Real life can get a little boring sometimes, can't it? After all, there are only so many places you can go to eat before you simply want to try something new. There are only so many variations on existing food that can be eaten before you circle back around to eating the same thing again. If only there were some other restaurants to visit, maybe even ones that existed only in the world of fiction. There are certainly some places we here at TheRecipe would like to visit. Some of them are fancier; some of them are a little bit divey. Nonetheless, they all serve food that looks and sounds delicious and would have to be tried, no matter what.
Of course, that's not to say that all restaurants from the world of television and film are worth a visit. There are plenty of places that should remain firmly in the realm of fiction. They are, by far, too terrible to exist in real life, and that might just be for the best. After all, no one wants there to be the chance that they might walk into the worst restaurant in the world, right? There's no reason that a place should exist that has the same irritating customers come in every day, bothering everyone else with their inane chatter and their tendency to always take the best seats in the house. That being said, we still think there are more good than bad fictional restaurants. Here are 15 we would love to visit and 10 that we would most certainly pass up.
25 We want to eat at: Jack Rabbit Slim's
The fifties-themed diner from Pulp Fiction known as "Jack Rabbit Slim's" seems like a pretty awesome place to go and have a meal. On top of having a waiter dressed as Buddy Holly, you could also take part in the restaurant's dance contest. However, you might find that you have some stiff competition. Also, no one could actually say they aren't at least a little bit curious about what a five-dollar milkshake actually tastes like. Plus, they're pretty honest about how they can only cook their burgers two ways: bloody or burnt to a crisp.
24 We'll pass on: MacLaren's
Sure, MacLaren's from How I Met Your Mother seems like the kind of friendly, neighborhood place that would be nice to relax in after a long day of work, but there's one problem: there's always one very disruptive group of friends there who take the best booth every time. On top of that, there always seems to be something weird going on there, like a guy dressed in a full-on scuba suit or a group of people having a loud argument over something totally inconsequential. Besides, it doesn't seem like the food is anything to write home about.
23 We want to eat at: JJ's Diner
It might not be much to look at, and it's definitely not fancy, but as far as good places to eat go, JJ's Diner from Parks and Recreation seems like it's just about the best. Not only does JJ always offer up his services to his loyal customers, but he also makes the best waffles in town. It's the kind of place where a man can order one of everything on the menu, and the staff will serve it up without batting an eye. Sure, it might just be a diner to some people (especially those stuck up Eagletonians), but to the citizens of Pawnee, JJ's is a staple.
22 We'll pass on: Monk's Cafe
While we're on the subject of diners, we have to say that Monk's cafe, the little greasy spoon where the gang from Seinfeld likes to meet for coffee, has never seemed all that impressive. The food never looked great, the booths are way too close together, and on top of all of that, you may just find yourself listening to George Costanza have an argument with a waitress about how much change she still owes him. Overall, it seems like Monk's isn't so great (though we'd still rather go there then have a meal with Bania at Mendy's).
21 We want to eat at: Gusteau's
How could anything possibly be better than eating at one of the best restaurants in France? Gusteau's from Ratatouille earned its reputation as one of the premier eateries in Paris, and even though it had lost some of its luster after the passing of its head chef, it was still among some of the best places to have a meal. Sure, the best food is cooked by a rat controlling a guy using his hair, but so what? Any place that can make a peasant dish like ratatouille so good it stuns the world's harshest food critic is definitely worth a visit.
20 We want to eat at: The Shawarma Restaurant
Okay, so this place is never actually given a real name, but one thing's for sure: if it's good enough for the Avengers, then us regular folk would probably like it, too. After all, this is the place recommended by none other than Tony Stark. The food is so good, it satisfies a demigod. Sure, it's a little bit messy, but there was just a giant battle against aliens outside, possibly less than an hour prior. Plus, any restaurant that's still capable of serving food after something like that probably puts a lot of effort into their work.
19 We'll pass on: Central Perk
Why is it that this coffee place from Friends is so popular? As far as we can tell, there isn't a lot of seating, the service has never been that great (especially when Joey and Rachel worked there), and there's always one group of people taking up the best seats in the house. The whole look of the place is perpetually stuck in the nineties, and there just doesn't seem to be that much appeal. No one ever even mentions whether the coffee is good or not. That seems like it would be important to know.
18 We want to eat at: Mendl's Bakery
The courtesan au chocolat from Mendl's Bakery in The Grand Budapest Hotel is known far and wide as a special kind of delicacy, particularly by the patrons of the hotel itself. Mendl may spend his days looming over Agatha in a sweltering kitchen, but he's no less than a genius when it comes to making some of the best pastries in the land. They're known far and wide and come wrapped in beautiful pink boxes, tied up with ribbon. As far as desserts go, the ones from Mendl's are exquisite.
17 We'll pass on: Merlotte's
Merlotte's from True Blood just always seems to be in some kind of trouble, whether it's not making enough money or just being overrun by all kinds of otherworldly creatures like vampires and werewolves. It doesn't even seem like it would be worth the trouble. After all, it's just a swampy little dive stuck in the middle of nowhere in Louisiana (although the residents of Bon Temps would probably not like their town being referred to as "the middle of nowhere"). As it stands, though, the regular customers at Merlotte's make it a bit of a hostile environment.
16 We want to eat at: El Jefe Food Truck
How could anyone pass up a chance to eat at the food truck from Chef? Not only does all of the food look delicious, but the menu also changes to include local ingredients, so you know that everything's always going to be fresh and so good. On top of that, it seems like chef Carl Casper finally found his calling and followed it, letting his son come along for the ride and learn the ropes. That's why the food would be extra good: it's made with passion and care, unlike so many other food truck meals that are sometimes just thrown together without any regard for quality.
15 We want to eat at: Lulu's Pies
Anyone who watches Waitress would find it almost impossible not to become transfixed by the delicious-looking pies created by Jenna for Joe's Pie Diner (later renamed "Lulu's Pies," after Jenna's baby). The sheer variety and inventiveness of the pies would be enough to make anyone start drooling. From the Strawberry Chocolate Oasis pie to the Bad Baby Pie (a quiche made with brie and ham), there wouldn't be any reason to skip dessert. Of course, with the quiche, you could have pie for dinner, too.
14 We'll pass on: The Double R Diner
Is the coffee good? You bet it is. How about the cherry pie? Of course! Pancakes and ham steak? Okay, we're intrigued, but we still don't think it'd be a great idea to visit the Double R diner from Twin Peaks. That's mostly because it would put you right in the middle of one of the weirdest towns in the United States, a place where reality is stretched thin and nothing is as it seems. Sure, the coffee might be good, but at what cost?
13 We want to eat at: The Soup Place
Sure, the guy running this soup restaurant may be a little harsh, and he may expect just a bit too much from his customers, but are the soups worth it? You bet they are! After all, people line up around the block to get them. It might seem like a pain to wait in that long line, but the owner keeps things moving along at a swift pace. It's just too bad that Elaine had to go and ruin his business by publishing all of his recipes! Looks like it's no soup for anyone!
12 We'll pass on: Elzar's
Elzar's, the fanciest restaurant in New New York and that featured in plenty of episodes of Futurama, isn't exactly the place you want to find yourself on a date. Sure, it might look fancy, and the pasta might have a real nice profit margin, but the fact of the matter is that the staff take a lot of shortcuts with the food. Even if the chef accidentally blinds one of your friends with a spice weasel, he'll never comp a meal. On top of that, you might end up having a run-in with the robot mafia if you're not careful.
11 We want to eat at: Bluth's Banana Stand
There's a reason there's always money in the banana stand (besides the actual money built into the walls of the stand). The Bluth banana is a staple of the boardwalk. There's no denying that a frozen banana dipped in chocolate and covered in nuts or candy sounds pretty delicious. If you're like GOB, you can even ask for the banana double dipped with extra toppings. One thing's for certain: a Bluth banana is probably a lot more delicious (and safe to make) than a cornball.
10 We want to eat at: The Three Broomsticks
Are muggles even allowed at the Three Broomsticks? We'd go ahead and say no, which just makes going there all the more tempting. Imagine having yourself a fresh butterbeer, most likely prepared with magic to taste extra good. We also have to think that the pastries at the Three Broomsticks would probably be incredibly delicious. However, if you're not a wizard (and you're not attending Hogwarts), you'll probably never get to go. At least you can always visit the facsimile of the Three Broomsticks at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. We just don't think it'd be the same.
9 We'll pass on: Inn at the Crossroads
Would it be great to try one of Hot Pie's... hot pies? Absolutely, it would! After all, Hot Pie never gives up on the gravy. However, there's a lot of turmoil in Westeros these days, and this eatery from Game of Thrones is the kind of place where a lot of bad stuff can happen. A sellsword might decide that he or she wants to take you for a ransom. Some Lannister soldiers might not like the way you look at them. It's just too much of a risk to go to this place!
8 We want to eat at: Bob's Burgers
Is Bob's Burgers from the show of the same name a fancy place? Of course not! It doesn't have gimmicks to get people in the door (if you want that, then go across the street to Jimmy Pesto's), but what it does have is amazing food. Bob Belcher puts a lot of effort into making great burgers. He buys the freshest ingredients, gets his meat from a dependable vendor, and never lets anything get in the way of making the perfect burger. Not only are his burgers of the day charmingly named, but they also feature some delicious ingredients. We'd definitely put up with Linda's singing just to try one.
7 We want to eat at: Luke's diner
In the quiet town of Stars Hollow, there are three well-known places you can go to get a meal: the Dragonfly Inn, Al's Pancake World, and Luke's Diner. The Dragonfly Inn might feature more gourmet fare, but as any Gilmore Girls fan knows, Luke's is the place to go for a great cup of coffee, an excellent burger, and some peace and quiet due to the "no cell phones" rule, which seems like it would cause some problems in the information age but made more sense in the early 2000s.
6 We want to eat at: Soul Food Cafe
This little greasy spoon from The Blues Brothers might not look all that impressive, but they have the best fried chicken in the state (though they'll give you a weird look if you order two whole ones, plus a Coke). The staff is also prone to breaking into some lively song and dance numbers, which means you'd get a little bit of extra entertainment with your food. It might not be the cleanest place, but the food sure looks good, and you can't beat a diner where your server is as good a singer as Aretha Franklin.
5 We'll pass on: Paunch Burger
Paunch Burger, the premier fast-food restaurant of Parks and Recreation, is the epitome of excess, constantly serving food that's so dangerously unhealthy that it'd almost be funny if it weren't so close to real life. This is the place that serves a 512-ounce "child-sized" soda, given that name because it's roughly the size of a two-year-old child if the child were liquefied. Sure, people seem to like the food, and they definitely don't like Leslie Knope telling them not to eat it, but with many other great food options available in Pawnee, Paunch Burger just shouldn't be tested.
4 We want to eat at: Pizza Planet
One of the coolest parts of Toy Story is the trip to Pizza Planet, a pizza restaurant that's like Chuck E. Cheese on steroids. The restaurant is filled to the brim with games, including old arcade cabinets, claw games, and even a whack-a-mole-type game that apes the chest burster scene from Alien. This is exactly the kind of place where any kid would be thrilled to go. However, their delivery driver has a bit of a lead foot and could definitely use a new truck.
3 We'll pass on: Lanford Lunch Box
The Lanford Lunch Box is a small diner featured on Roseanne, and their signature dish is the loose meat sandwich (which is just a sloppy Joe that goes by a less appetizing name). The staff is harsh (and sometimes pretty rude), the place lacks any discernible charm, and the food has never looked all that good. Add in the family drama that constantly erupts at the restaurant, and you'd definitely be better off going somewhere else in the small town of Lanford, Illinois for lunch.
2 We want to eat at: The Krusty Krab
Come on... who wouldn't want to take a trip to this undersea eatery? Sure, the formula for the Krabby Patty is still a secret, so who really knows what it's made of? But they look so delicious! Plus, even if you have to deal with talking to Squidward at the counter, you know that Spongebob is going to put all of his effort into making you the perfect sandwich, simply because it's what he loves doing. Of course, you might not be able to eat the food until you came back to the surface. It's under the sea, after all.
1 We'll pass on: Krusty Burger
Krusty Burger might just be the worst fast-food place in the world. Not only is its spokesman absolutely disgusted by the food, but it's also constantly under threat of being shut down by health inspectors. Krusty has also taken ridiculous risks with his business, like opening a location on an unmanned oil rig or giving away free burgers during the Olympics that were boycotted by the Soviets. Overall, Krusty Burger isn't the kind of place anyone should want to try out.