Have you ever been watching a film and seen an amazing restaurant that you’d love to eat at? Or stared in envy as your favourite film stars devour a delicious-looking dessert? Unfortunately, most of these places don’t exist, and a lot of the food we see in films has been created just for a movie scene.
Nevertheless, there are a few iconic movie restaurants that you can visit in real life. We did our research and put together this list of real Hollywood eateries. So now you can fill your belly while feeling like you’re on the set of some great film.
1. Katz’s Deli (New York) from When Harry Met Sally
The famous deli from that scene in When Harry Met Sally has been around since 1888, long before the film was shot. They’re famous for their hand-cut pastrami sandwiches, like the ones that feature in that very scene. In fact, so many people order it that they go through around 30,000 lbs of meat each week!
Katz’s Deli is one of the busiest restaurants in New York, with queues down Houston Street every day. But as it’s even one of Oprah’s favourite places, it’s probably worth the wait. If you’re a fan of the film, you can sit at the same table that Billy Crystal and Meg Ryan sat at, which is clearly marked with a sign saying, “Where Harry met Sally… Hope you have what she had!”. Pay them a visit next time you’re in Manhattan, have what she had and recreate the famous scene if you dare.
Insider’s tip: Everyone gets a ticket when they enter, don’t lose yours or you’ll be charged $50.
2. Momo (London) from Bridget Jones’ Diary
Lots of London locations feature in the Bridget Jones films, but our favourite has got to be Momo. This is the restaurant where Britain’s much-loved single gal (portrayed by Renée Zellweger) had a gossip with her friends and got advice on whether or not to go on a date with her charming (yet slightly sleazy) boss Daniel Cleaver (Hugh Grant).
It’s the most glamorous Moroccan restaurant in London with fabulous décor. And best of all, it’s located in the West End, making it a must-visit for locals and tourists alike. Treat yourself to a North African classic like their lamb tagine or some tasty couscous. You could wear some Bridget Jones style granny pants if you want to really get into character.
Insider’s tip: Order a half bottle of Chardonnay for £26 in true Bridget fashion.
3. Mario’s Restaurant (New York) from The Godfather
Unfortunately, the original restaurant from The Godfather – Louie’s – was shut down shortly after this masterpiece was filmed. But Mario’s Restaurant is another similar venue in the Bronx which was mentioned in The Godfather novel.
They turned down an offer to star in the film as they didn’t want the stigma that came along with the Mafia drama. However, they’re still open 40 years on. Visit them if you’re in New York for one of their famous antipasti or some traditional Italian pasta.
Insider’s tip: Go with a bunch of friends and order lots of big plates to share so you can try a bit of everything.
4. Hukilau Café (Hawaii) from 50 First Dates
The actual scene where Henry met Lucy (played by actress Drew Barrymore) was filmed on set, but it took inspiration from a real café in Hawaii which makes excellent breakfasts, just like the one from the film. It’s unlikely that Adam Sandler will be sat at the table opposite to help you build a waffle house, but it’s worth checking Hukilau Café out if you’re a fan.
The café also features on Man vs Food where they showcase their famous Hukilau burger. Therefore, if you’re not in the mood for the breakfast from 50 First Dates, you can sample some more traditional Hawaiian foods from a famous TV show.
Insider’s tip: Go for an early morning hike to the beautiful Laie Falls before you eat.
5. Serendipity 3 (New York) from Serendipity
The iconic Frrrozen Hot Chocolate from the rom-com Serendipity had us all drooling and craving something sweet. But did you know you can try it for yourself? It’s the most popular item on the menu of Serendipity 3, and it’s made from “a secret blend of 14 different cocoas”.
TAKEAWAY: Not only did it feature in the movie, but Serendipity 3 was Andy Warhol’s favourite spot. Rumour has it he never actually paid for his ice creams but used sketches and paintings instead. So if you’re talented enough, you could take a chance and see if you are lucky at bagging the same deal!
In the film, Kate Beckinsdale tells John Cusack that she believes “fate sends us little signs”. But if you’re in New York we don’t think you should leave it up to destiny before trying the hot chocolate. You might have to queue for a couple of hours to get in, but we’ve heard it’s one of the best desserts around, so it should be worth the wait.
Insider’s tip: Arrive half an hour before it opens during the week to avoid the long lines.
So that’s it, these are our five most iconic movie restaurants for you to visit during your travels. Now you can dine in places that have served some of Hollywood’s best film-stars. And if it’s good enough for Meg Ryan, it’s good enough for us. You could also check these real-life NY restaurants featured in the TV series “Sex and The City”. If you do visit them, make sure you take lots of pictures. That way, you’ll have a backdrop that’s featured in some of Hollywood’s most memorable scenes. And then, your friends will be green with envy.
If this list has given you an appetite for a great film, this movie calendar gives you ‘around the world’ film inspirations for every day of the year. So pick one, hold on to the popcorns, cuddle under your blanket and chill.