There’s a good chance that anywhere you go in New York City has been featured in a movie or television series, so you may get a sense of déjà vu many times during your trip to NYC. But if you’re looking to visit some familiar locations from famous movies and TV series that you’ll definitely recognize, here are some suggestions.
Katz’s, a Jewish Deli on East Houston Street in lower Manhattan, serves delicious and generously sized corned beef and pastrami sandwiches, but its claim to fame is an iconic scene involving Meg Ryan and Billy Crystal in “When Harry Met Sally”. The table where they sat is clearly marked and still used if you want to grab some lunch while you’re there.
Empire State Building
Almost all visitors to NYC include the Empire State Building on their must-see list. When you’re up on the Observation Deck, it will likely look familiar — no wonder since it’s been featured in movies as wide ranging as “An Affair to Remember” in 1957, “Sleepless in Seattle” in 1993, “Percy Jackson: The Lightning Thief” in 2010 and “Ready Player One” in 2018. Countless TV shows have also featured the iconic building, often in the background of a scene.
Russian Tea Room
If you’re old enough to remember when Dustin Hoffman donned women’s clothes to become Tootsie in the classic ’80s movie of the same name, be sure to stop by the ever-opulent Russian Tea Room for lunch (or tea). Word is the restaurant will also be featured in an upcoming movie tentatively titled “Secrets from the Russian Tea Room.”
Stroll up to Tom’s Restaurant on the corner of West 112th Street and Broadway for some classic American and Greek diner fare, and stay awhile to revel in the scenery that played a central role in the long-running TV show “Seinfeld.” It was named “Monk’s Diner” in the show, and Elaine, Jerry, Kramer and George ate — and cracked jokes — here in many episodes.
Grand Central Oyster Bar
Fans of AMC’s award-winning “Mad Men,” which ran until 2015, will want to visit the Grand Central Oyster Bar — the location of an infamous meeting between Don Draper and his boss, Roger. Just don’t overindulge on the vodka and oysters like Roger did.
The Plaza Hotel
Even if you’re not staying at The Plaza Hotel, you’ll want to walk by it, as this landmark just off Central Park served as the backdrop for many classic movies. Although it’s perhaps best known for its appearance in “North by Northwest” in 1959, it also appeared in “Plaza Suite,” “Barefoot in the Park,” “Cotton Club” and “Home Alone II” to name just a few. Of course, it also plays a central role in “Eloise at the Plaza,” a beloved children’s book that the hotel now celebrates with a special suite, birthday parties and a wide selection of Eloise products.
Speaking of Central Park, it is — perhaps unsurprisingly — the most popular set location in the world. This large swath of greenery in the middle of Manhattan has served as the location of movies and TV shows since 1908. More recently, it has appeared in “Mr. Popper’s Penguins,” “Spider-Man 3,” “Big Daddy,” “Elf,” “Enchanted,” “The Avengers” and “John Wick,” and it’s also the star of an animated series named “Central Park.” From the Sheep Meadow to Bow Bridge to Belvedere Castle — you’re sure to recognize many places as you stroll around the park.