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Breaking Out of the Brandeis Bubble: Johnny’s Luncheonette

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Brandeis chapter.

If you’re like me, when the weekend rolls around there is only one meal you must have…brunch.  Now, I know that when most Brandeisians think of brunch they think of In a Pickle.  It’s close, delicious, and they even put candy in pancakes! But, if you’re up for it, consider venturing 15 minutes farther from campus to Johnny’s Luncheonette in the neighboring town of Newton.  It’s a small diner that serves breakfast all day, as well as lunch and dinner options. Some of the food at Johnny’s even has a Jewish twist, such as the matzoh and eggs, latkes (available as an appetizer or side dish), and the incredibly popular “Penicillin” (a traditional matzoh ball soup).  Just like at In a Pickle, I can’t guarantee that there will never be a wait.  It is brunch, after all. However, I highly recommend going and seeing why Johnny’s is a staple amidst the Newton restaurant scene.

When you walk into Johnny’s, a retro diner-style atmosphere filled with eclectic décor greets you. Old pictures of local student groups and sports teams cover the walls, and the booths remind you of an old-school diner you would see in the movies. Now, when you get the menu do not freak out! Yes, it is huge, but you really can’t go wrong with whatever you choose—I’ve personally never had something I haven’t enjoyed. If you want some guidance on what to order here’s my brunch recommendation: if you are in the mood for something sweet, try the Old Fashion French Toast. It’s made out of thick pieces of deliciously sweet challah and can be covered with your choice of fruit, nuts, or even chocolate chips. Top that off with real maple syrup, and trust me, you are in breakfast heaven. Or, if you are in the mood for something savory, there’s nothing better than an omelet. My favorite is the Primavera, which is filled with goat cheese, chopped tomato, and sautéed onion. While the premade combinations are scrumptious, you can also design your own personal omelet if you so desire. I always choose home fries as a side because I’m a potato junkie, and these home fries are perfectly crispy chunks of potato tossed with sweet bits of sautéed onion—perfection!

If you don’t love brunch, don’t worry! Johnny’s menu also contains lunch and dinner offerings. There are always at least 9 different burgers to choose from, as well as a page full of other sandwich items and side dish options. If you’re a fan of sweet potatoes, let me just say this…the sweet potato fries at Johnny’s are a universal favorite, and are served with a flavorful honey mustard dipping sauce. The menu also offers classic diner entrees such as meatloaf and macaroni and cheese. There is even a large selection of milkshake flavors! Overall, there is something for everyone, regardless of taste.

So, if you’re in the mood for some brunch (at any time of the day!), consider checking out Johnny’s Luncheonette. The delicious food and retro charm will keep you coming back for years!

If you want to check out the menu for yourself click here


I am a double major in Anthropology and International/Global Studies with a minor in Creativity, the Arts, and Social Transformation at Brandeis University. As a native Southern Californian, I have a born passion for avocados and an innate dread of cold weather. In my free time I love cooking (with avocados of course), drawing and writing.