Hello! I've been lurking here for a little while now, stealing all of your ideas, so I thought I'd give a little something back.
I created these 50 taverns with a short description, hopefully to light a little spark in your imagination, be it for a quest or just a little thing to plop on the road.
The Rumble Inn
Once every hour a bell tolls and the whole inn shakes. The patrons all seem aware that this is going to happen and don't bat an eyelid as unattended glasses fall to the floor and shatter. All tables, chairs and stools are bolted to the ground to stop them tumbling every time there's a rumble.
The Salty Seafarer
Found moored up at ports around the lands, this floating tavern is always busy, but only for a week or so before it sails off to it's next destination. Who knows when you'll bump into it again!
Famed for the owner's stories and fables they have collected on their travels from the tavern's many patrons, as well as world famous bards who often travel along with it. Of course we can't forget to mention the exotic drinks and food they have picked up on the way!
Entering this tavern, you find that there doesn't seem to be an owner, although there are many patrons, pouring their own drinks and leaving coins in collection trays.
The Boney Bar
The Boney bar is, if anything, creepier than it sounds. Not only are there skeletons serving you, nearly everything is made out of bones. The tables and chairs, a massive chandelier hanging in the centre of the room... even the mugs are skulls with the holes plugged up!
Luckily, the food and drink is exquisite!
The Dapper Dragon
A fancy restaurant that uses tiny dragons and other creatures to help cook food. Basically Ratatouille but with monsters!
If I were you, unless you like your food black, I wouldn't ask for my steak to be "Well done."
Situated in the head of a huge dragon, this extravagant tavern is a place for hunters to show off their kills and share stories of their hunts. They also hold competitions here, as well as hosting a market and trade shows for meats, furs and other materials extracted from their kills.
Adorning the walls of the three floors are the heads of all sorts of beasts, ranging from stags and boar to more exotic creatures like Owlbears and Displacer Beasts. There is a leaderboard filled with the top 20 hunter's names and how many points they have for the season.
The Weather House
The weather inside this place is always different to what it is outside, offering respite if it is particularly hot or cold. Unfortunately the owners were not very specific with the wizard that they got to enchant their tavern, causing it to rain, snow or even hail inside when the weather outside is warm, which isn't great for business, although they do keep a few umbrellas by the front door, so you can stay mostly dry if you decide to stay here.
Tinsy Winsy Tavern
Sandwiched between two large buildings is a small door leading to a tiny room with one stool in front of a short bar, leaving just enough room behind it for a halfling barkeep.
The Drunken Dummy
Every night the owner is on stage with his wooden ventriloquist dummy. This thing looks creepy as hell, but they are telling some great jokes and the crowd is eating it all up! The act seems to show they have a complicated relationship, with the dummy regularly shouting down the owner and slapping him. It's a fantastic routine... or so it seems.
The King's Armistice
This tavern has been untouched by many wars over the years. Said to have been blessed by a mighty wizards final words as he sacrificed himself to end a long and gory war, it is a place to go for some respite during warring times. Upon entering all equipment disappears, including clothing. No magic seems to work either.
Of course upon exiting, many people instantly break any truce they previously had, making the surrounding area of this tavern a bit of a wreck.
The Tinker Inn
As you push the door you hear a mechanical whirring. Looking up you see a clockwork soldier with a big hammer run out of a house and strike a bell, alerting the owner to a new visitor.
Dotted around the tavern are all sorts of interesting toys and contraptions. Some are just for aesthetics, like a small hot air balloon flying around the room, but others are actually useful. Little trains run along tracks around the room delivering food and drinks and music is playing from a strange box at the back of the room.
The Nibbly Fish
Opening the door you realise that nearly the whole floor is lowered and covered in a pool of water about a foot deep. A sign on the door says, "No shoes!"
You take your boots off and step inside, noticing there are tiny colourful goldfish swimming around and nibbling the dead skin off your feet. There's nothing like a free foot pedicure whilst you enjoy a good drink!
The Cat's Whiskers
Ran by a lovely Tabaxi family, this inn is full of cats of all different breeds. You'll find them napping on beams, weaving in and out of the patrons legs and mewing whilst they wait to be fed.
It's a great place to visit if you like milk on tap! (But awful if you're allergic to cats)
The Costumer's Always Right
There is a bouncer at the door dressed up like a bugbear. He says, "Hey, no coming in without a costume."
Once dressed up sufficiently you are let inside. You see people dressed up as famous heroes from stories and also as monsters, some of which are real and some are made up. They are all chatting and laughing, pretending to fight and posing for portraits.
Gravity Falls Tavern
Situated at the base of a waterfall that is actually flowing up the cliff instead of down it, the Gravity Falls Tavern is a sight to behold. It's upside down. Drunk people are exiting, stumbling around as they navigate the stone steps.
Entering, you see a chandelier standing upright, 'hanging' from a chain set in the floor. The most amazing thing is that you see people walking and sitting on every single face of this room. Each side of the room seems to have it's own gravity field, including the bar, which is at 90 degrees to what you currently see as the floor. You realise that those people probably weren't drunk, just disorientated from dealing with all the changes in gravity!
The Roasting Duck
Every night is roast night here at The Roasting Duck! We're not just talking about the food either. Come on in for you and your friends to get a good ol' roasting from our in-house roasters and you can even get up on stage and give it a go. The best roaster every night wins 30gp! Do you have what it takes?
At the end of every night the magnificently bearded owner stands up on a table in the middle of the tavern to the cheers of the patrons and sets his beard on fire, keeping it going for as long as he can. During this time drinks are free so the patrons swig as much as they can before he has to pat it out. His record is 4 minutes!
Unlike any tavern you've seen before, this place is about 6 times taller than it is round! Apparently this place used to be connected to a massive castle, but it got destroyed in a great war. With a spiral staircase round the edge and a pole in the middle to slide down, this tavern is certainly a novelty. You notice all the staff members have incredibly strong calf muscles from walking up the steps so much.
At the top of the tower is an open top terrace, offering an amazing view out across the surrounding valleys.
The Grape Escape
An underground winery that stretches for longer than any tavern you've seen before. Like a wine cellar, this place has thousands of bottles in racks and shelves that make up the walls. What sets this apart from other wine cellars is that it is also a maze! Without a guide you are sure to get lost in its winding walls.
The Peace & Quiet
A haven for writers and readers alike, this is the quietest tavern/library you've ever seen. Although to be fair, it is the only tavern/library you've ever seen. With three floors of books, comfy seats and desks, this is a great place to relax, or even come for a quick nap... as long as you don't snore.
If you're looking for a good book, this is the place to go. There are books on every wall, shelves upon shelves of ordered books and not to mention the staircases with books under every single step! You will be spoilt for choice!
However, if you aren't keen on this scene you aren't going to have too much fun. There are alcoholic bevereges, but they are all cocktails themed around book names... (Tequila Mockingbird, Lord of the Gins, etc.) and there is a limit of one per customer to avoid anyone getting too loud.
The Knife & Pork
With its very own in-house abattoir, feel free to select your favourite from a wide selection of pigs to chow down on this evening. It's the perfect place to be swined and dined!
This place is really fancy and looks great from the outside. Everyone is dressed to the nines and are pretty posh. As soon as you enter you hear the squealing of pigs out the back. Likely to be a pretty harrowing experience for you and your party...
The Amen Arms
The Amen Arms is a multi-use building, being a church and also a bar. The only problem is that they only sell communion wine on tap. Unfortunately this has left the members of the clergy with pretty severe drinking problems, which does liven up Sunday prayers, but isn't so great when the priest is loudly weeping at funerals and weddings.
Rick Ade Bar
This bar has some of the trippiest drinks you've ever seen! Fizzing potions and steaming cauldrons are on every table and everything is so cheap! As you've had your fill and you go to leave you realise the door has been barricaded and there is no way out. You're told that all the drinks need to go before anyone can leave.
Looking around you see there are creatures like Bugbears and Gnolls as well as people of all different races (and classes) around the bar, some not looking overly thrilled that they have to spend the night in this place.
You see a fight break out between two clerics, shouting "Die demon scum! Go back to whence you came!"
That's when you feel it start to kick in... What on earth is in these drinks?
The Stray Fey Inn
This beautiful inn originated from the Feywild. Due to an accident many years ago, this inn and all of its patrons got transported to your plane. Apparently this was a pretty rough area before the inn turned up and they attracted some higher class visitors. No one is quite sure what happened with the inn that was here before, but it is common legend that it was taken to the Feywild with its less-than-savoury patrons so they could try and redeem themselves in a different land.
This grand theater has been converted into a dining establishment with live acts. Once a month the Queen visits and judges a talent competition, with the winner taking a spot in the Royal Talent Guild. Members of this guild go to live in the castle grounds, entertaining guests and earning a great salary before being kicked back out into the real world once the Queen has had enough of you. Past members all seem desperate to get back, but most of them fail.
The Boar Inn
This tavern seems really standard. Just a really old sweet couple who are like 90 years old. Offer tea and coffee and cakes rather than booze. There are those white lacy doilies on the tables and it's just proper classic old person vibe.
However, you do notice a dull repetitive thudding through the floorboards. With some investigation you find a bright neon, seizure-inducing underground club. Everyone is covered in glow in the dark patterns. Drink and drugs are in high supply. If you decide to stay you're soon joined by the old couple who properly rave it up. They ask that you do not tell anyone else of their secret club because the nobles wouldn't approve it. In return you get half price food and drink, either upstairs or downstairs.
Twilight Tussle Inn
Every night at sunset a huge brawl breaks out over the tavern. Once there are x people left, everyone that lost must buy them a drink at some point during the evening.
(Replace 'x' with the party size -1 person.)
Naturally, the owners have long since stopped buying new glasses, tending to just use stone mugs because they are so much harder to break. They have also had to bolt down all of the tables and chairs to stop them being used as weapons every night. other than that is is pretty much no holds barred, although there will be a severe penalty if you actually kill someone during the tussle.
The Brushstroke Bed & Breakfast
The Brushstroke Bed & Breakfast (BSB&B for short) is an idyllic and luscious establishment with a very special hook. Each rooms door is replaced by a large enchanted painting that creates different scenes to sleep in. Ranging from snugly tropical treehouses and luxurious campsites in the woods to frozen igloos and rocking boats on the sea. This place is sure to have a room for anyone to enjoy... if they have the coin to afford it.
Fire and Ice Alehouse
This tavern features dueling bars on opposite sides of the room. One side icy and blue tones the other billowing flames and red tones. The two sides come together across the ceiling every hour to make “fire water” that falls from a swirling cloud in the middle of the room. Fire Water is a delicious drink that also provides its drinker resistance to fire and ice for 24 hours.
The Toil & Trouble
Ran by a Neutral Witch, this place is filled with bad guys nearly 24/7. She doesn't seem to notice or care about anyone's alignments or what they get up to, unless there is any violence. If anyone causes a scene she descends on them, leaves them within an inch of their lives and bans them for life. If anyone tries to return, even in disguise, she knows and instantly kills them. She has no time for people that want to cause problems in her domain.
The Rickety Witch
There aren't actually any witches in this bar, but the servers float around on brooms and are dressed up as them. The food is all themed around ingredients in potions. Rat tails, eyes of creatures, etc.
The Dark Horse
This tavern is in complete darkness and any attempt to create a light either by magical or non-magical methods will fail. The staff all wear special goggles that allow them to see whilst serving tables and dealing with customers.
It is billed as a unique experience to tantalise your senses, but in reality the owner is a once beautiful sorceress that has been horrifically disfigured by a curse and she hates being seen. She may employ the party to help lift the curse and in return offer them the tavern, which they can design however they wish.
The Bam & Booze
The best way to describe this place is... confusing. The first thing you need to do is figure out how to get in! The door doesn't seem to open in the normal way. Do you try and go through a window? Down the chimney? Maybe there's a key hidden somewhere?
It gets even more confusing once you get inside. All of the drinks are FREE! (As long as you can solve the puzzles the owner puts before you. Some may be in a different room of the tavern, whereas others could be simple riddles.
Now you've had your fill and are ready to leave, how do you get out? Uh oh. It's a huge escape room! (I feel like this one will be really fun to flesh out for a DM!)
Stumbling through the desert you happen upon a large tent with camels tied up outside. Inside is a luxury bar with expensive drinks and attractive women. People are sitting around in beanbags, smoking who knows what from hookahs. Smells of delicious exotic foods are wafting through the air. It's very inviting.
I'll let you DMs decide how real this place is! It could either be a mirage and not exist at all, a crappy little tent with horrible drinks under a major illusion or exactly as described. How evil are you feeling?
The Meteorite Meat Shack
Located at the bottom of a huge impact crater from a meteorite, this self sustaining tavern is attached to a huge farm. Apparently the soil in the bottom of the crater is particularly fertile, leading to stronger crops and livestock!
If your players do some investigating they will find out that the meteorite is still around, with a barn built around it in the dead centre of the crater. Of course it is the source of the mysteriously good crops and livestock. All it needs is a human blood sacrifice once a week...
Cheep & Cheerful
A tavern filled with colourful birds of all different species flying around and perching on beams above you. You can buy seeds to feed the birds if you are so inclined. (They are also less likely to try and eat your dinner if you feed them!)
No Cats or Tabaxi allowed.
Live music, 24/7, featuring all your favourite artists and bands; Coldflay, Goblin Manuel Miranda, Armour Class/Difficulty Class, Owlbear City, Bulette Zeppelin and more!
Muscles & Cockles
The only restaurant where you can pump iron and pump beer, from a tap. The beer, not the iron. The stronger you are, the heavier your discount. Upon entering you must perform a feat of strength, such as hitting a button with a mallet to try and ding the bell at the top or lifting something heavy, like barrels of beer or a rotund gentleman.
The Holey Grail
Named after a grail that has been pierced hundreds of times, be it from arrows, explosions or a multitude of other things. Every night the tavern owners hold a contest to see who can create the most holes when it is tossed in the air. After 12 hours the grail has mysteriously repaired itself. (You could make this a magical item or simply have the owners replace it with a new one every day)
Love Me Knot
This tavern is placed right there on the beach. But, oh no, the tides coming in! Never fear, the Love Me Knot floats and is tied down to heavy anchors beneath the sea floor to stop it from drifting away. Of course it still seems to move around the beach every other week to find a nice spot in the sun.
Winner of finest Grog 3 years straight, you'd be hard pressed to find a finer drink. However, the brewer is letting all the fame get to his head and is getting rather arrogant, challenging all around to try and create a better beverage. Are your party up to the task?
The Leeky Crockpot
Everything is... leeky. Like, based on leeks. Leeks on your food, leeks used as stirrers in your drinks. There are even leeks on the beds! Where are all these leeks coming from? Now you smell like leeks. You scrub and you scrub, but still, the leeky reek remains. If your adventurers get a bed here for the night they take a charisma hit to all except those who love leeks, in which case they get a bonus.
The Troll Booth
Simply pay your fee to cross the bridge and there surely won't be any trouble. They'll even throw in a hot cup of tea or coffee to make it worth your while. The trolls found that they were getting a lot higher return when they moved over to the service industry instead of the... ambush industry?
Rise and Shine
You arrive at the tavern after a hard day's dungeon diving, just to find it is shut. Looking at the opening hours you see it is open from 6AM-7AM. Who on earth is drinking at 6 in the morning??
If they go during open hours they find it is absolutely heaving with customers, drunkards stumbling out after being in there for just a few minutes. Whilst inside you notice time is so much slower too. It will feel like hours pass whilst inside, even if you're only in there for 10 minutes of real time. (Maximum 12 hours in the 1 hour it's open, so 10 minutes real time would be 2 hours drinking time, for example)
Err, drinking and mini-golf? Yes please! A hole-in-one on the final hole wins you a free drink at the bar. Just be careful though, the more you drink, the harder it is to aim! (You may also refer to this place as "The Golf Club")
As you enter you must play a tune on a drum kit. If you play it well everyone cheers, but if it's bad they will boo and jeer. If you refuse to play or roll a nat 1, you can't enter. If you roll a nat 20 you get a free beer or some other prize.
The only thing between you and a cold glass of ale is this 100-foot climbing wall.
Yes, Paradice. This club is so exclusive, you can only get in if you hit a DC20 Charisma check.
Among the hills and slopes of this region rests an inn. An inn owned by a being addicted to gambling. Any travelers passing by may be tempted to enter for a refreshing drink and a hot meal, but they will find no prices on the menu. Maybe they would like to wager something for it instead?
A wooden construct, stuck together with mud and held up with thin ropes, this absolute dive of a bar isn't somewhere you would choose to go, even in a pinch.
A Goblin ran establishment, serving Goblins and ONLY Goblins... Unless you have something to make it worth their while.