If only getting into busy cafes and restaurants were as easy in real-life as as it clearly is in cinema.
Only seldom do we see our plucky heroes forced to wait in line. No, a table is instantly available with no booking required, which, as luck would have it, is the best seat in the house with a view to match, allowing the camera to ponder at notable landmarks and remind viewers what city they're gawping at.
The good news: we've compiled 10 cinematic cafes, diners, restaurants and general snacking stops from classic films which you can use to follow in the footsteps of your favourite film characters, even down to the same seat. It'll just require some queuing.
If you do want to book, however, best not to use any number which starts 555...
Da Stuzzi Patisserie, Paris
Seen in: Inception
Randomly waking up in the centre of Paris, or ‘getting the Eurostar while drunk’ as it’s known outside of sci-fi cinema, is crucial to the dream-hopping of Inception. The dream might not have been genuine, but the café was - the Café Debussy, actually the Da Stuzzi Patisserie, is an old fashioned delicatessen near the centre of town, and while Ellen Page and Leonardo DiCaprio settle for a quick coffee, there’s nothing stopping you getting a baguette or something else vaguely French.
Criterion Restaurant, London
Seen in: The Dark Knight
“Took me three weeks to get a reservation here,” bemoans Harvey Dent of Gotham’s hottest dining spot in The Dark Knight (in reality, London’s Criterion in Piccadilly), where, for one of the film’s most pivotal scenes, he encounters billionaire douchebag Bruce Wayne. Before they’ve even perused the starter menu, Dent’s waxing lyrical about Wayne’s croaky crusader, giving the since oft-repeated line “You either die a hero or you live long enough to see yourself become a villain,” thus foretelling the tragic events that would eventually see him die a homicidal slime-ball.
Kansas City Barbecue, San Diego
Seen in: Top Gun
It might not be the place where Maverick first traded homoerotic stares with Iceman, nor where he belted out You’ve Lost That Loving Feeling, but for San Diegans (yes, that’s the term) it’ll forever be known as the place he sank some Buds and sang Great Balls Of Fire alongside Goose and pals. Not only is it a shrine to Top Gun, it’s still one of the best barbecue and beer shacks in all of California. The only wing-man you'll want to know is the chef, whose BBQ marinated wings will have your pupils dilated for weeks.
Mickey’s Diner, Minnesota
Seen in: The Mighty Ducks, Jingle All the Way
Want to eat like a champ? You could do worse than visit the same place The Mighty Ducks bulked up in all three films. Designed to resemble a railroad dining car, Mickey’s isn’t actually a fifties relic but rather an early eighties structure shipped whole by rail on a flatbed to its current location in St Paul, and the art deco diner is now a certified landmark. Given that Arnie paid a visit in Jingle All The Way, we can only assume the portions are sizable.
Bistrot La Renaissance, Paris
Seen in: Inglourious Basterds
Eating plays a big part in Quentin Tarantino’s Inglourious Basterds. We’re hankering for a nice hot slice of apple strudel covered in whipped cream just thinking about the claret-splattered WW2 set action romp. Ironically, when it comes to the Bistrot La Renaissance, a real-life Parisian bistro as vintage looking as you see on-screen, we don’t get so much as a glance at the menu, we just see Melanie Laurent’s conspirator reading a book before batting away the romantic interests from Daniel Bruhl’s Nazi hero. Plot your route next time you're Paris bound.
Jackson Hole Diner, New York (Astoria)
Seen in: Goodfellas
If anyone is perkier than Ray Liotta’s coke-addled Henry Hill in Goodfellas, it’s whichever happy soul plugged in the brightly lit sign outside the Air Line Diner. To paraphrase Alan Partridge, it's brighter than the sun. The neon-lit beauty, spotted before Hill and his crew prepare to stage an airport heist in the beginning of the film, is still thriving today. According to the owners it serves the best 70z burgers for miles around - but then you do have to trek all the way to LaGuardia airport to get there.
Café Sperl, Vienna
Seen in: Before Sunrise, A Dangerous Method
What do Ethan Hawke and Adolf Hitler have in common? Admittedly not a question you ever thought you'd be asked but an important one seeing as though each man has, at one time or another, enjoyed a trip to Austria’s Café Sperl. The historic Viennese coffeehouse was frequented by some of the greatest (and evilest) minds of the early 20th century. Its latest claim to greatness came with a scene in Richard Linklater’s romantic drama Before Sunrise. You can even ask to sit in the same booth as stars Hawke and Julie Delpy.
Café de Paris, Rome
Seen in: La Dolce Vita
How times have changed on Rome’s Via Vento, one of Europe’s swankiest streets, where the Café de Paris was once a hive of celebrity shoulder-rubbing. Nowadays the only sparks ignited come from the tussle for control between the government and the venue's former mafia owners (there was even an arson attack as early as February of this year). Regardless, having been immortalised in Federico Fellini's La Dolce Vita, we suggest you visit this slice of Italian film history before it shuts down for good.
Oxo Tower, London
Seen in: Thor 2: Dark World
With New York seemingly reduced to a pile of rubble after The Avengers, Marvel were wise to move proceedings for Thor 2 across the pond to a London where mysterious portals are springing up like Pret A Mangers. It's the Oxo Tower which provides visual shorthand for this transatlantic displacement, as it’s here, on a date with Chris O’Dowd and backdropped by the stunning visuals of St Pauls, we catch up with Natalie Portman’s scientist. Operated by Harvey Nichol’s, the Southbank haunt is as highly rated as it is highly perched.
Katz’s Delicatessen, New York
Seen in: When Harry Met Sally
Home to food of orgasmic proportions if you believe Meg Ryan’s antics when sat across from a bemused Billy Crystal, Katz’s Delicatessen continues to usher in When Harry Met Sally fans by the thousands, most making the pilgrimage to order 'What she’s having’. Of course for the sake of the waiter’s sanity, we don’t recommend repeating the line, but do endorse asking for a pastrami sandwich - it’s supposedly the best in town.