If you were a fan of the Seinfeld TV sitcom, the sight of the legendary Tom’s Restaurant, at 2880 Broadway (212-864-6197) in the Morningside Heights section of Manhattan, should be vivid in your memory, where Jerry, George and Cosmo Kramer supposedly met for coffee and some bull chat at the imaginary Monk’s Café. The show features Tom’s facade, but the interior scenes were filmed at a studio in California.
Many of Tom’s best customers are Columbia students. Over the years, going to Tom’s has become a rite of passage for them. Life is not complete for a Columbia student unless they get a milkshake and gravy fries at 3 in the morning on a Thursday, Friday, or Saturday.
Tom’s Restaurant has been a staple for over 70 years. It was originally owned by a Jewish man named Kane, who sold it to Thanasi (Thomas), a Greek immigrant. Tom then sold his share to Greek immigrants from the islands of Kassos and Sifnos. A number of restaurants called Tom’s claim that Suzanne Vega wrote the song “Tom’s Diner” about them. Most likely it was for a diner on Route 46 in New Jersey, but it’s nice to be able to make this claim to fame.
The eatery is a classic Greek-American owned restaurant serving great meals and fast foods. There are different soups every day. They have a wide selection of home-cooked specials as well as made-to-order items, particularly during this festive season of Pascha. The management pride themselves on clean, fast, and affordable dining.