I am interested in knowing how popular were drinking establishments (or more commonly known as taverns) in Europe during the Middle Ages (5th-15th century)?
Did they exist during the entire Middle Ages or not? Did every town have a tavern?
The question is very broad - A lot of the answer would depend on a more specific geographical location and/or a narrower time-window.
For example in France, Taverns and inns (not restaurants) were the only places for common people to eat-out all of the way up until the late 18th century, according to the wiki. This would seem to make them THE hot-spot in that region throughout that time...
It's certainly popular in medieval arts to make an omage to taverns and inns in creative works:
3.) There are likely more drinking songs from the Middle Ages than one could ever hope to discover and research in a lifetime...
Given the popularity of alcohol in general, all of this would suggest that drinking establishments have been happening places before, during, and after the Middle Ages... Prob in Europe, and everywhere else... ;P