Retro City Café: John Wayne Burger, fries and a strawberry shake

The Place

The Retro City Café, 1001 Third Ave. W., Bradenton, (941) 741-9640, theretrocity.com. A slick, ’50s diner-style joint, complete with Elvis memorabilia, Marilyn Monroe pics, and even a vintage motorcycle. It’s a cozy space, but also light and airy—thanks in part to a large picture window facing Third Avenue.

The People

Bankers, lawyers, police officers—you name it—from the adjoining SunTrust building and a number of nearby businesses within easy walking distance.

Time Factor

Weekday lunchtime can be crowded, but the diner-worthy kitchen keeps things moving.

The Food

Diner favorites—including breakfast—as well as daily soup and entrée specials, plus all your staple sides (fries, onion rings) as well as some more unusual options like pierogies ($5.99) and a feta and olive plate ($5.49). Hot and cold sandwiches range from tuna salad ($7.39) to the Retro Reuben ($7.69) to the “Elvis PBBJ”—peanut butter, bacon, sliced bananas and grape jelly ($5.99). But the stars here are the burgers, with options like the Hawaii 5-0 (topped with sliced grilled pineapple and spicy-sweet salsa, $7.99) and the John Wayne Burger (with bacon, cheddar, barbecue sauce and onion rings on Texas Toast, $7.99).

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