People love a good theme. Movies, television, decades past, and especially books tend to top the list. When you combine a popular theme with food? Now that’s a success story in the making.
Sure, you could head to the shire in New Zealand or The Wizarding World in Orlando, but can you fall down the rabbit hole to Wonderland? Probably not anytime soon. These literary-themed restaurants are gaining popularity and combining our love for iconic pieces of literature and food to match.
The Eagle & Child – Oxford, England
This pub nestled in the university town of Oxford is a local’s favorite with historical background. The Inklings were a group of authors, most notably J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis, who would meet and do readings aloud, for other writers to criticize and praise. Wander in for a cup of cider to channel your inner Tolkien.
Club Verne – Budapest, Hungary
You don’t need to travel around the world for 80 days to find a Jules Verne-themed restaurant, just head to Budapest. It’s set up to feel like a submarine, with blue lighting and all. It’s cheap with a classic menu, so you get the best of both worlds.
The Sherlock Holmes Public House – London, England
Nothing says England like a good pub, but if you’re on the lookout for something more peculiar, try this Sherlock Holmes one right off of the Strand. Walking in, it might look like your standard pub, but upstairs is a recreation of Holmes’ & Watson’s study, complete with artifacts and decor.
The Hobbit – Orange County, California
I know you’re wondering, “what’s the theme here?!” Well it’s Tolkien’s “The Hobbit.” Not exactly shocking, but a visit here and you will be. It’s a 7-course menu, split into three acts. Act I: Wine cellar, Act II: Fish & meat dish upstairs, Intermission: Relax on the patio or chat with the chefs, and Act III: Main course, followed by dessert. It may be dangerous business walking out one’s front door, but ignore Bilbo and go here anyway.
Les Éditeurs – Paris, France
In the 6th arrondissement, you may stumble upon Les Éditeurs, a place with classic French cuisine and 5,000 books lining the walls to be your date for the night. Donated by the publishers, the collection will make any meal feel like you’re in a cozy library.
The Lockhart – Toronto, Canada
“You’re a wizard, Harry!” No seriously, you can be. This Toronto bar not only does Harry Potter trivia nights, but has killer cocktails and brunch. Go for The Lockhart Caesar if you’re feeling brave; ingredients include vodka, Frank’s hot, Worchester Sauce, and Death Potion. IDK what death potion is, but it sounds like something Draco would get, so it’s a win.
Alice in Magic Land – Tokyo, Japan
Everything down to the napkins in this Tokyo hot spot is tailored to the whimsical world of Lewis Carroll’s tale. It may ooze sophistication, but the restaurant stays true to the playful story with the decor and menu. Caterpillar shaped sushi rolls and lighting fixtures made from a stack of cards… need I say more?
If you find yourself traveling to any of the above locations, make sure to pop in these fictional-inspired restaurants and you’ll have Insta-worthy shots to last a lifetime.