It's been 20 years since the first episode of Sex and the City made its television debut on June 6, 1998, and we can’t help but marvel at the ways this show is still impacting the way we eat and drink. Anything snacked on in a restaurant or sipped in a bar or club by Carrie, Miranda, Samantha, or Charlotte instantly became the trendiest order in not just New York but America. The four characters and their aspirational Manhattan lives influenced women from the late ‘90s to the mid 2000s all the way to today in terms of what to wear, what to eat, and where to go in New York City.
Save for Jimmy Choos, nothing is more identified with Sex and the City than a cosmopolitan. The pink drink of choice for all of the show’s women inspired generations of fans to order a cosmo so they could feel like Manhattan’s fab four. Nowadays, the show still influences restaurants and bars to create drinks inspired by the characters. At the Grand Hyatt New York, guests can order the “Mr. Big,” a cocktail made from Ketel One, Cointreau, lime, guava juice, and orange bitters.
Sweetie, these strong female leads practically invented brunch. In every episode — even if they were on vacation, Charlotte, Miranda, Carrie, and Samantha shared a late-morning meal. Charlotte usually ordered something healthy, Miranda got something with starch, Carrie always chose eggs, and Samantha would have coffee to start. Their ambitious weekend brunches have inspired scores of ladies to spend the workweek perusing guides for the best brunches to hit up on weekends with their girl gangs — even 20 years after the show’s first episode.
Because of the six-season series, lines formed out the door for New York restaurants like Sushi Samba, Tao, Il Cantinori, and Magnolia Bakery after scenes were filmed there. Steve Abrams, the owner of Magnolia Bakery, told the New York Post that his sales quadrupled after a scene was filmed with Carrie and Miranda snacking on pink frosted cupcakes outside their Bleecker Street location. “There were no lines [out the door] before Sex and the City … [then the shop was suddenly doing] 2 or 3 million in sales,” he said. The beloved bakeshop later created a specialty cupcake for Sarah Jessica Parker’s iconic character called the “Carrie,” a vanilla cake with pink pastel buttercream and a daisy on top.
According to People, on June 6, in honor of Sex and the City’s 20th anniversary, Magnolia Bakery will give away 50 of their Carrie cupcakes for free at all locations between 12 and 1 p.m. Since its guest appearance on the show, the bakeshop has expanded to Chicago, Boston, and Los Angeles, and many people still recognize it from the series.
Whether you’re a Carrie, a Miranda, a Charlotte, a Samantha, or even a Stanford, you’ll appreciate this list of the best food and drinks in New York!