New York has long been a central location for movie production: its parks, streets and bridges made famous in film. And its restaurants are no exception. A number of pivotal movie moments have taken place in New York cafes and eateries. In honor of this week’s New York Film Festival, here are five restaurants featured in classic films — and the scenes that made them famous.
“I’ll have what she’s having”: Meg Ryan’s classic scene of, er, faked euphoria in When Harry Met Sally took place at Katz’s Delicatessen, at the two-top tables in the central eating area. For maximum pleasure of your own? Go for a pastrami sandwich or a Reuben. 205 E. Houston St., 212-254-2246, katzsdelicatessen.com
It’s lavish, it’s in the Meatpacking District, it’s so early 2000s: Sex and the City chose well when they threw Carrie and Big’s rehearsal dinner at Buddakan — the restaurant is a perfect fit for Carrie and her crew, from the dainty edamame dumplings to the lychee-tinis. 75 9th Ave., 212-989-6699, buddakannyc.com
The 21 Club has long been a haunt of the 1 percent. It’s a restaurant whose name connotes a sort of old-world, coat-and-jacket formality. So it’s little wonder that it played a role in Wall Street, in a scene where Michael Douglas schools Charlie Sheen on the pleasures of fine dining (with an off-menu steak tartare). 21 W. 52nd St., 212-582-7200, 21club.com
Russian Tea Room
The ’20s-reminiscent Russian Tea Room, actually founded by members of the Russian Imperial Ballet, doesn’t lack for history, either real or onscreen. Madonna once worked behind the stand as a coat check girl; more recently, even the Gossip Girl characters sipped martinis here. But it may be best known for a scene in Tootsie, where Dustin Hoffman shocks his agent by appearing at their lunch dressed as a woman. 150 W. 57th St., 212-581-7100, russiantearoomnyc.com
You’ve Got Mail is a love letter to the Upper West Side as much as a love story between Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan. So the charming Cafe Lalo on W. 83rd, which now dubs itself “the most famous cafe in NYC,” was a perfect setting for an impromptu date between the two leads. 201 W. 83rd St., 212-496-6031, 496-6031