16.5.14

Central Perk, Shanghai

The legendary Friends coffee shop is in Shanghai (and Beijing)!

While browsing on Instagram for places to have coffee and rest our legs in Shanghai I found a picture of something that looked like the Central Perk fictional logo, so I immediately clicked on it and that's how I found out my favorite fictional hangout place was real! 
The owner, a Chinese version of Gunther, opened the first Central Perk a couple of years ago in Beijing, and then opened the Shanghai branch, which is located in Hongkou area, north of People's Square (near the Sheraton Hongkou). To get there you should take the metro to Hailun Road (line 4) and walk for about 5 minutes until you cross the channel and reach Harbin Road, a street with modern buildings and nice bars and shops. The sign outside says "FRIENDS café".
Obviously the decor is a replica of the show's Central Perk, and it's full of young locals chatting and sipping coffees or lattes from mugs with the shows' most famous quotes or eating cupcakes named after the characters.

There's a tv showing episodes of the sitcom all day long, free wi-fi and although there's no Phoebe singing "Smelly Cat" the atmosphere really takes you back to that fictional place you have always wished it existed.
It's amazing that 10 years ago the last episode aired and the Friends' myth is still very alive, at least in Shanghai!

Central Perk Shanghai
English address: 160 Harbin Lu, near Liaoning Lu, Hongkou district
Tel. 186 0119 1315
Chinese Address: 哈尔滨路160号, 近辽宁路
Open daily from 11am to 10pm