Ultimate You've Got Mail walking tour with 26 stops and 10 inspired by shops that've closed

NYC Walking Tour: ULTIMATE ‘You’ve Got Mail’ (26 Stops!)

If you fell in love with Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks in You’ve Got Mail, you’re likely itching to retrace their steps in NYC’s Upper West Side. None of the NYC walking tours I found of You’ve Got Mail film locations had all the spots I wanted to see, so I decided to put them together myself. So here you go: the ultimate NYC walking tour through You’ve Got Mail! Includes 26 stops from the film, plus 10 more inspired by shops that’ve closed. You’re welcome!

My best gal-pals and I are BIG fans of You’ve Got Mail. I can’t believe it was made in 1998. We’ve watched it literally hundreds of times. Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks are GOLD!

You’ve Got Mail was a big part of why my best friends and I went to NYC to celebrate a milestone birthday. And why we stayed in the Upper West Side. It did NOT disappoint!

If you’re looking for your perfect NYC experience, check out my 3-part series:

Quintessential NYC, some businesses featured in You’ve Got Mail still exist and some do not. And while some locations were just film sets, some real locations are a bit of a let-down. So, I found spots to help redeem them. 

At the end of this post, I’ll wrap it all up with a handy MAP of NYC walking tour of You’ve Got Mail film locations. You can save it to your favorites and modify it (for example, add in your hotel), and waalaa! Extra helpful.

Ultimate NYC Walking Tour of 'You've Got Mail' Filming Locations

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Contents:

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6 HIGHLIGHTS on You’ve Got Mail NYC Walking Tour

The ultimate You’ve Got Mail NYC walking tour MUST include the basics. Here are six location highlights from the film that you really must see. 

1. The Shop Around The Corner

The Shop Around The Corner was filmed at 106 W 69th St, at Columbus Ave. At the time of filming, it was a cozy, neighborly cheese and antiques shop with the look and feel the filmmakers were going for. They sent the owner on vacation during filming and reassembled the shop before she got back.

After the cheese and antiques shop closed down, it was briefly a cafe and now stands as La Mode Organic Cleaners. (I wonder how many fans they get from You’ve Got Mail NYC walking tours!)

Don’t be too sad that this isn’t a super-charming spot. Stops #13/14 on this You’ve Got Mail NYC walking tour will redeem it. (Promise!)

2. Kathleen Kelly’s apartment

Kathleen Kelly’s apartment was filmed at 328 W 89th St, between W End Ave and Riverside Dr. This is such a cute residential area! You can just imagine bouncing down those steps (or, if you don’t feel too silly, actually do it?? Is that considered trespassing?).

This apartment is 20 blocks north of her bookstore but only a five-minute walk to where she meets Joe at Riverside Park.

3/4. Joe Fox’s apartment 

Joe’s apartment was filmed at 210 Riverside Dr at W 93rd St, which is only four blocks north of Kathleen’s place.

152 Riverside Dr doesn’t actually exist, but if it did, it would be between 87th and 88th Streets. I suggest strolling down this way, too, to make it Stop #4. 

5. Cafe Lalo

NYC walking tour of You've Got Mail, Cafe Lalo, Upper West Side

An evening at Cafe Lalo, NYC

We LOVED Cafe Lalo (201 W 83rd St). This is the super-cute, European-style cafe where Kathleen’s would-be meetup with her online penpal goes off the rails.

Cafe Lalo is tucked in along a pretty residential street just off Broadway. This is THE perfect little cafe to grab dessert with a coffee or tea. While we were there, we were also treated to live entertainment.

6. Riverside Park 

Ah … Riverside Park at 91st St Garden. The cheesy happy ending, where Kathleen and Joe finally get together. The classic photo op (shown in the image at the top of this post) is at the 91st St Garden sign with the lovely greenery behind you.

Find your own little piece of happiness by exploring this multilevel park overlooking the Hudson River. You’ll find lots of playgrounds and dog runs to keep the little ones happy, too.

Riverside Park follows Riverside Dr from W 72nd St in the south to W 129th St in the north. The Hudson River Greenway continues all the way up to Harlem River. While exploring the park on your NYC walking tour of You’ve Got Mail, check out the 79th St Boat Basin (Stop #17), stroll the Greenway (Stop #25), and pay a visit to the many monuments in the park, including the Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Monument at W 89th St.

6 FOOD Spots on Your You’ve Got Mail NYC Walking Tour

NYC has a ton of great food choices, but these six are extra special for being featured on You’ve Got Mail. If the original shop has closed down or if you just can’t fit it into your itinerary, let it inspire your choice. I include some suggestions below to round out your NYC walking tour of You’ve Got Mail.

7. Starbucks 

The Starbucks coffee shop where Kathleen and Joe almost cross paths, many times, is at 2252 Broadway at W 81st St. All Starbucks are pretty much the same, but just think: you’re standing where Meg and Tom stood … that’s pretty fun. Order your own “tall decaf cappuccino”!

(Is it strange to anyone else, though, that Nora Ephron chose to feature a chain rather than a local coffee shop? Hmm.)

8. H&H Bagels 

Although H&H Bagels (2239 Broadway at 80th St) closed in 2012, NYC is known for its hand-rolled bagels. And you have some fantastic options in the Upper West Side to recapture the spirit of the film.

On the north end of the Upper West Side, there are three spots with terrific reviews: Absolute Bagels (2788 Broadway), Broadway Bagel (2658 Broadway) and Lenny’s Bagels (2601 Broadway).

On the south end, try Bagels & Co (391 Amsterdam Ave) or Zucker’s Bagel & Smoked Fish (273 Columbus Ave). And then you can walk off that delicious bagel on the rest of your ultimate You’ve Got Mail walking tour in NYC!

9. Zabar’s 

Our ultimate NYC walking tour of You’ve Got Mail has to include Zabar’s (2245 Broadway at W 80th St), where the funny “cash-only line” scene was filmed. Apparently shoppers can still be heard talking about the film on a weekly basis. I’m happy to know I’m not the only one who still loves the film!

While you’re here, pick up some crackers, cheese and smoked fish for a little picnic in the park. While credit cards are accepted, be sure to get into the right line *wink, wink* (Actually, all lines now accept credit cards.)

(Now, do you recognize the cashier from the film? Hint: Grey’s Anatomy, another favorite of mine. I totally did a double-take.)

10. Gray’s Papaya

NYC walking tour of You've Got Mail, Gray's Papaya hot dogs, Upper West Side

Gray’s Papaya from Verdi Square, NYC

When Kathleen and Joe start becoming friends, they go to Gray’s Papaya (2090 Broadway at 72nd St) for a classic NYC hot dog.

These hot dogs are cheap and delicious. And being right across from Verdi Square, they make for a great picnic option, too.

11. Barney Greengrass 

Barney Greengrass is where Kathleen tells her employee, Birdie, that the Upper West Side could become “the book district.” This legendary Jewish deli is also known as The Sturgeon King and has been around since 1908. It’s been at the filming location (541 Amsterdam at W 86th St) since 1989.

12. Ocean Grill 

This is the terrace cafe where Kathleen and Joe speculate about who NY152 could be while sharing some calamari. Ocean Grill (382 Columbus at W 78th St) was in operation for 18 years until it closed in 2015.

If you’re itching for a terrific seafood dinner in the Upper West Side, check out The Mermaid Inn (570 Amsterdam Ave) or Crave Fishbar (428 Amsterdam Ave); both have fantastic reviews. Or, if you’re itching for a delicious meal with outdoor seating near the museums, I can personally recommend 8th Hill Inspired Mediterranean Cuisine (359 Columbus Ave).

7 NON FOOD Spots on Your You’ve Got Mail NYC Walking Tour

13/14. Books of Wonder (Inspiration for The Shop Around the Corner)

If you thought The Stop Around The Corner was the ultimate in cute, then you’ll LOVE this shop! Books of Wonder is the children’s bookstore that inspired Nora Ephron’s creation of The Stop Around The Corner.

There are two locations you can stop at: Upper West Side (217 W 84th St) and Chelsea (18 W 18th St). The Chelsea location is two doors down from where they were located when Meg Ryan spent a day with them preparing for her role (16 W 18th St).

Browse their rare and vintage selections and then stay for the popular Storytime: Saturdays and Sundays at 11:30 a.m. at both locations. I can’t recommend bringing a goldfish in a bag; maybe just some balloons?

15. Fox & Sons Books 

The Fox & Sons Books mega-bookstore was filmed down in Chelsea ((W 17th Street at 7th Ave). There isn’t much to look at here now, though.

If you want your NYC walking tour of You’ve Got Mail to include the box store versus mom-and-pop store experience, here it is in the Upper West Side: Barnes & Noble (2289 Broadway) and nearby Shakespeare & Co (2020 Broadway). It’s said that Nora Ephron got inspiration for the script when Barnes & Noble moved in (originally at 66th St/Broadway, where Century 21 now stands), competing with the neighboring independent bookstore.

16. Verdi Square 

Verdi Square (where Broadway/Amsterdam intersects with W 73rd St) is a pretty little park featured right at the start of the movie, and again where Kathleen and Joe bump into each other at a farmer’s market.

This spot has changed over the years with a light post stealing the show from the fence behind it. That said, there are still benches to relax with your coffee. Or, just march along, never imagining that Tom is right behind you.

On Saturdays, the park still hosts a farmer’s market.

17. Boat Basin 

The 79th St Boat Basin on the Hudson River is is where Joe and his father parked their yachts. It’s also the only place in New York you can moor your boat year-round. I suggest adding a stop at the Boat Basin while exploring Riverside Park (Stop #6).

Enjoy the nice, quiet view of the Hudson River … and then belt out as loud as you can: “Hello, New Jersey!” Someone is bound to answer. A nice relaxing spot to hang out on your You’ve Got Mail walking tour in NYC!

18. Movie theater 

Want to catch a movie and confess to your date that you forgot to vote in the last election? You still can! This is now AMC Loews Lincoln Square 13 movie theater (1998 Broadway at 68th St).

Did you know that the press screenings and New York premiere were held in this same theater where the movie was filmed? Cool, huh?

19. Fall festival 

Joe took his half-brother Matt and aunt Annabelle to an adorable fall festival, which was held at W 94th St between Columbus Ave and Central Park West.

Before coming to NYC, check out nycgovparks.org/events for festivals and events coming up.

7 STREETS to Stroll on Your You’ve Got Mail NYC Walking Tour

NYC walking tour of You've Got Mail filming locations, Upper West Side

Residential street in the Upper West Side, NYC

You’ve Got Mail showed off the charm of the Upper West Side … not only with the businesses and landmarks it featured, but with its street-vibe, too. 

While you’re out exploring the Upper West Side on your NYC walking tour of You’ve Got Mail, stroll these cute streets! These streets were used in You’ve Got Mail to film everyday things, like Kathleen and Joe walking to work, passing shops opening for the day, and picking out fresh-cut flowers.

Note: To help you remember these scenes, use the photo link in the Map/Resource section.

20. West End Ave and W 85th St: Where Kathleen and Joe walked to work. Watch for the 515 and 525 West End Ave overhangs captured in the film.

21. Broadway (between W 83rd and 84th St): Unknown to the characters, Joe trails Kathleen on their way to work.

22. Broadway (between W 80th and 82nd St): Where Kathleen and Joe pass by morning deliveries and shops opening for the day. Also where Joe walks Brinkley though clouds of flour being delivered to H&H Bagels.

23. Columbus Ave and W 70th St: Joe crosses the street to get to work.

24. Riverside Dr and W 111th St: Where Kathleen and her employee, Christina, walk to Birdie’s apartment and Kathleen announces that she’ll close the store.

25. Hudson River Greenway: Where Joe walks Brinkley when living on his yacht.

26. W 78th St (between Columbus Ave and Amsterdam Ave): The lovely brownstone street where Kathleen and Joe walk and talk before their romantic meeting at Riverside Park.

MAP and Resources: Your ULTIMATE You’ve Got Mail NYC Walking Tour

Now to pull it ALL together! Here’s a helpful map that shows these 26 film locations (in coral) and 10 inspired spots (in grey).

Here are two important extras to make your NYC walking tour of You’ve Got Mail  great:

  • Customize it: Save this map to your favorites and add in your hotel. Remove the checkmark from any places you don’t care to see, and waalaa! Your personalized You’ve Got Mail NYC walking tour.
  • Stop frequently: Enjoy NYC’s cafes for coffee, bagels, hot dogs and sweets. Picnic and people-watch on park benches. Stop to smell today’s fresh-cut flowers, and, of course, at all the cute bookstores you find. 

To use the map below: Click on the buttons at the top to access map details (i.e. turn off certain sights), to share it (i.e. with yourself to modify it for your own trip) or view a larger version.

Looking for your perfect NYC experience? Check out my 3-part series:

Other Helpful Resources for Your You’ve Got Mail NYC Walking Tour:

Check out the video above from PIX11 News that shows some of the film’s locations. And On The Set of NY has photos of some of these film locations.

Remember to SHARE this post with your TRAVEL COMPANIONS!

Here are other fun articles to check out: 

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