Are you a fan of the hit TV show Friends? If so, you know that the sitcom took place in New York City where the group of pals lived and worked. Some people are surprised to learn that a lot of the show wasn’t even filmed in New York – BUT the good news is there are still some iconic spots you can visit that you’ll recognize from the show. They are scattered around the city so it’s a good way to get some sightseeing in while you’re at it! Here is a list of some of the famous Friends spots you might have seen before.
The Friends apartments interiors were actually built in an LA studio, but it’s still possible to see the block where exterior scenes were filmed. Head to the corner of Grove Street and Bedford Street in the West Village and you might recognize the apartments from the outside! It’s still a mystery how all the Friends managed to live in giant apartments in one of the city’s most expensive neighborhoods but some mysteries are never solved.
Just underneath the Bedford Street apartments is a restaurant, just like on the show. However, it’s not called Central Perk, it’s called The Little Owl, and it doesn’t look at all like the famous cafe where Rachel worked as a waitress. It actually serves Mediterranean cuisine which is worth a try if you’re hungry! A pop-up Central Perk was opened in 2014 in SoHo to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the first airing for Friends but it didn’t stay open long.
The famous fountain opening credits with The Rembrandts song was also shot in a studio. But! The fountain is said to be based on the beautiful Pulitzer Fountain in Grand Army Plaza in Brooklyn. It’s a gorgeous spot to check out and it’s right near the Brooklyn Museum and the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens if you want to make a day of it.
Chandler Bing works as an IT procurement manager at the Solow Building on West 57th Street, which you can visit. It’s famous for it’s vertical slope that creates a wider base and is a spectacle to behold. The Upper West Side building has also been featured on Sex and the City, Zoolander and Superman.
In season 3, Rachel started working at the famous department store Bloomingdale’s. There are now a few different branches of the store, but the original is located on Third Avenue and is a beautiful nine-story Art Deco building you can wander through and explore. You can shop for everything from cosmetics to perfumes to designers shoes, bags and dresses. And if you’re in the mood for lunch, stop into the famous David Burke restaurant on the 59th street side.
The Lucille Lortel Theater
This West Village Theater was used during a few episodes of season three when Joey falls for a co-star he is working with and Rachel dates Ben Stiller for a brief period. The theater still exists and hosts nightly shows.
The Plaza Hotel
Season Seven celebrates Monica and Chandler’s engagement at the iconic Plaza Hotel. It’s an elegant 1907 French Chateau-style building that was once a residence for wealthy New Yorkers. F. Scott Fitzgerald was once a regular here and it’s featured in his book, The Great Gatsby.
Get your Friends fix by visiting some of these famous locations while you’re visiting New York City!