Harry Potter’s world of wizardry is home to a host of flavorful drinks that we all wished, desperately, could come to life. Luckily, a handful of Muggle bars and cafes seek to do just that, with a magical atmosphere that has you coming back – quite literally.
Unfortunately, the pandemic claimed many of the spectacular Harry Potter-themed cafes and bars dotted all over the country. But the Wizarding World thrives in the few that survived, just waiting for a passionate Muggle to wander in and fulfill their magical dreams.
In honor of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire’s 21st anniversary, here are a few watering holes that are waiting to fill your goblet.
Muggles Mug – Jim Thorpe, PA
The quaint Muggles Mug spotlights its love for all things Harry Potter before you even venture inside, with the sign showing a dog with a Gryffindor scarf and the name of the café in the iconic lightning bolt font. The inside has the appearance of a Hogwarts common room, complete with comfy lighting, Harry Potter themed artwork and memorabilia of all four houses strewn across couches and tables. Ribbons of blue, red, yellow, and green hang from corner to corner of the ceiling, while faux mushrooms sprout in the glass storefront and a light-up owl oversees the sitting area. Even a few open books on the Wizarding World lay ready for an avid Potterhead to pick them up.
If the atmosphere doesn’t show how dedicated the Muggles Mug is to mimicking the magic, the drinks certainly do. Hot drinks such as the Phoenix, Deathly Hallows, and the Mandrake Maple Draught explicitly call back to the books and movies, while others like Pumpkin Juice (a pumpkin spiced latte) convey the less magical aspects of Potter’s world. Even some of the food items, like iced cookies with each house’s insignia on them, are perfect for those wanting to escape the magic-less Muggle world.
The Cauldron – New York, NY
For the slightly older Potter fan, the Cauldron provides a buzzing experience that’ll make you feel like a kid again. With locations in London, New York City, and Edinburgh, the Cauldron welcomes all into the wonderful world of potion making. The exteriors look as if they were lifted out of Diagon Alley, while the inside is decorated with warm wood paneling. Greenery and flags of the house colors bedecking the ceiling. The fake heads of magical creatures, like unicorns and multi-headed snakes, hang side by side on the walls. The Cauldron remains a safe space for the LGBTQIA+ community, welcoming all who love magic (and drinks).
The drinks scream magical, with bubbles and smoke often blanketing the tops of their glasses. They come in all types of colors and flavors guaranteed to satisfy even the most stubborn witch or wizard. They’re even fun to order, with names like Dark Lord Molde Wart, Enchanted Goblin Juice, and Damiana’s Charm. The Cauldron famously makes potions for two to three people to drink, serving them up in smoking cauldrons with large ladles for easy sharing. The establishment’s World Famous Pot of Tea is always a fan favorite, flavored with Earl Grey tea and marmalade. If you and a group of friends are feeling adventurous, The Cauldron even offers potion making parties, where you can craft your own smoking, bubbling draught!
Nimbus Coffee – Los Angeles, CA
If you’re looking for some magic in LA that’s not the movie kind, head over to Nimbus Coffee. This Black-owned shop has a host of Harry Potter decorations with a fun twist. Portraits of Black icons as the book’s characters dot the walls, like Morgan Freeman as Albus Dumbledore or Mariah Carrey as Bellatrix Lestrange. A large newspaper, meant to mimic the moving versions of the wizarding world, titled “The Daily Tea” hangs above charming purple furniture. Three large traveling trunks with the words “Tasty Treats and Where To Find Them,” after the breakaway movie franchise, sit along the walls with funky black and white wallpaper.
The menu is broken up by Elixirs for the Wizard (coffees), Giggle Waters for the River Nymph (fruity drinks), and Mock Shakes with almond milk for the Garden Gnome. The flavors are as fun as the names, with drinks like the Notorious Black, a charcoal rosemary latte, and Orange is the New Hex, an orange creamsicle latte. Their Dragon’s Breathe drink, a favorite, even has a little bit of “fairy dust.”
Bad Owl Coffee ROASTERS – Henderson, NV
Nested just outside of Las Vegas is Bad Owl Coffee Roasters, with its modern appearance and magical touches. The titular owl hangs on various signs on the walls, alongside those saying “Platform 9 3/4” and “Muggles Tolerated.” Otherwise normal shelves stocked with coffee beans and all seven Harry Potter books has a sorting hat, owl figurines, and suitcases perched on top of it, with a dementor hanging just off to the side. These unique touches take the café from boring to a book lover’s dream.
Like other locations, Bad Owl has signature drinks harking back to the books and movies, like their hot Butterbrew. They also offer fun and flavorful beverages like the banana cold brew latte, perfect for an adventurous pallet. Unlike the other cafes, Bad Owl sells their specialty beans to bring a little bit of the Wizarding World back home. The mystical beans include the Kraken’s Curse, Celestial Pegasus, The Dark Enchanter, and the Lucky Leviathan.
featured image credits: BARNES AND NOBEL, THE CAULDRON