How to Eat Like Harry Potter (Even Outside of the Great Hall)

December 11, 2015

When the temperature drops and tree branches are bare, there is only one thing that can cheer me up: Harry Potter. I started reading the books at ten years old (the same age as Harry at the beginning of the first book!), and quite literally grew up with the characters. At midnight on July 21st, 2007, I went to Borders Books (RIP), bought the final book in the series, drove straight home, and locked myself in the living room. Hours later, I emerged, soaked in tears. The series had ended, but my love (and dreams of tasting butterbeer) never would.

Photo by Warner Bros.

I know I'm not the only one who's still waiting for an owl with an acceptance letter to Hogwarts (which, by the way, would be prohibitively expensive to attend). In the meantime, grab your nearly 20-year-old copy of the first book (or pick up the beautiful, new, illustrated edition), a warm mug of butterbeer, curl up in your house's common room, and dream a little dream of sweets.


from The Three Brooksticks Inn and The Hog's Head Inn, Hogsmeade

Photo by Cristina Sciarra

Butterbeer by Cristina Sciarra

Shop the Story

Probably the #1 most important, most desired, most delicious thing in all of Hogsmeade and the magical world. A delicious brew that warms the spirit and mellows the mind. Served frothy and piping hot.

Ron came back five minutes later, carrying three foaming tankards of hot butterbeer.

"Merry Christmas!" he said happily, raising his tankard.

Harry drank deeply. It was the most delicious thing he'd ever tasted and seemed to heat every bit of him from the inside.

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban


from The Weasley's liquor cabinet, The Burrow

Photo by James Ransom

Making Whiskey from Wine(making Techniques) by Leslie Stephens

Mentioned in passing in previous books, it's not until things get real in the last book that Harry gets his first taste (and mentions it quite a bit... It was a really stressful time, I don't blame him). Much like Muggle whiskey, it makes the drinker feel warm, bold, and very drunk.

The firewhisky seared Harry's throat. It seemed to burn feeling back into him, dispelling the numbness and sense of unreality, firing him with something that was like courage.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

Ice Cream

from Florean Fortescue's Ice Cream Parlour

Photo by James Ransom

Sundae Sundays: Everything You Need to Build the Perfect Bowl of Ice Cream by Sarah Jampel

Diagon Alley's premier scoop shop was a safe haven for Harry after escaping from the Dursleys before his third year at Hogwarts, and he spent the tail-end of his summer vacation eating sundaes and getting some helpful history lessons on wizardry during the dark ages from the scoopmaster himself.

[...]Harry scribbled everything Florean Fortescue had ever told him about medieval witch-hunts, while wishing he could have had one of Fortescue's choco-nut sundaes with him in the stifling classroom.

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

Magic Chocolate

from Professor Lupin's pocket and Madam Pomfrey's medicine cabinet

Photo by Teresa Floyd

Homemade Crackly Candy Bars by Teresa Floyd

In the world of magic, chocolate has medicinal properties. As it should.

Harry took a bite and to his great surprise felt warmth suddenly to the tips of his fingers and toes.

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

Pudding and Whipped Cream

from 4 Privet Drive

Photo by Bobbi Lin

Chocolate Stout Pudding by mrslarkin

Dobby's first appearance was a smashing hit.

Aunt Petunia's masterpiece of a pudding, the mountain of cream and sugared violets, was floating up near the ceiling. On top of a cupboard in the corner crouched Dobby.

"No," croaked Harry. "Please... they'll kill me..." [...]

"Then Dobby must do it, sir, for Harry Potter's own good."

The pudding fell to the floor with a heart-stopping crash. Cream splattered the windows and walls as the dishshattered. With a crack like a whip, Dobby vanished.

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

Lemon Drops

from Dumbledore's robes

Parisian Hard Candies in Citrus by Maison Boissier

Dumbledore's favorite sweet and the password to his office during Harry's first year at Hogwarts.

Dumblerdore: "Would you care for a lemon drop?"

Professor McGonagall: "A what?"

Dumbledore: "A lemon drop. They're a kind of Muggle sweet I'm rather fond of."

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone

Treacle Tart

from The Great Hall at Hogwarts

Photo by Tom Hirschfeld

Shoofly Pie by thirschfeld

Harry's favorite dessert. He loves it so much, it's what he smelled when exposed to the world's strongest love potion.

[...] a gold-colored cauldron was emitting one of the most seductive scents Harry had ever inhaled: somehow it reminded him simultaneously of treacle tart, the woody smell of a broomstick handle, and something flowery he thought he might have smelled at the Burrow. {...]

"It's the most powerful love potion in the world!" said Hermione. [...] "it's supposed to smell differently to each of us, according to what attracts us."

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince


from Divination Class, Professor Umbridge's Office, and Madam Puddifoot's Tea Shop

Photo by Mark Weinberg

How to Brew Your Best Cup of Tea by Katherine Oakes

Whether used to look into the future (and finding portents of doom and gloom at the bottom of your cup), tainted with Veratiserum by Hogwart's worst headmistress, or drunk on the most uncomfortable Valentine's date of his life, let's face it, Harry was probably not really a fan.

[Madam Puddifoot's Tea Shop] was a cramped, steamy little place where everything seemed to have been decorated with frills or bows. Harry was reminded unpleasantly of Umbridge's office.

"Cute, isn't it?" said Cho happily.

"Er... yeah," said Harry untruthfully.

"Look, she's decorated it for Valentine's Day!" said Cho, indicating a number of golden cherubs that were hovering over each of the small, circular tables, occasionally throwing pink confetti over the occupants.

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

Candy. So Much Candy.

from Honeydukes and the Honeydukes Express Trolley

Photo by Alpha Smoot

14 Treats (and 1 Trick!) to Make for Halloween by Gabi Benedit

No one will ever forget Harry's first (invisible) trip to Honeydukes. Not mentioned below: Chocolate Frogs, Acid Pops, Cockroach Clusters, Pumpkin Pasties, blood-flavored lollipops, Toothflossing Stringmints, Jelly Slugs, or Licorice Wands.

There were shelves upon shelves of the most succulent-looking sweets imaginable. Creamy chunks of nougat, shimmering pink squares of coconut ice, fat, honey-colored toffees; hundreds of different kinds of chocolate in neat rows; there was a large barrel of [Bertie Bott's] Every Flavor Beans, and another of Fizzing Whizbees, the levitating sherbet balls that Ron had mentioned; along yet another wall were "Special Effects" sweets: Drooble's Best Blowing Gum (which filled a room with bluebell-colored bubbles that refused to pop for days), the strange, splintery Toothflossing Stringments, tiny black Pepper Imps ("Breathe fire for your friends!"), Ice Mice ("Hear your teeth chatter and squeak!"), peppermint creams shaped like toads ("Hop realistically in the stomach!"), fragile sugar-spun quills, and exploding bonbons.

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

And the one that started it all...

Harry's Birthday Cake

from The Hut-on-the-Rock

Photo by Eric Moran

Almost Flourless Chocolate Cake with Meyer Lemon Whipped Cream by Kenzi Wilbur

For most of Harry's life his birthdays were bittersweet. His eleventh birthday may have been the most important of all, when Hagrid smashed through the door with a shaggy beard, a magical umbrella, and a "slightly squashed" cake and whisked him away to start a new, magical life.

"Anyway—Harry," said the giant, turning his back on the Dursleys, "a very happy birthday to yeh. Got sumat fer yeh here—I mighta sat on it at some point, but it'll taste all right."

From an inside pocket of his black overcoat he pulled a slightly squashed box. Harry opeened it with trembling fingers. Inside was a large, sticky chocolate cake with Happy Birthday Harry written on it in green icing.

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone

What are your favorite foods from the wizarding world? Let us know (and tell us if you've found them in Muggle parts)!

See what other Food52 readers are saying.

  • Cindy Foreman
    Cindy Foreman
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    Amanda Sims
Gabi Benedit

Written by: Gabi Benedit

domestic dilettante.


Cindy F. June 26, 2017
If you go to Orlando Studios, they sell butterbeer. Basically it is cream soda with melted ice cream mixed in.
Amanda S. December 14, 2015
Thank you, a thousand times, for this.