14 TV Diners and Cafes You Wish Existed IRL
As any Gilmore Girls fan knows, there’s a long-standing battle between Rory Gilmore’s love interests. Does she belong with Dean or Jess? Oh, and what about Logan? Forget picking sides. Instead, there’s a far more important question GG fans face: If you could eat one meal at Luke’s Diner, what would you pick? Would it be a giant stack of pancakes? Perhaps you’d go for those glazed donuts that are always on the counter. And you can’t forget the coffee either. Getting served a meal by Luke Danes trumps a date with one of Rory’s exes any day. Luckily for us, Luke’s isn’t the only imaginary restaurant that seems like a breakfast dream come true. Here’s a round-up of TV cafes or diners you’ve probably wished existed in real life. Because who doesn’t want to try beating Parks and Recreation's Ron Swanson egg-eating record at JJ’s? And of course, you definitely need to grab a damn fine cup of coffee from Twin Peaks’ Double R Diner. And guess what? Some of the spots either have real-life replicas or are filmed in actual restaurants you can visit. Sure, you may not sit down with Rachel Green or Hannah Horvath, but it’s not a bad substitute.
1. Central Perk
Manhattanites got their wish granted when a replica of Friends’ Central Perk popped up in 2014 to commemorate the show’s 20th anniversary. But besides that, the shop where Rachel Green worked exists solely in TV land. Sadly.
2. Karen’s Cafe
On One Tree Hill, Luke Scott (played by Chad Michael Murray) grew up in this cafe run by his mother Karen. It’s home to plenty of memorable moments, including the first time Haley sang to Nathan.
3. Luke’s Diner
Nothing beats Luke’s. It’s a staple in Rory and Lorelai Gilmore’s morning (and afternoon and late-night) routine. The food looks incredible — and not just because Jess Mariano sometimes serves it.
4. Lard Lad Donuts
Most people associate The Simpsons with Moe’s Tavern, but to quote Homer: D’oh! They’re really missing out if they forget about this donut shop. For the record, there’s a real-life version at Universal Studios, so you can eat all the sprinkle donuts your heart desires.
5. JJ’s Diner
In the words of Parks and Recreation, treat yo’ self. That’s exactly what the good people of Pawnee do at this diner. It’s also the same spot that Ron Swanson set his egg-eating record. Gross, yet impressive.
Sure, a cooler coffee shop called Helvetica opened up across the street. But wouldn’t you rather grab a cup from Girls favorite Ray Ploshansky?
BTW, the show is filmed at Cafe Grumpy in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. Since Hannah Horvath won’t serve your coffee with some major ’tude, it’s not quite the same,. (And that’s a good thing.)
7. The Double R Diner
Don’t lie, you wish you could hit up the Twin Peaks spot for what Dale Cooper calls a “damn fine cup of coffee.” And you sort of can—if you’re in Seattle, that is. Twede’s Cafe is where the show was filmed. They even have the famous cherry pie.
8. Hilda’s Coffee House
Whenever Sabrina The Teenage Witch was on, you probably dreamed you could point your finger and poof! You’d arrive in Aunt Hilda’s cafe. It’s pretty magical, especially since it’s got a time-traveling clock.
9. Rear Window Brew
Okay, so a trip to Rosewood may not be the best idea, given Pretty Little Liars’ skyrocketing murder rates, but then again, getting a cup of joe from Ezra Fitz may be worth risking your life for. Maybe.
10. The Dot
Remember the Canadian cult favorite, Degrassi: The Next Generation? This coffee shop was the go-to hangout for all of the school’s coolest kids. Including, yes, a baby Drake.
11. Monk’s Cafe
This delicious-looking diner is home to the best Seinfeld scenes with Jerry, George, and the rest of the crew. Although they used a soundstage for the inside, Tom’s Restaurant in Manhattan serves as the exterior shot. Go check it out!
12. Espresso Pump
Buffy The Vampire Slayer buffs will remember this Sunnydale coffee shop, which had the most clever name. Unfortunately, it got destroyed in Season 7. #NeverForget
13. Williamsburg Diner
When they’re not baking cupcakes, the stars of Two Broke Girls are waiting tables at this diner in Brooklyn. They may dread the job, but apparently Oleg the cook’s food isn’t too bad.
14. Digital Bean
Back in middle school, the coffee shop in Lizzie McGuire seemed like a cool place to hang. Don’t you wish you could have sipped a smoothie with Gordo and Miranda in your younger years?