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“Low-key neighborhood luncheonette”

Old John's Luncheonette
Ranked #2,771 of 13,689 Restaurants in New York City
Certificate of Excellence
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Families with children
Dining options: Breakfast, Reservations, Takeout
Neighborhood: Upper West Side
New York City, New York
Level Contributor
320 reviews
201 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 70 helpful votes
“Low-key neighborhood luncheonette”
Reviewed October 23, 2012

Located near Lincoln Center this luncheonette has better than average food, good service and an unpretentious atmosphere.

  • Visited October 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank Janet D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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74 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    26
    37
    6
    5
    0
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Any
English first
Brooklyn, New York
Level Contributor
12 reviews
3 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
“LET OLD JOHN LIVE FOREVER!”
Reviewed October 11, 2012

We need places like this, as a way to counterbalance all of the no-personality corporate chains that POLLUTE this city and the world. Please, if you are reading this . . . support places like Old John's. Bring your friends. We each have a choice: we can either be part of the problem (most people's choice) or part of the solution. If you are astute enough to identify corporate hegemony as one of the most fearsome problems of this era (and all attendant problems), then you will take the time, I hope, to support the little guys. This place has character and personality.

Visited November 2011
Helpful?
Thank Granian A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lafayette, California, United States
Level Contributor
231 reviews
169 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 112 helpful votes
“Skip it”
Reviewed August 2, 2012

There are lots of good restaurants in the world. This isn't one of them. My wife's soup came from a can, and my cheeseburger was flat and flavorless, served with nothing on it. No lettuce, no tomato, no onion. Just meat on a bun. I should have ordered the grilled cheese!

The atmosphere is cool old style NYC, though, and the server was nice.

  • Visited August 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank El_Pelicano
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City, New York
Level Contributor
88 reviews
40 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 79 helpful votes
“Comfort food at reasonable prices near Lincoln Center”
Reviewed June 12, 2012

We were headed to Lincoln Center to see War Horse and wanted some comfort food on a dreary day. Someone had mentioned this place as a bit of a hole in the wall with diner style food and since its right around the corner from the Vivian Beaumont Theater, we strolled over pre-show.

This is a neighborhood haunt, lovingly worn around the edges, with booths and tables and a luncheonette type counter/bar, mostly in old wood. I don't think I would have wanted to eat off the scuffed tile floor, but the cloth-covered tables, dishes, glasses and cutlery were spotless. Somebody's dog was "parked" outside.

I'm not sure if Old John was there or not, but the waitress was on the spot and quickly took our order and food started appearing in a wink. I went for chicken noodle soup - great warm up from the dreary day - and then the meatloaf with broccoli and garlic mashed potatoes. Husband ordered greek salad and cappellini primavera. We split a rice pudding desert. All the veggies, from the salad to the broccoli that sided my meatloaf and filled his primavera, were fresh and the broccoli and carrots in his pasta were crisply cooked. Free and frequent refills kept us sipping our home made iced tea. The rice pudding was unique and probably somebody's Mom's recipe.

Many of our fellow diners were clearly regulars - I always like a neighborhood place with older folks. First, I feel at home, second, I know older regulars come to a place that has decent food for a good price. Judging from the relatively loud convos around us (OK there were more than a few hearing aids among the diners and canes hanging from the edges of tables) we were among retired stock brokers, visiting nephews, and some older ladies fervently discussing politics. It was great entertainment without being surrounded by tvs tuned to mixed martial arts, hockey, basketball or baseball.

The bill including tip was about $50 and we headed around the corner satisfied with a "home cooked" meal but not so stuffed that we wanted to sleep through the show.

Food was "good," but the location, speed, service and ambiance were a great break from the sometimes pretentious, slow, and often highly-priced alternatives in the upper West side. I'll definitely go back next time we're in the neighborhood! Its the kind of place I wouldn't feel uncomfortable dining alone or taking a reasonably well-behaved, but fidgity, grandchild.

According to their website and the menu on the door, they deliver to the area as well.

http://oldjohnsluncheonettenyc.com/food-delivery-TW/old-johns-luncheonette-new-york-city.1216.r?QueryStringValue=dVstA7HXitoWaxmfeaREcA==

  • Visited May 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank sandyshoes1313
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
26 reviews
14 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“ALWAYS A WELCOME EXPERIENCE”
Reviewed April 27, 2012

The atmosphere is special. It is like New York used to be--and that is hard to find. As a native, I really appreciate it. I love Old John's. The staff is friendly, the menu is small, but everything is good. They have the best tuna fish sandwiches and rice pudding around. And John greets everyone pleasantly. I always feel welcome there and I always enjoy my food.

  • Visited March 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank PENENYC
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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