Filmmakers across genres have illustrated that New York City is perhaps the most muse-worthy metropolis in the world. From romantic comedies to action-packed blockbusters, The City That Never Sleeps has set the stage for countless memorable moments in cinematic history. For those cinephiles itching to saunter down the same streets as your on-screen heroes, consider this your guide to the A-list of all blockbuster locations. Ready to start your cinematic pilgrimage? Action!
McGee’s Pub: How I Met Your Mother
For fans of the legendary sitcom How I Met Your Mother, McGee's Pub in Midtown is more than just a cozy Irish bar—it's the real-life inspiration for MacLaren's Pub, the go-to spot for Ted, Barney, Marshall, Lily, and Robin. Raise a glass in homage to your favorite gang of friends and engage in similar conversations to those that unfolded in this beloved watering hole.
Pro tip: order the “He’s Not Coming” cocktail, a nod to one of the show’s most memorable running gags.
Katz’s Delicatessen: When Harry Met Sally
Make your way to the Lower East Side to find the legendary establishment of Katz's Deli. Famous for their towering sandwiches and timeless ambiance, this spot also happens to be the backdrop for one of the most famous scenes in romantic comedy history. When Harry Met Sally’s infamous “I’ll have what she’s having” scene was filmed here, and fans of the movie often come to relive the rom-com.
Visit during off-peak hours to guarantee a seat, and don't forget to grab a pastrami sandwich—it's the perfect scene partner.
Tom’s Restaurant – Seinfeld
Step into the world of Jerry, Elaine, George, and Kramer by visiting Tom's Restaurant on the Upper West Side. While the exterior shots were featured in Seinfeld, the interior scenes were filmed on a set. Nonetheless, Tom's Restaurant remains a pilgrimage site for fans of the iconic sitcom. As you approach Tom’s, you’ll instantly recognize the familiar façade that graced the screen during countless episodes.
Channel your inner Jerry and engage in witty banter with your crew over a cup of coffee and a classic New York sandwich. While you won’t find the gang seated at their usual booth, the nostalgia and charm of Tom’s Restaurant make it a must-visit for those looking to experience a slice of sitcom history.
The Friends Apartment Building
Head to Bedford Street in Greenwich Village to find the building that served as the exterior for Monica, Chandler, Joey, Rachel, and Ross's apartments in Friends. While the interiors were shot on a soundstage, standing in front of this iconic building allows you to be part of the sitcom magic that defined a generation.
Fans of the sitcom flock to see the iconic façade – on any given day, you’ll likely find a small crowd gathered on the corner, posing for pictures and reminiscing about their favorite Friends moments.
The Met Steps: Gossip Girl
Ascend the steps of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, where the glamorous lives of Manhattan’s elite played out in the TV series Gossip Girl. This Upper East Side landmark provided the backdrop for countless showdowns, make-ups, break-ups, and questionable 2000s-era fashion choices.
Here, fans of the high-society teen drama will find it easy to channel their inner Blair Waldorf or Serena van der Woodsen as they don their most stylish ensembles and have lunch on the Met Steps.
Magnolia Bakery: Sex and the City
Check out New York City’s sweet side and relive the stylish escapades of Carrie Bradshaw and her cohorts by visiting Magnolia Bakery, a West Village gem that rose to fame through its prominent role in Sex and the City. Its claim to fame are its cupcakes, the very same confections that became a symbol of indulgence for Carrie, Miranda, Samantha, and Charlotte.
Satisfy your own sweet tooth with one of these iconic treats, whose eye-catching adornments and unique flavor combos have garnered a cult following. While Sex and the City introduced Magnolia Bakery to the world, it’s the bakery’s commitment to quality that has kept visitors coming back for more.
Empire State Building
This famous skyscraper is a destination all its own, but it also has provided a backdrop for some of the silver screen’s most climactic moments. Perhaps best known as a meeting place for romantics across time, the iconic silhouette has played host to Cary Grant and Deborah Kerr’s doomed love story in An Affair to Remember. In Sleepless and Seattle, Tom Cruise and Meg Ryan get a decidedly happier ending on the famous observation deck. If action movies are more your speed, recall King Kong climbing the building’s spire.
Make sure to purchase tickets online in advance to skip the long lines.
The Tenenbaum’s Townhouse – The Royal Tenenbaums
For fans of Wes Anderson’s The Royal Tenenbaums, a trip to Harlem will let you take in the grand exterior of the house that served as the Tenenbaum family residence. Immerse yourself in the whimsical world of Anderson’s cinematic vision as you explore the streets surrounding this iconic location, where Anderson-esque eccentricity waits on every corner.
For the most spot-on scenery, visit in the fall when the brownstone-lined streets are adorned with autumn foliage.