Sure, we all know Joey doesn't share food - but what food, and from where?
Yesterday morning, the announcement that The FRIENDS Experience would be coming to Dublin spurred a flurry of millennial joy and quote sharing across the country.
A shared brainchild of Warner Bros and Original X Productions, the FRIENDS Experience promises to bring fans one step closer to their favourite characters, with iconic set pieces like Rachel and Monica’s purple door and the infamous "pivot" couch rebuilt.
Naturally, the news had us thinking about how FRIENDS fits into the 2023 landscape. The show has been the subject of controversy in recent years; once it landed on Netflix and Gen Z got to view it through a modern, socially conscious lens, its dated tropes and lack of diversity were scrutinised and the chokehold FRIENDS has on people in their 30s and 40s was heavily parodied.
Regardless, the obsession is as robust as ever and we couldn't help but compare Chandler, Rachel and the gang to the various social groups that populate Dublin these days - more specifically, the restaurants and watering holes these groups tend to frequent. This inspired us to compile a FRIENDS-inspired Dublin dining guide - could you BE more excited to read it?
Café en Seine
Rachel is a character that some could cast off as basic, defined by her affinity for little brown bags and regrettable dating decisions (yes, this includes Ross), but the real ones know she's actually the funniest in the show. With this said, we know our girl would never be able to pass up a night of cocktails with her colleagues from Bloomies or Ralph Lauren, standing out the back in the lane-come-smoking-area trying to convince them she puffs away on the reg and definitely knows how to inhale. Café en Seine is the perfect location for gal pal Rachel Greene - cute backgrounds for her tastefully lit Insta posts (you know she'd be all over the 'gram if she was in her 20s today) and close proximity to Kehoes, giving her a chance to pick up a cute shirt-wearing date on her way to or from the venue should the mood take her.
And, not to point out the glaringly obvious, but the French side street-inspired dance floor might be her only other chance to get to Paris.
We thought long and hard about where renowned chef Monica Geller-Bing might choose to dine on her night off - Chapter One perhaps? Or somewhere unique and up-and-coming like Matsukawa? Ultimately, we decided she'd have Chandler in tow and maybe even the rest of the gang if it was a special occasion so she'd probably opt for somewhere reliable, that's at once modern and traditional with no compromise on quality. Michelin recognition is obviously non-negotiable for a perfectionist of Mon's scale, and we feel Pichet's immaculately assembled French-inspired dishes could be right up her street. It's classy, it's romantic, and most importantly, it's the kind of place she'd definitely run into Richard - we all know she still holds a flame for him.
As one of TV's most famous vegetarians, Phoebe is obviously destined to dine at Dublin's most famous vegetarian restaurant. in the last few years we've seen a number of cool, hip vegan spots come and go but Cornucopia maintains the charm of the OG veggie hippie - homely and comforting with huge portions, and 90s plant-based staples like lentils and polenta ruling the roost. It's the kind of place Phoebe would definitely have an artist-in-residence gig, strumming away while fellow animal-loving pacifists chow down on meat-free moussaka and slurp warming veg soup.
Picking a Joey-inspired eatery was easy and impossible all at once; there are so many places we've no doubt he'd be enthused to eat his fill at, but how could we narrow it down to just one? A Joey-specific guide to dining in Dublin may have to follow... more as we have it.
We ultimately decided that Joey's love for sandwiches is the strongest of all - sure didn't he nearly take a bullet for one in Season 5? When considering the cheesy, marinara-laden monsters the actor tends to favour, we concluded that Dough Boys would probably be his haunt of choice. From their famous meatball parm dripping in melty mozzarell' to their consistently tasty breakfast baps, Dough Boys has Tribbiani written all over it. Honourable mention to Di Fontaine's in this category too - they'd definitely know Joey's order (two pizzas) off by heart and might have even introduced him to the wonders of garlic dip by now.
Selecting a spot for Mr. Bing was a bit more of a challenge. We ultimately decided to choose somewhere as elusive as whatever it is Chandler does for a living (we don't know and we don't want to know). Mysterious, quirky and alluring, Assassination Custard plays by its own rules and can't be pinned down by anyone. In terms of menu, its commitment issues mirror Chandlers but we're definitely not mad about it - the daily changing menu consistently reflects the best of Irish produce and is one of the most creative in town. We can definitely see Chandler perched on a table in the tiny dining room across from Janice, sweating over cauliflower florets and paratha as he tries to figure out how to end it for the 97th time.
Ross's fajita and margarita night is one of the most infamous in FRIENDS history so naturally, a Mexican restaurant was a no-brainer for the oldest Geller sibling - but which one? We wanted to choose somewhere with a Ross-esque edge of chaos, and preferably a spot that's been around since the 90s when the show was at its peak.
Offering a Tex Mex smorgasbord of Baja tacos and chimichangas, Acapulco has an almost homemade vibe about it with dishes we can just about imagine Ross hastily grabbing from the oven, without a mitt in site. Who's for flan?
Any we got wrong? Should we do a listicle dedicated solely to Janice next? Let us know!