Do you ever watch a TV show and imagine what it might be like to eat in the same places as the characters? Perhaps you have found yourself so deeply involved in a book that you can almost hear the music and smell the food in the establishment at the center of the action. Or maybe you’ve rewatched your favorite movies so often; you can recite the items on the menu in their fictional fast food joint.
If so you aren’t alone. Here at The Recipe, we got to talking, and it took no time at all to put together a list of fictional restaurants we would eat at if we could. From the slightly seedy to the excessively exclusive, the places that made our top 25 represent almost every kind of eatery possible.
We’ve got bakeries and burger joints, a jazz club, an ice-cream parlor, and a bakery. There are places from space and hot spots from the future. There is even an animated hot spot, but it's not any of the ones you're thinking of because The Crusty Crab, Moe's, and The Clam were all considered, but nothing from SpongeBob Squarepants, The Simpsons or Family Guy made it to the final cut.
So sit back, relax, fire up Netflix and call Uber Eats. Unfortunately, they won't be able to bring you any of the items below, but that's OK, you can still use your imagination.
25 Murphy's Soul Food Cafe From The Blues Brothers
We're not too sure about the quality of the food, but the impromptu entertainment at Murphy's Soul Food Cafe is second to none. With Aretha Franklin bursting into song and the customers jumping up to provide backing vocals, the place that boasts "The Best Damn Chicken In The State" could serve sawdust and we would still want to eat there.
Not that we doubt the quality of the food. With Matt "Guitar" Murphy manning the spatula we're sure that Jake's four fried chickens and Elwood's dry white toast would have been the best they ever tasted.
24 The Bronze From Buffy The Vampire Slayer
It may be "in the bad part of town," but that doesn't stop us wanting to hang at The Bronze. OK, we know it's not strictly speaking a restaurant, but you could get some food there, and they had terrific, unknown bands playing, so it's close enough for us.
It would have to be a visit to the original The Bronze though, not the refurbished establishment. I know their insurance didn't cover an "Act Of Troll," but the prices went way up after Olaf The Troll did a number on the interior.
23 Jack Rabbit Slims from Pulp Fiction
Who wouldn't want to try the Five Dollar Shake at "The World Famous Jack Rabbit Slims" scene of John Travolta and Uma Thurman's iconic dance scene?
With wait staff dressed as mid-century American icons and booths crafted from classic cars this "museum with a pulse" as Vincent Vega describes it, is like every 1950's diner, but on steroids. We wouldn't bother entering the Twist contest though. A certain stylish couple has that one all sewn up.
22 Nuovo Vesuvio from The Sopranos
For dinner with a hefty side order of suspense, it would be difficult to beat Nuovo Vesuvio, Artie's second restaurant in The Sopranos, his first having been burnt down by Tony to prevent a hit occurring there.
Murders over the meatballs and assassinations among plates of agnolotti, who needs music or other entertainment when you need to stay alert for hit men? Of course, we don't want to be in there if the bullets start flying, you know those mobster types don't like to leave witnesses.
21 Milliways From The Resturant At The End Of The Universe
"If you've done six impossible things this morning, why not round it off with breakfast at Milliways – the Restaurant at the End of the Universe!" With an advertising slogan like that, who could resist a trip to this unique eatery?
Sit by the window and watch the gnab gib, which is the big bang but in reverse if you are not familiar with The Hitchhikers Guide To The Galaxy. Only accessible by time travel, the extortionate bill can be covered by depositing a penny in the bank in your own time, and when the end of the universe arrives, hey presto compound interest has given you billions.
20 Los Pollos Hermanos From Breaking Bad And Better Call Saul
Gus Fring runs a successful chain of fast-food fried chicken restaurants called Los Pollos Hermanos. Unfortunately, these favorite restaurants are a front for his drug business, and there is a moral dilemma, knowingly going to eat at the place the Drug Lord from Chile washes his money.
Despite this, and despite the fact that the name means "The Chicken Brothers" we'd still take a chance on Fring's fried chicken. We might even bump into Walter or Jimmy, depending on which timeline we visit in. After all, the place is always busy, and that's generally a sign the food is worth ditching your morals for, isn't it?
19 Merlotte's From True Blood
Whenever we have a craving for Fried Catfish with French Fries or Onion Rings, Crawfish Souflee or Turtle Soup we wish we could swing by Merlotte's. Yes, we know that technically it is now called Bellefleur's Bar and Grill, but to fans of True Blood, the only place to go in Bon Temps will always be Sam Merlotte's Bar and Grill.
The food is average, at best and the staff is inefficient and rude, but the opportunity to be at the center of the action is too big a draw to resist. Just don't hang out in the parking lot for too long. Somebody is always coming to a sticky end in the parking lot.
18 Moobys from Clerks 2
In order to visit Mooby's you would have to take a trip to the "View Askewniverse" a fictional universe created by Kevin Smith and featured in multiple movies, comics, and a television series.
There will always be plenty of room; this isn't the most popular of places. The food is borderline rancid, the staff delight in "The Lord Of The Rings" fans, and you'll definitely want to leave before the after-hours bachelor party starts. On second thought, perhaps we'll give this one a miss unless we can pick up one of those Mooby's toys at the checkout.
17 Zyggies Ice Cream Parlor from Bill & Teds Excellent Adventure
Despite the tacky fairground decor and the annoying barber's shop singer wait staff, we'd love to take a trip to Zyggies and take our chances with the most excellent ice cream sundae in the world, the Zyggie Pie.
If we could just guarantee we wouldn't have to listen to the chant of “Eat the pig, eat the pig, zyggie, zyggie, zyggie, zig” this would be the perfect place to while away an afternoon elbow deep in a giant punch bowl filled with ice cream, whipped cream, nuts, syrups, sauces, cherries, and marshmallows.
16 Stan Mikita’s Donuts from Waynes World
Named after the former Chicago Blackhawks hockey player, this local coffee shop and donut mecca, Stan Mikita"s is run by the dark yet unintentionally hilarious Glenn. We'd like to sit back and enjoy Wayne and Garth and co but most of all we want to hear one-liners from Glen like:
"I'd never done a crazy thing in my life before that night. Why is it, when a man kills another man in battle, it's called heroic? Yet if he kills a man in the heat of passion, it's called murder?"
15 Dorsia From American Psycho
From a neighborhood coffee shop to the New York eatery so exclusive it's virtually impossible to nail down a reservation.
Dorisa is the restaurant in American Psycho where Christian Bales character, Patrick Bateman, cannot get a reservation. And it drives him crazy. Or perhaps that should be crazier. The final straw comes when his colleague is able to get a reservation after Bateman has tried and been laughed at on the phone.
We never actually see Dorsia or even find out what is on the menu, but if it was exclusive in 1980's New York, we're pretty sure it was packed with brick-sized mobile phones, suspenders, and shoulder pads.
14 Freddy's BBQ Joint from House of Cards
Owned by Freddy Hayes, Freddy's BBQ Joint is the place of choice for the HBO character, Frank Underwood, in House Of Cards. The ribs here are so good that, while he could have any food from anywhere delivered to his office, Underwood selects only these.
Luckily for Underwood, Freddy is a longtime acquaintance and agrees to open up and cook any time Frank feel the urge for these super delicious chunks of tastiness. There are also plenty of sides on offer, but who wants to take up any space in their belly with sides when you have a rack of ribs like this in front of you?
13 The Three Broomsticks From The Harry Potter Series
The Three Broomsticks is an inn in Hogsmeade, where you can warm up with a Butterbeer or a Firewhiskey. The main haunt of the staff and pupils of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry this smokey, yet cozy spot is said to be as old as the village itself.
The food is standard British "Pub Grub" so we wouldn't be expecting to sit down to a grand meal, but the gossip you'd overhear would more than make up for the pork pies and crisps for dinner.
12 The Café 80's From Back To The Future Part II
You'll have to concentrate for a moment to get your head around this one.
Back To The Future Part II takes place in 1985. Our hero, Marty McFly is transported to 2015. He visits The 80's Cafe, which by now is a retro spot. While some of the items are familiar to Marty, others are not because he hasn't lived through all of the '80s yet. Therefore McFly is visiting a nostalgia cafe dedicated to the culture of the future. That has already happened. Or something like that.
Despite the complicated paradoxes of time travel we'd like to hang out with Marty and Doc Brown at The '80's Cafe and enjoy a Princess Di Spud Cake, an Ollie North Platter, or one of the other fantastically silly items seen on the menu.
11 The Mos Eisley Cantina from Star Wars
The Mos Eisley Cantina is the spot that most star pilots that are visiting Tatoonie hang out. This dingy spot, known for its stiff drinks, and the resulting outbreaks of violence, is where
Obi-Wan and Luke negotiate the price of passage to Alderaan with Han Solo.
It is almost impossible to think of Cantina without hearing the famous upbeat music in your head, and although you might be ready for anything, as Luke thought he was, this freaky melting pot of the dregs of the universe will no doubt keep the evening an exciting one.
10 Try Pots From Moby Dick Or The Whale
Who wouldn't want to try the wonderfully imagined clam chowder at Try Pots? It is “made of small juicy clams, scarcely bigger than hazel nuts, mixed with pounded ship biscuit, and salted pork cut up into little flakes; the whole enriched with butter, and plentifully seasoned with pepper and salt.”
The floor is littered with clam shells and the only item on the menu is chowder, but you do have a choice between the clam chowder and the cod chowder. One pot of each is kept on the go at all times.
9 Ten Forward From Star Trek: The Next Generation
You don't have to be a Star Trek fan to enjoy the thought of an evening at Ten Forward. We would sit down for a giant bowl of calorie-free chocolate moose while watching a game of 3D chess and seeing the universe streak past.
Guinan, wonderfully portrayed by Whoopie Goldberg, dispenses her nuggets of wisdom as freely as she pours the drinks, but you have to be a special guest for her to break out the good stuff from behind the bar.
8 The Inn At The Crossroads From Game Of Thrones
Slap bang at the center of all the action, The Inn At The Crossroads is the last place to rest for hundreds of miles, and everyone passes through this Westeros hangout at some point or another.
Depending on when you visit you could be dining with King Robert Baratheon just as easily as sitting next to Arya Stark. The food may be rough and ready, and you'll probably end up eating with your hands, but that is more than made up for by the company.
7 Luke's Diner From Gilmore Girls
Luke Danes, the owner of Luke's Diner, has been feeding the residents of Stars Hollow for as long as anyone can remember. Yes, there are other places to eat, such as Al's Pancake World or the Dragonfly Inn, but you wouldn't get the same homely feel with your burger, fries, and coffee coffee coffee.
Don't be confused by the hardware sign though; Luke never got around to taking it down when he took over the building and turned it into a cafe.
6 Gus’s Galaxy Grill From Spaceballs
We are on the fence about this one with some of us wanting to visit Gus Galaxy Grill while others would rather not. The epicenter of this disagreement is the Space Special.
If you eat the Space Special, the dancing alien will burst forth from your stomach just like in Alien, and dance back to the kitchen while singing "Hello ma baby." Presumably, the alien gets recycled and put into the next grill. Those of us who would visit would simply order the Space Soup and skip being ripped apart like John Hurt.
5 Bo’ Ling Chop Suey Palace From A Christmas Story
If ever our turkey is hunted down and eaten by dogs; we are going to have Christmas dinner at Bo'Ling Cop Suey Palace from A Christmas Story.
There would be no shrieking from us when the "turkey" was brought out. The roasted duck looks absolutely delicious and, even if it were smiling at us, that wouldn't stop the team here digging in. However, we might want to skip the horribly racist waiters who sing "Deck The Halls" with the refrain “fa ra ra ra ra.”
4 Taco Town From Saturday Night Live
Taco Town is a blatant knock-off of Taco Bell but this tongue in cheek offering from Saturday Night Live makes the real home of fast food faux tacos positively healthy.
At Taco Town you can sink your teeth into the artery blocking Pizza Crepe Taco Pancake Chili Bag. This creation is a crunchy shell inside a soft flour tortilla. That, in turn, is in a corn tortilla that has been deep-fried with a Parisian crepe. The whole thing is in a deep-dish pizza that's tucked into a blueberry pancake, and the whole thing is accompanied by a commemorative tote bag.
3 Skip Church's Bistro From Arrested Development
Having seen Michael and Sally Sitwell share a Skip's Scramble for Sunday morning brunch, we have our knives and forks at the ready. The Scramble is a ginormous platter which holds a sample of every dish the bistro serves.
The name comes from the fact that people skip church to have Sunday brunch there. Perhaps we could join in the celebration when the Bluth's hear George has been released from prison and has had all of his criminal charges dropped.
2 The Noodle Bar From Blade Runner
The second space eatery in a Harrison Ford movie, The Noodle Bar in Blade Runner must have the most fabulous sushi because there is always a long line to get in. In fact, there is an almost permanent line, even when it is pouring with rain.
The fact that the wife of Ford's character used the pet name 'sushi' for him, doesn't count as cannibalism. Or maybe there is some hidden meaning behind Deckard eating the food that reminds him of his relationship. Then again, who cares why he's eating there, just so long as we can watch him eat (in a non-creepy way).
1 Pizza Planet From Toy Story
See, we told you that our cartoon choice would be a surprise.
Pizza Planet is every child's dream place to hang out, eat junk, and generally have a good time. We may be adults now, but the appeal of this iconic hangout from Pixar movies is much greater than many of the more grown-up choices presented to us. Besides, there is the claw game to be played and a little alien with our name on it just waiting to be won.