It is very easy to feel like you have been to New York without ever having stepped foot there. The city is so prevalent in popular culture that it is seen on movie screens, television screens, phone screens and camera screens by viewers across the world all day long.
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This means there are plenty of landmarks that invoke a sense of reminiscence and excitement due to a feeling of stepping through the screen and inhabiting a fictional world. Such is the Seinfeld catalogue, fans could spend months exploring New York without visiting all of the famed locations. With no place too obscure, here are 10 items that should make the list.
10 Find a black and white cookie
‘Look to the cookie, Elaine. Look to the cookie.’ One of the most memorable settings for a Seinfeld episode is the bakery where the ‘chocolate babka’ incident takes place. Sometimes a forgotten aspect of this is Jerry’s belief that the black and white cookie just might be the answer to society’s problems.
No trip to New York is complete without a visit to one of the many famed bakeries, and a Seinfeld pilgrimage simply has to include the consumption of a black and white cookie. Try Zabar’s on Broadway and don’t forget to have a little of each color in every bite!
9 Grab some iconic New York pizza
A very flustered Kramer once claims he must be at the nexus of the universe due to the meeting of 1st Street and First Avenue. While trying to help, Jerry asks if the pizza place Kramer can see is Ray’s, Original Ray’s, or Famous Original Ray’s.
When hunger takes hold during your Seinfeld celebrations, be sure to head to at least one of these New York institutions. Famous Original Rays has multiple locations, with the best on the lower corners of Central Park. Ray’s sits on Columbus Avenue and is the perfect place to get a delicious slice long after the sun has gone down.
8 Taste soup so good it makes your knees buckle
A real soup stand that the writers of Seinfeld used to visit frequently, the Original Soup Man still plies his trade on West 55th Street and the soup is just as good as it ever was.
Have your money ready, don't mention it if you don’t get any bread and be sure to slip into ‘soup mode’ well before arrival. You won’t be able to miss the place, there is a huge sign referencing it’s Seinfeld involvement above the front door that lures in fans all hours of the day.
7 Test out New York's greengrocers
Above all, a greengrocer must stand behind their fruit. New York is a city that has no shortage of sensational fruit vendors with wares that spill out onto the sidewalk.
Those wanting to live life the Kramer way need to find their way to a greengrocer to gather some fresh mangos, plantains and plums with red on the inside. Sadly the show’s depiction of Joe’s Fruits does not exist, but fans wanting the authentic experience should head to 49th and 2nd where the fruit stand serves some of the freshest items in the city.
6 Actually get a table at a Chinese restaurant
The episode that rocketed Seinfeld to fame featured the gang impatiently waiting for a table at Hunan Restaurant before a planned viewing of the worst movie ever made.
While the original restaurant does not exist anymore, fans can still head to Hunan House on West 56th Street for delicious food that does not come with a long wait. Customers here won’t have to ask their fellow diners to give up their egg rolls to win a bet and you can always see if Plan 9 From Outer Space is playing after dinner.
5 Take a tour of Yankee Stadium
One of the very few jobs that George actually enjoyed, at least on occasion, was his position within the New York Yankees. While you may not get to see the sleeping space beneath his desk, it is possible to take tours of Yankee Stadium to soak up the atmosphere George was lucky enough to enjoy every day.
A spot on the tourist trail for many visitors to New York, Seinfeld fans will find the experience even more joyous thanks to the muttering of George Steinbrenner lines all afternoon.
4 Feel good all the time at Pete's Tavern
With an interior that has been used in the production of several movies and television shows, Pete’s Tavern on East 18th Street has a classic, familiar look that always feels on the tip of visitors tongues.
For Seinfeld fans, it is where Kramer simultaneously drank a beer and smoked a cigarette while trying to act cool in front of Jerry’s accountant. The Tavern is not only still there but has in fact been serving New Yorkers since 1851 and is a historical destination in its own right.
3 Drive up to The Hamptons
When in New York, do as the locals do and head for the Hamptons as soon as the sun comes out. No matter if it is an excuse to relax on the beach or visit a friend’s baby, the Hamptons call to every Seinfeld fan and the best thing to do is simply answer.
While there, fans of the show won’t be able to resist enjoying one of the famous lobster rolls on offer everywhere you go. The best is Bostwick’s Chowder House so pull up a seat and tuck into this delicious (and legally caught, Kramer!) seafood feast.
2 Kenny Kramer’s Reality Tour
Yes, it’s a real thing. The real-life inspiration for Cosmo Kramer runs his own bus tour and it is three hours of madness straight from the unique mind that Seinfeld co-creator Larry David so loved.
Visit some of the more obscure locations that feature in the show, hear behind-the-scenes stories from the show and learn the origins of some of Seinfeld’s story lines. Usually, Kramer is not hauling muffin stumps in the back of the bus so it is a comfortable ride through the history of one of the world's most popular television shows.
1 Place your order at Monk's Diner
Perhaps the most iconic image from the show given it’s frequency of use is the facade of Monk’s Cafe. The absolute best way to feel as though you are inhabiting the show’s world is to take in the sight at 2880 Broadway while imagining what possible issue Jerry and George could be discussing inside.
While the interior does not look like it does on the show, the exterior remains almost identical. Head inside for a tuna salad on rye or poppyseed muffin but remember, you can’t bring your own maple syrup inside.