12 Iconic Movie Restaurants You Can Still Visit

Eat where Robin Williams, Meg Ryan and others made classic movie scenes.

There are movie scenes that resonate with you long after the theater lights have risen and some of these memorable moments take place in a bar or restaurant.

The magic of the lighting, the mood and that spot where the hero delivered that momentous line or speech is enough to make any fan want to visit some of these iconic locations with the reward of a meal or sweet indulgence serving as icing on the proverbial cake. 

So whether it's a pilgrimage to a beloved filming location or simply a spot for a quick bite or a night on the town, these bars and restaurants live on in the hearts of fans and are still open business.

Kansas City Barbeque, San Diego, California

Kansas City Barbeque  

A chance encounter with a “Top Gun” movie location director brought Kansas City Barbeque into the national spotlight in 1986 and its star power hasn’t diminished.

Located in the Downtown Harbor District of San Diego, the self-proclaimed “Top Gun Bar” is one of the city’s iconic locations to visit.

Known as “The Sleazy Bar Scene,” Tom Cruise (Maverick) and Anthony Edwards (Goose), joined by Kelly McGillis and Meg Ryan, sing Jerry Lee Lewis’s “Great Balls of Fire.” It is also the locale of the movie’s last scene where Cruise reunites with McGillis.

KCBBQ promises not just a bar, but a shrine, so come out for some good barbecue and all things “Top Gun.” 600 W. Harbor Drive, San Diego

Katz's Delicatessen, New York

Katz’s Delicatessen 

Three years after her role in “Top Gun,” Meg Ryan starred in “When Harry Met Sally” (1989), and one scene turned a local favorite in a nationally recognized cinema set.

The semi-scandalous scene in Katz’s Delicatessen includes dialogue between Ryan and Billy Crystal that inspired the woman at the next table—played by director Rob Reiner’s mother—to utter the now-famous line, “I’ll have what she’s having!”

Located on East Houston Street—it's a Lower East Side Institution—Katz’s started as Iceland Brothers in 1888, became Iceland and Katz in 1903 and has been Katz’s Delicatessen since 1910. The signature dish? The pastrami on rye that Crystal was trying to order in the scandalous scene. 205 East Houston St., New York

Bridges Restaurant & Bar  

Guzzling scotch, performing numerous wardrobe changes—some from men's to women's wear—and performing the Heimlich maneuver are just part of Daniel Hillard’s—Robin Williams—night during a restaurant dining scene of “Mrs. Doubtfire” (1993).

Williams’ zany evening is set in Bridges Restaurant at the real life Bridges Restaurant & Bar in Danville, California, about 30 miles from Oakland. Bridges Restaurant provides innovative California cuisine with European and Asian influences, brought to the table courtesy of executive chef Kevin Gin in addition to the use of fresh local products. 44 Church St., Danville, California

Matthew McConaughey at The Varsity, Atlanta

The Varsity

Looking to find a hot dog or casual bite to satisfy a craving? Well, you can be just like Matthew McConaughey, who made The Varsity in Atlanta a stop on his character's recruiting trail during 2004 in the film “We Are Marshall.”

It was an experience that The Varsity employees who were there will never forget.

"Filming the ‘We are Marshall’ diner scene at The Varsity was a fun experience,” said Ashley Weiser, marketing director of The Varsity. “Classic cars were brought in to the drive-in, employees and extras were dressed in full '70s wardrobe, hair and makeup. Matthew McConaughey was fun to work with and the crew was great. [It's] a night we will always remember!”

Now with eight different locations throughout Georgia, the original Varsity was opened by Frank Gordy in 1928 on a 70-foot by 120-foot lot. Today, the Atlanta site sits on more than two acres, accommodates 600 cars and 800 more people inside. When Georgia Tech plays a home football game, The Varsity staff estimate that there are over 30,000 people who flock to the classic Atlanta restaurant. 61 North Ave., Atlanta

Victor Cafe, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Victor Cafe 

If you’re in Philadelphia, you may want to swing by the Victor Cafe—or "Adrian’s"—featured in “Rocky Balboa” (2006) and “Creed” (2015) starring Sylvester Stallone.

“We were delighted to be set in a movie and we had a lot of fun,” said co-owner Rick DiStefano, who noted a few alterations had to be made to the restaurant. “It was interesting to see the change from opera to boxing paraphernalia on the wall.”

The opera items lining the café walls started with John DiStefano, who opened his gramophone shop in 1918. Making friends with directors at RCA Victor, DiStefano got to meet and became friends with many involved in the music industry. In 1933, DiStefano converted the gramophone shop to The Victor Café, “Music Lover’s Rendevous,” and the restaurant has been family owned ever since.

Come for the Italian food and the culture. Experience live opera every 20 minutes or so as the wait staff will take time out to belt out an aria before heading back to their customers, a tradition that began in 1979. 1303 Dickinson St., Philadelphia

Cremerie Restaurant Polidor, Paris, France

Cremerie Restaurant Polidor

Gil—Owen Wilson— is a screenwriter visiting Paris in Woody Allen's "Midnight in Paris" (2011) and every night at midnight he is magically transported to the 1920s.

One fateful evening, he visits Le Polidor and meets his idol, Ernest Hemingway. This is all not too far from reality as Hemingway, James Joyce and other writers actually frequented the real establishment,  Cremerie Restaurant Polidor, during their Parisian adventures.

Open since 1845, Cremerie Restaurant Polidor offers French cuisine to customers at shared tables. Meats are 100 percent French and main courses offer selections such as Beef Bourguignon, Beef carpaccio and cold salmon. The restaurant assures reservations are not needed or accepted at this iconic restaurant with an open-door policy.

41, Rue Monsieur Le Prince, Paris

Cicada Restaurant, Los Angeles, California

Cicada Restaurant  

It’s a classic scene in “Pretty Woman” (1990): Julia Roberts plays an escort hired by Richard Gere. She joins him for dinner and accidentally flings her escargot at a waiter. Cicada Restaurant, a Los Angeles institution since the Art Deco-inspired Oviatt Building opened as a haberdashery in 1928, fits the bill for the swanky restaurant in this scene.

Try a Tiger Shrimp appetizer while sitting by an oak column featuring angels holding bells or experience Black Ink Squid Tagliolini underneath gold-leaf ceilings. The expansive restaurant also offers dining and drinks on the Art Deco mezzanine bar and lounge overlooking the club. Reservations are a must and don’t forget to dress up! The Historic 1928 Art Deco Oviatt Building, 617 S. Olive St., Los Angeles

Bar De La Marine 

You don’t see the stunning views of the harbor when Colin Firth proposes to his Portuguese object of desire in “Love Actually” (2003). If you go to Portugal, you won’t see the restaurant at all as Bar De La Marine is actually in Marseille, France.

Open since March 1929, the restaurant still has the feel of 1930s Marseilles. There is almost no time you can go when the restaurant would be closed as it keeps its doors open from 7 am to 2 am, seven days a week. 15 Quai de Rive Neuve, 13007, Marseille, France

New York Grill, Park Hyatt Tokyo

New York Grill, Park Hyatt Tokyo

Aging actor Bob Harris—Bill Murray—and a lone newlywed left alone as her husband attends to work—Scarlett Johansson—meet in a Tokyo hotel bar one night in the 2003 release, “Lost in Translation.”

It’s not filmed using a green screen or on a soundstage. The panoramic views behind Murray and Johansson are the real deal, shot from the Park Hyatt Tokyo’s New York Grill. Located on the 52nd floor, the floor-to-ceiling glass windows offer incredible views of the city while the open kitchen lets you take a peek at the chefs' creation and plating process. 3-7-1-2 Nishi Shinjuku, Shinjuku-Ku, Tokyo

Cafe Lalo, New York

Cafe Lalo

“You’ve Got Mail” (1998) is another Meg Ryan film with another iconic leading man by her side. Joe Fox—Tom Hanks—arranges to meet Kathleen Kelly—Meg Ryan—at Cafe Lalo.

It is almost instantly recognizable with its floor-to-ceiling French windows and the café serves as a prime pre- and post-theatre spot for a quick dessert or café latte. Among the offerings there is brunch that runs until 4 pm each afternoon in addition to sandwiches, salads and desserts, which are served all day. Pick the right table and you might end up where Joe met Kathleen. 201 West 83rd St., New York

The Dresden Restaurant

From Jon Favreau cutting a rug in “Swingers” (1996) to Tom Hanks in “That Thing You Do” (1996), the Dresden Restaurant in Los Angeles has been a well-tapped location in Hollywood films for almost 60 years.

Enter the Dresden, open since 1954, and veer left to the lounge before heading into the dining room. The lounge has live entertainment seven nights a week and as part of that entertainment are Marty and Elayne—jazz musicians who have been there since 1982 and performed in “Swingers,”—performing live five nights week. The restaurant also welcomes guest performers alongside the house band. 1760 N. Vermont Ave., Los Angeles

Emmit's Irish Pub, Chicago, Illinois

Emmit’s Irish Pub 

First a bank during America's prohibition before becoming a tavern in the 1930s, Emmit’s Irish Pub has played part in several classic movies.

Emmit’s has proven to be a darling of the entertainment industry, whether it be in a comedy like “Uncle Buck” (1989), playing host to a graduation party in “Backdraft” (1991) or seeing George Clooney recruit Matt Damon to be in his gang of urbane thieves in “Ocean’s Eleven” (2001).

This neighborhood bar on Chicago’s North Side offers standard pub fare, with homage to its Irish roots in menu items such as "Emmit’s Shephard’s Pie" in addition to traditional fish and chips washed down with a Guinness, Smithwick’s and Harp on tap. 495 North Milwaukee Ave., Chicago