Looking to let out your inner mob boss without actually breaking the law? Then these spots are for you.
As anticipation builds for “The Sopranos” prequel film, “The Many Saints of Newark,” out in theaters and on HBO Max Oct. 1, it’s the perfect moment to revisit the original series. And if you’re sick of sitting at home on your couch — who isn’t? — then another way to get reacquainted with Tony Soprano and his crew is to do an informal tour of all of their favorite spots.
Creator David Chase made it easy. Keeping in line with his vision of authenticity for the show, many locations from the original “Sopranos” are still existing places in both New York and New Jersey.
Yes, with a tank of gas and a mission, you can gaze upon the actual house that stood in for Tony’s home, or eat at the infamous restaurant from the long-debated finale.
Ready to channel your favorite fictional mafia don? Bada bing, bada boom.
Re-create the intro
Let’s be honest, we’ve all cranked Alabama 3’s “Woke Up This Morning” while cruising the New Jersey Turnpike at some point or another.
But we haven’t necessarily driven Tony’s actual route. To see all the landmarks he so cinematically passes, enter the Lincoln Tunnel heading to the southbound turnpike (use the ticket machine in lieu of an E-ZPass if you’re truly committed), and continue until you see the famous “Drive Safely” Citgo container in Linden before heading for Jersey City via the Pulaski Skyway.
As an added bonus, you’ll be passing over the set of Barone Sanitation — one of many businesses that provided a front for the family — at 275 Broadway on your way to the towering, carpet-clutching “muffler man” statue outside of Wilson’s Carpet at 220 Broadway.
Then, in Kearny, NJ, you can drive the parking lot that once was the set piece for Tony’s butcher hangout Satriale’s, at 101 Kearny Ave., before heading north to Pizza Land at 260 Belleville Turnpike in North Arlington, NJ.
After that, it’s a straight shot to Tony’s home in the suburbs of North Caldwell, NJ.
Check out Tony’s house
Yes, the Soprano family mansion is a real house in a real cul-de-sac, and you can drive right up to the North Caldwell property.
Located at the top of a rock-sided hill, the iconic home has been used for “Sopranos” cast parties along with meet-and-greets for fans in its luxurious backyard, replete with the in-ground pool that served as a centerpiece for so many memorable scenes.
Although much of the interior was just a set for the show, the actual home’s layout mirrors what millions of viewers have seen throughout the years — it’s owned by Victor and Patti Recchia, who put the property on the market in 2019 for $3.4 million. (It does not seem to have sold.)
When actor James Gandolfini, who played the role of Tony Soprano, died in 2013, someone brought a bag of ziti to the home, according to the New York Times.
14 Aspen Drive, North Caldwell, NJ. This is a private residence and can only be observed from the street.
Shop at Centanni’s meat market
Fun fact: Before the safe haven for the Soprano crime family was Satriale’s, this real Elizabeth, NJ, meat market was used in the pilot episode.
Centanni’s made its mark as the spot where Christopher Moltisanti (Michael Imperioli, 55) clipped trash-hauling rival Emil Kolar (Bruce Smolanoff) over business negotiations gone wrong. Its exterior appeared as the backdrop to some colorful exchanges as well.
Since Centanni’s was — and still is — an active and bustling business, “The Sopranos” series couldn’t film continuously there, thus the set of Satriale’s was built.
Rest assured, Centanni’s carries “gabagool” and plenty of other Italian goods you can savor once you’re back home.
815 2nd Ave, Elizabeth, NJ; 908-352-3108. No website
Take in the sights at the Bada Bing!
It’s hard to miss the “Home of the Original Bada Bing!” sign that stands proudly in front of Satin Dolls off I-80 in Lodi, NJ.
The crown jewel of Silvio Dante (Steven Van Zandt, 70), that appeared consistently throughout the series, lives on to this day as an active strip joint where “Sopranos” fans can, er, reminisce on the show’s former set.
Along with the countless shots of topless women, scenes filmed at the Bada Bing! often showed employee Georgie Santorelli (Frank Santorelli) getting beaten up in some form or another throughout the six seasons.
In Season 5’s “Irregular Around the Margins,” Christopher Moltisanti drunkenly stormed into the Bing and threatened to shoot Tony after hearing a rumor Soprano fooled around with his fiancée Adriana La Cerva (Drea de Matteo, 49).
Silvio Dante was also shot into a coma in the jiggle joint’s parking lot in the series’ infamous second to last episode, “Blue Comet.”
230 NJ-17, Lodi, NJ; 201-845-6494, www.SatinDollsNJ.com
Grab a drink at the New York crew’s hangout
Also used as a set for “The Godfather: Part III” and “Donnie Brasco,” lower Manhattan’s Mulberry Street Bar served as the Averna Social Club in “The Sopranos” — better known as the New York crew’s home base.
Featured throughout the series, this is the watering hole where Tony would have backroom sit-downs with high-ranking member Johnny Sack (Vincent Curatola, 68) and boss Carmine Lupertazzi (Tony Lip) to hash out business at hand.
It’s also the location where Phil Leotardo (Frank Vincent) decided to “decapitate” the Soprano crime family — by going after Tony himself — in “Blue Comet.”
Mulberry Street Bar has since been renovated, but still proudly lays claim to its cinematic history with a list of films and shows that have been shot there displayed on the wall. Nowadays, it features a pleasant curbside dining setup as well.
176 Mulberry St.; 212-226-9345. No website
Hike through the Pine Barrens
Arguably the most hilarious episode of “The Sopranos” is called “Pine Barrens,” after a real nature preserve in South Jersey. It was where Christopher Moltisanti and Paulie “Walnuts” Gualtieri (Tony Sirico, 79) got helplessly lost in the dead of winter after an interior decorator who killed 16 Czechoslovakians ran off.
Although the Season 3 standout was actually filmed at Harriman State Park in New York’s Rockland and Orange Counties, the real Pine Barrens preserve in the wilderness around Hammonton, NJ, is a favorite of locals and offers a fun, outdoorsy escape into the woods with safely marked trails.
Get yourself a treat at Applegate Farm
Fans will remember this roadside joint from the Season 6 episode “Chasing It,” where Phil Leotardo took Vito Jr. — son of Vito Spatafore (Joseph Gannascoli, 62) — out for ice cream. There, he chewed out his former associate’s son for acting out after his father’s murder (ordered by none other than Leotardo himself.)
Although young Vito’s “silo” ice cream concoction — a massive cup of different flavors, topped with whipped cream and syrup — was a limited-time promotion, Montclair’s Applegate Farms has a well-earned reputation for offering some of North Jersey’s best ice cream and shakes, such as a frozen campfire s’mores blend.
Ice cream cakes, pies, apple cider donuts, chocolates and banana splits are also offered at Applegate — without the company of an angry old mafia captain.
616 Grove St., Montclair, NJ; 973-744-5900. ApplegateFarm.com
Stroll below the Brooklyn Bridge
Whenever Tony needed a covert meeting with New York’s Johnny Sack, they would trek out to the desolate area around the Brooklyn Bridge, such as in Season 4’s “The Strong, Silent Type,” when Sack confronts Soprano over the Jersey crew keeping New York out of its housing-appraisal scam.
Of course, at the time of filming, in the early 2000s, the undeveloped beachfront near DUMBO was much less conspicuous than the row of restaurants, carousel and ferry station that now make up the area surrounding Empire-Fulton Ferry park today.
It might be swarmed with tourists taking selfies nowadays, but the Brooklyn Bridge waterfront still has its spot in “Sopranos” history.
1 Water St., Brooklyn; BrooklynBridgePark.org
Enjoy the ocean breeze at the Asbury Park boardwalk
Not far from fellow boss Bruce Springsteen’s hometown of Long Branch, this Jersey Shore boardwalk appeared in Tony’s dreams and flashbacks whenever something was going seriously awry.
It most notably showed up in Season 2’s finale, “Funhouse,” when Soprano comes to the realization that his dear friend Salvatore “Big Pussy” Bonpensiero (Vincent Pastore, 75) was wearing a wire and working with the feds, thus leading to the big guy’s demise at sea not long after.
The Asbury Park boardwalk reappeared in Season 3’s “To Save Us All From Satan’s Power,” when Tony reminisces about Bonpensiero as the crew realizes they need a replacement to play Santa Claus at Satriale’s at Christmastime. The job was delegated to gentle giant Bobby “Bacala” Baccalieri (Steve Schirripa, 64).
1300 Ocean Ave., Asbury Park, NJ; APBoardwalk.com
Hole up at Holsten’s
This North Jersey confectionery only appeared for four-and-a-half minutes in “The Sopranos” — but it was the most important 270 seconds of the entire show.
The famous setting for the series finale (and now prequel film) gave David Chase’s audience its final glimpse of Tony Soprano before an abrupt, 11 second cut to black that rocked the television world.
Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believin,’” a song chosen by Chase due to his crew’s distaste for it, echoes throughout the restaurant as Tony, son AJ and wife Carmela feast on a last supper of onion rings, just as Meadow struggles to parallel park outside, and while a mysterious man in the “Members Only” jacket leaves the counter to enter the bathroom.
Today, the Soprano family table (third row on the middle left) remains intact, for hungry diners to marvel at and take pictures with their onion rings, burgers and ice cream sundaes that the restaurant is also known for.
Holsten’s walls are also filled with behind-the-scenes photographs from when the show was filmed, and they sell plenty of “Sopranos” merchandise to take home.
If you struggle with parallel parking like Meadow, rest assured that there’s a parking lot adjacent to Holsten’s.
1063 Broad St., Bloomfield, NJ; 973-338-7091, Holstens.com
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