Skip To Content

    There's An Amazing Real-Life Version Of The "Friends" Cafe In Beijing

    Chinese fans flock to the replica café to eat "Ross cupcakes", stroke a real-life smelly cat, and relax in a knock-off version of Joey and Chandler’s apartment next door.

    On the sixth floor of an otherwise deserted Beijing shopping mall called Chaowai Soho lies Friends’ Café.

    As that iconic logo suggests, it’s inspired by Central Perk: the café where the characters in Friends guzzled drinks for years.

    It opened in 2009, five years after the last episode of the show was broadcast.

    They’ve got the Friends font down pretty well.

    And the atmosphere is spot on, too.

    (Despite that escalator being visible from certain angles.)

    It’s a great place to take a selfie, especially if you have a special selfie phone-camera holder.

    It shows Friends episodes constantly.

    And, of course, you can watch from the comfort of a replica of that famous couch.

    You can enjoy coffee “straight from the mutter’s utter”, whatever that means.

    Plus there’s a real-life (slightly) smelly cat to stroke. Even the original didn’t have that.

    "What are they feeding you?" A live goldfish, if someone doesn't step in here...

    All the staff members adopt names of the show's characters. Here’s the business card for the sister branch in Shanghai, along with the staffers’ English language names.

    This wall art helpfully reminds you of the catchphrases.

    “WE WERE ON A BREAK!” Etc.

    You can buy cupcakes named after each character while being reminded that “life is a cup of cake”.

    If you get bored you can head to this replica of Joey and Chandler’s apartment next door.

    The café guestbook is an interesting read. Some of the messages are very sweet.

    Some of them are mildly creepy.

    Some of them are hugely poignant.

    Some of them are depressingly pessimistic.

    Some of them are brilliantly optimistic.

    Some feature detailed character diagrams.

    But everyone there agrees on one thing: Friends’ Café in Beijing is brilliant.

    You might even find your lobsters there.