Any one of various small restaurant-type establishments, including bistros, cafes, diners or taverns, where characters unwind and let their cares be swept away in the company of wonderful people. It's an oasis away from the bustle of the outside world, sometimes with a strange, magical quality, or just outright magic.
Often these cafes are run by a small group of interesting characters who are active in the troubles and triumphs of the protagonist, or the protagonist him or herself runs it. Usually these restaurants are modest and set out of the way of the main street, the nondescript entrance possibly in an alleyway or little used side-road. Sometimes it's a one of those Little Shops That Wasn't There Yesterday
, and conveniently appeared when you were at your most lonesome or troubled.
It's patrons are often few, but they tend to be pretty unique. These Enchanting Eateries
tend to draw the supernatural or supernaturally draw the people who need it most. And there's just something about the people there, the food, the drinks and the atmosphere that ensures they'll be back.
A Setting Trope. The Inn Between the Worlds
is often one of these.
Anime and Manga
- Casetta Dell'orso, the restaurant in Ristorante Paradiso. A small, hidden restaurant run my a group of kind, older men and where the plot revolves around and the protagonist finds her home.
- The titular establishment of The Tarot Cafe, a little cafe that draws in those inflicted with supernatural problems and they tell the owner their tales.
- Sasakura Ryuu's small, hidden bar in Bartender, where people's problems are swept away by The Bartender who is a genius drink mixer who can make "The Glass Of God."
- In 'The Baxter' (2005), the "hidden gem" burger restaurant where Bradley takes Sherman and Caroline and where you have to be familiar with the staff -- there's not even a menu, and everyone acts like old friends... except for poor Sherman, the outsider.
- Carlos's Bar in Sandman Slim that somehow managed to becomes the hang out for the supernatural after Stark began frequenting it after saving the owner's business and being promised free everything for life.
- Charlie's restaurant in Sunshine which doubles as a Family Business. It has a cozy atmosphere where everyone knows everyone, in the old part of town just a bit off the beaten road. It attracts a lot of interesting patrons, some of whom are magic and is where the protagonist herself works.
- Callahans Crosstime Saloon. It's more of a bar than a restaurant, but they do serve food from time to time.
- Labyrinths of Echo got "Juffin's Dozen" -- the restaurant where local nobles, widely known heroes and other normally noteworthy folk can appear with their own faces are be treated like any common client, without anyone staring at anyone. It doesn't even have a sign: the regular visitors are brought to the place by their friends, and the owner doesn't need more, since there's only a dozen of small tables (plus one permanently reserved for the eponymous benefactor).
- The Pie Hole in Pushing Daisies. The protagonist owns the shop and makes the pies himself. How are the pies so fresh? He has the unique ability to make dead things come back to life, which comes in handy solving mysteries. His first case and most character development takes place in the shop.
- It's the basic premise of Cheers. Early seasons occur exclusively in the bar. The theme song even talks about how it's a place to get away.