Chicago >Food & Dining > Tempo Cafe
6 E Chestnut St, Chicago, IL | Directions 6061141.898348 -87.627978
Mon. - Sun. 24 Hours
Neighborhoods: Central, Near North Side
A favorite for late-late night breakfasts. Nothing is especially gourmet, but the omelets are fluffy and portions are generous. Great people-watching too!
I have spent many-a late night at Tempo Cafe (mostly when I was a young thing) and their burgers, eggs or hash browns taste amazing, especially when paired with the 4am people watching.
THEY CHARGE $2 FOR A SIDE OF SALSA! BOYCOTT! – The food wasnt that bad, but when I asked for a side of salsa, they said it was two dollars. I will never go there again, unless they begin offering free salsa, like every other restaurant in the world; I mean its almost like charging money for ketchup. Ridiculous and greedy. The management must stink.
Great Breakfast, everyone else's excuse for bad service is unreliable – The Tempo is a great place to go for breakfast and it is not as bad as everyone keeps saying. The food is actually good but i guess since other people had issues they thought they would let their anger out by blasting the food. Anyone going to eat there on a Sunday morning is a ignorant for not reliezing that everyone from Holy Name Cathedral, right down the block, is going there for breakfast after mass, so they should be expecting long lines. For that matter isn't everyone restaurant in the downtown area packed with long waits on the weekend, so why is the Tempo any different. To those who got thrown out of the Tempo because of the drunken group, are you sure that you didn't do something at some point that actually provoked your removal. It is no where near a Dennys or IHOP, one can you say that Tempo is one of a kind and they have one of the niceest wait staff in all of the Gold Coast area. Don't be turned off by a bad review go and have some good food for a decent price.
Top five worst dining experieces – I tend to point out the good things in an evaluation of a restaurant and here it is, when i walked in i thought; "Hey, this is nicer than a Dennies." A previous reviewer equated Tempo Cafe to a dennies or an IHOP and i will continue with that comparison. The ambiance of Tempo is somewhat charming, better than a Golden Nugget. The food is not as greasy as a standard restaurant that can be compared to Dennies, IHOP and Golden Nugget, but than again it was both tasteless and over priced. My meal of a vegetarian stir fry had little to do with what a stir fry should have. It consisted of to much broccoli some onions and a few mushrooms that were slightly burnt in a pan and thrown over a plate of rice. My dates omelet was equally unimpressive. The real problem with Tempo Cafe is their management. I will be calling tommorrow to speak to the owner on this point. I had gone to study and enjoy a meal out with my girlfriend and the manager turned down the lights. When i asked the waitress if they could be turned up she returned and said you may wanna talk to the manager your self. Upon asking if she could turn up the lights she told me no and told me Tempo is not a place for studying. This is slightly interesting since it's a 24 hour cafe. I would suggest avoiding Tempo because they do not have the hospitality that can be found at any McDonald's. If there was a negative rating for Tempo i would have given them it. After the incident with the manager our waitress refused to make eye contact with me for the remaining 2 hours i stayed at Tempo.
In summary, avoid tempo they have poor service, worse managers, bad food and malfunctioning unkempt restrooms. (Yes there was a good amount of old feces in the washroom in the corner which who knows how long it had been there.)
Bad Wrap – We went to Tempo for an inexpensive breakfast. It was recommended to us, however we almost did not go due to the poor reviews as of late. Our experience was great! We only waited a few minutes, it was crowed..but that was a good sign. Our service was prompt, not the warmest, but fine. The fresh-squeezed orange juice was wonderful. They start our the meal with a fruit bowl...nice extra touch. We ordered an omlette and a skillet, both of which were good. The homemade marmalade was excellent! I do not even like orange marmalade and they turned me into a beliver! Overall a good experience...I would not let the bad reviews steer you away!
If only the service was better – The breakfast fare is their strength and I would recommend this place if the service was more customer oriented. A few bad experiences spoiled what could have been one of my favorite local hang-outs.
Overrated – For you to enjoy this place it must be 5am, you must be drunk, have the munchies and have absolutely no place to go. Seriously I took my parents to this place and it was embarrassing. We went for Sunday brunch and it was packed. While you wait outside for 40 minutes you are bombarded by homeless people begging for money. Every five minutes the hostess comes outside and yells at the homeless people. When you go inside you are famished and are willing to eat dirt. The restaurant is not reminiscent of an old-fashioned diner, but your typical Denny?s. The food was edible but reminded me of IHOP, for double the price. After you have eaten you are told that the restaurant doesn?t accept credit cards. Cash business? I hope IRS is keeping an eye on them. But have no worries they do have one of those questionable cash machines, which charge you high fees for withdrawals. When I walked out I thought that that was the biggest tourist trap ever.
Open 24 hours... – what more need be said? Oh well, the food is below average for Chicago, but it's a place to see and be seen. Breakfast isn't bad, but the eggs are usually overcooked. It's a decent cheap place when you just need to re-fuel.
Discriminatory Practices Gives Tempo a Bad Name – My friends and I had always considered Tempo to be a great place to eat after a great party, bad break up, or even an evening alone. But in the early morning hours of September 9, 2006, Tempo Cafe decided to show us how much they valued our patronage by having us removed from the establishment by several of Chicago's finest.
Tempo's disorganized, shoddy method of seating people created a back-up in the waiting area, and a drunken party of six bustled their way to the front of the line, creating a disturbance, disrespecting every other patron in their path, including my party. Although management witnessed such behavior, they refused to do anything about it, and instead seated us at opposing ends of the restaurant, assuming that all parties would behave. They were wrong, particularly when the drunken party of six picked YET ANOTHER fight with the party seated next to them. When the police were called, management forced everyone who had had ANY contact with the disruptive party to leave. That included us.
After many attempts to reason with both management and the police, we were left in the rain, insulted and embarrassed, and worst of all, HUNGRY, all because management refused to intervene when the problem was initially presented. AND the best part is, when the police arrived, they even asked the black people NOT associated with our party to leave. . . Sorry Tempo, all black people don't know each other. . .
I had always assumed that my education, my status, my poised and calm demeanor would allow others to see that I and the people I associate with are reasonable people, and would in turn, treat me with respect and reason. However, Tempo proved me wrong. Because of this experience, I would not recommend this restuarant to anyone.
Thanks for the good time, Tempo.
p.s. and the service left a little much to be desired as well. . .
Best Corned Beef Hash in Chicago – I've had a lot of corned beef hash in Chicago and this by far is the best. The scrambled eggs simply melt in your mouth, as well. You may have to wait up to 40 minutes for a weekend brunch, but it's well worth the wait.
What's the big deal? – Great omlletes? Please. The one I got was sub-par at best. I think I've had better at Denny's. Service without a smile, and who the hell doesn't accept credit cards in this day and age? Totally overrated. I won't be back.
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