Tempo Cafe


6 E Chestnut St, Chicago
View WebsiteEarn 3X Points

We’ve watched more Seinfeld reruns than we care to admit. One result of this is that we often wish we cold get away with operating under George Costanza's rules of life: it's not a lie if you believe it, and never trust men in capes. Another result is how much we think about about Monk’s Cafe, the restaurant Jerry, George, Elaine, and Kramer hang in. There's no need to wonder what it's like, though, because Tempo Cafe is the real-life version of Monk's.

Tempo is an institution that's been around since 1983, and it has all the traits of an ideal local diner. It serves solid food, it's open 24 hours, it's always pretty easy to snag a table, and it's reasonably priced. The menu is large and has a bit of everything, but when we go to Tempo it's for breakfast food. That doesn’t mean we only go at breakfast hours, but that we order eggs and pancakes no matter the time of day. Dessert is fair game too, particularly the shakes and pies, and we wouldn't judge if you got a little risqué with a grilled cheese or something similar. But anything more sophisticated and you should be eating elsewhere.

The cycle of feelings towards Tempo goes like this. Upon first discovery, you'll love it because there's nothing similar in the area. Then, you'll realize there's better food around and there's no reason to go around telling your friends this is the best place ever. But ultimately, you'll come to appreciate Tempo for what it is: a reliable spot with a lot of utility that's open all but 48 hours of an entire year (closed Thanksgiving & Christmas), a fact that alone makes Tempo worth knowing about.

Tempo is the kind of place George Constanza would hang in everyday life. Who wouldn't drape themselves in velvet if it was socially acceptable?

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Food Rundown


When we go to Tempo it's because we want a skillet. Eggs plus whatever ingredients you want over a bed of hash browns. Simple, but comforting, and a whole lot of food that you can tailor the way you want.

Greek Toast

Make sure to get the greek toast with any egg dish. It's thick-cut and delicious.


The only question is whether you want them plain or with toppings, and by toppings we mean chocolate chips.


Feel free to test out any of the usual diner favorites. Cheesecake, fruit pies, or rice-pudding are all fair game.

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