The Best Food & Drink to Pair with Pipe Smoking

Pipe smoking has gone hand in hand with certain drinks for a long time. Here are a few favorites, that have been popular since the earliest days of pipe smoking.

These are:


• Whiskey

• Bourbon

• Brandy

• Scotch

• Beer

• Tea

• Coffee


Typically, it’s not something for during a meal. It’s a way to unwind and spark a conversation after the fact. Pipe smokers quickly discover there are certain foods and drinks that work better as pre-pipe meals than others.



This is an unqualified opinion, but here are a few of my recommendations, as a pipe smoker.


Some of the Best Food to Pair with Pipe Smoking


There are no rules or even common recommendations for this one. However, a good point of reference is a classic cigar dinner. Picture a rare bloody steak, and a steaming baked potato with melted cheddar and bacon bits. Picture a fluffy Shepherd's Pie with a malty beer. Maybe a summer barbecue with smoked meats. Any stick-to-your ribs meal is a popular start to a cigar dinner, and they work equally well with pipe smoking. The heavier the meal, the less likely you are to feel light-headed from the smoke.


To my personal taste, I like a pipe to start the day, right after breakfast on the weekend, and during a morning hike or walk. This is one meal of the day where your pairing options are almost infinite, unless you’re one for Apple Jacks and Pop Tarts. I tend to skip those because they taste weird, and they are made out of weird ingredients.


However, you will never regret setting a match to a tobacco pipe after filling up on:


• Sausage, bacon or ham and eggs

• Steak and eggs

• Corned beef hash & eggs

• A Western, Eastern, or Denver omelette

• Waffles

• Pancakes

• ..or Crepes




The meats have the same smokey taste that made grilled food work. The rest of it does a great job of keeping you full while you walk your dog, smoke, and think all morning.


My favorite drink to have with a tobacco pipe is actually pretty simple. It is definitely coffee, brewed in a french press if I have time.


However, the thing to remember is that the right way to do it is exactly the way you want to do it. There’s no shortage of recommendations for the best beers, whiskeys and liquors to pair with pipes and cigars out there. The fun is in the experimentation.


Tom Z. Spencer is a playwright, travel writer, pipe smoker and former blacksmith.

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