Johny’s Luncheonette is an authentic old-school luncheonette. The narrow space has a long lunch counter lined with stools, two small tables in the back, and a wall mounted tv tuned to CNN (on very low volume, mercifully) hovering over a refrigerator holding cold drinks. The prep space and grill is in full view, so you can watch your meal being made as you join the regulars at the counter and enjoy the very friendly vibe.
Almost every seat was taken during our visit, yet the place was comfortable. The amiable owner (Johny, of course) chatted with chummy regulars as he prepared the orders, but it wasn’t too loud even with CNN playing in the background. And this highlights an important point about restaurant comfortability in general: music or tv can play in the background in a smaller place without making the space uncomfortable as long as some restraint is shown with the volume. At Johny’s, the tv was loud enough for someone to hear what was being reported, but not so loud that one could not read or have a conversation or just relax as they ate.
Johny’s offers breakfast and lunch all day long. We loved the burgers, but questioned our choice when we saw the plate of perfect pancakes that were delivered to a customer near us. The food is straightforward, simple diner fare done right. And as an added bonus, a taste of old New York: To access the bathroom, you have to walk through the small kitchen/dish washing space in the back, open a door into the hallway of the building’s residential space, and look for the tiny bathroom on the right. It was a little more aromatic than we would like, but serviceable.
Located in the unnamed sliver that is squeezed between Chelsea and the Flat Iron District, Johny’s Luncheonette delivers good, basic, American diner classics. It is definitely worth a visit.
Monday through Friday: 7:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Saturday and Sunday: 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Street (betw. 6th and 7th), New York, NY 10001