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Tempo Is Bringing Spicy, Cheesy Turkish Staples to D.C. This Summer

The street food spot makes its debut downtown with pide and kumpir

Tempo will serve up lots of traditional “pide” — a sauceless pizza — at 1195 20th Street NW.
Tierney Plumb is the editor of Eater DC, covering all things food and drink around the nation's capital.

Signage just went up for a new fast-casual Turkish street food spot prepped to feed plenty of 9-to-5 workers in a few months.

The new carb-friendly option called Tempo is headed for 1195 20th Street NW. It’s located next to lunch stop Jack’s Fresh and is slated to take up a chunk of the block, with 45 seats.

There’s a 13-year-old sister spot planted in Bethesda, Maryland, but owner Ugur Altintas tells Eater he’s switching gears to focus on the new downtown location. He says the two will only be “sort of” related moving forward.

The centerpiece of the menu is a boat-shaped Turkish pizza called “pide” that bakes in less than two minutes. The made-to-order pie requires no sauce, but there’s lots of veggie and meat options that go on top. Lamb, beef, and chicken options will also be the mix, as well as falafel, sandwiches, and a salad bar.

A diet-busting Turkish baked potato dubbed “kumpir” — a classic to-go order found in Istanbul — comes mashed with butter and cheese, alongside 15 toppings to choose from.

Signage recently went up for Tempo, which is replacing a former kebab shop.
Tempo [Facebook]

Design details are still in the works, but Altintas says Tempo will carry a black and white color scheme. Homegrown pizza chain &pizza also sports the same look across its brand of 26 East Coast locations (and counting).

Tempo is unrelated to a restaurant of the same name across state lines in Alexandria, which serves French and Italian fare in an upscale setting.