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Is The Royal Diner From Bones A Real Restaurant?

Starring David Boreanaz and Emily Deschanel, "Bones" was known for being a crime procedural with a more lighthearted approach to the genre. While the narrative featured numerous different locations and crime scenes from episode to episode, the characters spend most of their time working to solve murders at the Jeffersonian Institute, a fictional lab at the Smithsonian Institution, a historic museum complex in Washington D.C. 

In between work hours, the team would always take time to relax and grab a bite to eat at the Royal Diner, an establishment they appear to frequent for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and anything in between. The restaurant is a casual space that allows the characters to put work aside and share a meal as friends, while also providing a more neutral space where Booth and Brennan can contend with their palpable chemistry — a connection so perfectly acted that by the end of the show, both actors could improvise their dialogue together. There's nothing quite like some will-they, won't-they tension to get the appetite going! And while television shows frequently employ sound stages and sets, the Royal Diner is so lively and welcoming that it seems like it could be a real restaurant. 

Well, if you've ever wondered whether or not you can visit the Royal Diner from "Bones," then you've come to the right place.

The real Royal Diner is in ... New Jersey?

The Royal Diner is, in fact, a real restaurant. And it is located in Washington... Washington, New Jersey, that is (via Yelp). 

The diner, which sits on New Jersey Route 31, doesn't much resemble its television counterpart. On "Bones," the character's favorite eatery is located on a bustling street corner in an urban setting, while you can find the real-life Royal Diner perched along a quiet stretch of highway. However, the interior of both restaurants feature classic diner decor and food items. Similarly, both the real and fictional versions of the diner use a crown in their logo.

Since Booth, Brennan, and their friends love the atmosphere at the diner so much, it's only fitting that customers who've visited the real-life location like it just as well. The restaurant currently has a 4.5 rating on TripAdvisor, with one comment describing it as a "cute, cozy, little 1940's style diner."

It's worth noting that even though the series is set in Washington D.C., "Bones" was filmed primarily in Los Angeles, California, with locations in Exposition Park doubling as the Jeffersonian Institute in the pilot episode (via Movie Maps). It makes sense that the show wasn't actually filmed in America's capital, especially since the real Smithsonian Institution welcomes millions of visitors every year (via Smithsonian). And though "Bones" came to a close years ago, it's nice to know that a piece of the story still exists in the real world.