Life of Pie: movie restaurants you can actually visit


Disappointingly, most of the restaurants you see in iconic film scenes are carefully built sets. You can’t enter a twist contest at Pulp Fiction‘s Jack Rabbit Slim’s, get on the guest-list of Dorsia from American Psycho or visit the pastel-hued Mendl’s Bakery from The Grand Budapest Hotel. However, from rom-coms to gangster epics, a surprising number of films do use real-life restaurants when their characters are chowing down on food, formulating secret plans or falling in love over lobster. From New York to Paris via London, here are the places that should be on your bucket list.

La Sirenita, 14032 Oxnard Street, Van Nuys, California

The (rather unfortunate) restaurant Annie takes the bridal party to in Bridesmaids is a real Mexican restaurant just outside Los Angeles, serving up seafood ceviche, burritos and quesadillas. Fear not – if you eat here it’s pretty unlikely you’ll end up having food poisoning and shitting in the middle of the street, though I can’t imagine the restaurant are too happy about their bad rep.

Lost in Translation
New York Bar, Park Hyatt Hotel Tokyo

If you want to live out your ScarJo fantasy, you might just be one step closer. Head to the 52nd floor of Tokyo’s Park Hyatt Hotel, where there’s even a Lost in Translation-themed cocktail you can drink while enjoying shrimp popcorn, yuzu olives, sea urchin toast, wagyu brisket and lobster rolls. Yum. Though the chances are you won’t strike up a conversation with a lonely, fascinating soulmate, there’s no harm in trying, right?

The Clinton/Goodfellas Diner, Maspeth Avenue, Queens, New York

As far back as I can remember, I always wanted to be a gangster. And eat waffles. Goodfellas had such an impact on what was then known as Clinton Diner that it changed its name to the Goodfellas Diner in a bit of shrewd marketing. Known for the iconic scene between gangsters Robert De Niro and Ray Liotta, at Goodfellas you can expect traditional retro diner fare: pancakes, French toast, omelettes, sandwiches.

Pretty Woman
Cicada, 617 South Olive Street, Los Angeles

Whether you’re draped in diamonds or not, anyone can go and visit the art-deco restaurant Richard took Vivienne to in Pretty Woman. This vintage-style nightclub and restaurant serves up elegant Italian fare, from crab risotto to lobster linguine. If you don’t go here? “Biiiiig mistake. Big. Huge.”

When Harry Met Sally
Katz’s Delicatessen, 205 E Houston St, New York

The iconic scene where Meg Ryan proves that women can fake the Big-O took place in none other than famed New York joint, Katz’s Deli. If you want to be super method, you could be picky ordering your food à la Sally Albright – or, you can go one step further and try to recreate her moment of passion, though I can’t guarantee you won’t draw some strange looks. Feast on their world-famous corn beef and pastrami sandwiches and matzo ball soup.

Notting Hill
Nobu, 19 Park Lane, London, UK

The epic scene where Anna dressed down a table of misogynists goes down in Nobu, which is always heaving with celebrities at the best of times. From beef tenderloin tataki to black cod miso, Nobu’s tasty dishes have been praised and eaten by the likes of Kate Moss and Brad Pitt. You might need a movie star budget, though – I’m guessing Anna, not bookshop owner William, picked up the bill this time round. I’m just a girl, standing in front of a boy, asking him to feed her sushi rolls.

Café des Deux Moulins, 15 Rue Lepic, Paris

Whimsical Amélie loves to eat raspberries off her fingers and the feeling of plunging her hand into sacks of grain – but she also works at a typical Parisian café, which is still alive on the hills of Montmartre in Paris. After the film skyrocketed the café to fame, they now have their own ‘Amélie menu’, where you can feast upon the traditional trio of French onion soup, beef bourguignon and vanilla crème brûlée. Berets and stripes are optional.

Rules, 34-35 Maiden Lane, Covent Garden, London

M meets with Q and Moneypenny in 2015’s Spectre at this stylish London joint, which is decked with red velvet booths and softly glowing lamplight. Dating back to 1798, the historic spot is the oldest restaurant in London, and you can even book specifically to sit at the Bond table. Treat yourself to a right royal English meal, with traditional fare like game soup, steak and kidney pie, roast partridge and bread & butter pudding all up for grabs.

Mrs Doubtfire
Bridges, 44 Church St., Danville, California

Unless you’re hastily changing disguises in the bathrooms between meals, you’re guaranteed a relaxed and enjoyable meal at Bridges, which is thirty miles east of San Fransisco. Home to the beloved nineties movie’s infamous end scene, the real-life restaurant serves up mouth-watering meals from truffle porcini ravioli to gouda gnocchi. Let’s just pray there’s no need for the Heimlich manoeuvre this time around.

Midnight in Paris
Le Polidor, 41 rue Monsieur le Prince, Paris

Travel back in time (less literally than the movie does, perhaps) to hang out with the ghosts of James Joyce, Ernest Hemingway and Jack Kerouac at Le Polidor, with its beautifully rustic exterior and red-checked tablecloths. It’s 174 years old and hasn’t changed its cooking style at all, so you can pick from the simple classics: foie gras, duck confit, steak tartare. To be authentic, copious amounts of vin rouge should probably also be consumed.

Words by Steph Green


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here