The Best FRIENDS Guide for New York City (2023)

Next to Seinfeld it was probably the TV show Friends that made New York popular around the world. What Friends fan did not dream of living in a rent-control apartment in Manhattan and to hang out at a New York coffee house with friends who are as hilarious as Ross, Chandler, Joey, Phoebe, Monica and Rachel all day long. We have created a list of the best places to visit in New York to bring the TV show experience a little closer to you.

Visit the Friends Experience

The Friends Experience is an interactive exhibit dedicated to the Friends show. For $57 a ticket you will get to sit on Central Perk’s famous couch, look for Nestle’s Toll House cookies in Monica’s purple kitchen, dance in front of the iconic fountain, explore some props and costumes from the show and play foosball in Joey’s apartment. The whole tour takes around 90 minutes and even though some reviewers said that it is not worth the high, true friends will probably not care. Make sure to book your tickets in advance.

Take a New York TV Show & Movie Tour

Although Friends tours per se are not available, you can take the more generic “New York City TV Show and Movie” tour, in which a guide (who is often a local actor) will take you to New York’s most famous filming locations. The landmarks you will see have been featured on ‘Friends’, ‘Seinfeld’, ‘Spiderman’ and ‘Girls’. You will also get inside trivia about New York and behind the scenes information. Tickets start at €56 per person.

Visit the Friends apartment in Greenwich village

Although I said that filming was done in Los Angeles, the apartment building sometimes shown between shots and portrayed as the outside of Monica’s apartment can be found in 90 Bedford Street, Greenwich village. You can also take the 2-hour Greenwich Village walking tour (tickets are €35 per person), where you will not only see the Friends apartment but also explore Greenwhich village counterculture history and learn about Henry James, Edgar Allen Poe and Jason Pollock.

Have a Coffee at Central Perk

Although Central Perk does not exist, the show has filmed the outside location of a Greenwhich village coffee house as Central Perk’s exterior. It is located at the corner of Bedford and Grove Street, so feel free to walk up there right after having paid a visit to the Friends original apartment. After that you can head to one of Greenwich village’s many coffeehouse such as the lovely Caffe Reggio and simply imagine it’s Central Perk where you are sitting.

Enjoy cheesecake at Junior’s Brooklyn

You should visit Junior’s Brooklyn diner when you are in New York anyway, Friends fan or not. However, if you are a Friends fan you may enjoy your visit even more so remembering the famous Friends cheesecake episode, in which Joey, Rachel and Monica end up eating cheesecake from the floor just because it’s so good. We can easily imagine this being the case with Junior’s cheesecake since they are known to have the best cheesecake’s of New York.

Go shopping at Bloomingdale’s

Bloomingdale’s is a famous upscale department store in New York City, and it was referenced in several Friends episodes. In the third season after being encouraged by Chandler and Joey, Rachel even quits her waitressing job at the Central Perk to start a new job as a personal shopping assistant at Bloomingdale’s. Head to the department store and wander around or do some light shopping while looking for major bargains just like Rachel and Monica would do. Maybe you will run across Joey offering you a sample of ‘Brijan for men?’ (another great episode).

Have pizza at John’s pizzeria
New York pizza slice

John’s pizzeria is a pizza restaurant on 278 Bleecker street. It has been featured in the Friends episode ‘The One with the Proposal – Part 2’, in which Chandler and Monica discuss marriage. The restaurant is located very close to Monica’s apartment between Bedford Street and Grove. Reviewers say that the pizza’s are supposed to be amazing and even claiming them to be the best in Manhattan. Do what Joey would do and order 2 pizza’s even if it’s not Friday, so that you don’t have to claim ‘Joey doesn’t share his food’.

Explore Greenwich Village

The friends characters lived in Greenwich village. Enough of a reason for you to explore this amazing neighborhood with its rich counterculture history. We recommend taking a 2 hour walking tour through Greenwich village, in which you will also learn about Edgar Allen Poe, Jason Pollock, Henry James and other famous artists and writers that have been influenced by this neighborhood. Tickets cost €35 per person and it is recommended to book the tour in advance.

If you want to make the most out of your upcoming New York City trip, check out our amazing ‘New York City 4 day itinerary’.

If you’re like us, you’re not only big fans of Friends, but also big fans of ‘Seinfeld’, so don’t miss our amazing Seinfeld Guide for New York City.