Located near 1933, the cafe is more a rough estimation of the TV show’s coffee shop than an exacting replica, but there’s a large Central Perk logo on one window and a slightly tatty-looking orange sofa as the space’s centrepiece. Some of the differences we’re grateful for: there’s a resident cat, but thankfully it’s not too smelly; instead of Phoebe’s warblings, the main sound over the speakers comes from looping episodes of the classic comedy on a TV in the corner; and the service is good.
You won’t find Rachel waiting tables here, but that means you can actually get a decent cup of coffee, with the hazelnut mocha (35RMB) proving particularly tasty. The standard of drinks (which start at 29RMB and go no higher than a 40RMB Irish coffee) is generally good, while food items include pizzas, pastas and pastries. The staff are friendly and the barista is open to signing your favourite character’s name across the top of your drink in a swirl of chocolate, in case you want to sup on a cup of Joe(y).
Venue name: The Friends Cafe
Opening hours: 11am-10pm daily
Metro: Hailun Lu
English address: Unit A105, 1913 Creative Park, 160 Harbin Lu, near Jiaxing Lu, Hongkou district
Chinese address: 虹口区哈尔滨路160号1913老洋行A105号, 近嘉兴路

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