The Best TV Bars We Wish We Could Get a Drink In

The local bar is a place where friends and family can gather together to enjoy a meal, have a few beers and chat about the goings on in their lives. It’s the place we go after the work week is over to socialize with other people who have the same stresses and job related gripes. It’s also the center of many communities. It’s the place where you can learn all the gossip about your town or village while enjoying a home cooked meal and a frosty beer.

Because of this, it’s no surprise that bars and pubs have been used as meeting places on many iconic and popular American television shows. Who wouldn’t want to stop in and grab a drink at Cheers and intently listen in on a conversation between Carla, Cliff and Norm? Who wouldn’t want to inadvertently end up involved in a scheme concocted by Barney on How I Met Your Mother? Who wouldn’t want to walk into a screaming match between Mac and Charlie at Paddy’s Pub in Philadelphia? Well, maybe not the last one. But, you get the point. These bars might be fictional, but we all wish we could stop in for a pint every now and then and check up on our favorite characters.

Why Are Bars Perfect For TV?

There’s a reason bars are used as the main set for many popular television shows. There’s a sense of community associated with the local watering hole. It might seem like Cliff and Norm from Cheers where just drunks who spent way too much time in a bar, but they were important characters in the overall framework of the show with many story lines surrounding them. Few shows relied on a bar more than Cheers. But, that’s because the show was literally about the bar, not just one of many sets.

Other shows that have occasional bar scenes use it as a way to show that characters are socializing and engaging with their community while enjoying their leisure time. But on It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, the characters actually own the bar. Although, it seems like the characters spend more time drinking and scheming than actually working. If it wasn’t for owner Frank (played by Danny DeVito), the bar would have gone out of business years ago.

CraveOnline scoured the internet to find the best bars in TV history. From Boston, to Cleveland, to outer space, these are the TV show bars we wish we could drink at:





This is probably the most famous bar in television history. It’s the place where America wondered if (Ted Danson) Sam Malone would end up with (Shelley Long) Diane Chambers or (Kirstie Alley) Rebecca Howe. It’s also the bar where we first met a young Woody Harrelson, long before Zombie Land and True Detective. The bar was based on Boston’s Bull & Finch Pub in Boston’s Beacon Hill area. There is also a complete recreation of the TV version of the bar at Boston’s Faneuil Hall Marketplace.


Star Trek: The Next Generation


Paramount Pictures

Similar to the cantina of Star Wars fame, the bar on Star Trek: The Next Generation (known as Ten Forward) was always full of interesting, colorful characters. There might not have been a bouncy, goofy band like that of the cantina, but the bartender was played by the talented and versatile Whoopi Goldberg.


The Drew Carey Show



The Drew Carey Show lasted from 1995 until 2004, but it seems to have been almost forgotten in the decade since. During the later seasons of the show, Drew and his friends (played by Diedrich Bader and Ryan Stiles) spent many a night downing beers at a local bar called the Warsaw Tavern. At one point, they even shared an apartment above the bar. It was based on Cleveland’s Memphis Plaza Lounge (Now called Murphy’s Law).









The Sopranos

'The Sopranos' TV Series - Season 7 - 2007


The Bada Bing! was home to many famous scenes from HBO’s The Sopranos. The club was where mob boss Tony Soprano and under boss Paulie Walnuts decide to have Big Pussy wacked for wearing a wire. It’s also the place where Paulie saw a vision of the Virgin Mary hovering over the dance floor and decided to reconcile with his adoptive mother.


The Simpsons



Whenever Homer Simpson needed to get away from the craziness of the Simpson’s house hold he would head over to Moe’s Tavern. The gloomy, poorly lit, barely decorated bar was home to bartender Moe Szyslak. The sad sack, slimy bar keeper doesn’t have any love for your fancy, craft beer. All he serves is Duff Beer and Homer has imbibed a ton of it in the twenty-five plus years the show has been on. That is, except for the time he changed the bar to a TGI Fridays-esque restaurant called Uncle Moe’s Family Feedbag and the time he changed its name to Flaming Moe’s because of his popular cough syrup based cocktail.


True Blood



HBO’s True Blood was famous for two different bars. One (Merlotte’s) was for the humans and the other (Fangtasia) was for the vampires. Sam Merlotte, a shape shifter, owned and ran Merlotte’s and catered townspeople and rednecks alike. It was a great spot to get a shot, a beer or a great burger. Fangtasia was owned by Viking vampire Eric Northman and only served one drink: True Blood, a synthetic bottled blood.


How I Met Your Mother



Ted Mosby (played by Josh Radnor ) and the gang spent part of almost every episode reminiscing and hanging out at their favorite bar MacLaren’s. Barney (played by Neil Patrick Harris), proclaimed his famous catchphrase, “Challenge…accepted” many times while the group sat in their favorite booth.


It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia



The gang on Sunny is very similar to the group on How I Met Your Mother. The one glaring difference is that they are patently horrible people. Many of their mean and rude schemes were concocted while imbibing a few too many beers at the bar they own and run, Paddy’s Irish Pub.