In this article I have compiled lists of food, meals, drinks, and magic items somehow relating to food. It should be very easy for you to pick out things real quick for your inns and for those special times when the heroes eat a meal with a lord or king to either be given a quest or to be interrupted and attacked by ninjas sent by the king's evil brother.
All You Really Need is Right Here
The best resource I found was the Official D&D Tavern Generator, which includes menus. Really this is all you need for your heroes if they are in a conventional fantasy setting.
Here's how Gary Gygax did a menu in the classic Temple of Elemental Evil adventure. It includes lots of references to kingdoms near the village of Hommlet:
I have scoured official D&D products to pull out useful stuff. Originally I thought I'd have to pore over every sourcebook and module, but it turns out that Dragon Magazine has had a couple of articles that really cover this quite well. This will be a compilation of those articles, and some other interesting stuff I found along the way.
If you want just one article to cover all your bases (aside from the above tavern generator), go get Dragon Magazine #418. There's an article in there called "Inns in an Instant". It is utterly fantastic. It has everything: charts for making inns, names for innkeepers, lists of inn names, lists of NPCs, atmosphere charts... it's unreal. There's three pages of food and drink options. Here's an example of just one of the 9 charts of food and drink:
For 5th edition Dungeons & Dragons, food, drink and lodging are covered on page 158 of the player's handbook as well as on the free online basic rules site under "Equipment". I have tried to assemble the food under the guidelines of "Poor", "Modest", "Wealthy" and etc. I also found a few articles in old issues of dragon magazine on magic food and drink. I will include them as well, following the mundane listing.
Squalid 3 cp
- Humble pie (filled with tripe or cow heel)
- Acorn soup
- Rice and peas
- Green chili stew
- Grilled snake and macadamia
- Frogs on skewers
- Onion soup
- Lizard gruel with nutbread
- Crisped worm skewers and potatoes
- Mushroom stew with corn bread
- Leg of mutton and goose eggs
- Beef stew and sourdough
- Squash and fish soup
- Mutton meatloaf
- Rabbit and baked pumpkin
- Bread-bowl stew
- Hot beet soup and fresh bread
- Bog-beetle dumplings
- Wayfarers' cake
- Cooked wolf steak
- Wren pot pie and cattail soup
- Thistle salad with roasted grubs
- Barbecued gopher legs on a stick
- Grilled wild boar chops
- Broiled salmon and potatoes
- Roast chicken and potatoes
- Smoked sausage, goose eggs and dates
- Cheese pie and onion soup
- Baked boar and greens
- Minted pea soup
- Baked goat flank
- Rabbit stew and willow crackers
- Lemming and berry soup
- Honey braised boar ribs
- Venison and bean stew
- Buffaloaf and honeyed corn
- Rack of lamb platter
- Pork chop & curds
- Elven bread
- Baked loin of pork with gravy
- Roasted cod and mashed potatoes
- Beef steak and kidney pie
- Clams and garlic
- Toasted delfarnbread with spiced snail-butter
- Grayling prawns poached with plovers’ eggs in garlic butter
- Baked pheasant with leeks
- Smoked salmon and wild berries
- Chocolate covered ants and roast pelican
- Barbecued tiger fish and papaya
- Roast chicken with thyme
- Stuffed trout, cabbage, succotash and plum pudding
- Braised beef and pears with ginger
- Meerkat dumplings with sage
- Roast stag in antler sauce
- Poached and peppered quail eggs
- Spiced monkey tail and cashews
- Roast heron and chopped sundew
- Lobster in tomato cream sauce
- Crab-stuffed lobster tail
- Roast pheasant in oyster sauce
- Poached duck with farro
- Fried ostrich and egg omelet
This is food you might see hobgoblins or orcs eating.
- Crunchy critters and grub pudding
- Smashed guts and cabbage
- Not-so-old rice in sour goat’s milk
- Fried chunks and lard bread
- Salted eyes and carrot ends
- Bone and blood mix stew
- Lettuce, liver, and lung pie
This is stuff you might eat in a drow enclave, svirfneblin community or a dwarven hall.
- Fluorescent fungus salad with cave grubs
- Diced blind eel and deep salts
- Amber lichen and softrock bread
- Translucent crayfish stew
- Crimson moss cakes and cave jelly
- Crustacean broth with ironloaf
- Roasted deep beetles with algae dip
- Toasted salamander in mineral pepper
- Arachnidumplings and fried fungus (Drow would not eat arachnidumplings, as they revere spiders)
- Toadstool steak tainted with myconid essence
- Lobe of grell
- Deep rothe steak (A rothe is a special type of cattle bred in the underdark)
Vegetables (eaten raw, sometimes diced and fried with herbs and other vegetables):
- Leek (also chives, hotwhips [spring onions], searshoots [wild Faerûnian vine onions]: These last are a staple of elven cuisine, and if left to dry until fall, can grow as hot as garlic, but never give elves "garlic breath")
- Coushoots (the green, growing "new" shoots of certain forest vines, such as Chokevine and Thaelthorn)
- Greenspear (asparagus, a staple with many elves, both raw and steamed with herbs)
- Various ferns, from fiddleheads to stewed broadleaves
- Brownbuds (brown Faerûnian wild forest radishes)
- Many sorts of berries
- Roseapple (a mild-flavored apple-like fruit that grows at the thorny junctures of a particular sort of forest vine, the "rosethorn," that grows abundantly in the Heartlands)
- Aelfengrape Fruit (A handful of these provides the nourishment equivalent to an entire meal - see Dragon Magazine #357)
- Blalatha (certain mushrooms, diced and then boiled)
- Darblalatha (certain mushrooms, diced, then fried with leeks, and then the mixed result is boiled)
- Haendur (simmered glow worms, seasoned with particular sharp-tasting leaves)
- Blackbark (literally, the stewed bark of four or five different sorts of forest bushes; tastes and looks a little like a thick beef stew)
- Snake (four sorts, beheaded and then boiled until skins separate from flesh; skins, like heads, are discarded)
- Seared Rabbit
- Thaenwing (spiced-and-diced grouse, partridge, quail, and woodguth [wild turkey]; most elves are revolted at the thought of eating owls, whom they deem "intelligent souls," and believe dining on raptors brings misfortune on oneself and one's kin)
- Silvereyes (fish stew, of silverflash and other small forest stream fish)
- Sornstag (roasted hotspice [equivalent of curried] venison)
- Surkyl (beaver: belly-slashed to insert leek and herbs, then rolled in clay and fire-baked, to remove hide and quills with hardened mud shell)
- Hooroun (moose, always marinated with particular herbs to counteract the natural seasonal tastes of spruce in winter and spring [when moose have been eating evergreen tips] and swamp in summer and fall [when moose have been grazing on swamp vegetation])
- Lulleth (muskrat and equivalents [from shrews and voles to "branchcats," which are a tree-climbing Faerûnian cross between a mink and a raccoon], usually simmered into a thick stew; most elves dislike boar, but when they do eat it, treat it in this same way)
- Groundsnake (beheaded and roasted on skewers over a fire)
- Various nuts and dried berries
- Mintnut cheese
- Taece (fire-dried tiny forest-stream fish, that look a little like brown, finger-length sardines, contain a lot of fat, and are "crunched" [eaten whole, bones and all])
- Marruth (sometimes disparagingly called "root pies" by dwarves and humans): pastries into which cooked spiced and herbed mashes of vegetables have been baked, and then let cool, and then rolled into rallow leaves (heavy, oily, waterproof broadleaves) to keep them from rotting, and carried for eating cold when on the move
- Mint jelly
- Tarts made of various berries, sweetened with a mash of berry juices
- Sprucebark quaff (cleanses palate/freshens breath before meals and after)
- Various berry-juice drinks (unfermented)
- Feywine Raisins (15 gp) Fey grapes are so lush that even when they become raisins they retain their essence. If you put these in a goblet and stir, they instantly become wine.
- Carceri snails (7 sp)
- Poached stirge eggs (5 sp)
- Boiled shank of bebilith (5 gp)
- Blood Pudding
- Death Cheese (10 gp) Made from catoblepas milk.
- Bytopian Cheese: (1 gp/pound) Made from goat's milk. There's three types - blue, red and white. At night, the blue cheese glows in the dark and has a spicy flavor.
- Fire Fruit: (2 sp) A fruit that is deadly to all but fire-resistant beings. This fruit comes from the plane of fire and it burns with a soft flame. You blow out the flame and then eat it immediately. Once extinguished, this fruit goes bad in minutes. Venders serve them with tongs.
- Arborean Fireseeds: Snack foor from Arborea. Usually sold in sacks of a few dozen, when this seed comes into contact with water, including saliva, it erupts into a soft, harmless flame. Not enough to see by or burn, but it provides an interesting sensation in the mouth as it dissolves, having a vague smoky flavor to it. (Planescape: Torment)
- Gar-Bar Root: This small treat is a rubbery material usually sold in small cubes that, when chewed, produce a strong, almost overpowering sweetness that quickly dulls over time. Gar-bar root is slightly addictive, though controllably so in most people, and is not meant to be swallowed. (Planescape: Torment)
- Elysian Pears: The elysian pear is amongst the most flavorful breeds of pear in the planes, and treasured by epicures throughout the Outer Planes. (Planescape: Torment)
- Crimson Lotus Petals: (Planescape: Torment) Brownish0red flakes that melt on your tongu, leaving n odd aftertaste. Makes some people a bit disriented. (Planescape: Torment)
- Bytopian Shepherd's Bread: (Planescape: Torment) Aromatic, smells like carrots and almond. Sweet and light. (Planescape: Torment)
- Shiftspice from Limbo: (Planescape: Torment) If you focus, you can modify the taste of the spice. If you don't, it tastes different every time.
- Sea-Plums: (Planescape: Torment) Pitless, blue-green fruit. The rind is sour, meat is sweet combining for a pleasant meal.
- Fiendspice: Known fiendspices include devilwort, goryenne, and mephosweat. These spices in normal conditions can be quite hazardous to mortals, wreaking havoc on their digestive processes and even causing damage in great enough quantities. However, in areas of natural blandness, such as the Ethereal Plane, the effects of these spices are subdued enough that they can be safely consumed by mortal beings. (Guide to the Ethereal Plane, page 10)
Sweetheart's Confection (10 gp) A heart-shaped fey confection that is split into two halves and shared between lovers before they part company for a time. They gain an emotional bond until they see each other again, sensing the other's emotions.
Feybread Biscuit: This is hard but nutritional, and gives you extra hit points when you heal for the next 12 hours.
Droth: Also known as “demon’s blood,” droth is a black, sticky substance made from the blood of demons. When smeared on the eyes, it cures certain sorts of blindness in some individuals, and when ingested, it can help to cure diseases. It is also effective in battling green slime.
Moonhoney: The dung of Abyssal groundworms, it is a smoky-tasting and delicious. Its name comes from its consistency and appearance , and it gains sweetness in direct moonlight. It can neutralize poisons and is an ideal trail food for wayfarers of all kinds, who can readily carve it into handy chunks.
Blood Apricots: These grow in Hell or in places where a lot of blood has been spilled. The fruit is a rich orange-red and it grows darker if given a taste of blood. You can put your own blood in it (storing hit dice). Within 12 hours, whoever eats the fruit gains hit points.
Fey Cherries: These grant protetion from evil to those who consume them. Once picked, it retains its property for a single day. The spell gentle repose can lengthen this. Fey cherry trees only create cherries once every decade, making these quite rare. A healthy sapling sells for 3,000 gold.
Flame Clove: (20 gp) A garlic herb infused with energy from the Elemental Plane of Fire. When blended into food, it can keep a meal hot for d4 days.
Stone Cheese: This appears to be a yellow disc 2 inches in diameter. When placed in boiling water for half a hour, the cheese swells to 14 inches in diameter and 5 inches thick. It tastes like sharp cheddar and is fresh for one week.
Everloaf: An enchanted loaf of bread. It always remains fresh. If half of the loaf is intact and the other half is eaten, it regenerates the missing bread in one hour. If you pour a liquid through a slice, the bread will detect poison by turning black.
- Grog (rum with water, maybe with lemon or lime)
- Dregs and water ("dregs" are defined as the sediment in a liquid, such as wine or coffee)
- Goblin spit ale
- Orc Kragg: Very powerful, nauseates non-goblinoids. Popular among orcs and goblinoids. (Arms & Equipment Guide page 31)
- Goblin Thudrud: Has the "taste and smell of a rotting cow that caught fire." Goblinoids and some barbarians like it.
- Turnip wine
- Miller’s moonshine
- Dwarven ale
- Pulsch Brown Ale: Halflings make this. It has a pleasant, nutty flavor. (Arms & Equipment Guide page 31)
- Moon Mountain Ale: Very popular drink from the Moon Mountain Brewery in the Forgotten Realms. (Dragon Magazine #299)
- Spiced ale
- King’s ale
- Trollbane ale
- Desert star wine
- Wight wine (I imagine this has a goofy undead wight on the label)
- Rice wine
- Fey wine
- Wild orchid wine
- Lotus leaf wine
- Stonesulder wine: This yellow-hued, sharp-flavored liquid is made by the sap from demon plants from the Abyss, which is then fermented in wooden barrels.
- Aelfengrape wine: This elven drink is extraordinarily potent but doesn't have a refined taste.
- Champagne du le Stomp: (Curse of Strahd page 77) Wizard of Wines logo
- Red Dragon Crush: (Curse of Strahd page 77) Wizard of Wines logo
- Grapesmash No. 3: (Curse of Strahd page 77) Wizard of Wines logo
- Elven Aleeian Wine: Grapes plucked from wild vines deep in the forest. Takes several months to create one batch. (Arms & Equipment Guide page 31)
- Dwarven Garnet Wine: Made from grapes high in the mountains. (Arms & Equipment Guide page 31)
- Cactus spirits
- Dragonbite Bitter: Exceptionally dark beer. Recipe is centuries old, only the Dragonbite Brewery makes it. (Arms & Equipment Guide page 31)
- Dwarfhead Stout: A powerful, "day to day" brew favored by warriors. Mostly found in dwarven communities. (Arms & Equipment Guide page 31)
- Frenzywater: Extremely potent. Bottle may sometimes spontaneously burst into flame if left in sunlight. Might cause a berserker rage. (Arms & Equipment Guide page 31)
- Gnome Golden Light: A lightweight beer with flowery accents.
- Elven Mead: Elves use exotic honey in the forest to make this. Even dwarves like this drink. (Arms & Equipment Guide page 31)
- Elven Moondrop: Exquisite drink made by experts using fresh dew and moonlight. (Arms & Equipment Guide page 31)
- Moonslake: Minty halfling drink. Alcoholic apple cider that's been mixed with water in which crushed mint has been boiled, then strained out again. Cool taste, humans don't like the after-taste. (Dragon Magazine #299)
Moon Mountain Dark: Full, nut-bitter beer beloved by halflings, gnomes and dwarves. Humans find it salty. (Dragon Magazine #299)
- Moon Rum: Fiery, raw, red-purple in hue and little loved on its own. (Dragon Magazine #299)
- Fharlanghn spirits
- Swamplight spirits
- Desert lily brandy
- Berry brandy
- Goat’s milk and brandy
- Herb and mint tea with brandy
- Peach wine
- Tangerine brandy
- Fireweed whiskey
- Wanderer whiskey
- Bacon beer
- Dwarven double draft
- Scorpionweed reserve
- Corellon reserve
- Moss mead
- Lemon mead
- Honeysuckle mead
- Moradin mead
- Silvermoon mead
- Sundew mead
- Sparkling Evermead
- Glitter mead
- Shadow stein
- Softrock spirits
- Lichen liqueur
- Mineral mead
- Moradin mead
- Algae ale
- Deeps ale
- Mushroom Wine: There are many different types made by Underdark dwellers. (Arms & Equipment Guide page 31)
- Drow Spiderblood: Mushroom wine with a dose of venom from poisonous spiders. To get acclimated to this drink and not get poisoned, you need to drink a little bit each day for several months. (Arms & Equipment Guide page 31)
- Mushroom moonshine
- Fungus wine
- Darklake Stout: This drink is a signature ale brewed by the Muzgardt clan of Duergar that live in the Underdark settlement of Gracklstugh in the Forgotten Realms (see Out of the Abyss page 56).
- Viperwine: A drink that demons enjoy, but is lethal to other humanoids. Sometimes humanoids will take an antidote before drinking it to avoid the lethal effects.
- Fekk: A strong githzerai liquor.
- Razorvine Wine: Made from the sharp vines that grow in the city of Sigil .
- Malefic Mead: Made in an Abyssal brewery, lethal to non-demons. On a successful saving throw, the drinker will be violently ill or roaring drunk for extended periods of time.
- Deva's Bile: Made in an Abyssal brewery, lethal to non-demons. On a successful saving throw, the drinker will be violently ill or roaring drunk for extended periods of time.
- Baatezu Blood Wine: Lethal to non-humans.
- Greengage Cider: A potent brew from the orchard of the halfling goddess Sheela Peryroyl. It is extremely powerful.
- Starclear: A watered-down version of Sparkling Evermead (see "Assorted Other Drinks" list above) originally sold in The Infinite Staircase (see For Duty and Deity page 21).
- Arborean Wine: (130 gp/bottle) Made from giant grapes from Arborea. This intoxicates people twice as fast as normal wine (see Faction War page 22).
- Yellow Wurm Stout: Liquor made from soul larvae (worms with humanoid heads, they are what evil people become when they die). This is sold in The Grand Larva Emporium on Oinos, first layer of the Gray Waste of Hades (see Dragon Annual 1997 page 102).
- Avner's Abyssal Ale: A heavy porter made in the Abyssal plane of Azzagrat (For Duty & Deity page 47).
- Zelatar Zappf: A reddish lager made in the Abyssal plane of Azzagrat (For Duty & Deity page 47).
- Abyss Alive and Kicking: A wheat brew with a live yeast made in the Abyssal plane of Azzagrat (For Duty & Deity page 47).
- Firewine: (40 gold) Brewed from the Arborean fireseed, firewine is a strong, smoky-flavored wine. It is often consumed alongside fireseeds, as each enhances the flavors of the other when consumed together. (Planescape: Torment)
- Ethereal Ale: (Harbinger House, page 20) This drink literally evaporates on the tongue of the one partaking of it, quenching thirst and providing a delightful intoxicating effect. Ethereal ale can be found at most higher-class taverns in Sigil. (Planescape: Torment)
- Three-Ashes Tea: (Planescape: Torment) This beverage is a cold, bitter tea, said to aid in meditation. Popular with the Dustmen in Sigil. (Planescape: Torment)
- Willow tea
- Black tupelo tea
- Plum leaf tea
- Crowberry cider
- Apricot cider
- Plum cider
- Berry cider
- Cranberry cider
- Spiced apple cider
Ghost Ale: This drink is popular in the Shadowfell. It is a dark ale that smells of musty soil but it is rich and inviting. When you drink it, you become slightly insubstantial (ignore difficult terrain and move through occupied spaces). If you drink 3 ghost ales in 5 minutes, you become unconscious for an hour. Your spirit leaves your body. It is invisible, has phasing and ignores damage (except radiant or fore). It can't attack. If your spirit takes damage, you take that damage when you wake up.
Goodale: This gets its name from the fact that it is brewed in good-aligned monasteries. It reduces fatigue (on the exhaustion chart in 5e, perhaps).
Astral Mead: A sweet sparkling beverage that restores the body. A flask has the nutritional value of full day's worth of food and water. For 12 hours you have a +2 to endurance checks and gain extra hit points when healing.
Gorgondy Wine: A gnomish wine that offers glimpses of the past to those who drink it.
Sonata Wine (fey): You cannot describe the scent or taste of this wine, which fills your head with beautiful music. For 1 hour you have a beautiful singing voice
Sweet Water (20 gp) A small glob of white jelly that purifies toxic food and drink, removing any poison or disease after one minute.
Firebelly (10 gp for a flagon) A harsh liquor distilled by the inhabitants of cold climates. It keeps you from suffering the effects of the cold.
Burrfoot's Nut Brown Ale (20 gp for a flagon) A full-bodied ale originally created by a halfling named Nedelmeir Burrfoot. It produces a mild euphoria in drinkers that will mellow even the most taciturn dwarf.
Mage's Brew (80 gp) A thick nutty liquor that increases one's concentration and has little to no aftereffect.
Evermead (200 gp for a glass) This pale golden liquor is favored by elves. Those who drink it are imbued with youthful vigor. It negates old age stat penalties for 12 hours.
Drowned Man Stout (300 gp) A full-bodied ale enjoyed by orcs and evil humanoids. The living enemies of the orcs would be sealed into a barrel . The orcs find that the resulting beer acquires a heady quality. This drink provides temporary hit points for 3 hours or until lost.
Beer of Eternity (750 gp) This beer is infused with radiant energy that actually would damage undead if they drank it. Living creatures who drink it become invisible to undead for 1 hour. It can also help with drained stats (in 3e terms it removes a negative level).
Oathbeer (3,000 gp) Dwarves drink this as part of a ceremony to seal a pact, or as a sign of friendship and devotion. All involved swear an oath before a priest, shed blood into the beer, and the cup passed around. Oathbeer binds the drinkers to the oath, as long as they partake of their own free will. Violating the pact brings a curse upon the oathbreaker.
- All liquids poured into the cup are effected with a purify food and drink spell.
- Once per day, drinking from the mug cures the drinker of poisons.
- 3 times per day, the drinker can be affected by the spell owl's wisdom, which gives a +4 to wisdom for 1 minute per level.
Water Seeds: Seeds the size of a grape, runes carved into them. Dig a hole, place the seeds in a circle around it. Water magically fills it and a natural spring is born. Sometimes a nereid, water weird or water elemental appear there as well.
Sweet Bladder: It looks like a normal wineskin. When water is put in it, 12 hours later the water becomes a heavy, rich cream that can feed one creature for an entire day. Your healing rate is increased as well.
Satchel of Nourishment: Each day, the satchel provides enough food for one human-sized creature. The food: A fresh roll, a big piece of dried meat, and three pieces of fruit.
Centurybloom Tree Seeds: These seeds grow into trees in a few months. It generates 90 pieces of fruit per month.
|Goblet of the Emporer|
Water Purifier: This pitcher made of crystal can purify food and drink on a liquid placed in it for ten minutes. It also cools a drink and makes it sweeter. The big drawback is that it turns everything into water, even expensive wine.
Martyr Glass: When shattered, this crystal wineglass casts bless on all within 25 feet. It can be used in a ceremony where a solemn oath is sworn. The person who speaks the oath is blessed for as long as the oath is upheld.
Courtier's Bane: When the command word is spoken, this crystal wine glass turns the wine it contains into poison. Another command word changes the wine into a potion of healing. It can only transform wine once per day.
Links & Sources
The Official D&D Tavern Menu Generator - This might be all you need
Magical Food & Drinks, 3rd edition style
ENWorld - Food you would find in a D&D tavern
Forgotten Realms Food & Drink
More Forgotten Realms Food & Drink (great list!)
Rilmani.org has a great section on Planescape food and drinks.
Mysidia.org has very useful Planescape Torment food notes.
Dragon Magazine #414: "Inns in an Instant"
Dragon Magazine #334: "Drunkards & Flagons"
Dragon 299, 323, 357, 414, 429, 430
Dragon Magazine Annual 1997: "Bazaar of the Bizarre"
Dragon Magazine Annual 1999: "The Bare Necessities"
Dragon Plus Issue 6: "Travel Talk: Volo's Visit to Barovia"
Dungeon 60, 164
Temple of Elemental Evil, For Duty and Deity, Adventurers Vault, Heroes of the Feywild, Mordenkainen's Magnificent Emporium, Planescape: Faction War, Arms & Equipment Guide.