John's City Diner

4.5
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582 Reviews
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$30 and under
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Comfort Food

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Casual

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About

By blending a bit of the old with the new, owner Shannon Gober has transformed this Downtown Birmingham landmark into John's City Diner. While the restaurant still maintains much of the charm from the past, the decor and menu have undergone a complete face-lift. The menu at John's City Diner features a wide range of flavors from modern Southern comfort food to European Gastro Pub inspired dishes. We use only locally grown or Organic produce. Every meat that we use is hormone, GMO and antibiotic free such as Fudge Farms Family Pork, Springer Mountain Farms Chicken and Creekstone All Natural Beef. Our bar features 12 local craft beers on draft, 15 wines by the glass and hand crafted cocktails using the most honest ingredients available. As we like to say at The JCD, "Get Some".
What 582 people are saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.5based on recent ratings
4.5
food
4.6
service
4.3
ambience
4.3
value
Noise · Moderate
90% of people would recommend it to a friend
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AG
AngieG
Mississippi
7 reviews
Dined on March 13, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Visited John’s on the Birmingham Taste Tour and knew we HAD to go back! John’s City Diner did not disappoint! Food was delicious and the service was excellent!

TS
vipTScott
Washington DC
25 reviews
Dined on March 9, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience4

John's maintains a classic diner vibe with an updated retro attitude. Excellent food, wonderful service. I had the Pecan crusted trout with roasted corn grits and garlicky spinach. As a transplant to the south from Wisconsin, I've been eating grits for 25 years, without much enthusiasm. If they're what accompanies something I'm hungry for I'll nibble at them but that's it. I took two bites of these and thought, "I like these!" They were delicious. My wife (and my reason for moving to Birmingham) who actually likes grits, says these were the best she's ever had. My trout and spinach were very good, but the grits were the standout. And I never imagined that I would ever say that.

VF
VeraF
1 review
Dined on March 7, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

What awesome treat a block over from our hotel! Our server Marcus was super sweet and very attentive. Now let me tell you about some FINE fried chicken. It was seasoned down to the bone....hear tell they brine it for 24 hours in a magic chicken potion. The "standard" waffle was crispy where it needed to be and moist and tender where it should be. Somehow the cheddar cheese in the waffle works! We also had a delightful spinach salad with a wonderful warm bacon salad dressing! If you are thinking about trying it out....stop thinking and just do it!!

BW
BonnieW
1 review
Dined on March 7, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Loved the relaxed atmosphere. Food was great, upscale comfort food. Marcus, our waiter was fantastic! I would recommend highly!

L
Littles
1 review
Dined on February 24, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Duck sweet potato and garlicky spinach.
Cuban Castro sandwich.
Both amazing.

OT
OpenTable Diner
E. Tennessee
1 review
Dined on February 21, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Loved the herb crusted chicken and their grits are the best I’ve ever had! I’m looking forward to trying their shrimp and grits next visit. My husband had a bacon cheeseburger which was excellent. Homemade dill pickles on the cheeseburger added a delicious touch. Fries were outstanding. Also loved the lemonade icebox pie. Atmosphere was a casual party vibe with the bar at the front of the restaurant. Definitely go there again.

OT
vipOpenTable Diner
Birmingham
6 reviews
Dined on February 19, 2020
Overall4food5service5ambience3

The meal was better than the menu described it. 👍

OT
OpenTable Diner
Atlanta
2 reviews
Dined on February 17, 2020
Overall4food4service2ambience3

Almost perfect visit. I prefer to privately message restaurant before posting review describing a problem. I figure it’s fair to give them a heads up and time to perhaps correct the issue.

N
vipNikki
Atlanta
22 reviews
Dined on February 15, 2020
Overall5food4service5ambience4

The chicken was very good! Fried or baked. A friend and I got crab cakes which were part of a special menu and we were disappointed. They were mostly lump, but lacked flavor, came only on top of some corn, and costs too much. We wish we would’ve got the trout because it too was good. Our server was great.

MS
MitchellS
Birmingham
1 review
Dined on February 14, 2020
Overall4food5service5ambience1

Food was excellent and so with the service Johns has always been known for its food but the look in the food just don't match. The food is way too good for the themed Diner decor. It has been a long time since I went to John's but it's old but the food is still excellent and sort of elegant. I never thought of eating prime rib at a 1950s hamburger joint.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Birmingham
1 review
Dined on February 14, 2020
Overall1food3service2ambience2

Overpriced. Prime Rib was medium rare but still tough. Appetizer came out cold Was sent back Came back when dinner was almost. A waiter did not come to table until we were seated almost 20 minutes

OT
OpenTable Diner
1 review
Dined on February 14, 2020
Overall4food5service3ambience5

We went for Valentine’s Day, I ordered from the valentines menu and wouldn’t have had I known what the prices were going to be on the brussle sprouts as well as the prime rib. The brusel sprouts were way too much at 15 dollars for an appetizer. The food was good and the portions were generous on our entrees. My other gripe was that the waiter brought me a drink when I didn’t order a second one.

LT
LarryT
Birmingham
1 review
Dined on February 14, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Great for dinner before Red Mountain Theater performances.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Birmingham
4 reviews
Dined on February 12, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We have been to John’s a few times now. Each time has been great. The staff is very polite. The food is delicious and very hearty. Every time the good has been brought out promptly and correctly. Would highly recommend to anybody wanting a nice but not too expensive dinner.

KM
KatieM
1 review
Dined on February 8, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

John's is a family favorite! We had dinner before a show on Saturday night. We got our table quickly, had some drinks (the blackberry smash was SO GOOD). Ordered the brussels appetizer which had a balsamic glaze (maybe with maple too?) candied walnuts and i don't know what all else, but it doesn't matter ... WE ATE IT. SO GOOD. Husband had the shrimp and grits (you cannot go wrong with these, so buttery and silky and smooth) and I had the meatloaf with smashed potatoes and onion strings. I couldn't decide between three appetizers, the menu is really diverse and has a lot to offer. Let John's feed you, you won't regret it!

D
Drummerboy
Birmingham
6 reviews
Dined on February 8, 2020
Overall4food4service4ambience5

They were a little off their game when we went. Took way too long to get our drinks, and some items were left off of one order when it was brought. Think that the staff/kitchen might have been a little overwhelmed. Still, the food was great as always! This one hiccup will not stop us from returning.

MB
MichaelB
1 review
Dined on January 25, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The food was very good. Cooked well and served hot. The service was very good and we will go back next time we are in Birmingham.

B
vipBrentl
Chicago
7 reviews
Dined on January 25, 2020
Overall3food3service4ambience4

Ordered sirloin med rare and it was overdone and tough. Pimento cheese and pork belly apps were both very good.

F
vipFoodie
New Orleans
29 reviews
Dined on January 20, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

True Southern hospitality!

B
Brian
Atlanta
7 reviews
Dined on January 18, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Great food. Bread pudding to die for.

KH
KatieH
New Orleans
2 reviews
Dined on January 18, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We came here to celebrate a late birthday. The waitress, Trudy, was awesome and the food was absolutely delicious. The app of Brussels sprouts and pimento cheese were both fantastic!

GL
GregL
1 review
Dined on January 17, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Food was excellent all around. We had the Seoul wings and brussel sprouts as starters. Both excellent. Our meals were all top notch with attention to detail that makes this upscale diner food. Herb crusted chicken, Cubano sandwich, shrimp and grits and Mac and cheese. Casual atmosphere, good beer and cocktail election.

2
vip2manyrest2littletime
San Francisco
22 reviews
Dined on January 15, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

A well kept downtown secret. Lives in the shadow of bigger name restaurants downtown but is actually an incredible choice. Best chop I have ever eaten. Period.

F
vipFoodie
New Orleans
29 reviews
Dined on January 14, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Came back tonight and had one of their own single barrel pick Bourbons tonight. Wow. The Woodford Reserve pick was awesome. Gotta try the Old Forester pick next. Very friendly people.

F
vipFoodie
New Orleans
29 reviews
Dined on January 13, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Always hit this spot everytime I am in town. Tonight, I dined alone and was in a hurry. Same great food and service and I was out in 30 minutes!

FA
FerdA
Birmingham
1 review
Dined on January 11, 2020
Overall3food3service4ambience3

Nothing special. Overpriced.

JG
JasonG
Birmingham
1 review
Dined on January 11, 2020
Overall4food4service4ambience4

Wonderful food and service. Would highly recommend this establishment.

DB
DavidB
1 review
Dined on January 10, 2020
Overall1food2service1ambience3

So very disappointing. Had been here years ago and love it, so we came back when in town for my birthday.

The server rushed us like crazy. Just after receiving our entrees, she asked if we wanted desert. When we declined, she brought us the check. WE were not in a hurry. We wanted to enjoy our evening out with our family, a rare occurrence.

Right when my husband and i had finished eating, she brought to go containers to pack up the leftovers. Our son was still eating.

Just so rude. It upsets me that my husband tipped her well. The restaurant was not busy at all. They were not closing soon. There was absolutely no reason at all to rush us as she did.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Birmingham
1 review
Dined on January 10, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Waitress was great, gave several recommendations that were spot on.

TB
ThosB
Birmingham
3 reviews
Dined on December 31, 2019
Overall2food5service4ambience4

It was New Year’s Eve, so we expected all good restaurants to be slammed. We were surprised that the kitchen was out of so many of the most popular dishes. One would expect preparation for a guaranteed heavy night. We lucked up with a favorite server, CC, who was delightful and attentive as ever. Unfortunately, kitchen delays caused us to wait over an hour before entrees arrived; we were a party of only three. JCD is a regular spot for us—we’ve celebrated many birthdays and a few momentous events here as the food is delicious & dependable, service is great, and the nostalgia of a restaurant that we and many of our friends grew up going to keeps us coming back. We will definitely be back, but here’s hoping management will make the necessary adjustments to keep JCD going strong. Competition is very stiff in BHM as we all know, and no one is safe resting on their laurels. *criticism from a still loyal patron who wants to see JCD around for a long time to come.

John's City Diner
Responded on January 9, 2020

We are so sorry to hear that your NYE meal was not up to John's City Diner par. We are grateful for your continued support and will take the criticism as an opportunity to develop/re-train our staff. We, in no way, want to "rest on our laurels" and hope you will give us another chance to serve you. We are always available for direct and specific information via johnscitydiner@gmail - Happy New Year from all of us at JCD.

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MB
MarkB
Birmingham
2 reviews
Dined on December 27, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience4

John's has reinvented itself! Still a touch from the past but new decor, seating and most importantly an updated menu that mixes some of the best of Southern cuisine and Continental Fare. Had a fantastic evening with friends, great drinks and superior food. Don't miss the brussel sprout appetizer and the pork skins are spectacular. Duck was fantastic and as solid of a burger that I have had in a while. A Birmingham institution worth trying it's new iteration.

John's City Diner
Responded on January 9, 2020

Thank you for all the kind words. We hope you are having a wonderful start to 2020 and we hope to see you again soon.

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AN
AmyN
San Francisco
4 reviews
Dined on December 27, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We stopped at John’s City Diner after reading reviews on TripAdvisor... I don’t necessarily blindly follow TripAdvisor, but being unfamiliar with Birmingham, I needed a little assistance in picking out a lunch spot.

What a find! JCD serves delicious southern-inspired food! We had hot fried chicken and cheddar waffles, a salad with the best homemade ranch dressing I’ve ever had and frozen lemonade pie for dessert. Everything was scrumptious, and we would return here again.

John's City Diner
Responded on January 9, 2020

We are soooo excited that you founds us and hope you make it back to "The Ham" sooner rather than later. Happy New Year!

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T
vipTimothy
Birmingham
5 reviews
Dined on December 27, 2019
Overall3food1service4ambience4

I like John’s but I made the mistake of ordering the daily special, which was a steak and blue cheese crumble. The steak was tough and not good. It was a pricey lunch plate and was disappointing.

SC
ScottC
New Orleans
4 reviews
Dined on December 20, 2019
Overall4food4service5ambience4

Enjoyed the dinner, food and service were wonderful, but $12.00 for a cocktail is HIGH.

GP
GwenP
1 review
Dined on December 14, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We celebrated our office Christmas dinner here and The food was amazing! The service was stellar. Everyone raved about their food. The gluten free burger was so good and the steak was to die for. We highly recommend the three little piggie Mac and cheese!

BM
BrandonM
1 review
Dined on December 13, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Food was excellent. The dry-aged steaks were tender, flavorful, and cooked as ordered. The grits are some of the best I've had and the spinach was flavorful and not over-cooked. Their whiskey selection is great; I had the Dickel 9 Year neat and was not disappointed. Our server was polite, fast, and knowledgeable. We will be back, no doubt!

GB
GailB
Birmingham
1 review
Dined on December 13, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Everything was top notch! Our server, CeeCee, was phenomenal! Very professional, but so friendly! A true joy! Food, as usual, was fantastic! My daughter had shrimp and grits, which I’ll definitely get next time. I had turkey club and fries. Delicious! Granddaughter had chicken and waffles which were so good. And the whites chocolate and the dark chocolate bread pudding were out of this world!

JP
vipJonP
New England
64 reviews
Dined on November 21, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Loved everything about this place! Food, service, and drinks were fantastic. Such an impressive, unassuming place. Will come back every time I’m in Birmingham!

F
vipFoodie
New Orleans
29 reviews
Dined on November 18, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Took 3 business associates in tonight. Fantastic Pork Chop. The Brussel Sprouts were great, I think they are a seasonal special. Very surprised at the Cocktail and liquor selections they have. They have a few of their own single barrel whiskeys. We tried the Woodford and thought highly of it. Will return.

NW
NancyW
1 review
Dined on November 13, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Wide variety of choices. Every choice we made was fabulous.

FAQs

John's City Diner is rated 4.5 stars by 582 OpenTable diners.

Yes, you can generally book this restaurant by choosing the date, time and party size on OpenTable. Due to local restrictions, this restaurant may not be accepting reservations at the moment.

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