The last 12 months has sometimes felt like a virtual version of our ‘old normal’. And part of this communal coping mechanism is suspending our disbelief at points — celebrating birthdays at our laptops; having virtual pub quizzes, or catching up with friends for a Zoom coffee date.
But sometimes the best escapism is living vicariously through screen stars in our latest movie or series binge. How many times in the last year have you gazed longingly at a couple or group of mates in a fictional bar, restaurant or coffee shop on screen? Most of us are daydreaming about a visit to our favourite local coffee shop right now, but let’s go one better and imagine having a fresh brew in one of these iconic coffee shops on screen.
Tip Top Cafe (Groundhog Day)
How many times have we uttered the words Groundhog Day over the last year? Bill Murray’s iconic role as a weatherman Phil caught in a time loop has been a go-to metaphor for these times. Another scene that chimes with us — Phil sitting in Tip Top Cafe, skulling coffee straight from the jug and forcing a full huge slice of cake into his mouth, to the disgust of Rita (Andie McDowell). We’re with you, Phil!
Double R Diner (Twin Peaks)
For a series so centred on surrealism and grim goings-on, the most iconic set in the Twin Peaks universe is the Double R Diner, a classic American strip mall coffee shop and diner with booths, chrome and vinyl bar stools and jukebox.
You can actually visit the filming location if you fancy some cherry pie and “damn fine cup o’ coffee” — Twede’s Cafe in in North Bend, Washington state.
Pulp Fiction Diner
In fairness, this might not be the best place to visit at the same time as Pumpkin (Tim Roth) and Honey-Bunny (Amanda Plummer) at the start of Pulp Fiction. The lovers and small-time crooks open the film wondering why robbers never hold up restaurants, in between coffee refills and loving sips. Emboldened by caffeine and a belly full of pancakes and bacon, they just go for it.
Cafe Nervosa (Frasier)
Judging by the name, we expect the coffee here was strong — no doubt helping the quickfire dialogue between Frasier (double Kona with cream) and his uptight brother Niles (latte with nutmeg and cinnamon). As one of the most iconic sets in one of the most iconic shows of the 90s, Cafe Nervosa — along with Friends’ Central Perk — helped boost the rise of coffee shops in the US, and therefore the rest of the world.
Central Perk (Friends)
Undoubtedly the most iconic of all screen coffee shops, where Rachel, Monica, Phoebe, Joey, Chandler and Ross would hang around and, well, not do much. They seemed to spend more time on the comfy couches than their actual jobs, and Central Perk was the scene of many key scenes — and also Phoebe’s acoustic ‘gigs’.