Film and TV-themed bars and restaurants to visit
Whether it’s upscale restaurants serving eight-course meals or neighborhood dive bars pouring cheap pints for locals, entertainment history is full of bars and cafes that became famous after appearing on-screen. Some venues are purely fictional—places like the “Central Perk” from “Friends” or the Frosty Palace from “Grease.” These establishments only exist in film or on TV, though they’re often recognizable household names. Producers sometimes create pop-up versions of these more popular venues for fans, sometimes in conjunction with special events. For example, there’s a pop-up restaurant in Los Angeles that’s currently emulating the Peach Pit from “Beverly Hills, 90210” as part of a promotion for the upcoming reboot of the show. There are similar pop-up concepts in other parts of the country for movies and TV shows like “Saved By The Bell,” “Star Wars,” “Stranger Things,” “Breaking Bad,” and others.
But fictional restaurants aren’t the only venues that draw tourist crowds. Real-life establishments get used in film and TV too, and they often attract big crowds once the movies are released. Places like the Kansas City Barbeque in “Top Gun” or Cafe Lalo from “You've Got Mail” are both examples of preexisting restaurants that became famous after camera crews rolled through. Sometimes movie directors change the names of the establishments they’ve filmed inside (the Double R Diner in “Twin Peaks,” for example, is actually called Twede’s Cafe) while other times they stay true to the original name (as in Paris’ Bistrot La Renaissance from Quentin Tarantino’s “Inglourious Basterds.”) In rare cases, the movie even gets named after the establishment as in films like “Serendipity” or “Mystic Pizza.”
In honor of these restaurants and bars from motion-picture fame, Stacker put together a slideshow featuring some of the best film and TV-themed bars throughout the world. Look through the gallery to see which ones you recognize.
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Pat & Lorraine’s Coffee Shop from 'Reservoir Dogs'
When Mr. Pink (Steve Buscemi) goes on a rant about tipping waitresses in the opening scene of Quentin Tarantino’s 1992 film “Reservoir Dogs,” he and his crew are sitting in a cafe called Pat & Lorraine’s. The real-life coffee shop, which is located in the Eagle Rock neighborhood of Los Angeles, often caters to tourists who can sip coffee and eat comfort food amid kitsch American decor.
Cheers from 'Cheers'
In Beacon Hill in Boston, Mass., the bar where Sam Malone served up beer and cocktails was initially called the Bull & Finch Pub. After the 1980s sitcom made it famous, the bar officially changed its name to Cheers, and today it is a major Boston tourist attraction.
Elat Burger from 'The Avengers'
After the 2012 superhero film “The Avengers” ends, there’s a cute bonus scene following the closing credits in which the whole crew goes out to eat shawarma at a Middle Eastern restaurant. Although not named during the scene, they were eating at Shalom Grill in Los Angeles, then called Elat Burger.
The Hitching Post II from 'Sideways'
Nestled in a small town in California’s Santa Ynez Valley, the Hitching Post II is famous for being featured in 2005’s Oscar-winning cult classic “Sideways.” In the movie, character Maya (Virginia Madsen) works at the restaurant where Miles (Paul Giamatti) and Jack (Thomas Haden Church) hang out. It draws wine lovers who like to recite Miles’ line, “I’m not drinking any f*cking Merlot!” There’s even a special tour called the Sideways Wine Trail.
Tom’s Restaurant from 'Seinfeld'
On Broadway and West 112th Street in New York City, Tom’s Restaurant was the exterior shot of the famous Monk’s Cafe in the 1990s sitcom “Seinfeld.” Although the inside scenes were actually filmed on a set in Los Angeles, the restaurant—which was also the inspiration for Suzanne Vega's 1987 hit "Tom's Diner"—is still a famous stop on numerous tour buses and other attractions for fans of the show.
Smith & Wollensky from 'American Psycho'
In the 2000 psychological horror film “American Psycho,” Patrick Bateman (Christian Bale) is hell-bent on getting a reservation at Dorsia but instead settles for a spot at the similarly prestigious Smith & Wollensky in New York City. The real-life upscale restaurant, on Third Avenue, serves the famous hash browns from the film.
L Street Tavern from 'Good Will Hunting'
South Boston created much of the mood of 1997’s Oscar-winning film “Good Will Hunting,” co-written by Matt Damon and Ben Affleck. The L Street Tavern, where Will (Matt Damon) spends time with his buddies in the film, is a real dive bar in South Boston that still draws tourists 20 years later.
Café des Deux Moulins from 'Amélie'
With a retro ambiance intended to invoke 1950s France, Café des Deux Moulins is a bustling tourist spot in Paris where fans of the feel-good 2001 film “Amélie” can see where the title character worked. The cafe offers a signature Goûter d’Amélie (“taste of Amélie”) which comprises cardamom crème brûlée served with a hot beverage.
La Sirenita from 'Bridesmaids'
In the 2011 comedy “Bridesmaids,” the girls go out to eat at a Brazilian steakhouse which Annie (Kristen Wiig) recommends, and they all get food poisoning as a result. The fiasco becomes the catalyst for one of the film’s most iconic scenes in which the bride (Maya Rudolph) is forced to relieve herself in the middle of a busy street while wearing her wedding gown. The scene was filmed at La Sirenita in Van Nuys, Calif., which is actually a Mexican restaurant.
Timberline Lodge from 'The Shining'
In Stanley Kubrick’s 1980 adaptation of Stephen King's horror novel “The Shining,” the main character Jack (Jack Nicholson) spends a lot of time in the eerie hotel’s Gold Room clinking glasses with the bartender Lloyd (at one point shouting that he would sell his soul “for a goddamn glass of beer.”) Although the interior shots were mostly filmed in a studio in Hertfordshire, England, exterior images of the hotel and bar were captured at Oregon’s Timberline Lodge. The scenic hotel draws many tourists each year and sometimes even hosts special screenings of the film.