Dining Bars / Bars / Beer Halls, Gourmet Guide

Dining bars offer many types of alcoholic drinks, but also serve good food. It is rather difficult to pinpoint the difference between a dining bar and an izakaya, but izakayas are more Japanese-style, whereas dining bars are more Western-style.

The bar's atmosphere as well as its menu are inspired by Europe and the United States. Izakayas can be any size from very small to quite large. Dining bars, however, do not have the image of being small establishments. In recent years, similar establishments have appeared, such as the Spain bar and the Italian bar serving casual Italian cuisine, both of which are very popular. Some Spanish and Italian bars are in smaller locations. There you can have some tapas with beer and wine. More and more Japanese people enjoy these establishments. On the other hand, the typical bar serves mainly alcohol. In general, a bar has a counter with one or two bartenders behind it serving whiskey and making cocktails according to the needs of the customers. While izakayas and restaurants mainly serve beer and sake, a bar is where you go to drink whiskey, brandy, cocktails, or wine. Depending on the characteristics of the bar, various nicknames may be applied. Normally, you order in bottles. If you cannot drink the whole bottle and are one of the bar regulars, you can get your name written on the bottle and finish it another day. However, bars where you order one glass at a time are called "shot bars." In some shot bars you have to pay after each drink. A mix between a cafe and a bar, a bar where you can have coffee and cake is called a "cafe bar," and there are also "wine bars," "shochu bars," and "beer bars," depending on the main type of alcohol they serve there. Most bartenders are male, but so-called "girls bars" only employ young women as bartenders, and in "gay bars," all bartenders are gay. There are also "darts bars," where you can play darts, "pool bars," where you can play pool, and "golf bars," where you can play screen golf. Bars that have screens for watching sports are called "sports bars" and are especially crowded during the World Cup and WBC. A beer hall is a large dining bar that specializes in beer. Many beer halls offer food that goes well with beer. In addition, in Japan, "beer gardens" open in the summer. For a limited time from the end of May to September, they are held on the rooftops of buildings or the gardens of hotels. Tables and chairs are arranged so that the place turns into a beer hall without a roof. In a beer garden you can drink beer from large jugs and be merry.

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