10 Of The Most Beloved Fictional Restaurants On TV

Characters gotta eat too. Here's where some of TV's most memorable meals happened.

As we prepare for another April of exciting TV premieres, those of us who are both foodies and culture vultures saw fit to revisit the best restaurants ever to grace the small screen. Across television history, restaurants have served as anchoring locations for the protagonists, the "third place" in which they gather to unpack the drama of each episode. Here, we take a look back at 10 such restaurants and offer some insight on how they managed to capture the hearts of both the characters who ate there and the viewers who only wish they could.

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The Krusty Krab (SpongeBob SquarePants)

For its owner, Mr. Krabs, the Krusty Krab restaurant is little more than a money-making venture. For its cashier, Squidward, the place is a source of misery. But for everyone else, particularly chef SpongeBob Squarepants, it's a delight. The Krusty Krab is a bright and welcoming space that houses one of the greatest fictional burgers ever depicted: the Krabby Patty.

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The Krusty Krab is constantly thrumming with happy diners, many of which are different species of fish—a demonstration of the food's broad appeal across Bikini Bottom. While the Krusty Krab isn't immune to the occasional health and safety disaster, it always comes back to satisfy customers for another day.

The Original Beef of Chicagoland (The Bear)

A surprise hit of 2022, The Bear starkly depicts all the anger, swearing, anxiety, swearing, stress, and swearing that comes with working in a fast-paced restaurant. The series follows Carmen "Carmy" Berzatto (Jeremy Allen White), a brilliant chef who does his best to whip a Chicago sandwich shop into shape while also wrestling personal demons and an incompatible team. Although it's not exactly cheerful viewing, the show was a smash that won over the masses and turned many viewers into enthusiastic fans (including us).

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Everyone, whether they've worked in hospitality or not, can connect with the characters' struggles at the Original Beef of Chicagoland. We passionately root for the success of this scrappy underdog—and it doesn't hurt that the meals served up at Original Beef look so damn good, even as the restaurant struggles to survive. The New York Times even credited this show with boosting the popularity of Chicago's Italian beef sandwiches.

Monk’s Cafe (Seinfeld)

There are an infinite number of eateries in New York City, and yet Seinfeld's misanthropic foursome are constantly drawn back to Monk's. That's no small thing. While it's not flashy, Monk's is a consistently satisfying venue for people who like their salads big, their omelets egg-white-only, and their grapefruits juicy.

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Monk's is the sun around which Seinfeld's nine seasons revolve, with many of the show's best moments either taking place at Jerry's favorite booth or originating from the interactions that happen in the cafe. And unlike other restaurants in the Seinfeld-verse, Monk's has no tyrannical owner and there is never an excessively long wait for a table.

Nuovo Vesuvio (The Sopranos)

The restaurant formally known as Vesuvio burns down in the pilot episode of The Sopranos in totally unsuspicious circumstances (wink), and Nuovo Vesuvio rises from the ashes. The Italian eatery turns out to be a delicious constant on the critically acclaimed show—classy but unpretentious, Nuovo Vesuvio also boasts one of the most lovable owners in TV restaurant history, the very warm and personable Artie Bucco (John Ventimiglia).

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The fact that the restaurant is so popular with Tony Soprano (James Gandolfini) and his crew of mobsters is certainly a positive endorsement. After all, guys like that don't tend to tolerate a job poorly done.

House of Mouse (House of Mouse)

A theatrical restaurant with Mickey Mouse as a host and almost every Disney character as a customer—what else is there to say? Despite the occasional mishap and a very questionable door policy (one that lets all the villains in), the House of Mouse is a barrel of fun for those on both sides of the screen. Any restaurant that's able to attract beings from multiple worlds and timelines is obviously a great one. I don't even like getting out of the car.

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Breadstix (Glee)

The one thing that came out Glee characters' mouths more than Madonna songs was "Breadstix," the name of the local Italian restaurant. Breadstix is seemingly the one oasis of opulence in what otherwise seems to be a drab and joyless town, providing a classy setting for numerous dates and special occasions across the series' six seasons. The restaurant is also evidently capable of satisfying a diverse range of tastes, given that everyone from the rebellious bad boy to the stuck-up cheerleader positively leapt at the chance to dine at Breadstix. That's worth singing about.

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Perhaps the restaurant's biggest draw is that it is "legally" not allowed to stop bringing you breadsticks. That alone would make us want to book a table, several Ziploc bags in tow.

Los Pollos Hermanos (Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul)

Drugs are bad, but that doesn't mean a drug lord's restaurant has to be. The restaurant in question is fast food joint Los Pollos Hermanos of both the Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul universe. Seeing the restaurant in action, you'd never guess that it's a front for drug kingpin Gustavo "Gus" Fring (Giancarlo Esposito): it's clean, the service is top-notch, and the food looks delicious. The fact that it grew from a single location in Mexico into a 14-location chain across the American Southwest indicates that the people of Badland agree.

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Fans of Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul love Los Pollos Hermanos because it plays host to many of those series' juiciest and most memorable moments, including Fring's first meeting with Walter White (Bryan Cranston). Unlike the fictional restaurants of many other TV series, AMC went above and beyond to infuse Los Pollos Hermanos with a life of its own, even releasing a series of fake employee training videos.

Ichiraku Ramen (Naruto and Boruto: Naruto Next Generations)

Brought to us by a culinary genius named Teuchi, the bowls of ramen served in this place are visual works of art that captivate the taste buds of just about everyone who tries them. But none more so than Naruto, the mischievous ninja at the center of this popular anime series.

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The ramen provides Naruto with the fuel he needs for his heroic adventures, while his patronage and spokesmanship help the restaurant succeed. So much palpable love flows between Naruto and Ichiraku Ramen, the viewers can't help but feel it too. We also can't help but try to get in on the action: The internet is awash with examples of cooks recreating the ramen dishes seen on the show. The restaurant was even given the Bubba Gump treatment several years ago, with a real-life version of Ichiraku Ramen opening in Shanghai.

The Dot (Degrassi)

Before Euphoria came along, Degrassi was the TV show that taught preteens about the world and made them extremely nervous about starting high school. The Dot, a local hangout spot, offers Degrassi students a refuge from their relentlessly challenging lives—although the cafe does fall victim to the occasional shooting, robbery, and explosion. Numerous Degrassi characters work at The Dot at some point throughout the series, most notably Spinner (Shane Kippel), who climbs his way up from busboy to manager. The Dot is where our beloved protagonists grow and improve themselves as only a TV cafe can offer. Plus it has a second floor that converts into a teen club. That's just awesome.

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Bob’s Burgers (Bob’s Burgers)

And finally, a TV restaurant that is hardly loved at all by its owners, and even less by its patrons. In fact, the titular Bob's Burgers is almost always empty save for its unbalanced regulars, Teddy and Mort. Still, as a viewer you can't help but love the little burger joint that could. The scrappy restaurant overflows with genuine charm, and though it often falls on hard times, there's never any doubt that Bob Belcher is a highly capable burger chef. From the pun-tastic "Burger of the Day" menu board to the endlessly eccentric staff of Linda, Tina, Gene, and Louise Belcher, this is a restaurant we'd pay good money to eat at. Give us The Meatsiah any day.

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