Restaurants deliver a unique experience for every diner, especially if the eatery is based on a popular television series or literary figures. From the treats at a coffee shop to a beer at a pub, New Yorkers can immerse themselves in their pop culture favorites at one of these themed restaurants. By John Friia
Hard Rock Café
New York, NY 10036
Exploring Times Square: Eat, See And Play
Every day is a celebration of music at the Hard Rock Café in Times Square. From The Beatles to Billy Joel and Elvis Presley, there are priceless items from rock and roll legends throughout the expansive restaurant. Among the memorabilia, diners can read a handwritten letter and original draft of “Midnight Lighting” from Jimi Hendrix. For the ultimate Hard Rock Café experience, people can host a small private party atop the building’s historic marquee. Overlooking the bright lights of Times Square, people will feel like a rock star in Manhattan.
Rue La Rue Café
New York, NY 10040
Picture it Washington Height 2017, a new café opens in honor of Rue McClanahan and the hit sitcom ‘The Golden Girls’ where she portrayed Blanche Devereaux. Filled with memorabilia, Rue La Rue Café is home to endless cheesecake, McClanahan’s outfits from the series, an Emmy Award, and autographed scripts and photos. Fans can indulge on treats inspired by the comedy, including “Rose’s Proposals” scones and “Sophia’s Cure for Depression” cookies.
Bubba Gump Shrimp Co.
New York, NY 10036
New Yorkers can run to Times Square for a movie-like meal at Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. Inspired by the hit movie Forrest Gump, people can enjoy a combination of Cajun and seafood with dishes that pay tribute to the film, including the “Jenny’s Catch” with pan-seared tilapia, mashed potatoes, sautéed spinach and creamy lobster butter sauce. Embracing the movie’s signature catchphrase, the restaurant lets diners grab the waitress’ attention with a “Stop, Forrest, Stop” sign.
Jekyll & Hyde Club
91 Seventh Avenue South
New York, NY 10014
As people step inside the Jekyll & Hyde Club they are transported to the eccentric laboratory of the infamous Dr. Jekyll. The expansive menu draws on inspiration from iconic monsters in literature, including the “Cannibals” pizza, topped with sausage, pepperoni and meatballs or the Create-Your-Own-Monster burger. A visit to the Jekyll & Hyde Club is not complete without having an alcoholic shot in a plastic syringe. Throughout the meal, guests are treated to see the reanimation of Frankenstein’s Monster and the mysterious transformation of Dr. Jekyll into the horrifying Mr. Hyde.
Planet Hollywood Times Square
New York, NY 10036
People can get ready for their close-up at Planet Hollywood Times Square. Once people step inside the eatery, they will see planes from “Top Gun” and “Independence Day” and costumes from hit-movies like “Hunger Games” and “Austin Powers.”
205 East 4th Street
New York, NY 10009
Oscar Wilde is one of literature’s most prolific writers and in honor of his novel “The Picture of Dorian Gray,” people can flock to Dorian Gray Tap & Grill. This Lower East Side’s Irish pub was opened by the great-grandnephew of Wilde and brings the feel of old world charm to Manhattan. As people order a draft of Dorian Lager, they will notice numerous black and white photos of writers and a menu filled with literary-inspired dishes. Sticking to the English roots of Wilde, the bar offers Shepherd’s Pie with beef, onions, carrots, celery, peas and cheese. While visitors will not remain youthful as Dorian, they can wish to feel a few years younger as they sip on The Dorian Gray Martini with vodka, Chambord, cranberry juice, ginger ale and fruit.
The Dead Poet
450 Amsterdam Avenue
New York, NY 10024
More: Best Irish Pubs In NYC
Literary enthusiasts can also unwind at The Dead Poet. Nestled on the Upper West Side, the bar revives celebrated authors and poets in literary history. While the food menu remains traditional, people can immerse themselves with author-inspired cocktails, including Robert Burns with scotch, vermouth and orange bitters or the Edgar Allen Poe with vodka, Chambord, triple sec and lime. There are even classic books that are available for people to read with sitting at the bar.
240 West 55th Street
New York, NY 10002
Exploring Hell’s Kitchen: Eat, See And Play
Fans of the CBS sitcom “How I Met Your Mother” will recognize the McGee’s Pub, which inspired the gathering place for Barney and his friends. Located in the heart of Hell’s Kitchen, the famous tri-level pub boasts countless televisions to watch the game, jukebox and memorabilia of the series throughout the bar. While the show is currently seen in syndication, people can feel part of the gang with McGee’s Pub’s “How I Met Your Mother” Mondays serving dishes honoring the show. New Yorkers can grab their closest friends and catch up over an order of “The Bro Code” Combo with buffalo wings, chicken fingers, potato skins and mozzarella, or “The Accidental Curly Fry” basket.
John Friia is a freelance journalist and native New Yorker writing about food, drinks and lifestyle. You can follow his adventures on Instagram.