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Home > Restaurants > John's of 12th Street

John's of 12th Street

302 E. 12th St., New York, NY 10003 40.730949 -73.985848
nr. Second Ave.  See Map | Subway Directions Hopstop Popup
212-475-9531 Send to Phone

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  • Cuisine: Italian
  • Price Range: $$

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  • Reader Rating:

    9 out of 10


    6 Reviews | Write a Review

Photo by Elliot Black

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Official Website


Sun, 4pm-10:30pm; Mon-Thu, 4pm-11pm; Fri-Sat, 4pm-11:30pm

Nearby Subway Stops

4, 5, 6, L, N, Q, R at 14th St.-Union Sq.; L at First Ave.



Payment Methods

Cash Only

Special Features

  • Classic NY
  • Delivery
  • Private Dining/Party Space
  • Take-Out
  • Online Ordering


  • Full Bar



Delivery Area

Houston St. to 23rd St., Ave. D to Fifth Ave.


Open since 1908, John's is an old-world rarity in a neighborhood where new restaurants are forever cropping up, and classic neighborhood standbys, like Life Café, are rarely much more than 20 years old. This classic Italian restaurant looks and feels as if it hasn't changed much since the early days, with its well-worn original tile floors, red leather banquettes and a candle that has been burning and collecting ever-expanding drippings since 1937. Then there are the friendly, mostly older waiters. While it claims to offer both Northern and Southern Italian food, make no mistake: This is a red sauce and red wine kind of place, known mostly for heavy, traditional Sunday-family-dinner fare, like spaghetti topped with hearty meatballs; homemade meat lasagne, with a hint of nutmeg; chicken and eggplant Parmigiana perfectly well-done around the edges; and seafood swimming in garlicky marinara sauce. The saltimbocca alla Romana—veal lightly battered, marinated in Marsala wine, and layered with prosciutto and mozzarella over sautéed escarole—is a tender, decadent blend of textures and flavors. While the food here isn't unusual, it is always fresh, and arrives in healthy portions, which should probably ensure at least another century in business.

Recommended Dishes

Saltimboca alla Romana, $21.95; chicken or eggplant alla Parmigiana, $18.95; baked homemade lasagne, $18.95; shrimp and calamari marinara, $21.95