In a magical, near-abandoned shopping mall hiding in the middle of Beijing lies an amazing Friends “Central Perk” replica. Being a pretty big fan of the show, I had to check out the cafe shortly after arriving in China. Buzzfeed even wrote a couple articles on it; you can check those out here and here.
As you step in the front door, you’re instantly greeted by exactly the warm and friendly feeling that you would expect from the gang’s go-to hangout spot. A Chinese super-fan named of the Friends show decided that Beijing needed a Central Perk, and he did a really good job getting all of the details just right. The staff there have even chosen a character’s name for themselves to display on their nametag. This cafe is one of the many examples and proof of the impact and influence that American culture has on places foreign and far away; instances of Western influence can be found all over China.
Sitting on the sofa underneath the Central Perk logo felt so familiar after watching all 10 seasons of the show, and it was as if I had walked right into the Friends world. I loved the added touch of special latte art when I received my drink!
After ordering a beautifully-crafted gourmet latte, you can take a seat on a familiar sofa and watch Rachel and Ross’s love saga and Chandler’s cynical but oh-so-true jokes in a never-ending loop of the show.
Not only can you enjoy your beverage in the Central Perk Cafe, but you can also lounge in Joey and Chandler’s apartment right next door. This incredibly-detailed version of the famous living room features a foosball table, reclining chairs, and the iconic media stand that blocks both of their bedroom doors.
Don’t forget to pet Smelly Cat on the way out! We’re not quite sure what they’re feeding him…