Unbelievably, these Coffee Shops Are Real!
Cool coffee shops always crop up in films and we find ourselves wishing that we too could frequent their counters and open our laptops up in the window. But what if they actually existed in real life?
1# Central Perk Coffee Shop
So you spent your young years wishing that you too were slumped on the Central Perk sofa with your besties, drinking coffee only sometimes and listening to endless renditions of ‘Smelly Cat’ and hearing about how Chandler can’t get rid of Janice? Well there actually was a real life Central Perk…for all of five minutes
An pop-up Central Perk did actually trade in Manhatten in 2014 for a month in celebration of the 20th anniversary of Friends. Twenty years? You ask in horror? Yup. Twenty years. That flew by…
Wait…so there’s not actually a Central Perk then? You cry.
2# Central Perk Liverpool and Dubai
Actually there is, possibly more than two as well, but the main one is in Liverpool. Genuinely amazing inside, this Central Perk is true to its homage and even has Friends trivia nights and quizzes. With a ‘Find Phoebe’ open mic night each week and complete with the neon ‘service’ sign, this is a must-visit for any Friends fans passing through the north of England.
But that’s not all…
With a proper Central Perk sign and even the orange sofa inside, Dubai have done what they know how to best – recreate. Not as inspiring as the Liverpudlian one, this will certainly do in a pinch.
So yes, you can visit the real Central Perk but I’m afraid it’s nowhere near Central Park.
3# Grand Budapest Hotel Coffee Shop
You’ve probably accepted the fact that nowhere can be as visually perfect and beautiful as a Wes Anderson movie and have long given up the hope of finding your own version of the Grand Budapest Hotel but wait! It’s exists!
Wes Anderson himself designed a bar in Milan, Italy in true Wes style and it’s a place where I’d drink coffee every single day if I, y’know, lived in Milan. Bar Luce is a stunning, visual masterpiece that only fans of Wes Anderson truly acknowledge.
With a state of the art Faema coffee machine, you can sip espresso like a true Italian and marvel at the precision detail and design of the entire place. Not just a bar for coffee lovers, Bar Luce also sell pastries and have a fully stocked bar.
4# Breaking Bad Coffee Shop
It was only a matter of time before people started copying the activities in the mega smash hit TV show Breaking Bad but no, we’re not talking a meth shop. Instead, the marketing geniuses of Walter’s Coffee Roastery in Istanbul have created a full Breaking Bad themed coffee shop.
This swish coffee shop has a version of the periodic table printed onto the wall, has baristas in lab-like overalls and you’re coffee will be served in a science beaker. Neat eh?
5# Café Grumpy Coffee Shop
HBO’s hit TV show Girls has smashed its way into the world and shows no sign of relenting. Lena Dunham’s (the show’s creator and lead and general awesome woman) character worked as a barista at Café Grumpy in New York City and yes, it’s a real café.
It’s not just a real café though, it’s a damn good one with excellent coffee and some seriously tasty macaroons. It’s perfect for everyone who is less than smiley before their first coffee of the day or anyone who just loves a great brew.
6# Alice in Wonderland Coffee Shop
Everyone has some kind of fond memories of this majestic story whether it’s a full blown love or just a pleasant nostalgic memory of Cheshire cats and Tweedledee and Tweedledum. There are actually quite a lot of Alice in Wonderland themes cafes over the world, most in Japan, but there is one in England too.
Okay so technically it’s actually a tearoom but we’re sure they serve a cheeky coffee on the side too.
7# Oh, about a hundred films
The Quality Café in Los Angeles has been used for so many films it’s actually stopped trading as a real café and is just used as a film location. I mean, why serve coffee to boring normal when you can just serve coffee occasionally at $1000 per hour to famous people?
From Mr and Mrs Smith and 500 Days of Summer to CSI and Catch Me If You Can, the Quality Café is basically used in any film where you see two actors hanging out in a Typical American Diner. Why? Dunno, maybe they have really good coffee.
Sadly though, it’s now been fully closed and is going to reopen as a restaurant…for films?
8# Fifty Shades of Coffee
If you happened to be in Vancouver during the period any of the Fifty Shades of Grey films were shooting, you probably couldn’t help but notice film crews taping off cafes and storefronts and generally laying cables everywhere. One of the first film’s locations was shot at the totally hipster coffee shop, Rainier Provisions.
Located in the cool-ass Gastown area of the city, Rainier Provisions has actually shut down for a never-ending refit but hopefully it’ll reopen soon, because Sexy Shades or not, it sells delish coffee.
9# Carver Café, Forks
Carver Café isn’t actually in Forks, Washington. It’s located in Damascus, Oregon and has been a roadside diner/café for donkey’s years.
Used as a diner location in the movie Twilight, it takes the place of The Lodge as it’s called in the novels. You can’t help but wonder if the film was this café’s saving grace considering it’s a pretty rural, left-behind sort of place. But then again, if you’re looking for a quick brew on your way somewhere then at least it serves waffles too.
10# When Harry Met Sally Coffee Shop
I dread to think how many times the waiters and waitresses at Katz’s Delicatessen have heard people fake an orgasm, and it’s not because of the quality of their food (although it’s actually delicious). Instead, this café is where Harry Met Sally. Like…actually.
It’s still open and business is booming, find it in New York City at 205 Houston Street.
11# When Tom Hanks Met Sally Coffee Shop
Okay not literally because that’s not a real movie, but Tom Hanks did meet Meg Ryan here in You’ve Got Mail even if he didn’t get a fake orgasm out of her. Café Lalo features in the film after dark and looks pretty cosy. It’s still running and it’s very proud of its movie heritage. Grab a coffee there at 201 W 83rd Street.
So there you go….If you want to drink coffee like the stars, you have plenty of opportunities. While most famous film and TV coffee shops are in the US (cheapskates, movie directors like to keep it local), you can find tons more themed places all over the world.
For recreations of famous places, Japan is probably your coolest bet, not to mention that Japan is the place to go if you like crazy coffee shops in general. See more about that in an upcoming article.