Visit these bars mixing up cocktails in honor of your favorite stuff to watch.
From cocktail bars inspired by cult classics to pubs that inspired hit shows, these establishments let you escape reality as you step into their immersive environments. You might just find yourself in a dystopian future, a cartoon bar in Springfield, Middle Earth, or a not-so-legal “science lab.”
WHERE: Reykjavik, Iceland
Theme: The Big Lebowski
Nearly every square inch of this Reykjavik bar pays homage to the Coen brothers’ classic: swivel chairs at the bar are upholstered both in camouflage (Walter would be a big fan) or to look like bowling shoes. The bar is lined with rugs (they really tie the room together), and a bowling lane runs along one of the walls, pins and all. Order a burger named after Walter or Donny, or one of the many variations on a White Russian.
WHERE: Las Vegas, NV
Theme: Sci-Fi and Fantasy Fandom
Meet up with fellow cosplayers at this bar catering to Sci-Fi lovers, with paraphernalia like a life-size R2D2 and Wall-E, and themed cocktails like a Deadpool Mule (Tito’s vodka, ginger beer, Razzmatazz, cranberry, and lime juice) and a BB-8 (vanilla vodka, rumchata, butterscotch liqueur, Coke). Take a seat in one of the many mismatched cozy chairs and watch Game of Thrones, or come on a theme night where patrons are encouraged to dress up.
WHERE: Zikhron Ya’akov, Israel
Theme: Lord of the Rings
There seem to be a lot of Lord of the Rings-themed bars these days, but this is the only one with a life-size statue of Gandalf welcoming you at the entrance with a palm full of fire. Themed murals and rounded archways make you feel like you’re in a cozy hobbit hovel. The pub is nestled in the quaint and walkable cobble-stone lined village of Zikhron Ya’akov.
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WHERE: Fitzroy, Melbourne, Australia
You thought you’d seen it all, and then you discover a bar dedicated to George Costanza. Homage is paid to the lovably unlikable Seinfeld character through a giant George mural, framed photographs of the cast, themed toasties (the Art Vandelay, the Quitter, the Costanza), comedy nights, and trivia.
WHERE: Cincinnati, OH
Theme: The Shining
The Kubrick references are subtle in the decor at the Overlook Lodge in Cincinnati: axes are hung on the wall in a clean formation giving the place a rustic edge rather than a haunted hotel vibe, and room keys hang in a frame in one corner. The real tribute to the horror film is in the drink menu, where cocktails have names like Writer’s Block and Cabin Fever. You can also order “Twin Shots” or a non-alcoholic concoction called the Frostbite (limeade and grape soda).
WHERE: London, U.K.
Don a yellow hazmat suit (the bar provides them) and cook up your own cocktail at this Breaking Bad-themed bar inside of an RV parked in Bethnal Green. Book in advance for groups as small as two, and infuse your own drinks while gangster rap plays in the background and a blue neon Heisenberg watches over you.
WHERE: New York, NY
Theme: How I Met Your Mother
Fans of the long-running early-2000s sitcom can visit the bar that inspired McLaren’s pub, where Ted, Robin, Marshall, Lily, and Barney made ill-conceived plans over many a pint (how did they have so much time to drink on top of their demanding full-time jobs?). The writers of the show themselves spent time here when they both worked for The Late Show with David Letterman, and wanted recreate it for HIMYM. Cocktails include The Marshmallow, Have You Met the Captain, and Robin Sparkles, and there are menu items like the TedMosbyisaJerk.com (a jerk chicken sandwich). The stars of HIMYM have even stopped by!
WHERE: Hollywood, CA
Theme: Harry Potter
Inside Hogsmeade at Hollywood’s new Universal Studios, wizard wannabes line up for some butterbeer at this convincing replica of the Potter franchise’s whimsical pub. While butterbeer is non-alcoholic (at least here), there’s a Hog’s Head brew and a Dragon Scale on tap. Let’s face it, though—you’re really there for the oh-so-magical ambiance. Getting a theme park ticket just to visit Three Broomsticks might sound like a steep outing, but megafans can buy a year-long pass and pop over to Hogsmeade for lunch on the regular, which we think is totally worth it.