Just a heads up, this is from my initial trip to LA in 2021, and I was “on a break” from uploading content from then till now. But nonetheless, this was a really cool experience, especially if you’re a fan of the series! I do know that there is a new Toronto experience, but trust me this is unlike any other especially given the fact this was where the show was filmed at. That’s right, inside the Warner Bros. Studios. Stay tuned as I will be doing a full review of the studio tour in the near future and you can be informed by following the blog on social media on Tiktok, Instagram, and Facebook! But for now, read below as I give my honest thoughts on the food and drinks from the Central Perk cafe, a look into the sets, as well as some of the exclusive merchandise! See below for a quick preview of what you can expect via the video below!
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Location and Tickets
As mentioned before, this is part of the Warner Bros. Studio Tour, specifically in Burbank, California (not to be confused with the ones in Tokyo or London). You can get tickets to the tour via online for $69 USD per person and $39 USD per person for the photo bundle. There is a lot of parking at the studio via the parking garage and it’s a flat flee of $15 for the day I believe. Of course, this is for the entire studio tour but to access the Friends Cafe and sets you do need to be on this tour. Also, I do want to note that the tour hours is from 8:30 to 3:30 and the Friends cafe and boutique is a place where you can get off and explore during those hours before waiting for the next but to continue on with the second part of the tour.
Central Perk Cafe
The first thing you notice when you get off is the iconic Central Perk Cafe, and yes, it really is a cafe with several options. You will see the iconic outdoor signage and then some goodies you can get for yourself and others as well as some quick to go drinks and food or something you can eat while dining-in. We wanted to make sure we dine-in since we don’t have the luxury of eating here often.
We ordered the cheese pizza ($10.95), spinach artichoke pizza wedge ($8.95), a regular size Rachel (matcha latte at $4.25), and a regular size Chandler (caramel coconut latte at $5.35). Before I continue, yes, they do have Friends character themed drinks and the regular size is 16oz. The other Friends themed drinks are Ross (classic flat white), Phoebe (cookies & cream ice blended) and Joey (mango cold-brew) but I can’t recall if Monica had her own drink (she should). I really enjoyed both drinks as they weren’t too sweet, you can taste the special flavours, and we were running on low sleep because of Disneyland the night before so these drinks definitely helped us keep warm. The food was really good too, but it is a bit cheesy which I didn’t mind but some people might not like. I liked the spinach artichoke pizza wedge as the consistency was good and not too overpowering. Side note: I think Courtney Cox (Monica) has a popular spinach artichoke dip recipe. Nevertheless, the cheese pizza may look basic but was not, loved the cheese and warmth. Although it is a bit pricey, if I lived in Burbank and this was available via uber eats or something, I would probably order from here. My personal favourites from below are the matcha latte and cheese pizza.
Friends Boutique & Merchandise
The next part which is the main part of the Friends experience is exploring the boutique and all that it has to offer. If you wanted to see some of the stuff I got, see the video above. When you are there you can take pictures at the actual apartment sets and other known Friends spots while also appreciating special costumes from the show and other cool little details you would only find here.
I think this is a spot that will take a lot of your time as you get to actually sit down (maybe even act out a few scenes) just like your favourite Friends characters. I liked how well thought everything was and if I am not mistaken these are the actual sets that were used on the show with some touchups. Everything was comfortable and great for a photoshoot.
The other part of the boutique is the shopping aspect. This is the part that will most likely take most of your time… and money. They have so many cool and exclusive merchandise from pens to apparel, mugs to collectibles and so much more. I wish I took some more pictures of the merchandise available but the TikTok video might show some more (including a special costume only fans of the show would recognize). Nevertheless you can see some finds below as well as some other places to sit down and enjoy your food or purchases. As you can see there are a lot of small things like cookies and ornaments as well as Central Perk branded items such as the mugs and tote bags. I won’t say the prices are cheap by any means but they are not too marked up either. I think for the most part most of the items including the funko pops (got the Joey “Could I *be* wearing any more clothes?”), pens (there is a really cool pen where you can move the couch inside), mugs, etc. were in the $13 to $15 range. The flannel shirts were probably one of the more expensive items as they were $50 and from Cakeworthy (fits a bit snug but you can try it there).
Other Friends Things During The Tour
You might notice some iconic things in the collage above. The bottom pictures consist of the opening credits water fountain and sofa which you will see right at the beginning of the tour (if you want your picture there you can only do it then). The other pictures you see are during the more experiential part of the WB studio tour. You get to see this really cool frame of autograph scripts as well as an opportunity to take your picture in the actual Central Perk couch with a professional photographer and camera.
All in all, I think this is a must for any fans of the Friends TV series. I haven’t gone to the pop up experience in Toronto but I don’t know if it will beat the fact that you get to witness and experience actual pieces from the beloved show while also learning more about it. Also, the food here is actually pretty good. Even if you are not a huge Friends fan but you’re in California, I’d recommend the tour and this experience! If you’ve If you have gone to this specific Friends experience, please let me know your thoughts in the comments below or on social media by following on Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok ! Also stay tuned as I will be posting more content from the Warner Bros. Studio Tour on the blog and on social media!
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