I’ve actually been trying to put together a top list of anime bars more or less since I started this blog but, these are surprisingly rare. Maybe this has to do with the fact that anime protagonists are usually too young to drink but even in grittier dramas, it’s not a location that features very prominently. How does Durarara! not have a main bar location?
On the other hand, there are tons of video game bars for some reason….
In any case it took me quite a while to compile this list and I’m not sure I would really frequent most of them. I think there’s a real imaginary market for anime speakeasies. Once I finally isekai myself into an anime world, first thing I’m doing is getting my alcohol permit. I know there’s in fact an Isekai Izakaya anime happening right now that most likely features a bar but I haven’t seen it yet…
5. Cerotto’s Bar – 91 days
Understandably, as this is a prohibition era story, actual bars will be few, but I think 91 days could have used a few more speakeasies. The one actual bar we did see more than once was Cerotto’s. As it was depressingly empty in most instances I wouldn’t exactly call it inviting and you have a 50/50 chance of getting shot while enjoying your drinks, but you know what they say…beggars can’t be choosers.
With a bit a sprucing up, maybe a coat of paint and a few less murders, I bet the place could really cheer up! As it is though, it squeaks by on the only virtue of actually being a bar.
4. Bar Lupin – Bungo Stray Dogs
Yet another back-alley mafia bar, this one at least has that old school heavy charm of rich dark woodwork and overstuffed leather chairs. This is exactly the type of place you would expect successful mob bosses to frequent. The lights are dim, people keep to themselves, and the long, narrow layout offers few hiding spots.
Featured only in the flashback opening arc of season 2, this unassuming drinking spot offers shots in tumblers with those enormous round ice spheres that betray more profits than one would assume. I wouldn’t be surprised that some high stakes gambling is taking place in a secret back room.
Extra points for being based on an actual real life bar that looks almost exactly like the anime version and where I desperately want to go!
3. The FamiRes – Cheer Boys
One of the things I remember best about Cheer Boys is their frequent meetups at a local family restaurant. Ok so this is technically not a bar per say but it is a restaurant that serves alcohol and will apparently let you get drunk without having to order food while talking about your cheerleading team. Also – all bars should serve noodles. Like drunken soba is the BEST!
I just really love this place. If I lived close by I would be in there twice a week. There’s something just so cozy about the unpretentious family restaurant atmosphere. I’m also OK with bars the get filled with cheerleaders in general.
2. No Rest – Love is like a cocktail
This bar doesn’t in fact feature much in the anime since Sora doesn’t seem to still be working there but we do get to see it in the last few episodes and it looks nice. Not too big or crowded. It has just enough room to feel homey but not cramped. Also, there’s a sofa to sleep off any excesses of alcohol enthusiasm you may have which is always a big plus.
Most importantly though, there’s a nice bartender. There’s a certain mystique that surrounds bartending, they are part performer, part host, part mixologist and part psychologist. I must say, in my experience, bartenders have mostly been bored men and women who would quietly bring a drink and occasionally smile for tips rather than the borderline magical creatures portrayed in movies. This said, although you can have a good bar without a special bartender, a great bartender will bring it to the next level.
Sora is sweet, attentive and apparently not in any hurry to cut anyone of. What more can a girl ask for?
The Bar From the Eccentric Family,
We see this bar a couple of times throughout season 1 and it actually looks great. Generously stocked shelves with a wide variety of alcohols, a nice tanuki bartender, happily ruckus patrons.. Thing is, no matter how much I searched, I couldn’t find the name of it which leads me to believe it did not have a big impact on most viewers.
Various – Bebop
Cowboy Bebop actually features a number of bars in it’s single season but I found none of them to be present enough to get their own entry. The two I remember best are Rester House which doubled as a pleasant music venue and looked like a fun place to spend a Saturday night and Looser Bar, which has a wonderful name and is your typical hole in the wall dive bar. I know there were at least two more. Impressive for a single show.
Crossroads – Persona 5
The crossroads in one of your job options in the game. I’m not sure if it has/will be shon at all in the anime which is why it hasn’t been included on the list but it would be if for nothing else than the wonderful owner. One of my all time favorite bosses.
Sake Lake – Natsume
If there’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s that Yokai enjoy a stiff drink. The mythical Sake Lake is mentioned several times throughout the series with a mix of wonder and awe, but we have never actually seen it and so I’m dubious about it’s existence. That doesn’t mean I’m not considering booking a flight to Japan to go look for myself.
1.Quindecim – Death Parade
Not only do you have high class uniquely crafted cocktails and every bar game ever created at your disposal, but this bar can apparently become whatever you want. Well not: YOU, anything the bartender wants.
Fact is, if I have to go, I would like to go to a bar. I would be the one guy who realizes they’re dead, shrugs their shoulders and orders another drink. They’ll have to throw me out of the place or else I am perfectly satisfied on spending eternity there.
Also, the Memento Mori seems interesting. Maybe a little too flowery for me but I’ve actually been trying out Elderflower Liqueur in cocktails and it’s often intriguing. I’m also curious about the white cranberry juice.
So there you have it. I’m not too thrilled by the fact that you could get killed by going to two of these bars and another won’t even let you in until you get killed… Help me out guys, there must be better options out there! Which is your favorite anime drinking spot?