John's City Diner

4.8
609 Reviews
$30 and under
Comfort Food
By blending a bit of the old with the new, owner and self-taught chef 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 Beeler's Pure Pork, Springer Mountain Farms Chicken and Creekstone All Natural Beef. Our bar features local craft beers on draft, many wines by the glass and hand crafted cocktails using our Barrel Select Spirits and the most honest ingredients available. As we like to say at The JCD: #GetSome
What 609 people are saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.8based on recent ratings
4.8
food
4.9
service
4.5
ambience
4.5
value
Noise · Moderate
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J
Jeff
1 review
Dined on November 20, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great food and service
Meatloaf was huge and tasty
Really loved the chicken and waffle

TD
ToniD
1 review
Dined on November 19, 2021
Overall4food5service5ambience4

I will must diffidently recommend this restaurant to anyone looking for great food and excellent service. Trudy was awesome!

M
Mikeatl
Atlanta
13 reviews
Dined on November 13, 2021
Overall5food4service5ambience3

Dad and Son trip to Birmingham for a sports tournament. My kid is a hamburger connoisseur and I read this place had a good burger….and they did! My kid enjoyed the burger. My pulled pork sandwich was too sloppy to eat with my hands and I wouldn’t recommend it. The beer battered French Fries we really great. I almost skipped the fries because having a battered French fry just sounded gross. I’m glad we got the fries because they were great.

Our Server was really nice and checked in often.

Parking was a struggle on a Saturday night. Downtown Birmingham was busy and lots of people. This restaurant doesn’t have a parking lot so we rounded the blocks a few times to find on street parking a couple blocks away.

The ambience is that of an old Diner. Just go into it expecting a lack of ambiance and it will meet your expectations.

Overall, it was a decent spot for a casual dinner with my kid and a good value. If I was a local I don’t think this would be a place I’d go much, but I think they do a good business with locals. Maybe I’m just not into the southern comfort food. I wanted to try their shrimp and grits, but they were of of this entree this evening and I wound up with a lame pulled pork sandwich.

GD
vipGregD
Denver
3 reviews
Dined on November 13, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

John’s City Diner was absolutely outstanding. The food was fabulous and our waitress Trudy, was a real gem. Looking forward to coming again the next time we are in Birmingham!

KH
KaylaH
1 review
Dined on November 13, 2021
Overall4food3service4ambience3

Can’t go wrong with their specials. The gumbo was fantastic

CE
ChristopherE
1 review
Dined on November 12, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience4

One of the best restaurants in Birmingham. Great food, great drinks, perfect service.

LL
LornaL
1 review
Dined on November 6, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We had a parade of deliciousness that started with appetizers and cocktails, ended with dessert and was full of good vibes and great food. Someone described this place to me as comfort food prepared by a chef and that was 100% accurate.

Our crew started with the Irish Mule (a modern Moscow mule) and the pimento cheese and oh were they beyond perfection. We tried to order the herbed chicken, but the birthday party group next to us had ordered it all and it looked divine. We didn’t complain because there were so many other tempting choices.

We collectively had the short rib special, a perfect burger with bacon jam and the porky Mac and cheese. No one spoke for 3 minutes as we smiled and shoved our faces full. Didn’t think there was room left until the bread pudding arrived and we powered through for more amazing flavors.

Overall we had an amazing night with a server and bartender who felt like family and an atmosphere that felt like home … with better food, sorry mom.

Glad we went! Total gem!

OT
OpenTable Diner
Austin
6 reviews
Dined on October 22, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The food was incredible! Two got the famous meatloaf and loved it! Trudy was an amazing server! So fun, on top of things and super friendly. Definitely ask for Trudy! We loved her

OT
OpenTable Diner
Birmingham
1 review
Dined on October 16, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

So happy that we found John’s City Diner to eat at before seeing a show at BJCC. Food was fresh, hot, and tasted incredible. We had the fancy bacon to start, which was amazing right off the bat. It was thick and sweet, but the GRITS. THE GRITS are what sets this whole experience apart. We ended up ordering a second side of them they were so addicting. For my meal I had the standard chicken and waffles, which the chicken had a smoky sweet glaze and an amazing crunchy crust. The waffles were fluffy and went so well with the chicken, eat bite was honestly immaculate. I also enjoyed the tiki cocktail which was v fruity and fresh. 12/10 would recommend.

g
ginngm
Nashville
3 reviews
Dined on October 14, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience4

We enjoyed our dinner at John's. Every member of my family had an incredible meal. The portions are substantial and everyone left happy and full.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Nashville
1 review
Dined on October 9, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We had an excellent night. The food and service were wonderful. Comfort food with a touch of fancy.

RF
RobertF
1 review
Dined on October 8, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Outstanding food. My friend had the meatloaf, I had the shrimp and grits. Both were delicious! Don't forget to order cornbread muffins..I almost always dislike cornbread, but their muffins were crazy good.

DB
DreBham
Birmingham
2 reviews
Dined on September 24, 2021
Overall4food5service5ambience4

Fined for lunch. Food was excellent. Bacon appetizer with grits is highly recommended. A little pricy for lunch though.

OT
OpenTable Diner
1 review
Dined on September 16, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

It was just great

MK
MissKitty
New York Area
4 reviews
Dined on September 11, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We had a great time at John's City Diner. We were particularly impressed with the very ample (and very tasty) dinner portions. We got take home boxes for our dinners because it was more food than we could eat at one sitting. The prices are reasonable in the first place and then when you consider that your serving might be enough for another whole meal , it is really a good deal. We got two different chicken dishes and the seasonings were outstanding.

OT
OpenTable Diner
1 review
Dined on August 28, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We made dinner reservations for a friend’s birthday on Saturday night. We were seated promptly when we arrived, and our server, Logan, was very friendly and helpful. As always the food and cocktails were delicious and everyone went home happy and with leftovers! John’s is definitely one of my favorite local restaurants. They never disappoint.

BS
BradleyS
1 review
Dined on August 27, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

John’s is our favorite place. We were sad when they shut down due to COVID and still hadn’t reopened a year later. Finally reopened August 2021 and the food is as good or better than before. Get Famous Meatloaf and Dark Chocolate bread pudding and you will not be disappointed!

S
Sunshine2319
New Orleans
7 reviews
Dined on August 27, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Wonderful, especially for our large group of 12. Everyone enjoyed their entrees, and service could not have been better! Nice cocktails as well. Highly recommend! We will be back.

J
Justme
Birmingham
2 reviews
Dined on August 21, 2021
Overall4food4service4ambience4

Great overall but..

Only thing is what way to many hostess do… and that try to fill up the worst seats first when seating you….

Who trains these people to think this way?

Often the Idea is always try to fill your worst seats first because they are the hardest to fill…

I use to run restaurants, personally I always thought that was a horrible way to serve a customer best ( by first offering your worst seats in the house ).

Call me crazy , but I think taking your customers ( and it’s about them right? ) to the best or better seats first is the best way to treat a customer. Then as a place fills up there’s obvious justification of why someone has to sit where they are taken because no other options available.

But when you take them to the worst seats first and you see all the options available, what does that communicate? I know, crazy idea right? Lol

The hostess , or greeter, is the first person who gets to make an impression on a customer… you want that impression to be the best possible..


… oh, so asked for different seats of course .. and then it’s like it’s a hassle…

…so just be ready to be assertive if you need to be. It’s your night out, your experience and your money.

Other wise Johns is , as always, a great diner…

w
vipweloveeatingout
Birmingham
161 reviews
Dined on August 14, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Friends outing. Great service, great drinks, great food!! We had a lovely dinner outing and the food was delicious!

RG
RonG
E. Tennessee
7 reviews
Dined on August 13, 2021
Overall4food5service5ambience4

Great food, excellent drink options…. And some outstanding bourbons! Reasonable prices, some larger portions, while others a little small (Mac and cheese). Overall, great diner comfort food that is really well prepared, and offers a few twists (bacon jam). Excellent place for a casual meals with friends!

KK
vipKandK
Cleveland
31 reviews
Dined on August 6, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Fantastic dinner at John’s. CiCi was fantastic as our server. All the food was great (Pimento App, Pork Sandwich, Mac n Cheese, Meatloaf, Burger, and the White Chocolate bread pudding). Great value and great food. Beer list was comprehensive too. Local IPA was good.

LE
LegalEagle321
1 review
Dined on August 6, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The food is always delicious. The service was quick which was needed for the business lunch.

WC
WillC
1 review
Dined on July 31, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The service was great and the food was better! A must go place in Birmingham.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Birmingham
2 reviews
Dined on July 31, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience4

All of the servers and host were just lovely. The food was top notch and they were gracious to honor my request of not adding any additional salt (I’m on a low sodium diet due to heart failure) and I found the food to be perfectly seasoned. The chocolate bread pudding is to die for ♥️ Great place!

KM
KenM
E. Tennessee
6 reviews
Dined on July 31, 2021
Overall5food5service4ambience5

Chicken and waffles , amazing ! Pork chop great !

SL
vipSheriL
Birmingham
4 reviews
Dined on July 29, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Cece rocks! Happy John’s is back! Spinach and Mac Cheese are mainstays!

MR
MatthewR
1 review
Dined on July 23, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

This is one of our favorite places. The food is always top-notch. The service is never less than fantastic. And the amount of food is ridiculous. So glad they are back open.

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
8 reviews
Dined on February 19, 2020
Overall4food5service5ambience3

The meal was better than the menu described it. 👍

OT
OpenTable Diner
Atlanta
4 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
Nikki
Atlanta
23 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.

FAQs

John's City Diner is rated 4.8 stars by 609 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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