If you’re a big fan of Hollywood flicks, you’ll be pleased to know many aren’t just shot on a sound stage. Some crews set the scene more naturally and head out into town for real life restaurants.
Visiting the favorite food spot of your most beloved silver screen characters brings the movie to life and definitely makes for photo-worthy, memorable moments.
If you’ve ever dreamt about grabbing a bit where your favorite characters dined, you might be in luck. See these 13 restaurants still open to the public.
GOOD WILL HUNTING
- From the movie: Good Will Hunting
- Real life restaurant name: Woody’s L Street Tavern
- Real life address: 195 L Street, Boston, Massachusetts, MA 02127
The local dive bar served as a regular hangout for life-long Boston friends Will (Matt Damon) and Chuckie (Ben Affleck) in Good Will Hunting. The South End spot has been renovated, so fan shouldn’t expect every detail to be intact, but it still makes a great stop for fans of the flick, the famous duo of friends, or even Bruins or Red Sox goers.
- From the movie: Serendipity
- Real life restaurant name: Serendipity 3
- Real life address: 225 E. 60th St., New York, NY 10022
The early 2000’s romantic comedy starring Kate Beckinsale and John Cusack had every girl swooning. The real life restaurant, Serendipity 3, still stands in Manhattan’s Upper East Side and still serves the famous frozen hot chocolate the star-crossed lovers sipped the fateful night of their meeting.
- From the movie: Forrest Gump
- Real life restaurant name: Bubba Gump Shrimp Co.
- Real life address: 1501 Broadway, New York, NY 10036 (with other locations all over the world)
Bubba Gump Shrimp spun out of the beloved movie following one man’s journey through the turbulent times of 20th century America — including a brief stint as a “shrimp’n boat cap’n.” Take a moment of silence as pay respects to Bubba when you visit.
WHEN HARRY MET SALLY
- From the movie: When Harry Met Sally
- Real life restaurant name: Katz’s Delicatessen
- Real life address: 205 E. Houston Dr., New York, NY 10002
One of the most famous restaurant scenes on the list took place at Kat’z Delicatessen. The restaurant received immediate notoriety from Meg Ryan’s famous organism scene, but it had already been successfully operating New York’s Lower East Side since 1888. Kat’z has made appearances in other movies, as well, including Donnie Brasco (1997), Enchanted (2007), Across the Universe (2007) and Off Beat (1986).
- From the movie: Mrs. Doubtfire
- Real life restaurant name: Bridges Restaurant and Bar
- Real life address: 44 Church St., Danville, CA 994526
No doubt, Robin William’s scene changing outfits in the bathroom is one of the most memorable. It’s called Bridges, just as it was in the movie, and it’s still open for business. The white linen restaurant serves California cuisine with European and Asian influences. And, if you happen to be allergic to pepper, tell the wait staff and they’ll be sure you have a better meal than Pierce Bronson did.
- From the movie: Bridesmaids
- Real life restaurant name: La Sirenita
- Real life address: 14032 Oxnard St., Van Nuys, CA 91401
It’s never given a name in the movie, but La Sirenita is the spot if you’re looking to relive the delicious food from the Bridesmaid’s dress shopping day. The real life restaurant serves Mexican food — not Brazilian — but either way, the food is tasty, safe and won’t make you “sh*t in the street.”
- From the movie: Top Gun
- Real life restaurant: Kansas City Barbeque
- Real life address: 600 W. Harbor Dr., San Diego, CA 92101
If Goose and Maverick go there, it’s got to be a good time. The famous scene where the Naval duo pound out “Great Balls of Fire” on the piano is still open for fun. The San Diego spot serves up food the folks of KC would even be proud of — spare ribs, brisket and other southern staples. And let’s be honest, the food might be delicious, but you’re probably going there for bragging rights, so pick up a Top Gun t-shirt, hat or postcard.
50 FIRST DATES
- From the movie: 50 First Dates
- Real life restaurant name: Hukilau Cafe
- Real life address: 55-662 Wahinepe’e St., Laie, HI 96762
Adam Sandler meets Drew Barrymore (again, and again, and again…) in a well-worn local café oozing with tropical charm. There really is a Hukilau Cafe located in Hawaii that gets some pretty great breakfast reviews. The film was actually shot elsewhere, but using the name in the major motion picture helped put the Oahu restaurant on the map. They also don’t serve Belgium waffles, so if you’re looking to create Barrymore’s waffle hut (complete with toothpick swinging front door), you’ll have to find another delicious carb medium on the menu — may I suggest the banana pancakes?
- From the movie: The Notebook
- Real life restaurant name: High Cotton
- Real life address: 199 E. Bay St., Charleston, SC 29401
After years of separation, wondering why she never wrote back, Noah spots Allie in a restaurant. The spot where they filmed this scene is called High Cotton and it’s a fancy restaurant in Charleston, South Carolina with lines out the door of Nicholas Sparks fans wanting to get a taste of their favorite chick flick. Be sure to make a reservation!
YOU’VE GOT MAIL
- From the movie: You’ve Got Mail
- Real life restaurant name: Café Lalo
- Real life address: 201 West 83rd St., New York, NY 10024
The cozy little, New York coffee nook is where Meg Ryan waits for blind date Tom Hanks in the 1998 romantic comedy. Check out the impressive spread of desserts on display at this Upper West Side happening hangout.
- From the movie (television show): Cheers
- Real life restaurant name: Cheers
- Real life address:
Okay, the real deal was filmed on a sound stage in Los Angeles, so you’re not going to find your favorite friends here, but the sitcom was based off of an actual Boston bar located in Beacon Hill that has been serving guests burgers and beers and good conversation since 1969.
- From the movie: Pretty Woman
- Real life restaurant name: Cicada Restaurant
- Real life address: 617 South Olive St., Los Angeles, CA 90014
Another rom-com makes the list — apparently eating out is a requirement of the genre. Know as “The Voltaire” in 1990’s Pretty Woman, the real life Cicada Restaurant, formerly Rex II Ristorante, is the stage for Julia Roberts’ famous snail flinging scene during a stuffy business dinner with Richard Gere’s clients.
- From the movie: Coyote Ugly
- Real life restaurant name: Coyote Ugly
- Real life address: 153 First Ave., New York, NY 10003
Piper Perabo and John Goodman starred in Coyote Ugly, a movie about bar-top dancers and a girl’s big-time musical dreams. The East Village dive bar shot to fame and now has locations across the world including Las Vegas, Moscow, Tokyo and Kiev.
Originally published May 1, 2017
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