Tom’s Restaurant is located at the southern end of the Columbia University campus on Broadway and 112th street. From the outside it looks like the restaurant in the TV show Seinfeld but looks nothing like it in the inside (there is a lot of Seinfeld memorabilia and photos on the wall though). Both of the electronic signs on the outside of the building were partially burned out which made it look less like the iconic restaurant (see my attached photo.) The restaurant is also where singer Suzanne Vega wrote the hit song Tom’s Diner in the early 1980’s. I arrived at the restaurant at about 8:30 AM on a Tuesday morning and it was only about half full.
The coffee was great but my ham and cheese omelet looked unusual and tasted plain -some of the eggs in the omelet were white (not yellow). The American fried potatoes looked great but appeared to have been cooked near grilled onions (as they tasted like onions). Since I hate onions I did not like the potatoes. The coffee is served in a very small cup and saucer and when you need a refill they bring you a new cup and saucer instead of just filling up the empty cup on the table.
My server was friendly and attentive and I had no issues with her. The restaurant has a counter and there appeared to be several locals eating there as they were actively engaged in conversation with certain employees and seemed to know them.
If you are near Columbia University and are a Seinfeld fan I recommend you dine at Tom’s. If you are not a fan you may want to pass as the food is only average. The restaurant does not take credit cards so bring enough cash. There is an ATM card inside the restaurant in case you run out if money.