From the perfect coffee to the secret ingredient of the Krusty Krab, there are some long-lusted after dishes adorning the spectacular fictional eateries that form the settings of some of our favorite TV shows and movies. While some part of us wants to be in the scene, enjoying a cold one with our favorite characters, there’s also some part of us that just wishes we could be in that restaurant and enjoying a part of a world of which we’ve become so fond.
Feeling hungry yet? Here’s Screen Rant’s list of 14 Fictional Restaurants We Wish We Could Eat At.
14. Bob’s Burgers
Comedy cartoons are more popular than ever these days, and we’ve come a long way from the time of South Park, Family Guy and The Simpsons being the only cartoons suitable for adults. A semi-recent addition to the grown-up animation genre is Bob’s Burgers – a show that is itself set in a restaurant.
There are two things that make the titular Bob’s Burgers so alluring; first of all, the care and culinary expertise that Bob Belcher (H. Jon Benjamin) lends to his menu brings it from a simple burger joint to a place that serves only top quality meat (and definitely not human flesh) with new and inventive recipes every day – with punderful names to boot. Secondly is the Belcher family themselves. The restaurant is family run, and the one thing that makes it so pleasing to watch is the how the Belchers stand out from any other cartoon family; they care about each other in a really touching and convincing way. The writing is so affectionate and, while most of the storylines are quite frankly insane, the clear caring between the main five characters is such a nice and cosy thing to see – and definitely the sort of family we’d want serving up our food.
13. Central Perk – Friends
Find one person who doesn’t want to drink coffee at Central Perk and you may as well have a big foot sighting. A key set in Friends, one of the most popular sitcoms of the past two decades, Central Perk is a cosy local coffee shop boasting not only a selection of cakes and coffees, but also a remarkable knack for always having free seats, despite being in the center of New York City.
12. Cake Baby – Bridesmaids
Bridesmaids was a comedy triumph, being one of the first mainstream movies to “allow” women to take on the jokes normally reserved for their male co-stars. It also saw Kristen Wiig in one of her first leading roles as failed baker, Annie, “the idiot who opened a bakery in a recession,” and that bakery soon closed down.
However, having seen Annie’s baking skills at various intervals throughout the movie – her apology carrot cake, in particular, looked amazing – it leaves us wishing that not only had it stayed open, but that it had opened in the real world, too – who doesn’t want “one of those pastry things, you know, with cream in the middle?” Oh yeah, cream puffs.
11. McClaren’s Bar/The Hoser Hut – How I Met Your Mother
McClaren’s Bar is the dream hang out, particularly for the gang from How I Met Your Mother. It is directly below “the apartment,” it’s clean but has personality, and it serves beer and hot wings. What more could you want from a bar? Apart from Carl (Joe Nieves), the friendly but firm bartender, an old-fashioned jukebox, plenty of gimmicky signs, and, of course, a comically large bottle of champagne that’s never been refrigerated and at one point possibly had a fish in it. Just make sure you don’t go boogie boarding nearby.
The other tempting tipple comes from The Hoser Hut – a Canadian-themed bar in New York frequented by World Wide News’ very own Robin Scherbatsky (Cobie Smulders), where you can bump in to someone and in return be offered a donut, before jumping on the karaoke machine to sing out your heart to your favorite Robin Sparkles song. If you do happen to be in New York, you can hop over to Brooklyn and visit the similarly Canadian-themed Ontario Bar, but don’t expect any donuts.
10. The Great Hall, Hogwarts – The Harry Potter Series
The feasts alone are enough to tempt anyone to eat at The Great Hall of Hogwarts, but the magic of food suddenly appearing on your plate isn’t the only wondrous part of the meal. The ceiling is enchanted to look like the sky outside (“I read about it in Hogwarts: A History”), and the candles float majestically above the four long tables. Heartbreakingly, it is reserved only for students of the school of Witchcraft and Wizardry.
However, England’s Harry Potter Studio Tour attraction in Leavesden has recently been offering the chance to dine in the actual Great Hall, using the set on which the movies were filmed. It’s pricey, but it includes a full three course meal, unlimited access to the rest of the studio, and your very own wand replica. Sadly, the ceiling won’t be enchanted for us muggles.
9. Cafe 80’s – Back to the Future 2
In the bizarre alternate future of Back to the Future 2, that now confusingly takes place entirely in an alternate past, we see Marty McFly Jr. and Sr. (both played by Michael J. Fox) getting into a fight with Biff (Thomas F. Wilson) in a strange, retro-themed café, where everyone is served by TV screens (eerily accurate if you’ve ordered anything at the McDonald’s fast lane of late), and a tiny Elijah Wood plays a retro arcade game – “you have to use your hands? It’s like a baby’s toy.”
8. The Krusty Krab – Spongebob Squarepants
Legend has it that The Krusty Krab has one of the best fry cooks in the sea, and there’s something secret in those Krabby Patties that makes them extra delicious and extra sell-able – and if you disagree, you can just go and eat at the Chum Bucket.
Run by the money-grabbing Mr. Krabs (Clancy Brown), and staffed by a grumpy Squidward (Roger Bumpass) and an overly enthusiastic Spongebob (Tom Kenny), the heartbreaking reality is that we will never be able to eat at the Krusty Krab – not just because it is animated, but also because it is underwater in Bikini Bottom. Which makes us wonder how the grill works, but it’s best not to dwell on these things.
7. Los Pollos Hermanos – Breaking Bad
It’s an odd choice to crave to eat in a chain chicken restaurant that was used to cover up a secret meth business, but for all his illegal flaws and blatant psychopathic tendencies, you have to hand it to Gustavo Thring (Giancarlo Esposito) – he knows how to run a restaurant. Not only does he run a tight ship, with workers who trust and care for him – it’s pretty obvious from both flashbacks and side glances at dishes that the chicken there tastes damn good.
6. Mos Eisley Cantina – Star Wars
“You will never find a more wretched hive of scum and villainy” – and yet its eateries are so appealing. Mos Eisley boasts a cantina littered with, shall we say, colorful characters and rude staff – and yet it’s doubtful any of us would turn down the chance to go check it out, perhaps due to the fact that it’s frequented by a delicious dish in its own right, young Han Solo (Harrison Ford), who is tasty enough on his own! On top of that, it even has live entertainment. Perhaps it’s not as wretched as Obi Wan (Alec Guinness) would have us believe.
Some lucky attendees of London’s Secret Cinema were able to visit a replica of the Cantina – complete with live music and Wookiees – last summer, and it was just as glorious as anyone would hope it to be.
5. Pizza Planet – Toy Story
This is another restaurant on the list with its own licensed replica. Toy Story saw the introduction of a space themed version of Chuckie Cheese, complete with arcade games and space ships – and the chance to win your very own three eyed alien.
There’s fun and games and of course, pizza – what’s not to love about Pizza Planet? The difference of course is that those lucky enough to visit Disney’s Hollywood Studio, Orlando, are able to actually go and eat pizza in Pizza Planet – though sadly, without the added bonus of the arcade games.
4. The Bronze – Buffy The Vampire Slayer
The Bronze seems to be an altogether perfect hangout. Is it a bar, is it a nightclub, is it a restaurant, or is it a coffee shop? Who knows? It’s all that and more, seemingly shifting quite conveniently into whatever it needs to be for the particular scene – but almost always adorned with live 90’s pop-punk music, which is absolutely acceptable.
3. JJ’s Diner – Parks and Recreation
There has never been a sadness that couldn’t be cured by breakfast food, and JJ’s do the best waffles in all of Pawnee. JJ’s is not only world-famous for its waffles, but it also boasts a breakfast dish known as the “Four Horse-Meals of the Egg-Pork-Alypse” which, aside from being a delicious pun, sounds like something that’d make most people.
It includes a twelve-egg scramble, bacon, sausage, ham, hash browns, chicken-fried steak, and a giant tower of buttermilk pancakes, and has been condemned by both the American Heart Association and Doctors Without Borders. If that doesn’t get your stomach growling, nothing will.
2. Luke’s Diner/The Dragonfly Inn – Gilmore Girls
Coffee, all the coffee. There’s something so adorable about a grumpy grown man in a backwards baseball cap, isn’t there? Maybe? It does make one wonder, why would someone who hates people open a business in the service industry. Yet, somehow makes it work, despite his “no cell phones” rule, which would be even more difficult to enforce today than it was back in the Gilmore Girls days – let’s see how future Luke (Scott Patterson) deals with iPhones in the Netflix reboot.
Of course, if greasy diner food isn’t to your taste, you could always spend your fictional trip to Stars Hollow checking out Sookie’s (Melissa McCarthy) fine dining experience at The Dragonfly Inn instead.
1. El Jefe – Chef
Jon Favreau’s indie hit Chef sees an award-winning gourmet chef (Jon Favreau), who had a mental breakdown over a bad review, buy himself a food truck to make Cuban street food and drive it across the country. You wouldn’t expect the director of Iron Man to make such a sweet little movie, but here it is!
If nothing else, the movie leaves you craving street food more than you ever thought possible, and wishing that the El Jefe truck would roll into your town and serve you up some Twitter-famous gourmet street food!
Can you think of any other fictional restaurants that you would love to visit? Let us know in the comments!