So, you and your party are thirsting for some ale, buxom tavern wenches, a good brawl, or simply a quiet corner to plot in peace. Where to go… Sadly, in universes without Yelp, one must go by word of mouth. But fear not, I got a few recommendations on some awesome taverns, killer pubs and best inns in fantasy!
The Prancing Pony
If you have just started your first quest, and are yet of a too gentle disposition for some of the more fun locales in Middle Earth, the Prancing Pony is perfect for your first stop. Located in the village of Brie, just east of the Shire, it’s famous for its brown ale, songs about cows jumping over the Moon, and parlor tricks.
Sadly, the owner, Barliman Butterbur, does have the tendency to forget drink orders or relay messages. On the other hand, maybe this isn’t so bad, since he might forget seeing you puke all over unsuspecting hobbits, or to add those last three rounds to your bill.
The Mended Drum
The good old pub of stylish disrepute on Filigree Street, Ankh-Morpork. Formerly known as the Broken Drum, it was burnt down in the Great Fire of Ankh-Morpork. The Mended Drum is the favourite haunt of students, wizards, and Discworld heroes, with brawls nightly and an atmosphere not forgotten.
I heartily recommend you try Turbot’s Really Odd Pale Ale. Don’t worry about the taste or the burning sensation in your gut – after a few pits, those will be the least of your worries.
Oh, and, there is a troll at the door – so, behave yourself, lest you want Detritus’ cousin to rip off your arms and beat you silly with them. Though, this is known to be a sure hangover preventative – even if a rather terminal one.
Well, to call the Sinspire just a pub is like saying that the Nine Hells are just a sauna. The Sinspire is so much more! It affords all-round entertainment, with any drink, delight, substance or vice your filthy mind can think off.
Occupying a huge elderglass tower in the city of Tal Verrar, each of its many levels has its own theme, with exclusivity growing the higher you climb. Though, the Sinspire really is not for the faint of heart, or people who fancy themselves card sharks just because they have a few extra pairs in their sleeves. It is the most exclusive gambling place in the known mutliverse, and cheating there means death.
“This place can be a little rough.”
Ha! I bet you were not expecting this place, but this is my list and I like shitholes. Chalmun’s Cantina, also known as the Mos Eisley Cantina, is a drinking and dining establishment located in the city of Mos Eisley on the desert world of Tatooine.
Dimly lit and known for frequent outbreaks of violence, it’s a popular stopping point for scruffy nerf herders, pilots, smugglers, bounty hunters, alien misfits and renegades. So, you will probably be allowed in.
“Isn’t this the Eolian? I had heard that this is where pride pays silver and plays golden.”
This place might be a bit too fancy for a pleb such as you, but who knows, if you are down Imre-way and have a jot to pay at the door, you might get in. It is best known for the esteemed group of musicians who play there in hopes of earning a highly coveted set of silver talent pipes, and the possibility of gaining a noble Patron.
So, good tunes. Like really good tunes.
The Eolian is run by Deoch and Stanchion – who are, I guess, in an open relationship. Not a gay bar, but rather sophisticated, but no worries you might get laid.
“Why write reviews about the best inns in fantasy, why talk about non-existent pubs?” I hear you asking.
Well, if you don’t get it, you have really wasted your time on this website. Good fantasy and fiction gives a sense of reality to the places and people we read about, or watch in movies. Some locales are so vividly etched into our minds, that if we close our eyes, we can hear the ruckus, smell the smoke and ale and feel at home – even if those pubs are located in a galaxy far, far away or in a different Age.
Good fantasy is real – for a given value of reality.
Stefan is a geek and wordsmith extraordinaire with an M.A. in Philosophy and a professional background in business development, marketing and media. He has a cat called Freya that doesn’t like him very much.