Restaurants & Bars with Literary Themes

We’ve all got a favorite bar or restaurant. The particularly popular ones have become landmarks for their cities, drawing customers from across the country. Many of our favorite writers had bars that they frequented themselves. The long list of highly regarded authors who were notorious drinkers includes such names as F. Scott Fitzgerald, Hunter S. Thompson, and John Cheever, to name just a few.

As it turns out, though, there are quite a few bars and restaurants scattered from coast to coast, who’s names pay homage to famous writers and their works. Would the authors approve of such tributes? No one is able to say for sure.

The Dalloway

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Manhattan is decorated with many trendy bars. One that will stand out for literary buffs, though, is The Dalloway, inspired by Virginia Woolf’s iconic novel. Originally opened in Soho, this bar moved to the Lower East Side in 2014. Inside, you’ll find a book section complete with a fireplace, but it also plays host to well-known DJs. One of the most popular cocktail items is a Windsor Tea. Clearly, this bar does an excellent job of blending the themes of literary and modern/trendy.

 The LovecraftImage courtesy of the

Fans of horror literature and films will want to make the trip to Portland, Oregon to visit this next bar. Even if you’re not part of the bohemian hipster culture that has overtaken the city, The Lovecraft is truly a landmark bar. This “horror-themed dance bar” was inspired by author H.P. Lovecraft and is truly the first of its kind. The owners truly went all out to honor the writer. The bar ceiling features a pentagram and the walls are decorated with tentacle paints. The menu also features a Cthulu cocktail, colored green with absinthe. If you find that sort of thing appealing, this just might be the bar for you. 

The Bard’s Town

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Louisville, Kentucky is a long way from Stratford Upon Avon, but it’s home to The Bard’s Town. Inspired by William Shakespeare, this restaurant features a menu with appetizers called “Prologues” and many dishes with a Shakespearean pun for the title. You can sample dishes such as “Love’s Labors Loin-ee-Pops” or the “Merry Fries of Windsor.” Unsurprisingly, the building is home to both the restraint and a theater, where many of the Bard’s plays are performed. We know that Shakespeare spent a fair amount of time in pubs, but there’s no telling how he would have felt about this one.

Alice’s Tea Cup

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The Dalloway isn’t the only literary themed dining establishment in New York. The city is also home to Alice’s Tea Cup, inspired by Lewis Carroll’s classic children’s novel.  Designed to take you to the Mad Hatter’s Tea Party, this cafe/tea parlor features wall murals of scenes from the book and a menu that is divided into chapters. The food options are colorful and the tea section is extensive. It’s quite possible that it feels as though time as stopped while you’re there. There are no actual march hares to be found, but the servers do wear butterfly wings. If you’re going to drink from a little glass bottle there, though, it might be smart to read the label first. 

The Hobbit Cafe

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For all the fantasy loving book buffs in Texas, we’ve got just the spot for you. The city of Houston is home to The Hobbit Cafe, an establishment entirely dedicated to the classic series by J.R.R. Tolkien. The late author’s estates has been notoriously strict when dealing with copyright matters, but several restaurant owners have managed to find a way to use the author as a theme for their business. This cafe is decorated with an impressive array of Tolkien themed pictures, quotes and figurines and a menu that would satisfy even a hobbit. Fans will known that many of Tolkien’s characters were particularly fond of eating, drinking, and laughing with friends. If you’re in Texas and looking for a second breakfast, stop by this place. 


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