What’s the best way to get a bunch of characters talking? Why, have them eat, of course. That’s why so many TV shows and movies have featured restaurants as important locations. It doesn’t take a lot to make a believable restaurant environment, but it’s something special when they become iconic and memorable. So check out our list of the most iconic restaurants from film and TV, and find out if you can have a meal at the real thing!
Despite being woefully understaffed, with a cashier who does essentially nothing and a fry cook who does essentially everything, the Krusty Krab manages to serve the Bikini Bottom population without a hitch. Never mind the dodgy hygienic practices and the unanswered questions about fair labor practices - it’s all in the name of the Krabby Patty!
There probably isn’t a real Krusty Krab just like the one in the cartoon, and even if there were, we doubt that you could eat a Krusty Krab underwater, let alone survive the crushing pressure of the deep-sea environment. However, you can eat at a replica in Palestine that looks just like the real thing!
Even the most casual fans of How I Met Your Mother would know about MacLaren’s Pub, where some of the gang’s most memorable moments happened - whether it’s challenging other groups who take their favorite booth, or the group getting banned because of a fight between Barney and Marshall.
MacLaren’s is actually based on several real-life bars, including McGee’s on W 55th Street, New York City. The bar today hosts trivia nights and HIMYM-themed events on a regular basis, and you can even tour the pub.
Rachel and Joey’s jobs. That stuffy orange couch. Phoebe’s music. In Friends, few settings are as iconic and important to the show as Central Perk Coffee. So famous is it that there are several Central Perk replicas around the world, including spots in London, Singapore, and even a franchise by Dubai-based businessman Mojtaba Asadian.
Few villains in television history have been as menacing as Breaking Bad’s Gustavo Fring - in the show, he’s definitely only surpassed by Walter White himself. But when he’s not in drug emperor mode, Fring transformed into the pleasant, humble owner of Los Pollos Hermanos, an unapologetic clone of El Pollo Loco which probably had better chicken than its inspiration.
There’s no Los Pollos Hermanos franchise in the real world (excluding some promotional locations that have popped up over the years), but the actual restaurant that was used as the Albuquerue set is called Twisters, and aside from the logo, it’s identical to the show.
When Meg Ryan faked an orgasm in one of its booths in When Harry Met Sally, Katz’s Delicatessen had already been open in the real world for over a century. But that icon scene brought Katz’s into the public consciousness, and tourists from all over the world visit the diner to “have what she’s having.”
Cheers was one of those once-in-a-decade hits that just worked. A sitcom set in a bar? How original! Yet it would go on to become one of the greatest sitcoms ever created. The bar that was used for exterior shots, Bull & Finch Pub, was named the “Best Neighborhood Bar” by Boston magazine in the year of the show’s launch, and in 2002 it was finally named Cheers Beacon Hill.
What is it about restaurants and mafiosos? Dmitri’s from Orange is the New Black was certainly frequented by quite a few, and the heartbreaking scene where Piper visited the store on Red’s request made it an important part of two characters’ growth.
Adrian Balboa might’ve died offscreen in between Rocky V and Rocky Balboa, but her legacy lived on in Adrian’s Restaurant, which Rocky started after her death. The lovely little ristorante was filled with heart-melting tributes to the woman that kept Rocky grounded, as well as memorabilia of Rocky’s career. It would become an important setting for the next generation as well; it’s where Adonis Creed would meet Rocky years later in Creed.
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