Tom's Restaurant

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Tom's Restaurant
Tom's Restaurant, NYC.jpg
Tom's Restaurant in 2000
Restaurant information
Street address2880 Broadway
Morningside Heights, Manhattan
CityNew York City
StateNew York
Tom's Restaurant interior

Tom's Restaurant is a diner located at 2880 Broadway (on the corner of West 112th Street) in the Morningside Heights neighborhood of Manhattan in New York City.[1] It is on the ground floor of Columbia University's Armstrong Hall, home to the Goddard Institute for Space Studies. Frequented by Columbia students and faculty, it has been owned and operated by the Greek-American family of Minas Zoulis since the 1940s.[2]

Tom's Restaurant was the locale that inspired Suzanne Vega's 1987 song "Tom's Diner."[2] Later, its exterior was used as a stand-in for the fictional Monk's Café in the television sitcom Seinfeld, where comedian Jerry Seinfeld's eponymous character and his friends regularly gathered to eat.[1][2] The interior shown on the television show, however, looked very little like the real "Tom's", as indoor scenes were filmed on a set in Los Angeles.[2]

Early Seinfeld episodes showed the entire neon sign; later, the "Tom's" portion was cropped out, showing only the "RESTAURANT" wraparound. Even though the interior and exterior have undergone minor remodeling since the show, the distinctive sign has remained the same. Tom's is featured in "Kramer's Reality Tour" conducted by Kenny Kramer.

Senator John McCain often ate at Tom's when he visited his daughter Meghan when she was a student at Columbia.[3] Likewise, Barack Obama frequented the restaurant as a student at Columbia.[4]

Prior to Seinfeld, Tom's exterior had been seen on television in the 1978 The Bionic Woman episode "Long Live the King" at around the 27 minute mark of the DVD release.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Tom's Restaurant". New York Times. Retrieved April 4, 2013. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  2. ^ a b c d Vines, Richard (March 13, 2008). "Real 'Seinfeld' Restaurant Is New York Staple". Bloomberg. Retrieved April 4, 2013. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  3. ^ "11 questions for Meghan McCain". September 9, 2008. Retrieved April 4, 2013. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  4. ^ "Recollections of Obama's Ex-Roommate". New York Times. January 20, 2009. Retrieved August 11, 2018. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 40°48′20″N 73°57′56″W / 40.80556°N 73.96556°W / 40.80556; -73.96556