Around the world are literary cafes, bars, and restaurants that aim to fulfill your wildest dreams of living in an iconic novel, fable, or the shoes of your favorite, historical author. These 25 Cafes and Bars from the literary world will make you feel as if time has stopped and you’ve been transported to a place that can only be envisioned with your imagination.
Pittypat’s Porch: Atlanta, Georgia
There’s no better place for a Gone With the Wind-themed cafe than Atlanta, Georgia! Pittypat’s Porch, named for Scarlett O’Hara’s catchphrase, is Southern dining at its finest. At this novel-inspired establishment, you can enjoy traditional meals made by the Confederates like fried chicken, warm buttermilk biscuits, and Georgia peach cobbler.Also, the country scenery is enough to blow your skirt up – you can relax on a rocking chair and enjoy the farm-like breeze or sit inside the Victorian-style restaurant.
Blood and Wine Bar: Edinburgh, Scotland
The Blood and Wine Bar is a pop-up Game of Thrones bar that’s open every Wednesday and Thursday and they serve Westeros cuisine! Located in Edinburgh, Scotland, you can drink wine made from the sweetest cherries picked in Dorne or whiskey that’s imported from the far North. If you’re feeling brave enough, you can also try a Frey Pie, made with the “finest cuts.” The pop-up’s clever slogan is “All Men Must Dine” and we agree with them on that! If you can make it to Scotland, we’d like to request that you take some pictures of the Westeros tavern you’ll be eating in.
Bord’Elle: Montreal, Canada
For party people who love F. Scott Fitzgerald, Bord’Elle in Montreal is calling your name. The restaurant looks identical to the savvy bashes thrown by Jay Gatsby at his extravagant mansion, with flappers swinging from the ceiling and champagne bubbles bursting at the cork of their bottles. The Great Gatsby isn’t just a classic novel – it’s inspired home decor, landscaping, retro fashion, and a collection of themed establishments around the world. So, what makes Montreal’s Bord’Elle the best Gatsby bar for our list? Because, it accurately (and effortlessly) portrays a genuine 1920’s night-time experience, which can be hard to do.
The Lockhart: Toronto, Canada
You don’t necessarily need to go to Harry Potter World for a Hogwarts experience (although, we do recommend it). The Lockhart in Toronto, Canada is inspired by the fraudulent Dark Arts Professor himself, Gilderoy Lockhart. The bar is designed to look like an apothecary and the drink selection is comprised of positions, neither cocktails nor beers. All Harry Potter fans will surely get a kick out of attending this classroom lesson, even if you can’t use your wand to protect yourself from the dementor at the next table.
L’Orange Mécanique: Paris, France
Clockwork Orange readers, rejoice! You can visit the L’Orange Mécanique in Paris and feel like a Droogie for one evening. The walls (and overall vibe) are decorated with theme pieces from Stanley Kubrick’s film adaptation of the Clockwork Orange novel and for those who dress the part of Alex and his crew, you’ll be rewarded with happy hour drinks from 6-8 in the evenings. If Anthony Burgess could have imagined his sadistic novel coming to life in the form of a cocktail bar, that also happens to have a large absinthe collection, then this Paris bar would be it.
The Shire: Killarney, Ireland
For all Lord of the Rings fans out there, you better get your Hobbit lovin’ bottom over to Ireland and check out The Shire in Killarney, Co. Kerry! This LOTR bar sets itself apart from most others in the world and takes you on a seemingly authentic adventure to Middle Earth. Once you step inside of the bar, you’ll find yourself at The Prancing Pony getting ready to drink up their signature Hobbit Juice Cocktail or Shire Beer, if you prefer. Other areas of the bar include replicas of the Baggins’ home, which we’re sure even J.R.R Tolkein would be impressed by.
Alice’s Tea Cup: New York City
Who doesn’t love an Alice in Wonderland themed restaurant? Don’t be silly, everyone does! Alice’s Tea Cup in New York City gives its customers the Mad Hatter experience complete with servers who wear butterfly wings and a tea collection that will boggle your brain. The cafe walls are decked out in Alice scenery, with playful, vibrant images from the children’s novel to marvel at for hours. Alice’s Tea Cup truly is a wonderful experience to be had and the menu, which happens to be divided into chapters, has a colorful selection of food choices that’s hard to resist.
Mr. Fogg’s Tavern: London
Mr. Fogg’s Tavern will give you some serious deja vu, that is, if you read Around the World in Eighty Days by Jules Verne. Sitting on a charming street in London (as if all of London’s streets aren’t charming), is the quaint, two-story bar that’s inspired by the lifestyle of explorer Phileus Fogg. On the first floor, you can experience Aunt Gertrude’s Tipsy Tea or another gin cocktail of your liking. On the second floor, you’ll get to behold the massive gin collection only for the most experienced drinkers in the globe. At Mr. Fogg’s, you can take in the scenery, design, and overall aesthetic of the establishment’s interior.
The Sherlock Holmes Public House: London
For the authentic London experience, don’t miss out on the Sherlock Holmes Public House. Naturally, the food is irresistible and native to the British culture but it’s the priceless memorabilia and rooftop garden that’ll keep you coming back for more inquisitive fun. On the second floor of the pub, there’s a room that’s modeled and designed as if Sherlock and Watson were living there, complete with leaning towers of books, stacks of crumpled up papers, and 18th-century artifacts that were once relevant to the detective and his companion. The bar area itself looks as if Sherlock would have made it his home away from home, as well.
Onegin: New York City
If you’re feeling Russian (or you actually are Russian), then you’ll certainly enjoy the exquisite ambiance of Onegin in New York City. Named for Eugene Onegin, created by Alexander Pushkin, this upscale eatery will have you feeling like royalty amongst the scenery that emulates St. Petersburg uncannily. The most appealing characteristic of this novel-based restaurant is the cuisine – it’s just as delicious as it is lavish and beautifully prepared. The energy of the Onegin is oozing with the bittersweet symphony of Eugene’s story and for those who truly appreciate this piece of literature, it’ll be an experience like no other.
The Belljar: Toronto, Canada
The Belljar is a cultural meeting place that draws direct inspiration from Sylvia Plath’s one and only novel that she ever published. At The Belljar, you’ll find the perfect opportunity to participate in a poetry reading, a literary salon, art and photography exhibitions, as well as live music events. What makes this dedicated Plath place extra special is the craft beer, old-school cocktails, and round-the-clock coffee for those who choose not to drink. Additionally, The Belljar’s murals that line their walls are definitely a sight to see. This literary destination is a breeding ground for arts and culture.
Sammy’s Breakfast Bar: Fort Collins, Colorado
We don’t care what anyone says – you’re never too old for Dr. Suess. Sammy’s Breakfast Bar sits in Fort Collins, Colorado and will give you the warm fuzzy feels all throughout your meal. You can order childhood classics that you used still only dream of. These include green eggs and ham, peaches and cream pancakes, and pretzel Sammy-whiches. It’s the perfect place to take your kids when you want to have a good meal, without expecting amusement park prices. It’s a legitimate business with a menu to that’s good, so stop on in and enjoy Suess-food!
The Fable Bar & Restaurant: London
London’s take on Aesop’s fables and fairy tales brings literary venues to a whole new level. The Fable & Bar Restaurant in the center of London is unique in its design, with books encasing the booths and floral arrangements cascading the walls. We’d like to describe this establishment as a combination of whimsical and enchanting; here, you’ll feel like you’ve fallen into one of the fables you’ve read growing up. The menu at The Fable Bar & Restaurant provides it customer with classic dining options but the real treat is in the cocktail selection – the Fable switches up their drink menu to match your seasonal taste palette.
Grimm Brothers Brewhouse: Loveland, Colorado
Disney may have taken some of the Grimm Brother’s stories and turned them into “happily ever after” fairy tales, but in Loveland, Colorado you can visit the Grimm Brothers Brewery and remind yourself where Little Mermaid actually came from. The morbid version of tall, Princess tales takes the form of beer in this brewery with German-style crafted beers with labels of similar origin. You can sit at the bar and order a Little Red Cap or a Snow Drop and enjoy the tavern atmosphere, especially if it’s snow season outside.
The Lovecraft: Portland, Oregon
H.P. Lovecraft would be proud of the horror- science fiction dance bar that carries his name. The Lovecraft ultimate ode to scary literature that touches on the sci-fi genre and the decor channels horror in the most fun and exciting way possible. The dance bar’s walls are painted with tentacles and the ceiling is illuminated by hexagons. This hedonistic vibe is almost impossible to replicate, therefore, a trip to the Lovecraft is essential for anyone exploring the streets of Portland. Even if creepy, crazy, cool isn’t necessarily your thing, it wouldn’t be the worst idea to leave your comfort zone for one evening and check it out.
Ulysses’ Folk House: New York
This James Joyce inspired bar sits in New York’s financial district and, ironically enough, was opened on June 16th, 2003 otherwise known as Bloomsday (the exact day the novel was set on). For Ulysses’ Folk House fans, Bloomsday is an internationally celebrated holiday and this New York bar has become a hub to honor the occasion. Owned by Irish and Greek investors, the Ulysses’ Folk House serves James Joyce themed-cocktails until the early hours of the morning. At first glance, this bar may look like an everyday pub but in surreality, it’s straight out of a novel.
The Jekyll & Hyde: Birmingham, England
For a classy take on the classic tale of Jekyll and Hyde, check out the Victorian Gin Parlour within the novel-based establishment. The Victorian-style decor dispells red velvet from the walls and the details of the lounge’s interior are meticulously designed to fit the era it wishes to embody. Just like Jekyll & Hyde, the bar is a masterpiece with conflicting rooms of different tastes and yet, they just don’t work as one without each other. The Jekyll and Hyde also offers mixology classes and quiz nights centered around your favorite, fictional scientist.
The Bard’s Town: Louisville, Kentucky
The Bard’s Town is Louisville, Kentucky’s greatest tribute to William Shakespeare. The establishment may be full of gimmicks but that doesn’t make it any less enjoyable. The menu at Bard’s is dripping with Shakespeare-inspired puns for dish names and the appetizers are cleverly renamed as “Prologues.” The building also shares a space with a theater, where plays are acted out and performances receive standing ovations (hopefully). The Bard’s Town gives us an idea as to what Stratford Upon Avon would be like if it were a part of the dirty South. And, we like what we see!
The Overlook Lodge: Cincinnati, Ohio
The Overlook Lodge in Cincinnati is straight out of Stephen King’s The Shining. The bar was designed to be reminiscent of the ski-lodge hotel (as also seen in the film adaptation), so anyone who may be too afraid to enter – have no fear. The Overlook Lodge literally overlooked the spookier elements of The Shining’s plotline and resembles only the aesthetics of the haunted hotel. The bar has a rustic feel and the staff welcomes you with open arms, plus a warm smile. Oh, those axes on display over there? Those stay on the wall, unless Jack Nicholson drops by for some reason.
The Eagle and Child: Oxford, England
The Eagle and Child in Oxford, England is more of a historic literary dwelling as opposed to a fictional bar, but we’ve placed it on our list because it has some serious credibility. Now, The Eagle and Child is decorated with memorabilia from famous author’s who made it big and once used this pub as their literary salon for exchanging advice and sharing readings. J.R.R. Tolkien, C.S. Lewis, and many other authors called themselves the “Inklings.” Today, Lord of the Rings and Narnia fans head to The Eagle and the Child just to sit where the famous writers once worked hard every Thursday night creating their legacy.
Hugo Cafe: Dubai
The Hugo Cafe is an interactive experience that displays the work and achievements of late writer. Audio-visual materials hang from the walls and the style is primarily French, to remain as close to the author’s roots as much as possible. The menu is also presented in French but the cuisine includes a rich combination of Vietnamese ingredients. Along one of the walls, is a bookshelf dedicated to the works of Victor Hugo. Instead of drifting off into one fictional storyline, you can indulge in several of them at the same time when you check out Hugo Cafe in Dubai.
The Dalloway: New York City
The Dalloway has managed to accomplish the difficult task of blending together a classic vibe with a modern edge. The Dalloway bar in Manhattan is based off Virginia Woolf’s infamous novel, Mrs. Dalloway. Considering the time-bending tone of the novel, it only seems fitting that the Manhattan hub has figured out a way to take two conflicting eras and merge them to create a trendy bar in contemporary, upscale New York. The Dalloway is the place to see and be seen if you’re local but it’s just as imperative that you check it out if you’re a tourist, also.