Tempo Café

Coffee shop | Diner
excellent
Worth a detour
Save

On an unlikely corner of Chicago’s Gold Coast, just blocks from the swankiest shops and hotels in town, Tempo Café is a 24/7/365 coffee shop that serves working class food at affordable prices. Cops especially seem to make camp in the capacious booths, to which waitresses relentlessly bring coffee refills for bottomless cups.

Tempo is best known for its way with eggs. Omelets are huge and beautiful, served in silver skillets on wooden trivets. Special combos include the Michigan, which is cheddar cheese and diced delicious apples; the State St. Continue reading

On an unlikely corner of Chicago’s Gold Coast, just blocks from the swankiest shops and hotels in town, Tempo Café is a 24/7/365 coffee shop that serves working class food at affordable prices. Cops especially seem to make camp in the capacious booths, to which waitresses relentlessly bring coffee refills for bottomless cups.

Tempo is best known for its way with eggs. Omelets are huge and beautiful, served in silver skillets on wooden trivets. Special combos include the Michigan, which is cheddar cheese and diced delicious apples; the State St. (broccoli, ham, mushrooms, tomato), Jamaican (banana, walnut, honey), and the Greek (feta, tomato, onion). The eggs and their filling are the top stratum in the skillet; below them is a thick layer of crunchy, crusty potato disks worthy of a good steak house. On the side comes a plate of Greek toast, which is thick and spangled with sesame seeds; and to dress the toast you get a globe of sweet butter and a ramekin of fine-cut marmalade. Before breakfast is served, everybody gets a single pitted prune and a wedge of orange. Nice rituals!

Breakfast is served round the clock, but if you come to Tempo for another kind of meal, there is a full menu of sandwiches, hot dinners and stir fries. In addition to good coffee, the beverage list includes lattes and vegetable juices.

Dishes to try
Tempo Café, skillet omelets
skillet omelets
Must-Try
My personal favorite of Tempo Cafe's long list of available skillet omelets is the Florentine, with spinach, ham, and Swiss cheese. Along with a hefty portion of home fries, this meal will fuel you for the whole day.
Tempo Café, Casablanca
Casablanca
Must-Try
The perfect way to start your breakfast at Tempo Cafe is with a Casablanca, a delicious combination of cantaloupe, strawberry, and orange juice.
French toast
Tempo Café, Ham & Eggs
Ham & Eggs
There's something especially appealing about receiving one's whole meal (other than toast) in a single hot skillet. You can't see all the potatoes down below, but once I started forking into the eggs, the yolks seeped into the spuds and made some grand forkfuls.
Jelly
Directions and Hours
open now
SundayOpen 24 hours
MondayOpen 24 hours
TuesdayOpen 24 hours
WednesdayOpen 24 hours
ThursdayOpen 24 hours
FridayOpen 24 hours
SaturdayOpen 24 hours
Information and Policies
Seasons
Open Year Round
Meals Served
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, Dessert, Late Night
Credit Cards Accepted
Yes
Alcohol Served
No
Outdoor Seating
Yes
Reservations Accepted
No
Delivery Available
No
Takeout Counter
Yes