“Seinfeld” – arguably the most “New York” comedy in recent television history – features several iconic restaurants that continuously bring in tourists and nostalgia fans alike. One memorable joint is Tom’s Restaurant, a Greek-American eatery known on the show as “Monk’s Café”. The unforgettable neon sign sat atop Jerry and the gang’s favorite hangout. Justin Sablich of the NY Times describes how Tom’s has become the most recognizable Seinfeld-related spot in the city.
Tom’s Restaurant has been a staple in Morningside Heights ever since Jewish owner named Kane sold the restaurant to Thanasi (Thomas), a Greek immigrant. Tom later sold his share to the Zoulis family, Greek immigrants from the islands of Kassos and Sifnos. Since then, the restaurant has been a family-run enterprise for over two generations.
Today, Columbia students often frequent the neighborhood icon. Over the years, Tom’s has become a rite of passage for them – the life of a Columbia student is not complete unless they get a milkshake and gravy fries at 3am on a weekend night.