Daily, 24 hours
1, 2, 3 at 96th St.; 1 at 86th St.
American Express, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
85th St. to 100th St., Central Park West to Riverside Dr.
Forget the tacky vinyl booths, fluorescent lighting and food-speckled menus of a typical greasy spoon: City Diner is dressed to impress. Extended rows of track lighting gently illuminate the black, silver, and dark-wood trim, lending a retro elegance to this two-room establishment. Families and neighborhood locals chat over marble-topped tables and browse through leather-bound menus featuring gussied-up entrées like ahi tuna salad. Unfortunately, however, looks can be deceiving, as this apparently upscale eatery serves barely average diner fare. The signature City Diner Burger sabotages a juicy half-pound patty with overcooked onions and a soggy sesame-seed bun, while the Best Baked Meatloaf, three slabs of ground turkey in mysterious, viscous gravy, isn’t. The ambiance may be nice for the price, but head elsewhere for cheap, quality grub.