Want to walk in Carrie’s Manolo Blahnik-clad footsteps? How about sit on the steps where Serena and Blair fought for control of their elite prep school? Over the years, New York City has made numerous appearances on the big and small screens, capturing and captivating audiences with its charm and allure. But what’s really worth going to, and what’s best left in fiction? No worries - we’ve got you covered. Here are all the spots you should hit to feel like your favorite on-screen personas:
The Metropolitan Museum of Art (1000 5th Ave, Manhattan) – Various
Once you walk up the famed steps the Constance Billard mean girls once sat on, and into the hallowed halls where Debbie Ocean’s expert team of eight pulled off their recent heist, discover the beauty in the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Famous for its annual gala, hosted by Vogue’s Editor-in-Chief, Anna Wintour, the museum currently displays more than 25 exhibitions—including the inspiration for this year’s gala theme, "Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination." You can easily spend your whole day in this massive museum, and don’t worry, you probably won’t get yogurt thrown on you by Blair Waldorf’s minions.
Central Park (Manhattan) - Various
Plan a trip to Central Park for an afternoon in the spots where you’ve seen all your fave fictional characters. Have lunch at the Loeb Boat House where Carrie and Big fell into the pond, or stroll along the Bethesda terrace, where Blair and Chuck tied the knot. The Central Park Zoo is a must for any Madagascar fan, and if you’re looking to splurge, make a reservation at Tavern on the Green to channel Gordon Gekko in Wall Street. Spanning 1.3 square miles and a frequent host of outdoor concerts and events, Central Park is a great place to roam around in hopes of seeing a "You’ve Got Mai"l moment.
Papaya King (179 East 86th St, Brooklyn) – Ocean’s 8
Whether you’re scheming how to steal a $150 million Cartier necklace with Rihanna, or just want to stop by for a cheap and delicious hot dog, hit Papaya Dog for the best of both worlds. With two locations on 179 East 86th Street and 6 Flatbush Ave in Brooklyn, the open-late-night fave among New Yorkers have been serving up tasty franks and refreshing Papaya drinks for since 1932. Plus, wash down your meal with a fried Oreo or Twinkie, we promise you won’t regret it.
Joe’s Pizza (7 Carmine St, Manhattan) – Spiderman 2
Arguably the best in NYC and the OG Peter Parker’s temporary place of employment, Joe’s is a must stop for a quick pick-me-up slice. While you’re there (hopefully you won’t get caught in the crosshairs of an NYC landmark tour group), be sure to check the walls for the celebs that have also enjoyed the NYC staple. If it’s good enough for Leonardo DiCaprio and Matthew McConaughey, you can definitely expect an Oscar-winning meal.
The Feast of San Gennaro in Little Italy (Manhattan) - The Godfather Part II
When the air gets a little crisp, the leaves change colors, and pumpkin spice lattes come out in full force, it means fall is upon us in NYC. Mid-September also marks when Little Italy’s Feast opens for business, attracting crowds with enticing aromas of Italian street food and desserts. As you gawk at the countless booths and stands, do yourself a favor and snag a pepper sausage sandwich with a box of cookies for later. If you’re in the city this fall, this can’t-miss event is definitely an offer you can’t refuse.
Jackson Hole Diner (6935 Astoria Blvd N, Queens) – Goodfellas
Visit the spot where Henry and Tommy were dealing and stealing for the mob. This Bayside diner will bring you back into the 50’s with its retro décor and vintage atmosphere. Loved for its huge burgers and yummy breakfasts, Jackson Hole is a hidden treasure in the heart of Queens that you and your friends won’t want to miss. At reasonable prices, these steals are completely legal.
Magnolia Bakery (401 Bleecker St, Manhattan) – Sex and the City
Satisfy your sweet tooth and have a Carrie moment at Magnolia bakery. With locations now in Boston, Chicago, and Los Angeles, in addition to several in New York, the bakery has reached international stardom. Sex and the City fans from across the world line up to the original Bleecker Street location for the bakery’s globally-renowned cupcakes and other confections. It looks like Carrie was chowing down on their classic vanilla with pink frosting as she was telling Miranda about her new crush, Aiden, but the bakery has a variety of more than 15 different flavors and daily specials.
Café Grumpy (193 Meserole Ave, Brooklyn) - Girls
You won’t see Hannah Horvath of Girls completing your coffee order at this cozy corner shop, but maybe that’s for the best. Café Grumpy is a spot in the chill spot you can hit if you’re looking to catch up on some work and spend a lazy Sunday morning with an espresso and a good book. Catch it also as the backdrop for some of your favorite dramas like Blue Bloods, The Good Wife, and Madam Secretary.
The Gramercy Tavern (42 E 20th St, Manhattan) – Gossip Girl
Allegedly Blair Waldorf’s favorite restaurant, and you’ll definitely get why. If you want to save some cash eat in the Tavern opposed to the Dining Room for slightly lower prices; if you’re stopping by for lunch, see if you can snag a gourmet cheeseburger off the restaurant’s secret menu. With an extensive drink and wine menu as well, we get why Queen B dines here on the reg. So, if you’re looking to splurge on a nice meal and channel your fave Upper East Siders, give this restaurant a try, you know you want to, XOXO.
Coyote Ugly New York (153 1st Ave, Manhattan) - Coyote Ugly
Looking for a fun night out? We know a place that sets the bar high (but low enough for you to get in and dance). Whether you’re a starry-eyed small-town dreamer who’s looking to make it in the big city, or just looking to have a good time tonight, visit the world-famous saloon that inspired the classic. Get ready to get down with a fun mix of locals and tourists who come from far and wide to grab a drink and experience a show. Just don’t ask for any water…
And that’s a wrap! Now go find your best supporting cast members and be the lead in your own life. 🎭🌟📽