New York City Spots in Television, Film & Books

One of our favorite games to play here at Metro Tours HQ is to catch glimpses of New York City in televisions shows and movies and quickly call them out. Everything is game – restaurants, parks, intersections and, of course, the most famous landmarks like the Empire State Building and Brooklyn Bridge. As one of the biggest cities in the world and the epicenter for industries like music and fashion, the Big Apple seems to show up everywhere. We know how much visitors enjoy seeing these famous spots in person. You have gotta get that all important photo to share with followers on Instagram! That said, we wanted to put together a list of some of the most famous and sought out locations here in NYC, along with some added tips and commentary along the way. Lights. Camera. Action!

When Harry Met Sally

This classic romantic comedy portrays two friends helping each other navigate through relationships. One particularly famous scene was filmed at Katz’s Deli and takes place just after Harry and Sally arrive in New York City after graduating from the University of Chicago and road tripping East together. An obvious added bonus to visiting Katz’s…THE FOOD. If you like deli sandwiches, then you are in for a treat at this legendary spot. Pro Tip: After you order at the counter, you will be handed a ticket. Use the ticket to pay for your food on your way out after eating. Credit cards are accepted at the back register.

Gossip Girl

Hey Upper East Siders, Gossip Girl here to give you the full scoop on the location of THE Serena van der Woodsen’s temporary residence. About 30 blocks south of the Met, where Serena and Blaire like to enjoy their school lunch break on the steps, is the Lotte New York Palace, aka “The Palace.”


Located at 4 North Moore Street, there is a lot of special history to the Hook & Ladder 8, which was featured as the home base of the Ghostbusters. Pro Tip: Hook & Ladder 8 is a stop on our TriBeCa Architecture & History Tour! We will give you all of the fascinating history of this spot, along with plenty of time to take some selfies #forthegram.


Washington Square Park is home to both the arch and fountain prominently featured with our favorite friends in the show’s opening credits.  Now, good luck getting the theme song out of your head.

Also, while most of the interior shooting was done on sets in Los Angeles, the iconic exterior shots of Monica and Rachel’s corner apartment are of 90 Bedford Street in the West Village. And while you are in the neighborhood…

Sex & the City

On the show, Carrie Bradshaw’s apartment was supposed to be on the Upper East Side. However, the shots of her stoop musings, awkward date endings and cab hailing was actually at 64 Perry Street in the West Village. If you are lucky, you may catch of glimpse of Sarah Jessica Parker herself, the actress who played Carrie, as she lives in the West Village with her husband Matthew Broderick and their three children.

You’ve Got Mail

Meg Ryan making another appearance on our list, this time with everyone’s favorite Tom Hanks as her leading man. If you are a fan of this movie, you will recognize Cafe Lalo as the spot where Joe first realizes that he has actually been e-mail chatting with Kathleen – his arch nemesis in the book selling business. Cafe Lalo is an utterly delightful, European feeling cafe on the Upper West Side. We love to head uptown on summer nights for coffee and dessert when the windows are open!

Another famous Upper West Side spot features in You’ve Got Mail is Zabar’s, a specialty grocery store with delicacies like smoked fish and fresh bagels. Pro Tip: Not to worry, you can even have the bagels shipped to you so that you can re-create that perfect New York City bagel experience at home.


Jerry and his gang of misfits always gathered at Tom’s Diner – this iconic spot, complete with red neon exterior sign, is located at 1880 Broadway.

Law & Order

New York Supreme Court located at 60 Centre Street has been featured countless times on this fan favorite. Head to Foley Square and can’t miss it. You might also recognize the building, and whole surrounding area, from Billions. Pro Tip: You are about a five minute walk from City Hall Park, where all of our tours start!

A Little Life

A 2015 novel by Hanya Yanagihara, A Little Life is one of the best and most moving books we have read. An apartment on Lispenard Street in TriBeCa is home to roommates who are friends from college making their ways in New York City. Fair warning about this book, which has amassed a cult following since its release – it is not for the faint of heart. Pro Tip: Our TriBeCa History & Architecture Tour stops on Lispenard.

If you are a Hollywood buff and want to see all of these places – and more – Metro Tours would love to customize a private tour for you! You can learn more about our private and custom tour options here.

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