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Thermopolium – antique street bar

This post is also available in: Polish (polski)

Thermopolium in Pompeii
Thermopolium in Pompeii

Thermopolium was an antique street bar that literally means “the place where you sell (something) warm”. This type of place was popular in Greek or Roman cities among the poor who could not afford their own kitchen. Today we could describe such a place as “fast-food”.

A typical thermopolium consisted of a small room with a long stone/brick counter extended. Earthen jars (dolia) were embedded in such a counter, in which the fried and prepared food was placed. The front of the counter was often decorated with frescoes. Great examples of thermopolia can be found in Herculaneum or Pompeii.

In thermopolium spiced wine (calida), meat, cheese, lentils, nuts and more were served.

A photo from the Canterbury museum showing thermopolium.
Author: Marzena Łaska

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