Red Dead Redemption 2 s salons are the hubs of their cities. Whether you want a full stomach, a quick drink, a place to stay or even a haircut, you will find a salon to suit your needs. I've spent hours in them during my playthrough, downing whiskey and flirting with the locals. Here is a review of each salon in Red Dead Redemption 2 .
Note : The last part of this piece contains site spoiler for later in Red Dead Redemption 2 but I will flag it up again before we get there.
Smithfields Saloon, Valentine
Ambiance and clientele: A frills place with dirty tables, patched walls and rowdy drinkers. There is a guy in a racoon hat, whose only job seems to be starting matches (not testing him), which puts everyone permanently on the edge. It's not the place for a quiet pint, but if you want a party, it's the place to go, especially when the ranch and stable hands come after work to blow off steam.
Food and drink: Simple, honest food for an empty stomach. The steak is dark and rich and you get a lot of it for your $ 3. The more expensive lamb's fry also looks tasty. I like the simple wooden bar on the side, where you can chat with a friendly barman while drinking whiskey.
Facilities and Activities: The best thing about Smithfields is the shaver, where pocket shifts give you a trim and a shave before a night out on the town. He's even open to the early hours, just in case you want to clean up the middle party. It is wise that so many patrons look as fragile as they do.
You can't stay here but you can stumble onto the hotel across the street, which is convenient. Grab a bath to get rid of the confused crazy smell before going out in the morning.
Keane's Saloon, Valentine
Ambiance and clientele: Keane's Saloon makes a terrible first impression, with old men measuring you on the porch before you goes in. But for how downward the customers look, Keane's remarkably clean; the floorboards look like they are being scrubbed daily. Candles are set out on each table, which is a nice touch, even though one of these tables is stained with a regular Five Finger Fillet game. (Avoid it if you want to eat.)
Despite acting, you'll find a good conversation with Keane, including with the author Calloway, who will give you some leads on some old pistol runners.
Food and drink: A blackboard menu outside promises oatmeal, pork and beans, squirrel and pickled eggs, but the two funds are crossed out. The eggs must have missed, because $ 3 oatmeal is your only option. It's watery and is really just a stuffing for when you are desperate (and even then you can go 30 seconds down the road to Smithfields for a much better meal.)
At least you can grab a local beer: a great New Hanover Brewing Company keg sits at the end of the bar. It's easy to drink.
Facilities and Activities: It's one of the few places to play Five Finger Fillet, which is fun, and when you hang up, making money is easy.
Rating: ]  2.5 / 5
Old Light Saloon, Van Horn
Atmosphere and clientele: Old Light Saloon reminds me of a cozy British pub – the stone walls and the low roof beam could come straight from the Cotswolds. In the evening it is dark, lit by candles and dim, hooded light, making it feel even more cozy. The central fireplace is flanked by deck chairs made from pieces of logs – a clear fire hazard, but I can forgive how much they add to the atmosphere.
You can tell that the place is not properly looked after, however. The tables are tiled and curtain rails are wonky, while pieces of newspaper are entered into the wooden floor. The town of Van Horn is too small to fill it, so it's not much good company, but remember to talk to Miss Marjorie at the bar. She is a fascinating woman with some interesting friends.
Food and drink: No-nonsense grub that is rich and filling. The $ 3 fish stew is a sure bet, while the $ 5 paralyzed heart is for the more adventurous. They will both keep you fuel for the journey down the coast to larger cities. Beer and whiskey are both offered.
Facilities and Activities: You can't stay overnight (even if it's a city hotel for that), but you can spend some money on blackjack.
Rating: 3.5 / 5
Rhodes Parlor House, Rhodes
Ambiance and clientele: The table is beaten but as long as the odds are fair, Rhodes Parlor House has everything you want in a lounge: dining room stalls in front to eat, a tireless pianist, old men who want to share gossip about robberies, a barman greeting you warmly every time you enter, a constant stream of fasting, no matter what time of day, and even a single match, usually started by local Lemoyne Raiders.
The height and a central staircase give it a greatness and the color of the neutral interior is calm and inviting, but it is the outdoor seating that keeps me back. The front of the second floor has a balcony that looks over the dusty plains, but the real jewel is at the back of the building. There you will find a seating deck with candlelit table and a perfect view of the sunset. It is the ideal place to end a relaxing evening.
Food and drink: You can't try the imported wine that is promised in the posters, but a whiskey or beer from the friendly bartender will do. The food is solid: The fried bite is light and flaky, and while the cracked wheat and milk ($ 3) look a bit like a prison run, I appreciate having a proper breakfast option when I stay overnight.
Facilities and Activities: You can take a hot bath by a fire and pay a dollar to stay in a room behind the bar. It is small but well furnished and it is sparkling clean. You can also play blackjack upstairs for the $ 4 table is always active, and it's a good place to gossip with the locals.
La Bastille Saloon, Saint Denis
Atmosphere and clientele: From the ornate oyster light it shines to colored glass window overlooking the staircase, La Bastille exudes old-world charm. It's sophisticated from top to bottom: Look down and you see a polished, patterned wooden floor; up and you will see a complicated gold ceiling.
Posh men and women will bid on you when they clink glass of champagne, nibble on tea sandwiches from tiered plates and talk little about local politics. They drink in wealth, and while it's nice to be in a prestigious company for a while, they can be a snooty bunch. This attitude is characterized by socialite Lillian Powell, who finds you lying on a couch, complaining about how boring Saint Denis is and whining on the barman so as not to serve her quickly enough.
Food and drink: You pay for the privilege of drinking among the rich and famous: a whiskey is a whole dollar, double so you pay anywhere else. At $ 3, the lobster bisque is a great deal, while for $ 5 you get a perfect pink prime rib with gorgeous, creamy dauphinoise potatoes.
Facilities and Activities: Upstairs, La Bastille is basically a luxury hotel with high ceilings and thick carpets. You can pay for a bath – which comes with a fancy bottle of cognac – and stay in a plush room, sleeping in a four-poster bed with overhanging gold cassettes.
From your room you can walk straight onto a shared balcony that has tables and chairs under umbrellas to shade you from the sun and overlook a pretty square with a fountain in the middle. It's the kind of place that is perfect to sit with a morning coffee and paper.
You can also play poker below: $ 5 buy-in reflects the great environment.
Rating: 4.5 / 5
Doyle's Tavern, Saint Denis
Atmosphere and clientele: Doyle is the place the locals go when they can't afford La Bastille. Expect a tiled tiled floor, low ceilings and not enough chairs to walk around, which means I often see people sitting on raised boxes. The lonely table in the second room has a candle light overhead, as if someone is sitting facing questioning. Even more worrying is the rat infection, which I had to deal with for the owner.
However, Doyle is friendlier than La Bastille. I have heard more flirting here than in any other salon, and you get the feeling that everyone in the back room can start dancing to the startling piano music for a few minutes. It is usually empty during the day, which gives a good conversation with the one wondering at the Charles Charles bar, a fun French artist I met my first time there, is worth getting to know.
Food and drink: No food to talk about, but beer and whiskey-Old Waghorn Bourbon floats freely.
Facilities and Activities: Nothing, unfortunately. Doyle has enough money to support an active poker table, so maybe the owners will invest some money in it now the rats have cleared out.
Blackwater Saloon, Blackwater  Ambiance and clientele: First, I thought The Blackwater Saloon was a real dive: The tables are colored, and on them lies the victory stubs and eradicate plates crushed with old food. The carpet looks like it has been thrashed by a thousand people plus their horses – it's hard to know when the mud boot card ends and the decorative pattern underneath begins.
But it has big city touches. Its entrance is covered by a good green and white awning, and ornamental vases sit in the corners of the rooms. Upstairs there are nice lacquer tables, much cleaner than downstairs, surrounded by a cozy fireplace, and the exposed walls give a rustic feel. If I had brought a book, I would put it on a wooden chair here to read.
Blackwater's contrast reflects his patrons. Since it's the only place in town, you'll find a mix of scruffy drunks and rich people in bowler hats who have come to gamble their money away. It's a peaceful place, even when the pianist slams away on the keys, making it one of my favorite haunts to stay away for an evening.
Food and drink: Drinks are nothing special, but the food is worth traveling for. $ 5 may seem expensive for a chicken breast, but it is juicy and lumpy, and the moss sucks up a rich sauce. For the desert I often take a peach cobbler: The butter cream on top is oh-so flaked, and a generous pop cake brings it all. To die for.
Facilities and Activities: It's the only salon I've met that has both poker and blackjack. If you're tired of one, just move on to the other, and both tables are always busy. Purchasing is $ 5 each, which is steep, but it's worth being able to merge between the two. You can also spend the night in a spacious room and take a bath to wash the stench from the farm work.
Armadillo Saloon, Armadillo
Mood and clientele: "Warning: Cholera" reads the sign outside, telling you everything you need to know about Armadillo Saloon. A pair of drunks ornament porch; Inside, upturned stools lie in water pads while old filler pots on board. The place looks like it hasn't been cleaned this year.
I've only seen two people in here bartender.
Food and drink: No food to talk about (god), but when I first entered, the barman assured me beer and whiskey was "About the only things that are safe to drink in this city." When I was in the middle of a beer, he again wondered: "I'll warn you – I'm sick, but that's pretty much everyone else around here." I didn't finish my drink
. Facilities and Activities: None – and if there was anything, I wouldn't hang long enough to try them.
Rating: 1/5  Tumbleweed Saloon, Tumbleweed
Ambiance and clientele: The rolling roof makes the Tumbleweed Saloon feel oddly empty. Its patrons do not add to life: most of them are quiet and random in their chairs, snoozing after having too many. It's not as dirty as Armadillo's salon, but it still needs a good scrub and flies buzz around some of the tables.
When you say that, people are friendly when they are awake, the pianist is talented, and it is worth coming in the morning or early evening to see the sun's axes brilliant over the bar. Top marks for window placement.
Food and drink: Barman will tell you that there are no bad decisions on the menu and he does not lie. For $ 3 you get a large bowl of spicy chili, while for $ 5 you can eat three thick pieces of roast beef with corn and glazed carrots. Both will fill you for the long journey back to more civilized cities.
Facilities and Activities: The Tumbleweed may have the best poker setup for any salon I've been to. A dedicated card room hides up, behind a thick door that blocks the bar's noise. The room itself has its own drinks station (although no one to serve you, unfortunately). It's only $ 2 to play, which is good if you don't have the money. If you need a break, you can go out on a walkway that overlooks the city center, where a lone trader chops fresh meat and hides.
Rating: 2.5 / 5
Samuel Horti is a freelance writer, Brit in Canada. Reach him at email@example.com.