Tour of Seinfeld New York | Self Guided

This post is a self-guided tour of NYC locations for the beloved 90’s sitcom Seinfeld. Let us take you to Jerry’s apartment building, to the Soup Nazi’s soup stand, and of course, Tom’s Restaurant. 

 

 


 

INTRODUCTION

The hit comedy show Seinfeld first aired in July of 1989, bringing New York City into the homes of millions of people. For fans of the show,  this self-guided tour takes you to many locales where some of the very best episodes took place.

The tour takes you from the Upper West Side to Downtown to locations spread throughout the city. It may take you up to four hours to see all the sites including travel time on the subway. While it can be done on your own, you might want to consider taking a guided tour.

Our pay-what-you-wish Midtown Manhattan tour includes some of the Seinfeld locations. You can visit the Nexus of the Universe on our pay-what-you-wish Lower East Side food tour!

The When Harry Met Seinfeld Tour by OnLocation Tours, combines sites from Seinfeld and When Harry Met Sally.  

Another option is to take Kenny Kramer’s Reality Tour. Kenny actually lived across from Larry David, and inspired the “Kramer” character!

If you are in NYC in 2019, you are in luck because this is the 30th Anniversary of the first airing of the show. What better time to celebrate the comedic genius of Seinfeld?

 

 

 

Though full details have not been released, in late 2019-early 2020, NYC will host “The Seinfeld Expereince” a pop-up exhibition produced by the same company that created a 2017 version of this event. See below for more information.


Jerry Seinfeld’s Apartment (129 West 81st Street, between Columbus and Amsterdam Avenue) (map and directions)

While this was Jerry, Kramer and Newman’s address in the show, it doesn’t look like the same building used in Seinfeld, for one very good reason.  The actual exterior used in Seinfeld isn’t even in New York! It is located at 755 S. New Hampshire Avenue in Los Angeles. No Kenny Rogers Roasters is likely to move in anytime soon, but it’s a tranquil area that’s well worth a visit.


Tom’s Restaurant (aka Monk’s Café) 2880 Broadway, corner of Broadway and West 112th Street (map and directions)

This is the famous exterior that appears in so many episodes. Although the interior scenes were filmed on set in Los Angeles, that set was modeled on the inside of this restaurant.

 

Seinfeld Tom's Restaurant

 

Step into the world of Seinfeld by grabbing a table with some friends, and order a coffee and a bagel. Then completely overanalyze each other’s lives, while getting involved in all manner of awkward shenanigans.


OTHER SEINFELD LOCATIONS

 

 


The Subway (1/2/3 Line)

There’s nothing more New York than the subway, and it features in countless Seinfeld episodes. As they spend most of their time on the Upper West Side, they ride the Red Line most often. This is the 2 or 3 train express or the 1 train local.

In particular, Season 3, Episode 13, Jerry, George, Kramer, and Elaine all embark on their own subway inspired misadventures.

So we begin by catching the No. 1 train (red line) up to West 110th Street on the Upper West Side.


Metro Theater  (2626 Broadway, between West 99th and West 100th Street)

Remember when Elaine was trapped in a bathroom stall and implored the woman in the next stall over to “spare her a square”?

 

 

Or when George confronts some movie hecklers which ends, as do most confrontations on Seinfeld, with a series of calamities? It all went down at the long.

Now it’s back onto the subway at West 110th Street. Take the 1 train downtown to West 72nd Street.


Gray’s Papaya (2090 Broadway, on Broadway at the intersection with Amsterdam Avenue and West 72nd Street)

If you think movie food in New York is too expensive, well Kramer agrees. 

It’s the classic comedy of errors, as the four make plans, remake plans, wreck their plans and then Kramer needs a hot dog.

In the show, it’s a Papaya King, but this Gray’s Papaya is the closest hot dog stand to the Paragon Theatre. Just make sure you’re back in time for the show….


Royale Pastry Shop  (237 West 72nd Street, between Broadway and West End Avenue)

The pastry shop known as Royale Bakery and Schnitzer’s in the show may have produced a marble rye worth mugging an old lady for, and a black and white cookie that could bridge racial divides.

 

 

Unfortunately, the shop itself is no more. Perhaps quite fittingly, now in its location is a Jenny Craig.


La Boîte en Bois (75 West 68th Street, just off Columbus Avenue towards Central Park)

Date nights were nearly always a disaster on Seinfeld and at this French restaurant, George’s date Karen had a very animated reaction to a particular risotto dish while eating here.

 

 

Luckily it’s no longer on the menu, and everything else that’s available is both far safer and tastier.


Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts (10 Lincoln Center Plaza, West 64th Street between Amsterdam and Columbus Ave)

In Season 6, Episode 16, entitled “The Beard”, Elaine attends the ballet at the Lincoln Center, enacting the role of “beard” in front of her gay friend’s employer.

She subsequently develops a crush on said gay friend and tries to turn him straight.

 

 

Perhaps the most memorable part of this episode is Elaine’s night at the ballet and her visit to the bathroom. And as George says, the bathrooms at Alice Tully Hall are excellent!

TIP: Lincoln Center offers behind the scenes tours, though they probably don’t visit the bathrooms. Find out more about Lincoln Center Tours.


West Side YMCA (5 West 63rd Street, between 8th Ave and Central Park West)

Former Mets baseball player Keith Hernandez first meets Jerry at the West Side YMCA. Hernandez is then accused and acquitted of spitting on Newman and Kramer and dates Elaine.

 

 

In real life he still makes around $3,000 a year in royalties from reruns, so just imagine what the main characters are raking in.


MIDTOWN 

The Original Soupman (259A West 55th Street, at West 55th Street and 8th Avenue)

“No soup for you!” is exactly what you shouldn’t say when visiting The Original Soupman. The character is based on Al Yeganeh, who still controls the soup recipes and is sometimes seen in the store.

 

 

Jerry and the crew actually visited this store in the real world for years, and lines outside the shop often stretched around the block.

This led to Yeganeh developing the strict rules: “Pick the soup you want! Have your money ready! Move to the extreme left after ordering! And if you don’t stick to the rules? No soup for you!”


Edison Hotel (228 W 47th St between 7th and 8th Avenue)

In the very same subway episode mentioned at the start of this tour, George is led to the Edison Hotel, where he’s expecting to spend some sexy time with a beautiful stranger.

 

 

Instead, the woman handcuffs him to a bed and makes off with his only good suit, as well as everything else including his dignity. The Edison Hotel is also used in The Godfather.


The Improv (now closed) (358 West 44th Street, between 8th and 9th Avenue)

Whenever Jerry was performing stand-up during an episode, he was often on his way to, or from, or was at “The Improv”.

Unfortunately, it’s now closed, but you can still visit the site where this actual comedy club once stood, now The Producers Club.


Sardi’s (234 West 44th Street, between 7th and 8th Avenue)

After Kramer receives a Tony while serving as a seat filler during the awards ceremony, he accompanies the award to Sardi’s, where he’s forced to fire an extremely fired up Raquel Welch.

 

 

Sardi’s has been in the same location in Manhattan’s theater district since 1927, and is renowned for the celebrity caricatures that adorn the walls, as well as mixing a quality cocktail.

Our pay-what-you-wish Midtown Tours visit parts of the Theater District. You can also try our Audio Tour of Midtown Manhattan or check out our self-guided Theater District Tour.


30 Rockefeller Center (30 Rockefeller Plaza, West 50th Street between 5th and 6th Avenue)

Remember when the characters in Seinfeld, a show about nothing, visited NBC to pitch their idea for a show about nothing? That all went down at the real-life NBC studios at “30 Rock” located inside Rockefeller Center.

 

 

Our post on Rockefeller Center can help you find your way around and find out what else there is to see there.

Rockefeller Center is home to Top of the Rockone of the three skyscraper observation decks in NYC.


Mendy’s Kosher Delicatessen (37 West 48th Street at the Rockefeller Center, between 5th and 6th Avenue)

“Is soup a meal?” Thanks to Seinfeld this is now an immortal question and the beginning of many all-night debates.

It all began at Mendy’s when Kenny Bania, who Jerry owed a free meal, opted for soup. “Soup and sandwich, that is a meal!” Jerry would later proclaim.

 

 

TIP: Combine a delicious deli experience with a movie moment by eating at Katz’s, the deli from the infamous scene in Where Harry Met Sally.


MIDTOWN EAST 

The Plaza Hotel (768 5th Ave, at 59th Street and across from Central Park) 

Seinfeld The Plaza Hotel

When Elaine interviews for a job at Viking Press, she pretends to have flown in from Florida so receives a suite at The Plaza.

She begrudgingly bequeaths it to Jerry’s parents, who pass it along to Uncle Leo and Nana, and they trash the place.

The Plaza has also been featured in The Great Gatsby, among countless other books and films.

If you were planning on visiting Central Park, our Lower Central Park tour starts from nearby The Plaza.

We also offer a self-guided GPS audio version of this tour that you could take any time you like.


Pendant Publishing (600 Madison Avenue at 57th Street)

Pendant Publishing, Elaine and George’s employer at different times, might be a fictitious business but the building where it was housed is as real as bricks and mortar.

A stunning office building, it is currently home to hedge funds, Ugg Boots and the finest Mont Blanc pens.

TIP:  While you are uptown at 61st Street, why not take a ride on the Roosevelt Island Tram? You will get one of the most spectacular 360-degree views of NYC, all for the price of a subway ride.


Barneys New York (660 Madison Ave at East 61st Street)

Elaine buys a dress on sale that looks great at the store, but once home it looks awful. She returns it to Barneys and accuses them of using “skinny mirrors” that make people appear thinner than they are.

While Barneys is very real, apparently the mirrors are not. However, the only true way to find out is to try it on for yourself – both the clothes and the mirrors.

From Barneys, walk to Lexington Avenue then south two streets in the direction of the cars to East 59th, and catch the 4/5/6 train (green line) to the 14th Street Station.


DOWNTOWN MANHATTAN

Pete’s Tavern (129 East 18th Street, between Irving Place and 3rd Avenue)

Kramer follows Barry the sniffing accountant to Pete’s Tavern, where he attempts to blend in by chugging a beer with a cigarette in his mouth.

 

 

Kramer attempts to catch Barry in a nefarious act, which he doesn’t manage, however, he does snap a photo of Barry in a different act – on the toilet.

Learn more about the surrounding neighborhood on our self-guided tour of Gramercy Park and Union Square.

One final subway ride! Take a jaunt back down to East 14th Street from where you just alighted, and this time catch the Green No. 6 train down to Bleecker Street.


The Nexus of the Universe (intersection of East 1st Street and 1st Avenue)

It is here that a very lost and confused Kramer calls Jerry from this location, which he describes as “The Nexus of the Universe”. 

 

 

On our pay-what-you-wish Lower East Side Food Tour we actually walk through the center of the universe (in addition to having food that is out of this world!)


THE BRONX

Yankee Stadium (1 East 161st Street) (map and directions

George Costanza’s most famed place of employment. This long-running sub-plot featured the show’s writer Larry David, performing as a rambling and crazed version of now-deceased Yankees owner George Steinbrenner. 

Yankee Stadium also features in several other episodes, including when Elaine refuses to remove her Orioles hat at a game.

Did you know you can take a tour of this iconic stadium? Find out about Yankee Stadium tours here.

 


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SEINFELD EXPEREINCE – 30th ANNIVERSARY EXHIBITION

This year, 2019, is the 30th anniversary of the first airing of Seinfeld. In honor of this momentous occasion, an immersive pop-up exhibition called “The Seinfeld Experience” will be held in NYC. Interactive exhibits will bring the comedy series back to life.

Details have not yet been announced, other than it will take place in Gramercy, the neighborhood where Pete’s Tavern from “The Sniffing Accountant” episode takes place (see above).

If it is anything like the 2017  “Seinfeld Experience” created by the same production company, Superfly, it will be amazing. 

There will likely be set re-creations, memorabilia, costumes and props from classic Seinfeld scenes. You may even have a chance to sit down at Monk’s and enjoy some food! 

In late 2019 to early 2020, tickets will go on sale, though no other information has been released. Sign up for email alerts on their website or check back here!

 


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