14 Video Game Restaurants That We Wish Existed IRL

Stomping Koopa Troopas. Slicing Moblins. Blasting Metroids. Headshotting T-Virus Zombies.

Saving the world from the forces of evil is hard, hunger-inducing work. And sometimes, eating on the run—gun in one hand, drumstick in the other—isn’t going to cut it. What you need is a restaurant, a place to sit down, relax, and feel whole again.

We’ve already documented how video game characters use food to maximize their strength, with sudden pizza slices or ramen bowls appearing out of thin air to restore energy. But while many of these food power-ups are divorced from any sort of eating establishment, there is, in fact, a world of pixellated restaurants to be explored. From the deserts of Tatooine to the streets of the Windy City, video games offer a wide range of watering holes, burger joints, and dining destinations. In fact, restaurants have been a common thread in gaming since the very beginning, serving as recharge stations (or in some cases, distinct levels or themes for an entire game). The food and utensils are easy, accessible weapons, giving the term ‘food fight’ a whole new meaning.

We’re used to thinking about video-game designers stuck in a world of fantastical monsters and intricately staged levels with fire-pits. But we’ve overlooked that they often have to think on a more pedestrian level. Designers have to be digital architects to create the most immersive experience. Modern or retro? Classy or kitschy?  

To delve deeper into this world of digital eateries, we’ve rounded up the 14 video game restaurants that we wish existed in real life. Whenever developers take the time, effort, and TLC to craft something more than an energy pit stop, we can raise our goblets to that. 

Chalmun’s Cantina in Super Star Wars

Year: 1992
Console: Super Nintendo
Ambience: Mos Eisley griminess
Price range: $

You will never find a more wretched hive of scum and villainy. We must be cautious.” Jedi Master Obi-Wan Kenobi truly said it best. Chalmun’s Cantina is a place to meet people—all kinds of people, like a pilot to transport you to Alderaan, for example. Still, whatever you do, watch yourself. This place can get a little rough. From aliens jumping out of the shadows to attack you, to massive Kalaar monsters thirsty for your blood, your hands will be more than full. Go in with an upgraded gun; at a place like this, the food is beside the point.

Casa di Angelo in Max Payne


Year: 2001
Console: PC
Ambience: Upscale Italian
Price range: $$$$

The ultimate red-sauce mob hangout. Angelo Punchinello, head of the Punchinello crime family, calls this restaurant his home base. It’s his little Ravenite Social Club—his Bada Bing—where Angelo and his associates meet to divide up New York City, piece by piece. We sure hope nothing happens to it. Like a massive fire. Or a gunfight in the kitchen. Or several explosions in the main dining area. Better book a reservation soon.

Cluckin’ Bell in Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas


Year: 2004
Console: Playstation 2, XBox, PC
Ambience: Greasy Good Eatin’
Price range: $

For those days when you just want the taste, and don’t care about the health consequences, Cluckin’ Bell is always crowing about something. Deep fried to perfection, the nationally famous fried chicken has 12 spots in San Andreas—nine in the cities, and three on the outskirts. Get the Cluckin’ Huge Meal. At ten bucks, it’s an insane bargain.

Rum for Ale in Assassin’s Creed IV


Year: 2013
Console: Playstation 3
Ambience: Open-air tropical
Price range: $

Out in Havana, Cuba is a beautiful outdoor restaurant called the Rum for Ale. It’s got ivy-clas=d walls, spirits on demand, and beautiful wenches every which way you turn. The clientele can get a bit rowdy, so be sure to step lively—no land-lubbers allowed, if you know what’s good for you.

Marshall China in Tekken


Year: 2002
Console: Arcade, Playstation consoles
Ambience: Hong Kong hangout
Price range: $$

Marshall China has had more starts and stops than an old lawnmower. Marshall Law was its proud proprietor in the States before it was driven to bankruptcy by a rival restaurant. So, Law entered the 4th King of the Iron Fist Tournament to raise the startup money for a new restaurant. But if he wins? Watch out. Marshall Law is known to be pretty defensive—or should we say offensive?—about his food. The food may be standard, but the floor show is something to behold.

Root Beer on Tap in Tapper


Year: 1983
Console: Arcade
Ambience: Old Western rustic
Price range: $

Well, now—here’s the kind of beer joint we’re talking about. Granted, it’s a root-beer joint, but what a delivery system. Root Beer on Tap has the perfect, self-explanatory name. Be on guard from the moment you walk through its Wild West-style, swinging doors, because a giant, frosty mug with your name on it is probably sliding right towards you. This is a place that emphasizes efficiency over ambience, so grab your drink (straight from the tap!), then duck out of the way.

Zone B in Chip ‘n’ Dale Rescue Rangers


Year: 1990
Console: Nintendo Entertainment System
Ambience: 8-Bit diner
Price range: $$

Sometimes, a simple diner is all you need. You know the kind—the mom-and-pop establishment, with the circular swivel stools, the stacked tumbler glasses, and the rows of pots that are always cooking something good. But the problem with greasy-spoon joints is the cleanliness. The omelettes might be first rate, but what about the rodent infestation problems? We wouldn’t go on record, but we’re pretty sure we’ve seen some chipmunks running around. You’d better eat your food fast, before one of those little buggers falls into the soup.

Quinkie’s in Watchdogs


Year: 2014
Console: Playstation 3
Ambience: Corporate-chain uniformity
Price range: $

Everything from the checkered floor to the rounded edges on the countertops makes Quinkie’s seem like the set of American Bandstand. Make sure to purchase a soda on your way out—it’ll give you a few extra seconds of Focus, allowing you to slow down time, Matrix-style, at that crucial moment.

Pig & Whistle Tavern in World of Warcraft


Year: 2004
Console: PC, Mac
Ambience: Rustic charm
Price range: $

Azeroth is a big, beautiful world that we love to explore to its far reaches. But we keep coming back, time and again, to the Pig and Whistle Tavern, for its Old World charm and its well-worn floors. After you get a drink and rest your weary feet (or claws), be sure to head upstairs. Kendor Kabonka likes to hang around up there, and he’s selling pork ribs and spider cake.

The Gates of Hell in Bayonetta


Year: 2009
Console: Playstation 3, XBox 360, Wii U
Ambience: Gothic chic
Price range: $$

Known to its own denizens as “The Dump,” the local neighborhood surrounding The Gates of Hell speaks for itself. Here’s Antonio Redgrave’s description in his diary: “There is a place beloved by wanted men and rogues, where money and power rule all…Bloody battles and dirty disputes over money are an everyday occurrence here, and the concept of concern for one’s fellow man was long since lost on The Dump’s denizens. What the people here are after, what they love to see, is not of this world.” Ostensibly, The Gates of Hell is a bar run by proprietor and bartender Rodin. In reality? It’s a weapons black market for the aspiring Umbra Witch. Any place where you can load up your gun and your liver at the same time is okay in our book.

Eaten Restaurant in Panic Restaurant 


Year: 1992
Console: Arcade
Ambience: European kitsch
Price range: $$$

It started out like any other day. Cookie, the owner and head chef of Eaten, was heading into work when he was suddenly attacked by his sous chef O’Dove (hors d’oeuvres… get it?), who takes over the restaurant. It’s a fight for the ages. Combating headless chickens to self-slicing apples, Cookie, with his trusty frying pan, must take on an army of evil food to win back his beloved restaurant. On second thought, check back in a couple months. You want to be the one eating the food, not the other way around.

Latte in The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask


Year: 2000
Console: Nintendo 64
Ambience: Rustic Minimalism
Price range: $$$$

In the mood for some vintage milk? Head over to East Clock Town’s Latte to wet your whistle. Since it’s a members-only, dimly lit establishment, you obviously know the right people if you’re drinking here. The exclusive Chateau Romani comes direct from the cows on Romani’s Ranch, and it costs a staggering 200 rupees. That’s nothing to sneeze over, but think of the benefits. You can’t put a price on unlimited magic for three whole days.

Merv’s Burger Joint in River City Ransom


Year: 1989
Console: Nintendo Entertainment System
Ambience: Around-the-corner casualness
Price range: $

It’s located in the shadiest part of River City—roving criminals prowl the streets, looking to beat you with brass knuckles and bicycle chains—but if you manage to fight your way to the front door of Merv’s Burger Joint, you’re in for some delicious fast food with a personal touch. Try the classic Merv burger for only two dollars—it’ll give you Weapon +1, Stamina +8, and Max Power +2. If you get some of Merv’s Spicy Chili on the side, that’ll be a Defense +1, Stamina +16, Max Power +4.

Gatronomer Restaurant The Sims


Year: 2000
Console: PC, Mac
Ambience: Classy and Refined
Price range: $$$$

So you’ve been dating this girl for awhile. You’ve ‘Talked,’ ‘Told Jokes,’ ‘Hugged,’ ‘Tickled,’ and even ‘Kissed’ a couple of times. It’s time to give her royal treatment. Head to the downtown area and take her out to Gastromer Restaurant, the ritziest place in town. Treat her to the three-course Gourmondo menu for two, and watch the sparks fly. Sure, it’ll set you back 300 Simoleons, but that’s a small price to pay for some WooHoo later tonight.