Flatiron Lunch: Johny’s Luncheonette will pile anything on a hero

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I heard about Johny’s from my Flatiron Lunch Predecessor, Jason. It had been on his radar, but he wasn’t so into it on his first visit. When I looked at the menu, I had a little trepidation myself. Johny’s apparently takes what seem like the most random of ingredients and pack them into heroes, wraps and sandwiches.

It definitely sounds interesting, but is it good?

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Johny’s has a lot of old school appeal. The old lunch counters are few and far between these days. After my trip to Eisenberg’s, I had hopes for an egg cream, but no such luck here. They do have a pretty good lemonade, but it’s not the same thing. In the corner daytime television talks to seemingly no one, melodramatic soaps provide the sound track, but no one’s really paying attention to it.

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The Sloppy Johny ($7.25) represents either the best or the worst of the original items here, depending on your perspective. Grilled chicken topped with a pile of coleslaw, bacon and onions on a hero with half-melted slices of American cheese. The combination is definitely weird and if that’s not your thing, a lot of the interesting parts of the menu won’t do much for you. I for one was uncertain about it, but liked it much more than I expected to, although the dripping juices of the slaw was a bit messier than I’d have liked.


If I was on the fence about ordering the Sloppy Johny on my first visit, I was all in for the El Greco ($7.25) on my second visit. Grilled chicken topped with griddled hot salami, roasted red peppers and mozzarella cheese on a hero made for a great sandwich. Both heroes came on a crusty on the outside, chewy on the inside roll that, with all respect to Chris H., beats the hell out of the gummy mess at Subway.

There’s plenty more odd creations on the menu that sound like they are worth a try. At the top of my list is the “Do Me an Ava” with pastrami, swiss, bacon and russian dressing on a hero. There are also a selection of wraps, which just don’t quite seem right at an old school counter spot, but may be very good. In other words, I’d certainly go back to try the cheesesteak wrap.

The + (What somebody who likes this place would say)

  • I love old lunch counters.
  • I want Breakfast all day.
  • The best lunch is the one made with the most random ingredients.

The – (What somebody who doesn’t like this place would say)

  • I don’t want to try sandwiches I can’t get everywhere else.
  • Listening to soaps reminds me of lunches with grandma.
  • Semi-melted slices of American cheese don’t have any business on my sandwich.

Johny’s Luncheonette, 124 W. 25th Street (btw. 6+7th), 212-243-6230


  • These sandwiches look like they lost too much weight. They depress me :(

  • Anything? Ok, where’s the kitchen sink?

  • no, no, no…. Johny’s is *much* better than this review would indicate! Their subs are not anemic at all, and tasty as all get-out! Gotta try the mr. moses (hot roast beef, cheddar and coleslaw on rye), the melissa munchie (hot roast beef, sauteed mushrooms, onion rings, and melted mozzarella on garlic bread), the big buster (double cheeseburger with sauteed onions, and mushrooms on grilled rye bread), curious george (sub with three eggs, bacon and ham, fries and cheese), etc. Their tuna melt is also really good (and large), and the pita pizzas are pretty tasty.

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    It’s a great spot and they’re really friendly.

    I’d say it’s old school new York minus the attitude.

    One of my favorites to order for breakfast is a double cheeseburger soaked in hot sauce with the bun replaced by 2 grilled cheese sandwiches with tomato and bacon.

    I hope spots like this will stay in business for a long, long time.

  • Just got the Sloppy johnny with French Fries and I gotta say, not bad at all.. The bread is crispy on the outside and very chewy on the inside as previously stated… The cole Slaw is crunchy.. Didn’t really taste the bacon and would of preferred a little more substance for $7.25. I can get a grilled chicken with Bacon and fries for $6.95 W/Free soda at Bread and Butter.

    The fries are however were perfectly crispy…

    My buddy got the Curious George which he said was really good…

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