Tastier than fiction
We’ve spent many hours watching characters chill out in their favourite eateries – here’s a few of our favourites.
Every group of friends needs a place to meet up, with the most famous hang out spot being Central Perk. For 10 years the New York café served as the hub for the characters from Friends.
While the US sitcom ran Central Perk was the scene for dramatic kisses between Ross and Rachel, it was also the place where many other characters broke up. But mostly it was the perfect place for the gang to meet up and discuss their day.
The comforting orange sofa, where the group of Friends would always sit, was the best feature of Central Perk because it was always saved for them. It’s usual to have a preferred table at your local, but to make sure you always get the sofa for 10 years is impressive.
Although the café is fictional, replicas of Central Park can be found all over the world. In 2006 an Iranian businessman created his own Central Perk franchise. Another replica cafe was opened in Soho, London which served proper coffee, but was only open for a few months in 2009.
Otherwise known as the Restaurant at the End of the Universe, Milliways is run by life forms from all over the universe and is built on the fragments of a remaining planet.
The restaurant from Douglas Adams’ Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy books has many supposedly impossible features. These include guests watching the universe explode around them while eating, followed by dessert and meals already being paid for if you have put a penny away in a savings account in your own era. This is how Milliways gained the slogan, “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?”
To eat there requires being able to handle time travel as that’s the only way to visit the restaurant, and it’s warned that the paradox of bumping into several versions of yourself can happen.
The dish of the day is Major Cow, who is specially bred to want to be eaten and also able to talk to diners about this fact. There’s also salad on the menu, but that’s not as eager to be eaten.
The Great Hall
Ordinarily there’s no school canteen you would ever want to visit, let alone enjoy. However, the Great Hall in Harry Potter is no ordinary canteen.
The impressive hall is usually used by the students for day-to-day business like mealtimes and homework sessions. The Great Hall is also needed for grand occasions such as the school feasts throughout the year.
At the feasts the food magically appears on the empty plates, with more than enough for the students to have second helpings. The dishes served up include roast chicken, beef, pork chops, lamb chops, sausages, bacon, roast potatoes and peas to name just a selection. Then for dessert it’s blocks of ice cream, treacle tarts, doughnuts and chocolate éclairs.
The feasts are all themed according to the time of year. So at the Hallowe’en feast there is carrot cakes, candy filled pumpkins and lollipops, whereas at the Christmas feast there is roast turkey and flaming Christmas puddings.
There’s also no washing up to worry about – when the feast is complete the food magically disappears.
The Frying Dutchman
You’re unlikely to find quality but in Springfield there are a number of fast food restaurants to choose from: Moe’s Tavern, Krusty Burger and The Frying Dutchman to name a few. The fictional town was once declared the fattest in America and, looking at the sheer number of fast food joints in the area, it’s easy to see why.
Food is important to the series and most episodes of The Simpsons involve food in some way or another. Whether it’s Homer’s insatiable appetite or a rallying cry from Lisa about becoming a vegetarian, there’s always a way to get the characters talking about food.
Universal in Orlando is making these fictional restaurants a reality. They are currently constructing a Simpsons Land, which as well as areas of Springfield to walk through, it will have a real-life fast food boulevard. It’ll include Luigi’s Pizza, Lard Lad doughnuts and Flaming Moe’s.
And as standalone establishments there will be Moe’s Tavern with Duff beer specially brewed for Universal, and a Krusty Burger.
Pixar’s “Ratatouille”, based in a Parisian restaurant, follows what happens after the five-star Chef Gusteau dies of a broken heart following a bad review from the revered food critic Anton Ego. Remy the rat idolises the French chef and Gusteau is Remy’s inspiration for wanting to become a cook.
In an attempt to right the wrongs of the bad review, Anton Ego visits the restaurant again and this time he’s astounded. Remy’s ratatouille reminds Ego of his mother’s cooking, prompting a glowing review.
Unfortunately the health inspector does not look so fondly upon having rats in the kitchen and the restaurant shuts down. But Remy’s cooking lives on in a bistro named Ratatouille, funded by Ego, with food prepared by his “finest chef in France”.