If you’re a Seinfeld fan wondering where the iconic show was filmed, you’re not alone. This beloved ‘90s sitcom is still hugely popular today. So let’s take a deep dive into the filming locations for Seinfeld.
If you’re short on time, here’s the quick answer: Seinfeld was filmed primarily in Los Angeles on studio sets, not in New York.
Seinfeld Was Not Filmed in New York Where it is Set
Despite the fact that Seinfeld is famously known for being set in the bustling streets of New York City, the show was actually filmed in Los Angeles. This may come as a surprise to many fans who assumed that the iconic sitcom was shot on location in the Big Apple.
The show is set in NYC but filmed in LA
While Seinfeld captures the essence of New York City with its witty humor and relatable characters, the production team opted to film the majority of the show in Los Angeles. This decision was primarily driven by logistical and financial reasons.
It was more cost-effective to shoot the sitcom in LA, where studio space and production resources were readily available.
However, the show’s creators were determined to maintain the authenticity of the New York City setting, so they made sure to meticulously recreate iconic locations from the city. The sets were meticulously designed and decorated to mimic the distinct New York vibe, from Jerry’s apartment to Monk’s Cafe.
Only exterior establishing shots were filmed in NYC
Although the bulk of the filming took place in Los Angeles, the producers of Seinfeld did make an effort to incorporate genuine New York City footage. The famous exterior shots that showcase the city’s landmarks, such as the Empire State Building and Central Park, were indeed filmed on location in New York.
These shots were used to establish the sense of place and give viewers a visual connection to the show’s New York City setting. They provided a glimpse into the iconic cityscape that was an integral part of Seinfeld’s charm.
So, while the majority of the show was filmed in Los Angeles, the use of authentic New York City footage helped create the illusion that Seinfeld was truly set in the bustling streets of the Big Apple.
For more information on the filming locations of Seinfeld, you can visit the official Seinfeld Locations website, which provides a comprehensive guide to the show’s notable spots in both Los Angeles and New York City.
Why Seinfeld Was Filmed in Los Angeles Rather Than New York
Despite being set in New York City, the iconic sitcom Seinfeld was actually filmed in Los Angeles. This decision might seem unusual, but there were several reasons behind it.
Cost and logistics
One of the main factors that influenced the decision to film Seinfeld in Los Angeles was the cost and logistics involved. Filming in New York City can be incredibly expensive, with high production costs and the need for permits and location fees.
On the other hand, Los Angeles offered a more affordable and convenient filming environment. The production team could easily find suitable locations within a relatively small radius, reducing travel time and expenses.
Moreover, shooting in Los Angeles provided the advantage of having better control over the production process. The weather in LA is generally more predictable than in New York, which allowed for smoother scheduling and fewer interruptions due to inclement weather.
This was crucial for a show that aimed to maintain a consistent production schedule and deliver episodes on time.
Most NBC sitcoms taped in LA
Another reason for Seinfeld being filmed in Los Angeles was the trend among NBC sitcoms at the time. Many popular comedy shows, including Friends and Cheers, were also being filmed in Los Angeles. This created a thriving sitcom industry in the city, with a pool of experienced crew members, soundstages, and production facilities readily available.
By joining the ranks of these successful shows, Seinfeld could tap into the expertise and infrastructure that Los Angeles had to offer.
Furthermore, being in Los Angeles allowed the creators of Seinfeld to have easy access to the network executives and other industry professionals. This proximity facilitated collaborative relationships, feedback, and guidance, ultimately contributing to the show’s success.
Notable NYC Landmarks Featured in Establishing Shots
One of the most beloved sitcoms of all time, Seinfeld, is known for its iconic setting in New York City. While the majority of the show was filmed in Los Angeles, the show’s creators made sure to capture the essence of the Big Apple through its establishing shots.
These shots showcased some of the city’s most notable landmarks, adding an authentic touch to the show’s New York setting.
Monk’s Cafe exterior
If you’re a fan of Seinfeld, you’re surely familiar with Monk’s Cafe, the iconic hangout spot for Jerry, George, Elaine, and Kramer. The exterior shot of Monk’s Cafe was actually filmed in New York City, specifically at a diner called Tom’s Restaurant.
Located in the Morningside Heights neighborhood of Manhattan, Tom’s Restaurant has become a pilgrimage site for Seinfeld fans from around the world. It’s a great spot to grab a cup of coffee and imagine yourself in the world of Seinfeld.
Tom’s Restaurant exterior as Monk’s
As mentioned earlier, Tom’s Restaurant was the filming location for the exterior shots of Monk’s Cafe. This diner, with its distinctive red and white sign, is located at 2880 Broadway in Manhattan. It has been a staple of the neighborhood since 1936 and has become an iconic symbol of the show.
If you’re a Seinfeld fan, stopping by Tom’s Restaurant is a must-do when visiting New York City.
Metropolitan Opera House
In several episodes of Seinfeld, the Metropolitan Opera House is seen in the background during establishing shots. Located in Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, the Met Opera House is one of the most prestigious opera houses in the world.
Its grand architecture and rich history make it a fitting backdrop for the show’s New York City setting. Attending a performance at the Met Opera House is a cultural experience not to be missed when in New York City.
Another notable landmark that frequently appears in Seinfeld’s establishing shots is Columbus Circle. This iconic intersection is located at the southwest corner of Central Park and is home to the towering monument of Christopher Columbus.
With its bustling traffic and stunning views of the park, Columbus Circle adds a touch of New York City energy to the show. It’s a great spot to take a stroll and soak in the vibrant atmosphere of the city.
Inside Seinfeld’s Famous Apartment and Other Sets
Seinfeld, one of the most beloved sitcoms of all time, captured the hearts of millions with its witty humor and relatable characters. One of the show’s iconic aspects was its setting, particularly Jerry Seinfeld’s apartment. But was this famous apartment actually in New York?
Contrary to popular belief, Jerry Seinfeld’s apartment on the show was not actually located in New York. The exterior shots of the apartment building were filmed in Los Angeles, while the interior scenes were shot on a soundstage.
The apartment set was meticulously designed to replicate a typical New York City apartment, complete with quirky decor and a distinct layout. The attention to detail was so impressive that many viewers were convinced it was a real apartment in the city.
Interestingly, the apartment set remained relatively unchanged throughout the show’s nine seasons. Despite the evolving storylines and character development, Jerry’s apartment served as a constant backdrop for the hilarious misadventures of Jerry, George, Elaine, and Kramer.
Another iconic set on Seinfeld was Monk’s Cafe, the fictional coffee shop where the gang frequently met to discuss their latest predicaments. Monk’s Cafe was also not a real location in New York. The exterior shots of the cafe were filmed at a real diner in New York City called Tom’s Restaurant, which is located in the neighborhood of Morningside Heights.
However, the interior scenes were once again filmed on a soundstage in Los Angeles.
Tom’s Restaurant has become a popular tourist attraction for Seinfeld fans, who visit the diner to relive their favorite moments from the show. The exterior of the restaurant has remained virtually unchanged since the series aired, making it instantly recognizable to fans.
Comedy Club Sets
Throughout the show, Jerry Seinfeld, a stand-up comedian in real life, often performed at various comedy clubs. These scenes were typically filmed on location in real comedy clubs in New York City. Some of the clubs featured on the show include The Comic Strip and The Improv, both of which are well-known establishments in the city’s comedy scene.
These comedy club sets added an authentic touch to the show, allowing viewers to experience the vibrant comedy culture of New York City. Jerry’s performances on the show often mirrored his real-life stand-up routines, showcasing his talent as a comedian.
Other Notable Filming Locations
While the majority of Seinfeld was famously filmed in New York City, there were a few notable episodes that took place outside of the Big Apple. One such episode is “The Hamptons,” where the gang takes a trip to a beach house in Malibu.
The stunning coastal scenery of Malibu provided the perfect backdrop for this hilarious episode.
Marina del Rey
Another episode that stands out for its unique filming location is “The Marine Biologist.” In this episode, Jerry pretends to be a marine biologist and ends up saving a beached whale in Marina del Rey, California.
The picturesque marina and beachfront of Marina del Rey added a refreshing change of scenery to the show.
Van Nuys Airport
In the episode “The Airport,” Jerry and Elaine find themselves stuck at the Van Nuys Airport in Los Angeles. This departure from the usual New York City setting allowed the writers to explore the comedic possibilities of the chaotic airport environment.
The Van Nuys Airport served as an excellent backdrop for the hilarious misadventures of Jerry and Elaine.
These episodes filmed outside of New York City added variety to the show and showcased the versatility of the Seinfeld cast. While the majority of the series was set in the iconic streets of New York, these episodes provided a fresh perspective and allowed the writers to explore different comedic situations.
While Seinfeld is an iconic New York City show, the vast majority of filming took place across the country in Los Angeles. Only exterior establishing shots used the real New York as a backdrop. This was due to budget and logistics, as most NBC sitcoms taped on the west coast at the time.
But the show did an excellent job of making the LA sets feel authentically New York. And they incorporated enough NYC landmark shots to provide that East Coast vibe. So while Seinfeld wasn’t filmed in the Big Apple, it remains one of the most quintessential NYC sitcoms of all time.