Cue slap bass line. If you’re a pop culture fan and love TV and film, then you can’t pass Morningside Heights without a visit to Tom’s Restaurant. Made famous by the 1990’s hit sitcom Seinfeld, the restaurants iconic neon sign was used as the exterior establishing shot for the show’s “Monk’s Café”. As the interiors scenes were shot on a Los Angeles sound stage, they share few similarities with the original restaurant’s interior. Seinfeld and his friends would regularly share the same booth for food, which may suggest they must have lived in the area.
The story goes that the production crew was shooting the restaurant one morning in 1990 and the restaurant owner came out wondering what they were using it for, they responded saying “just some pilot”.
Located on the corner of 112th and Broadway, the restaurant sits neatly in the quiet streets of one of Manhattans highest points. Morningside Heights is sometimes called a college town, housing major institutions such as Columbia and Barnard College. Along with academia, the small borough has numerous churches and chapels. Being a great place to walk, it is nestled between two parks, one of which edges the Hudson River. If your visit to the city brings you up to Morningside Heights, I recommend spending an afternoon building an appetite walking the many sites and finally sitting down at Tom’s for some food.
Arguably the most famous diner, Tom’s fame is also maintained by Suzanne Vega’s 1987 song “Tom’s Diner”. Family owned since the 1940’s, the diner satisfies nearby students and residents. Serving classic American Food, anything with hand-cut steak fries and a shake is guaranteed to be good. You will have to stop by if you’re ever in the area.
Learn more at their website.
– by Nick Wiesner