As an avid "HIMYM" fan, I've visited the bar that inspired "How I Met Your Mother" quite a few times. It's always a fun activity to do with friends, and it's conveniently located just a few blocks from Times Square in NYC. Here is everything you need to know about McGee's, the pub that inspired the main setting of "How I Met Your Mother."

The Bar Doesn't Look All That Much Like MacLaren's

McGee's is located at 240 W 55th Street, and you wouldn't necessarily be able to tell that this typical storefront inspired a national "HIMYM" craze. While it does have red booths and a mural, which you can briefly see in some episodes on the show, that's pretty much all the two have in common. (I know, I was disappointed, too).

McGee's is a much larger bar. It has two floors with a bar on each for drinking and dining, and then a third floor for large rented events (not a bad idea for a "HIMYM"-themed party). There is also a fourth floor full of apartments, just like Ted and Marshall's. MacLaren's, in contrast, is portrayed on the show as a small pub, half a floor below ground, with housing overhead.

How It Inspired The Show 

The writers of "HIMYM," Carter Bays and Craig Thomas, used to drink at McGee's while working for the "Late Show With David Letterman." It was there, according to an interview they did with E News, that they came up with the idea to "write about [their] friends and the stupid stuff [they] did in New York."

The character Ted Mosby was inspired by Bays, whereas Lily Aldrin and Marshall Eriksen were inspired by Thomas and his wife. An associate producer, Carl MacLaren, stood as inspiration both for the "How I Met Your Mother" bar name and for one of the bartenders in the show, named Carl. 

You Can Order HIMYM Inspired Food And Drinks!

They have everything from "The Bro Code Combo," which is a mix of wings (that are really good, by the way), chicken fingers, potato skins, and mozzarella sticks inspired by Barney Stinson's famous "Bro Code" book. My personal favorite is the "Be Awesome Instead" — if you are a fan of mac & cheese with bacon, this dish is a must-have.

Colleen McMahon

If you're over 21, be sure to try their extra fun inspired drinks, too, like the "Naked Man" or the "Slutty Pumpkin." 

They Have "How I Met Your Mother Mondays"

Colleen McMahon

On Mondays, McGee's will turn off ESPN and stream re-run episodes of "How I Met Your Mother," uniting fans from all over the city, or sometimes, those from all over the country. The bar will even pull out their HIMYM inspired menus so everyone can feel like they're getting the full MacLaren's experience. McGee's is very popular, so I'd definitely recommend making a reservation before your next NYC trip.

There's Plenty of HIMYM Decor

Colleen McMahon

Most of the frames on the walls display either the cast in the pub or pictures from the show. Make sure to check out the frames behind the hostess stand right when you walk in. They have a whole collection of "HIMYM" inspired merchandise and pictures.

You Never Know When The Cast Will Drop By

On various occasions, cast members such as Neil Patrick Harris (Barney Stinson), Josh Radnor (Ted Mosby), Cobie Smulders (Robin Scherbatsky), and Alyson Hannigan (Lily Aldrin) have been known to surprise people eating at the pub when they stop by for a quick drink. Who knows, maybe they'll stop by when you go!

You Can Take a Tour

Colleen McMahon

If you're truly a HIMYM super-fan like me, you can even take a tour through On Location Tours NYC. It's a full NYC TV and Movie tour, but its final destination is at McGee's. So after a few hours of walking, you can recharge with some good eats. Plus, the pub will give you a 15 percent discount if you're from the tour.

Long story short, if you're a "How I Met Your Mother" fan, McGee's is a must-see in New York. Even if you're unfamiliar with the show, McGee's is still a great and cozy Irish bar to grab some drinks and good food with friends.