I Went to the Real-Life Luke’s Diner from “Gilmore Girls” and This is What Happened

If you’re like me and still frantically catching up on the amazing show that is "Gilmore Girls" before the 4-episode Netflix revival on November 25, don’t worry, you are not alone, and you aren't the only one obsessed with this show. I already miss all my favorite Stars Hollow residents, and I haven’t even finished watching yet. And everyone, no matter if they’re Team Jess, Dean, or Logan, can’t wait to watch the revival to see how it ends!

October 5 was the 16th anniversary of when Lorelai and Rory first graced television screens while appearing in our favorite show. In honor of this special date, Netflix set up coffee shops in 200 locations across the country, including three D.C. spots. Each coffee shop was designed to look just like Luke’s Diner, the famous coffee shop from the show, and would serve free coffee to the first 250 visitors at each location. Of course, as soon as I heard about this amazing opportunity, I grabbed a fellow “Gilmore Girls” fan and planned my journey to one of these locations.

I decided to trek to Qualia’s, a D.C. shop on Georgia Avenue, at 8:30 in the morning. While on my way, I considered pulling a Lorelai and drinking coffee while I headed to get more coffee, but decided against it. I knew I was making the right decision to make this trip when I called the coffee shop for directions and they answered by saying, “Hi, this is Luke’s Diner!” This was amazing, guys. Qualia’s had fully committed. When we arrived at the shop after a long Uber ride, there was no line outside, which shocked us a little bit but we probably just beat the rush. We were excited to spot a giant Luke’s sign hanging outside the cafe, and immediately took a hundred pictures to document this moment.

Needing coffee, we stepped into the shop and joined the short line to get our free cup. I was delighted to see that all the baristas were wearing plaid, and it was almost like we were seeing the real Luke Danes for ourselves. Even though the coffee shop wasn’t really decorated to look like Luke’s other than a few signs plastered on the walls, we still felt like we had entered a tiny part of Stars Hollow.

The woman right in front of us in line was talking to the barista about how this was her third stop to one of Luke’s diners today. She began her visits bright and early at 6 a.m., a true “Gilmore Girls” fan. She definitely deserved her free coffee.

The coffee we drank was good, though I couldn’t make it a true Lorelai coffee and drink it black, but it was more about the experience than the free drink itself. When I walked outside, I heard many people talking about how excited they were for the show to come back and arguing about who Rory should end up with. The show has been off the air since 2007, more than nine years ago, yet still has a huge fanbase. 

My experience at Luke's was one I'll never forget. Being with my fellow coffee and "Gilmore Girls" fanatics, even for just one morning, felt like I was truly in a place where I belonged, and it made me so happy to realize how many people still care so much about the show I am currently spending all my time watching. Let's all start the countdown now, guys. Only 50 more days! 


Photo Credits: Author Property