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Memorable Restaurant Sightings In Movies

Okay...so my last movie-related post has been done to a turn. How's this:
Ever catch sight of a favorite eating place in a movie? Or just a legendary place you've only heard about and then, lo and behold, there they are in some movie or other. I love when movies use real live eateries; as far as I'm concerned, there is no better way to capture time and place. Even if the movie is otherwise forgettable, the inclusion of some legendary pizza joint, taco stand or burger hut makes it a time capsule to be treasured.

Although I never frequented Child's Coffee Shop or the Bellmore Cafeteria, Taxi Driver put me there. Is Munson's Diner, west side of NY, still around? I'm thinking maybe not, perhaps long gone. In any event, it is immortalized in Ruben Blade's first movie, Crossover Dreams. And who can forget Sandy Baron, Jackie Gayle and other borscht belt comics yukking it up at the Carnegie Deli in Broadway Danny Rose? Was anyone out there even more in the mood for a White Castle after seeing those bad boys up close on the griddle in Saturday Night Fever, or even less so than before?

Has anyone out there been hipped to an eatery, simply on the basis of seeing a movie?
Happened to me with Tail of The Pup, the LA doggery; didn't even know it existed until I saw True Romance. Eventually made it to the Tail, with my wife, around '99 or so, on my birthday. I must say that, after about 5 beers or so, and on the heels of seeing Dude Where's My Car (can't remember seeing any eateries in that one), the Pup did indeed strike me as "truly romantic". As was/is the subtle architecture of the place.

So, Chowhounds, here's your chance. Favorite restaurant sightings in movies. Lay it on me.

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  1. In Bullett, Steve McQueen took his girlfriend Jacqueline Bisset to a currently trendy spot on Union Street - Coffee Cantata I think it was. This scene was a real 1968 time-capsule.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Sharuf

      I should add that the whole movie took place in San Francisco.

    2. Where in L.A. does Richard Gere take Julia Roberts in "Pretty Woman", in the scene where the snail slips out of her hand?


      1 Reply
      1. re: TexasToast

        Cicada, 617 South Olive Street, downtown LA (apparently used in Final Analysis, Indecent Proposal, and Bruce Almighty as well).


      2. I want to find out which Bistro in Paris was in Jack Nicholson's "Something's Gotta Give". The veal chop the waiter was carrying still has me drooling...

        2 Replies
        1. re: Leper

          Le Grand Colbert, a brasserie in the 2nd arr. Not so good and now filled with tourists.

          1. re: faijay

            Faijay, Thank you for the follow up. The veal chop was a brief, passing scene but it sure looked terrific.

        2. The hilarious scene in Mrs. Doubtfire with Robin Williams changing back and forth between himself and the aforementioned title character was filemd at Bridges Restaurant in Danville, CA, in the Bay Area, which was located directly behind where I was working at the time. The restaurant was fairly new and very good way back then, but became pretty uninspired and pedestrian after all the notoriety (and crowds) it got from the movie. Its still around, but I haven't been in years. Apparently it changed ownership in 2004, though still living off the Mrs. Doubtfire name ...


          1. In "Play Misty for Me," Eastwood hangs out in the bar at the Sardine Factory, an expensive and fancy restaurant in the Cannery Row area of the Monterey Peninsula. Last time I was there (years ago), it still looked the same.

            Always wondered how a DJ could afford it - well that and the fancy ocean view place where the character lived.


            1 Reply
            1. re: Phoo D

              Made a special trip to the Sardine Factory just due to this fact..I beleive Don Siegel(Director of "Dirty Harry" plus many other greats) plays the bartender in those scenes!!

            2. Great stuff, keep them coming.
              Here's another sighting that I forgot to mention:
              Ray Liotta and Joe Pesci standing in front of the good old Airline Diner (Queens, NY) in Goodfellas. They also use the interior for the following scene. For those who don't know, this venerable greasy spoon, located just across the Grand Central Parkway from a massive cemetary, has now been coopted by the Jackson Hole Diner chain. Only the original sign, complete with neon airplane, remains.

              1. In the movie Sideways they filmed at the Hitching Post in Buellton. Years before the movie came out we lived in Santa Maria. Only tourists went to that Hitching Post, now it's popular with all.

                We went to the Hitching Post in Casmalia across the way from the toxic waste dump...makes me laugh everytime I think about it.

                1. Altman's The Player - the movie theater where Tim Robbins' character tracks down the writer was the Rialto in South Pasadena. The karaoke restaurant was Ai Japanese Restaurant - at the time, our favorite sushi bar - two doors up from the theater. They got a nice new paint job out of the deal. Oh, and Robbins killed the writer in the parking lot behind the restaurant and theater.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: judybird

                    Judybird, Did you notice that Tim Robbins ordered a different, more obscure mineral water in each restaurant scene? And no matter how obscure the mineral water was, the restaurant had it in stock. And, as an added note, Tim Robbins never took a sip of any of them....

                    1. re: Leper

                      Classic movie details...I remember that he also complained the time that his water was served to him in a wine glass.

                  2. Does anyone know if the Diner in Diner actually exists?

                    1 Reply
                    1. One of my best friends in Chicago got married at the Blackstone Hotel more than 10 years ago. When I attended the recption and dinner, the room looked familiar but I couldn't place it. I asked all my buddies and they thought I was nuts, until I spoke to the groom. The ball room where we sat was the same ball room where they filmed the baseball bat scene with Robert DeNiro as Al Capone in The Untouchables. Ok, so its not a restaurant, but I did eat there.

                      1. My favorite of all time:

                        In Wall Street, Charlie Sheen (Bud Fox) and Michael Douglas (Gordon Gecko) have lunch at '21' despite the fact that in the movie Gecko proclaims that "lunch is for wimps".

                        Sheen has the steak tartare with a huge raw egg on top, which is "off menu". The perfect meal for a voracious young capitalist.

                        BTW, The River Cafe in Brooklyn has been in many a movie.

                        1. aqua in under the tuscan sun, the beginning. i like that whole film. im a cheese ball.

                          1. M. Night Shaymalan films mostly in and around Philadelphia. In The Sixth Sense, he shot the scene of Bruce Willis and his wife's anniversary dinner in Striped Bass, an excellent seafood restaurant in Center City.

                            1. In The Devil Wears Prada it's mentioned that Meryl Streep's Anna Wintour/bitch character has dinner reservations at Pastis.

                              1. The scene in Heat when Pacino and DeNiro meet is filmed at Kate Mantilini. They have a huge photograph over the entrance commemorating the moment.

                                1. Foo Chow Restaurant is in Rush Hour. The restaurant painted a huge mural/sign to memoralize it.

                                  1. Although the story takes place in Cleveland, most of "Major League" was filmed in Milwaukee. The restaurant scene in which Tom Berenger first sees Rene Russo is a place that at the time was called Gritz' P'zazz and had pretty decent bistro-type food.

                                    It is now a Russian restaurant/disco, assuming that it is still open; I have never seen more than two or three cars in the parking lot.

                                    1. In JFK, Kevin Costner watches the news reports on the assasination at the Napoleon House, and has dinner and lunch at Antoine's.