John's City Diner
John's City Diner

John's City Diner

  • Dining Style: Casual Dining
  • Website: http://www.johnscitydiner.com/
  • Phone: 2053226014x
  • Hours of Operation:
    Lunch: Monday - Friday: 11:00am - 2:30pm;
    Monday - Thursday: 5:00pm - 9:00pm;
    Friday - Saturday: 5:00pm - 9:30pm;
  • Payment Options: AMEX,Discover,MasterCard,Visa
  • Cuisine: American, Comfort Food, Gastro Pub
  • Dress Code: Casual Dress
  • Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
  • Additional Details: Banquet/Private Rooms, Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Counter Seating, Delivery, Full Bar, Happy Hour, Non-Smoking Restaurant, Personal wines welcome, Personal wines welcome (corkage fee applies), Private Room, Takeout, Wheelchair Access, Wine
  • Catering: John’s City Diner in Downtown Birmingham welcomes parties for all occasions. We will accommodate catering ‘To go’ orders with minimal notice as possible. We do have many items that require a minimum of 48 to 72 hours in advance. Please contact a John’s City Diner manager to place your ‘To Go’ Catering Order. All Utensils, cups and plates are available by request at no additional charge. Orders over $100 must be paid in advance. We can also provide full scale catering at your location of choice. Any menu can be customized for weddings, office parties, birthdays or any other special event.
  • Private Party Facilities: John’s City Diner in Downtown Birmingham welcomes parties for all occasions. We have the ability to accommodate large gatherings up to 350 guests. We are an excellent choice for any occasion, personal or professional. We have included a number of sample menus in a range of budgets. Our standard party menus, which use our restaurant entrees, will be exquisite for most events. Our party menus have been successful in the past with overwhelming response from our guests. Our goal at John’s City Diner is to make your special event perfect for you. With the expertise of our culinary staff, we are able to build our party menus around the desires of the host. Our extensive experience with food and willingness to extend our culinary expertise allows us the flexibility to create a party menu that fits both your tastes and budget. The personal touch of owner/operator Shannon Gober is evident in the service of your guests.
  • Private Party Contact: Shannon Gober 2053226014x
  • Special Events: Follow us on Facebook and Twitter for updates on our monthly Beer or Wine Dinners.

Getting there

  • Cross Street: 1st Ave North
  • Parking: Street Parking
  • Parking Details: Plenty of parking on the street in front of the restaurant and the parking lot to our left is available also.
A word from John's City Diner
By blending a bit of the old with the new, owner Shannon Gober has transformed the Downtown Birmingham landmark John's Restaurant into the new and improved John's City Diner. While the restaurant still maintains much of the charm from the past, the decor and menu have undergone a face-lift to meet the needs of the increasingly food savvy Birmingham public. The menu at John's City Diner features a wide range of flavors from Southern comfort food to Asian-inspired dishes.
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Awards voted by OpenTable diners
  • Diners' Choice WinnerBest Service
  • Diners' Choice WinnerFit for Foodies
  • Diners' Choice WinnerGreat for Lunch
John's City Diner reviews from OpenTable diners
21 reviews since May 22, 2014
Overall Rating4.1
  • Food4.3
    Service4.6
  • Ambiance4
    Noise LevelModerate
93% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
good for groups (12)fit for foodies (12)neighborhood gem (12)great for lunch (11)special occasion (9)kid-friendly (7)hot spot (7)vibrant bar scene (4)romantic (3)great for brunch (1)Show More
  • Awesome
    Foodie
    Dined on 9/12/2014
    Delicious food, great service and a cool vibe. Drinks were great and the beer selections were top notch. One of my favorite places in Birmingham.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for lunch, hot spot, kid-friendly, neighborhood gem, special occasion, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Always delivers
    Foodie
    Dined on 9/10/2014
    I come back again and again. Always consistently great. Can't wait for the new remodeled look!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for lunch, hot spot, kid-friendly, neighborhood gem, special occasion, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great food and service
    Blubintravel
    Dined on 8/22/2014
    We had the chicken and waffles which is amazing. We were a group and it took almost an hour for us to be seated. Not that big of a deal because we enjoyed the groups company but our child was with us and he was getting hungry after a while. Would go again would just make it the three of us next time
    Special Features:
    romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • pre concert
    jdeats
    Dined on 8/22/2014
    First time at John's City Diner. We had a 6:15 reservation so we could be at the concert at 8:00. There were few diners that early but the place really filled by about 7:00. The food was delicious. Great bar, great appetizers, great dinner and desert. Service was quick and we got out in time to walk in to our seats about 7:45.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for lunch, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Right on time!!
    Doug2Dine
    Dined on 8/2/2014
    Had reservations, got us seated right in time. Meal was great!!
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, fit for foodies, good for groups, romantic, special occasion, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2009VIP
    Dined on 7/22/2014
    Good simple food with fast friendly service at reasonable prices - who could ask for more? A keeper.
    Special Features:
    kid-friendly, good for groups, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Just passing through
    EddieVIP
    Dined on 7/21/2014
    This was a good find on our travels. The neighborhood seemed rundown and sketchy, but there were no problems. The staff was very friendly and the menu was a nice twist in southern comfort food with some higher end choices. The beer list was great!
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Not only does it compete, it wins
    Foodie
    Dined on 6/24/2014
    Great Mac & Cheese., burger and special salads. Even better service and staff.
    Special Features:
    kid-friendly, fit for foodies, good for groups, special occasion, great for lunch, neighborhood gem, hot spot, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Birmingham
    brunchreview
    Dined on 6/20/2014
    Great take on Southern fare and a LOT of it. Probably should have shared our meal!! Good local brews on tap. Glad to have found this close to our hotel.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Can't compete with other options
    TravelDinerVIP
    Dined on 6/11/2014
    John's has has been around for a long time, and for many years was a traditional meat and three diner that was pretty good and also one of very few options downtown. In recent years, quite a few new and excellent restaurants have opened in the area. John's has updated its' menu in response, but not very successfully. 4 of us went for a pre-concert dinner. I had the fish sandwich and a kale salad, both of which were very bland. One teen daughter had mac and cheese (soupy), and the other had a burger she barely touched. I don't recall what the other diner had but she said it was just okay. I've heard the chicken and waffle is good. Wish I had ordered it.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Food got mixed reviews
    FunGirl
    Dined on 5/31/2014
    I ordered the side salad which was huge and the oyster appetizer. It was wonderful. Lightly fried oysters were just perfect. My husband ordered the crabcakes & was disappointed, said there was too much filler, not enough crabmeat. Tom raved about his trout amandine that was cooked right & had a very nice almond butter sauce. Sides of spinach with the oysters & kettle corn were praised.Tom's wife had the famous John's slaw but the meatloaf she ordered without the gravy was not good, looked dry! Appeared to be all meat rather than having the onions, celery and carrots in that make meatloaf the comfort food you should enjoy. waitress said the dessert items so fast she didn't make any of them sound appetizing.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, romantic, special occasion, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Ratings-Only Reviews
    Based on 10 ratings-only reviews submitted since May 22, 2014
    • Overall Rating4.3
    • Food4.5
    • Ambiance3.9
    • Service4.6
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • The following 53 reviews are from the John's City Diner reviews archive.
  • GoodFoodVIP
    Dined on 5/20/2014
    They would not take my $20 Open Table Cheque. The owner/manager would not even come to our table to discuss.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Great Experience
    DerrickVIP
    Dined on 5/8/2014
    This was a very good experience. I was visiting Birmingham on a business trip and this experience can be summed up as great food and great service!
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • weloveeatingoutVIP
    Dined on 5/2/2014
    Great food with excellent service from Rachel! We eat here a lot and always enjoy
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Birmingham
    OpenTable Diner Since 2006
    Dined on 4/24/2014
    Excellent food and great service! Waitress did a very good job with explaining the specials and the menue.
    Special Features:
    Fit For Foodies, special occasion, Hot Spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • yummy southern cooking
    BRBRVIP
    Dined on 4/15/2014
    Good to very good southern food: waffle with fried chicken, incredible mac and cheese, wonderful white chocolate bread pudding. Casual, downtown, local place.
    Special Features:
    Great for Brunch, Good for Groups, Great for Lunch, Neighborhood Gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Terrific food, wonderful drinks
    weloveeatingoutVIP
    Dined on 4/12/2014
    Terrific food, wonderful drinks and super service!
    Special Features:
    good for groups, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • chicken and waffles
    sadgurl69
    Dined on 4/5/2014
    although I was expecting a classic fish I wasn't expecting the gormet meal I received. loved it!
    Special Features:
    hot spot, special occasion, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • We arrived with a party of
    weloveeatingoutVIP
    Dined on 3/29/2014
    We arrived with a party of 11 and I booked the reservation for the wrong night!! The restaurant was so accommodating, made a place for us and provided a flawless experience. The food and service were top notch. We all agreed we would return soon!!
    Special Features:
    good for groups, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great food, reasonable prices
    Yummo
    Dined on 3/21/2014
    Check the specials and the Mac and cheese is really awesome
    Special Features:
    good for groups, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • John's City Diner
    OpenTable Diner Since 2006VIP
    Dined on 3/19/2014
    Interesting menu. Service was good, they never offered me bread but I didn't need it. I did enjoy my southern meal but having to listen to this loud mouth person sitting in the bar yelling on her phone for an hour was annoying. Interesting how things like that can mar an experience but the food was great!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • My Go To Spot
    BHMBT
    Dined on 3/15/2014
    John's is great for your regular crowd and out of town guests. Chicken and Waffles, Meatloaf. You name it, it's delicious.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, neighborhood gem, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Just OK
    OpenTable Diner Since 2007
    Dined on 3/15/2014
    This restaurant has the most uncomfortable tiny booths. If you weigh more than 100 lbs , ask for a table. The service was ok, food was ok. Everything was just ok.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • John's City Diner is a Birmingham,
    EatInBham
    Dined on 3/15/2014
    John's City Diner is a Birmingham, Alabama gem! They always have great food, great service and great prices! DO NOT LEAVE JOHN'S WITHOUT HAVING THE WHITE CHOCOLATE BREAD PUDDING! Going to John's City Diner is always a "specail event"! Enjoy!
    Special Features:
    good for groups, romantic, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Over spiced
    Bama2ear
    Dined on 3/12/2014
    Way too much spice used. Same spice on all foods. All salads had same greens in it. Mixed greens in Caesar.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
  • Good Old John's
    InTheHamVIP
    Dined on 3/7/2014
    Still has good food. Different menu, but good food. Good beer and other bar selections. Nice options for draft!!! Only one little issue... we had reservation for 8:15 through Open Table and they didn't seen to know about it. They were operating off a hand written list of First-In-First-Seated. Ok though. We sat in bar and had a beer. Seating was at 8:30. Other service was very good and prompt.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Disappointing
    Kumquat
    Dined on 3/7/2014
    I was looking for a family friendly place with upscale food to take my out of town guests. After reading reviews John's sounded good and could take a reservation for a large table on a Friday night. However, the food was NOT good. The "famous" meatloaf had an odd seasoning and was dry and gristly. The medium rare steak was well done and when sent back, the 2nd was extremely rare. The peanut butter pie was bitter. The ambiance was just kind of drab and I was facing the serving station. I honestly don't know how this restaurant is staying open although the service was good and there were a fair number of people eating there.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Perfect Pre-Race Spot
    krooster
    Dined on 2/15/2014
    I lucked onto John's City Diner because I had waited pretty late to make a reservation for dinner the night before the Mercedes Half Marathon. So I just got onto Open Table to see if anything was available around 7:00. What luck that John's had a 7:15 spot available. It was just a few blocks from our hotel and the NYM macaroni & cheese was a great carb loading feast! I had the chicken and waffles too; it was phenomenal and a couple in our group both got the steak and loved it. The meatloaf looked wonderful as well. I don't think you can go wrong here - would love to go back and try some of those desserts!
    Special Features:
    good for groups
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Something for everyone
    MemphisDevilDawgVIP
    Dined on 2/15/2014
    I was in town for the half-marathon with a friend. She is a vegetarian and I am the burger and fries girl. We were staying in the area and wanted a place close-by to fit both of our eating preferences and this fit our ticket perfectly. She had the treehugger mac and cheese and fried green tomatoes and said they were great. I had the burger and fries and it was a perfect pre-race meal. I stick with the safe stuff before a race to make sure it doesn't upset my stomach. We split the peanut butter pie for dessert. It was quiet when we arrived, but filled up quickly with quite a wait when we left. I am glad we made reservations or we might not have made it. Thanks!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great Food!
    ValentineDine
    Dined on 2/14/2014
    We chose this restaurant last minute for Valentine's day. We made a reservation with open table and was seated within the minute of our reservation despite the restaurant being packed. Great service, excellent food. We ordered the Duck and Steak and they were cooked perfectly. Cannot wait to go back!
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem, good for groups, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Good stuff!
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 2/14/2014
    My food was great. Had Chicken and Waffles. Chicken could have less salt but was very juicy and flavorful. Waffle was fluffy and hot. The white chocolate bread pudding was a great dessert. Not too overly sweet or heavy. Waitresses was friendly. Order took 30 minutes but it was a busy night. I was surprise the prices were not very high for Birmingham. I'll definitely go back.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, late-night find, neighborhood gem, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Out of town Valentine's Day Treat!
    pikappkc
    Dined on 2/14/2014
    We were visiting Birmingham for a conference, and decided to visit John's. We made a GREAT decision! Made reservations via OpenTable, and we walked right in and got seated even while other people were waiting (make a reservation!). We ordered the MAC AND CHEESE appetizer and Bacon Grits appetizer. Both were AWESOME! The wife had crabcakes and they were good (not great), but my Crispy Duck was AWESOME! We will definitely go back next time we're in town! Awesome place, great vibe and super cool menu! Also, great wine and craft brew selection.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, neighborhood gem, hot spot, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Some of the best food in Birmingham
    OpenTable Diner Since 2013
    Dined on 2/14/2014
    I took a date to eat here on valentines day and there could not have been a better choice. The food again was out of this world especially the hummus. The portions were excellent and I got their house red wine expecting something less than crap but got a bottle of kumbaya from 2011 and it was outstanding. The bill after was great too. I got one of the most expensive items on the menu (pan seared grouper) and my date got the meatloaf which both were well worth calling home about. The one and only complaint I can come up with was the background music was a little bit odd. Other than that the atmosphere and people and look of the place was great. I will be eating there again and again and I hope you will too.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for brunch, romantic, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Valentine's Date
    NewbieFoodie
    Dined on 2/14/2014
    WOW! Two thumbs up! My boyfriend came in from out of town and I reserved a table here because it served really southern soul food. We were so delighted by the diner feel and low-key bar because we wanted a nice meal, but not have to foot an outlandish bill on V-Day (also, I didn't want to get too dressy because it was pouring rain). I chose the herb roasted chicken, smashed potatoes and green beans and he had the famous meatloaf, collard greens and potatoes. We split a "Not Yo Momma's" Mac n' Cheese app, which was only about 1 cup of M&C, but really rich and yummy - more would have filled us up. I will definitely go back - this is my new favorite spot!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • A must try place
    OpenTable Diner Since 2013
    Dined on 2/14/2014
    Awesome and awesome staff; enough said!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Special Features:
    romantic, scenic view, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Disappointed
    TheMaestro
    Dined on 2/14/2014
    We had been to John's before and had really enjoyed our experience. This time, not so much. We had an 8 PM reservation made through Open Table, and arrived at the restaurant at 7:30-7:35. Checked in with the host (who I believe was the owner), and informed him that we would be seated at the bar. By 8:45, we had watched parties with 8:15 reservations be seated, and we were still sitting at the bar. After a follow-up, we were finally seated in a back dining room about 5-10 minutes later (plenty of open space in that room, by the way). What followed was a less-than-stellar meal. Flat iron steak was overcooked, smashed potatoes came out separately, everything lukewarm. Disappointing, to say the least.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • exceeded expectations
    valentine
    Dined on 2/14/2014
    We went for Valentine's day and our table was ready within a few minutes of our arrival. We had the Special menu items, they were well prepared and a generous portion
    Special Features:
    special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Valentine dinner
    EB27
    Dined on 2/14/2014
    Visiting Birmingham for the weekend, found this on Open Table. Menu looked good, and had good reviews. We loved it. It was busy, but the food was great. We loved the pimento cheese appetizer, and the roast chicken. Try the Chicken and Waffles, our 11 year old son went off the kid menu and tried this. It was great. Good beer and wine selection.
    Special Features:
    kid-friendly, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • New Old Gem
    MG2014
    Dined on 2/14/2014
    We re-discovered this new old gem in downtown a few weeks ago. They have a very creative menu with special little twists on common menu items. My favorites so far are the Chicken & Waffles; Mac-N-Cheese (three little pigs version); and their fried oysters. It's an awesome place for dinner for two or a family outing.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Valentine's Day
    BHMeats
    Dined on 2/14/2014
    Good food. It was packed! Meatloaf was great and the Mac and cheese dish with bacon was fantastic.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, romantic, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.