5. The Winchester – Shaun of the Dead
Everyone has their local haunt that they frequent when they feel like celebrating, or just need to unwind after work, or are having a particularly bad day. But is your dive zombie-proofed? When the world is all going to hell, and you’ve got red on you, North London’s most unassuming pub is the best place to bunker down and ride out the undead storm with some cold pints and your best friends. The Winchester, aside from its extensive, hidden firearms collection (you never know when you need reinforcements) and wide array of beers, is also home to one impressive jukebox – if you enjoy Queen, that is.
4. The Leaky Cauldron – Harry Potter
There’s much to envy about the wonderful wizarding world of Harry Potter, but the Diagon Alley watering hole where muggles and wizards are able to intermix (there’s still a chance for us!) before the latter wrap up their tab and head in to Magic SoHo is a definite stop on the tour map. Cleverly disguised as any old pub in London, the Cauldron allowed witches and wizards a spot to relax and read, have a butterbeer, make plans to take down the dark lord Voldemort…you know, normal bar stuff. It also acted as somewhat of a reverse speakeasy, with a secret entrance to Diagon Alley located in the back made accessible by tapping the bricks with your wand. Everyone loves a bar with a gimmick.
3. Basement Taverna – Inglourious Basterds
The place is crawling with Nazis in a basement in the heart of goddamn Germany, but at the music is festive, the beers never stop coming and they have amazing party games. You know the joint has to be pretty great if it’s being frequented by movie stars and her friends. And hey, not all of the Nazis are actually Nazis; they’re just pretending in order to take down the real guys and maybe get a chance to end WWII at some point.
It’s going to destroy the bar and a glasses of schnapps in the process, but before all hell breaks loose (it’s fun to picture it happening every night), wouldn’t it be grand to slap a card on your head, knock back a brew and try to guess whether or not you’re King Kong? Just don’t forget your shoe on the way out.
2. El Sleezo Cafe – The Muppet Movie
Imagine a place so unruly, so dangerous and wild and tough that even the owner gets thrown out for being out of control. Add some flustered Muppets to the mix and it’s a recipe for beautiful disaster. While it’s true that “café” traditionally has that accent mark over the e, the management at El Sleezo has no time for such frivolities, got it?
This is no bar for sissies or the faint of heart. With a menu boasting frogs legs (be careful if you’re green) and patrons that include bikers, sailors, cowboys, lumberjacks, one-eyed ner-do-wells –basically every motley individual you can think of – El Sleezo lives up to its name. Come for some music by the El Sleezo Cuties, stay if you dare.
1. Double Deuce – Road House
You’ve got to hit the hidden gems before they become commercialized, and the Double Deuce is a prime example of this disgusting commercialization. Bought by a fancy New York City club owner, the small Missouri roadside bar is more rough and tumble than big city glamorous, but you know that them out of touch folks from the Big Apple don’t understand what a true dive bar is all about: cheap beer, good company and hot tempers.
The Double Deuce was the perfect spot to get obliterated, get in a satisfying fight with another patron, then get your ass saved by Patrick Swayze if that’s what you’re into. Who wouldn’t be?