A thermopolium was a bar which sold hot and cold drinks and snacks. There were many of these thermopolia around Pompeii as many Pompeians would have a quick snack for lunch. These bars were also popular because they gave the poor an opportunity to eat hot food if they did not have cooking facilities at home.

A thermopolium was often no more than a tiny room which opened onto the street. Sometimes these bars provided seats for their customers although most just had counters.

The picture shows the earthenware jars called 'dolia', underneath the counter. These contained food and drink. There was also an oven at the back of the thermopolium which was used to heat up snacks and to heat the water to mix with the wine.