It’s not just a movie, man. Seriously — cult classic The Big Lebowski is so popular (and so philosophical) that it’s spawned an entire religion, called The Church of the Latter-Day Dude. A journalist in Thailand started the phenomenon in 2005, mixing Taoism, Epicureanism and The Dude’s chill way of life.
There are even a few holy books for the religion, like “The Dude De Ching,” “The Tao of the Dude” and “The Abide Guide,” a self-help guide with a 12-step program for “personal Dudevolution.”
And for the true devotees, you can become ordained as a Dudeist priest, joining the ranks of more than 250,000 others across the world that want everybody to just take it easy, man.
But don’t worry; you don’t have to be a full-fledged Dudeist to kick back with The Dude and a White Russian. Grab your special lady (sorry, your lady friend) and check out these Lebowski Bars across the world.
If you’ve ever wanted to sit under a 10-pin setup and worry that a bowling ball might fall off the wall and onto your head, this is the place for you. Iceland’s Lebowski Bar is arguably the best worldwide; it’s like walking directly into the movie.
There’s what appears to be a full-sized bowling lane (complete with those pins and the ball) tacked up above a row of booths, a section designed to look like a porch, a diner area and a rug along the base of the bar that really pulls the whole thing together. And just in case, signs along the bottom remind you: Don’t pee on the rug!
Diners can, of course, order from a movie-themed food selection — try the Brandt burger with chili-marinated bacon, chives and garlic sauce — and a large White Russian menu, with everything from the standard cocktail to the Special Lady Friend version with milk and raw sugar instead of cream.
Glasgow and Edinburgh, Scotland
Even though it’s a small country, there’s not just one, but three Lebowskis in Scotland; two in Glasgow and one in Edinburgh.
The three are decidedly less kitschy and more upscale than Iceland’s, but the influence from the movie still shines through, with extensive burger and White Russian menus and references to The Dude sprinkled onto signs.
Try the Nihilist White Russian (tagged on the menu with this quote: “We believe in nothing, Lebowski. Nothing. And tomorrow we come back, and we cut off your johnson.”). It’s a mind-numbing combination of absinthe, Kahlua and milk.
If you can only make it to just one of the three, check out the Edinburgh location, where you can bow before a shrine-like Dude mural on the building’s exterior, reminding yourself it’s not a bar — it’s a way of life.
Sure, the Lebowski Bar in Dresden is a little divey, but The Dude still abides.
Choose from a menu featuring six White Russians — obviously the most popular drink in the bar — and drink under some pretty spectacular murals of icons from the movie and a stunningly patriotic portrait of Walter and the American flag.
It’s small, and it’s crowded, but the drinks are good, the movie’s always on, and the crowd loves to go on bowling trips. What more could you ask for? It’s not a very complicated case, Maude.