A TV Lover’s Guide to NYC Hangouts That Featured On Famous Shows

Betrayal at Barrymore|© Dennis Beck/Broadway Tour/flickr
Betrayal at Barrymore|© Dennis Beck/Broadway Tour/flickr
If you want to immerse yourself in the scenes from your favorite TV shows, check out some of these famous television hangout spots that actually exist in buzzing New York.
Tom’s Restaurant © Daniel_Afanador/Flickr

Tom’s Restaurant – Seinfeld

Diner, Restaurant, American
NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 15: Tom's Restaurant, which exterior was routinely used in Seinfeld episodes. Manhattan on JUNE 15th, 2017 in New York, USA. (Phot
© Wojciech Migda / Alamy Stock Photo
The infamous group of New Yorkers we’ve all come to know and love, despite their mostly bitter outlook on life, has made a household name for themselves, continuing their legacy far past the series finale in 1998. Seinfeldhas ultimately been branded as “the show about nothing,” but it has also connected itself with one of NYC’s most famous diners. After the episode of the gang joining together to chat at the fictional Monk’s Café, it was only plausible that the exterior shot of said cafe would establish a name for itself. Tom’s Restaurant, or more commonly known as just ‘Restaurant’ in neon lights, is located in the Morningside Heights neighborhood of Manhattan. Aside from the comedian and his friends, the diner is also a frequent spot used by students and faculty attending Columbia University.
More Info

Magnolia Bakery – Sex and the City

Bakery, Dessert, $$$
Magnolia Bakery is the place for a great cupcake
Magnolia Bakery is the place for a great cupcake | © Citizen of the Planet / Alamy Stock Photo
While we love watching our favorite ladies try to navigate their adult lives in various scenarios, there’s one episode in particular that put this now-landmark bakery on the map. Ever since Carrie Bradshaw ate a cupcake and dished on her love life with Miranda on a bench in front of Magnolia Bakery, the lines for its sweet desserts have been around the block. It is a chain of bakeries, but its first location, and the location featured on Sex and the City,is on Bleecker Street in the West Village.
More Info

McGee’s – How I Met Your Mother

Pub, Bar, Irish, $$$
Lobby | Image Courtesy of The Empire Hotel
Any twenty-something living in New York attempting to navigate the puzzling world that is adulthood can relate to the appeal of MacLaren’s. It is the perfect setting for the characters of How I Met Your Motherto vent, hang out, and recap their failed love lives. If you’re yearning for the fictional pub to actually exist, you’re in luck — it was confirmed by the show creators that MacLaren’s was inspired by the real-life pub they used to drink at while working for David Letterman called McGee’s. Although the creators did not have the luxury of living upstairs from the bar like Ted and his pals, they did replicate the inside of McGee’s in order to include a similar bar, booths, fireplace, and mural into MacLaren’s. During the final season, McGee’s treated loyal fans of show by turning sports off for a half hour on Mondays just to watch the newest episodes of HIMYM.They even have HIMYMdinner and cocktail specials on their menu.
More Info

The Empire Hotel – Gossip Girl

Central Perk
Central Perk | ©Willam Warby/Flickr
If you find yourself fully invested in the adventures of Constance Billard’s ‘It Girl’, Serena van der Woodsen, and her privileged friends, you are not alone. Although the show revolves around the elite Upper East Side Manhattan, it is the Upper West Side where this hotel is located, that is subject to a lot of gossip. Spotted: Gossip Girl’s lovable, but deeply troubled bad boy, Chuck Bass, conspiring in the The Empire Hotel. Whether it’s strategizing to win Blair’s affection, fight against his evil Uncle Jack, or stir up any type of debauchery he chooses, The Empire Hotel serves as Chuck and his friends’ home base in later seasons. The hotel, owned by Mr. Bass himself in the show, has believed to have seen an increase in bookings due to the exposure. They even have a Gossip Girl-themed cocktail menu — you know you love it. “Xoxo, Gossip Girl.”
More Info

The Little Owl – Friends

Restaurant, Mediterranean, $$$
So much of America’s most binge-worthy show takes place at the Central Perk, the coffee shop located at the base of Monica’s apartment building in Greenwich Village. The Friendsgang spends most of their time here chatting about the day’s events, drinking coffee, and eating all the muffins while sitting on that famous burnt-orange couch. The exterior shots of the apartment complex are located at 90 Bedford Street and the red block supporting the building is the Mediterranean restaurant, The Little Owl. They specialize in flavorful cuisine, best known for their gravy meatball sliders. Although their menu is a far stretch from the fictional Central Perk, it still seems like a place Joey would equally enjoy considering their specialty of meatball sliders.
More Info

Rockefeller Plaza – Rock

Kaufman Astoria
Kaufman Astoria | Image Courtesy of Kaufman Astoria
As the title suggests, the setting of 30 Rockefeller Plaza plays an instrumental role in the sitcom’s premise. Tina Fey shot to fame during her tenure on Saturday Night Live, a live sketch show famously residing in Studio 8H located in 30 Rock. Fey used her experiences at SNLto develop the single-camera comedy that depicts a behind the scenes look of a fictional NBC sketch comedy show also produced in the halls of 30 Rock. Fans of Fey’s show are able to take an insider tour of the home to NBC Studios through the eyes of our favorite New Yorker, Liz Lemon. 30 Rockefeller Plaza has been a staple of NYC for years, and 30 Rockthe show has solidified the significance of this building as a constant provider of entertainment.
More Info

Sesame Street – Sesame Street

Building, Library, Store, Art Gallery, School, Theater
L'entrada del Puck Building
L'entrada del Puck Building | © Shelat/WikiCommons
No one can tell you how to get to Sesame Street, but everyone you meet will be more than familiar with this fictional street that is home to our favorite furry puppets. The long-running children’s show has been educating our youth since 1969 through the neighborhood folks residing on Sesame Street in Manhattan. The learning primarily takes place specifically at the brownstone building at 123 Sesame Street, but the show opens up its home to the viewers by traveling to different parts of the neighborhood, including Oscar the Grouch’s Trash Can, Big Bird’s Nest, Hooper’s Store, and the Sesame Street Library. Whether we’re learning our ABCs, 123s, or how to build character, the learning never stops on the very friendly streets of Sesame Street. While the question in the theme song remains unanswered, we could tell you how to get to Kaufman Astoria Studios, where Sesame Street is filmed.
More Info

The Puck Building – Will and Grace

Betrayal at Barrymore
Betrayal at Barrymore | © Dennis Beck/Broadway Tour/Flickr 
Best friends and roommates Will & Grace get themselves into lots of antics with the help of their over-the-top sidekick, Jack, and their snotty and lazy assistant, Karen. When Grace isn’t in her apartment with Will, or gallivanting the streets of NYC with Jack, she is hard at work running her own studio, Grace Adler Design, located in the Puck Building. The Puck Building, where Grace and Karen have countless hilarious encounters, is a historic building located in Manhattan’s Nolita neighborhood. New Yorkers may recognize the area surrounding the Puck Building for its festive string lights hung from the building’s Mulberry Street walls during Little Italy’s annual Feast of San Gennaro. If you miss seeing the building decorated, you can always catch the exterior shots during a rerun of Will and Grace.
More Info

Barrymore Theatre – Smash

Although this musical theater drama was short lived, it made a strong impact on viewers with its catchy, original Broadway-inspired tunes, and extremely intriguing plot and character development within the fictional Broadway show about Marilyn Monroe, Bombshell. Although it was Bombshellthat made us fall in the love with all the talented characters and the show’s format, it was the creation of the fictional contemporary musical, Hit List,that made the audience stick around for Smash’s second and final season. Hit Listacted as a rival production to Bombshell and seemed to have even more behind-the-scenes drama than the biographical musical. The fictional musical first opened on an “underground” stage, and then quickly moved to the main stage at the Manhattan Theater Project. After receiving overwhelming positive reviews, the show found a home at the Barrymore Theatre on Broadway. The moment Hit Listhit the Broadway stage, the drama only increased. The Barrymore Theatre has been providing us with Broadway entertainment since 1928, most recently staging the well received production, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time.
More Info

Yer Man’s Irish Pub – The King of Queens

Bar, Pub, Restaurant, Irish, $$$
New Yorkers love watching the opening sequence of this sitcom and picking out all the landmarks of Queens featured, but there is one restaurant in particular The King of Queenshas highlighted more than enough times for it to be recognized by their loyal fans. When Doug and Carrie aren’t bickering in their Rego Park home with the occasional outburst from their third wheel, Arthur, they can usually been found at the bar and restaurant, Cooper’s, located in Glendale on 88th Street just south of Cooper Avenue. During the show’s runtime, the restaurant featured was indeed called Cooper’s, and was a hotspot for those living and visiting Queens, but it has since changed ownership and is now called Yer Man’s Irish Pub.
More Info