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John's Grill
John's Grill

John's Grill Details

  • Dining Style: Casual Elegant
  • Website: http://www.johnsgrill.com/
  • Email: jkonstin@msn.com
  • Phone: (415) 986-0069
  • Hours of Operation: Lunch: Monday - Saturday: 11:00am -3:30pm; Dinner: Monday - Saturday: 3:30pm - 10:00pm, Sunday: Lunch 12:00pm - 3:30pm Dinner:3:30pm - 10:00pm
  • Payment Options: AMEX, Diners Club, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
  • Cuisine: American, Steak
  • Executive Chef: Mauricio Sibrian
  • Dress Code: Casual Dress
  • Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
  • Additional Details: Banquet/Private Rooms, Bar Dining, Beer, Full Bar, Non-Smoking Restaurant, Personal wines welcome (corkage fee applies), Private Room, Wine
  • Entertainment: There is live jazz nightly in the upper level dining room.

Getting there

  • Cross Street: Powell Street
  • Parking: Public Lot
  • Parking Details: There are two public parking lots directly across the street. One is Ellis-O'Farrell garage; see rate here http://sfpark.org/how-it-works/the-garages/ellis-ofarrell/
A word from John's Grill
John's Grill has been a San Francisco tradition since 1908. This historic restaurant is one of the city's oldest and most famous and is a favorite of celebrities who enjoy great steaks, expertly prepared fresh seafood with excellent service and a one of a kind atmosphere. John's Grill was a setting in author Dashiell Hammetts, The Maltese Falcon. The restaurant has earned many tributes: it has been chosen as one of the 10 best by Esquire and featured in Gourmet Magazine. Live jazz nightly in the upper level dining room.Continued
Foodspotting photos
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Diner Reviews
  • "In my husband's words: "One of the five best restaurant meals I've ever had.""
    Dined on 4/12/2014
  • "My Mom's Birthday celebration was made even not special at John's. Great good and service!"
    Dined on 4/11/2014
  • "We were very disappointed, the steaks were average and the vegetables without any taste. The glasses were not clean… , the waiter very hectic."
    Dined on 4/7/2014
  • "The food and service at John's Grill were both very good. My party enjoyed the Caesar salad as well as the house salad with shrimp, and the Chicken Jerusalem was delicious. The wait staff frequently visited our table to make sure that we had everything that we needed. The prices at John's Grill are also reasonable, including individual glasses of wine. John's Grill is a good choice for lunch or dinner when in the Union Square area."
    Dined on 4/6/2014
  • "This place is close to the Powell Bart station so its really convenient for meeting friends from out of town. The food is reasonably priced and very good. The entrees are well prepared and the vegetables were perfectly prepared. They are very good about seating you at an appropriate table for party size as I was there with a small party of three and then one with six people. The service was a bit uneven."
    Dined on 4/2/2014
  • "If you're looking for a modest (at best) meal at fine-dining prices, this is your place! From the moment you sit down, the paper table cover exudes the lack of quality that whets your appetite. We ordered the Prawn app to get started. Luckily they assumed we wanted our cocktail sauce spicy, and slapped horseradish on top we had to scoop off. Classy. Then they wedged the prawns into a metal holder, you know, so they don't swim away. When you finally put one of these puppies in your mouth, you're instantly taken aback by the absolute lack of flavor. Incredible! When we finally got our meals (Red Snapper and New York Strip) we felt like we were in a two star dining experience! Excellent. Short version: STAY AWAY unless you hate money."
    Dined on 4/4/2014
  • "Unfortunately when we arrived, they did not have our reservation. However, they were able to seat us immediately."
    Dined on 4/4/2014
  • "Great classic San Francisco dinner house, near Union Square, lots of local history and fun staff..."
    Dined on 4/3/2014
  • "I go to John's Grill once in two years or so (I live out of town), and have done for 30 years or so. Each time, I have this premonition before getting there that everything will be going downhill after all those years in business. Well, the premonition was wrong again this week. I enjoyed everything about the lunch I had there with a friend, good menu selection, good wine list, snappy service, all forthcoming in the same old, comfortable ambience."
    Dined on 4/2/2014
  • "john's Grill has been around for years. it has the vibe of old San Francisco, yet the food of today with local and seasonal preparations. this is the place where Dashel Hammet wrote "The Maltese Falcon " had martinis, at the bar. The ambiance is great, the service well done, good food and a good wine list. Go and enjoy."
    Dined on 4/2/2014
  • "John's Grill has been in S.F. since 1908 and is proud of it. They have one of 2 Maltese Falcons that were used for the Humphrey Bogart movie, on display. Even if the food was mediocre, it would be a fun place to go just for the above reasons. But with very good food, it's even better. The atmosphere is "70s steak house," with dark paneling. The wait staff is attentive and the service is actually a little too good. Including a glass of wine, salad course and main, we were done and out in an hour. We were a little surprised that the food is as 70s as the decor. As an example, the halibut came with a sauce reminiscent of past days, as opposed to lemon butter or some such. Good, but not quite what we expected."
    Dined on 4/2/2014
  • "The food was average but cold from the clam chowder to dinner to a too cold chocolate mousse. Service was great. We did not complain as it was a family dinner and being together was more important."
    Dined on 3/31/2014
  • "I was able to get a great table perfect for a romantic evening!"
    Dined on 3/29/2014
  • "We have been to John's Grill numerous times. Very seldom can you go somewhere and have the kind of consistency in food, service and ambiance that John's Grill provides to as close to perfection as humanly possible. I'm sure that if something were not right, it would be corrected immediately. However, you can be sure that this diner will most likely ever have the opportunity to find out. It's just that phenomenal !!!"
    Dined on 3/28/2014
  • "I am a born and raised San Franciscan. It was only recently that I "discovered" John's. I have eaten both lunch and dinner there and it has always been an dinning experience. Although I do not live in SF, I am planning to return to the Grill when I am back in the city."
    Dined on 3/28/2014
  • "Great inside energy, excellent and well prepared food, a long time staple deserving our attention. Need to go to John's Frill every once in a while, nice spot to take visitors."
    Dined on 3/27/2014
  • "The place was full, on Tuesday night. Make a reservation"
    Dined on 3/25/2014
  • "John's Grill is on our top 5 list of great restaurants in SF. The food, the service, all top notch. We try to get in there at least 5 times a year. The staff is amazing there! I always order the petrale...melts in your mouth."
    Dined on 3/24/2014
  • "I was remarking to my dinner partner, who was in from out of town, that I had rarely had good seafood in San Francisco. We both ordered seafood and were very happy with our meals. I had fried shrimp, and my partner had shrimp dijonnaise, which had been recommended by the waitress. We both thought the quality was very good and were happy with our meals. The service was also very good. The main complaint I had is that most of the entrees have dairy in them, and I can't do dairy. I didn't really want fried shrimp that night, though I was happy with it once I got it. I also didn't want steak, the other item without dairy. All in all, we had a good meal and good service. The atmosphere was nice, and the restaurant's history adds a little flair."
    Dined on 3/23/2014
  • "It was mom's 79th birthday, we were greeted warmly-the bartender remembered us from two years ago. The server was wonderful. The clam chowder is outstanding. My only negative comment was the size of the halibut-it was a much smaller portion that on previous visits, at $33.00 I expected a larger portion, otherwise all was very nice."
    Dined on 3/21/2014
  • "Love this place it's one of the oldest in sf, opened in 1908 right after the earthquake. The best salad in sf - jack la laynes (sp) salad. I often go by myself for lunch but it's a great place for a special dinner. Maltese falcon historical spot! Enjoy!"
    Dined on 3/18/2014
  • "It was our most expensive dinner out in San Francisco and the food was dated. Check out restaurants in local neighbourhoods."
    Dined on 3/17/2014
  • "John's Grill is simply outstanding. My group consisted of 16 people. They were politely escorted to the third floor where waiters and a bar were waiting for us. The ambiance is what you see in movies. The building is 106 years old and in perfect condition and emotes history. Dark wood supports the structure and gives it a cozy atmosphere. Our group drank and dined entirely alone, not bother by others.But on the two lower floors, normal dinning for couples also occurred. The food was excellent ; steak, seafood, and pasta choices galore. Mathew McMillan was our waiter and a better host cannot be found anywhere. No one's drink was ever empty and our orders were out on the table promptly. John's Grill is jsut excellent"
    Dined on 3/15/2014
  • "Upon arrival, we were seated immediately. The food was great! We thoroughly enjoyed ouselves! A little pricey, but great! Server was friendly."
    Dined on 3/15/2014
  • "Food was undercooked but service staff kindly took it back. Great music, not too loud."
    Dined on 3/11/2014
  • "Diverse menu including steaks, seafood and pasta. I ordered the liver and onions and it was amazing. Food was well prepared and service was excellent. Historic setting made it a really fun experience. Old San Francisco at its best."
    Dined on 3/7/2014
  • "Met my father here for lunch, as, since he's a Hammett fan, I knew he'd enjoy the ambiance. I had the lobster ravioli - perfect in a tart tomato cream sauce, chock full of lobster, and more pieces than I'd expected; a very good value. He had the seafood pasta - "fruit de mar" - with the biggest mussels I'd ever seen, tender, delicious, and perfectly cooked. We started with two Bloody Marys, and they were just right - mine not too spicy, and his SPICY, which was great because it meant the server really listened to our order, and the bartender performed admirably. This is one of my favourite "only in San Francisco" places, and this visit continued the great lunches and dinners I've had there."
    Dined on 3/7/2014
  • "Restaurant is a total tourist draw as evidenced by the man standing at the front door with a stack of menus showing them to anyone who walked by. It's got history and if your a fan of the Maltese Falcon you'll find the place interesting. Service was SUPER RUSHED. People who arrived AFTER us were served their meal and leaving as we were finishing our entree. It got annoying until we told our server to slow down the pace. She also had too many tables so wasted no time with welcoming small talk as she spent less than 45 seconds at our table each visit. Food is OK nothing to get excited about. Jumbo Shrimp Cocktail is truly jumbo and very worth the price. Steaks were prepared as ordered but the meat quality is only fare. Nothing special."
    Dined on 3/7/2014
  • "We had wonderful service and out table location's was great. The steaks were cooked perfectly and everything was delicious. I will definitely come back here."
    Dined on 3/2/2014
  • "After we arrived, it was a long time to get served. The waitress explained that they had changed table assignments and we got lost in the shuffle. Not that many tables so you would think someone would have noticed that we sat without service. After it was straight, service was great. Great seafood and would recommend it."
    Dined on 2/27/2014
  • "My wife and I went to John's Grill for dinner on our first wedding anniversary. It was a Friday night. She ordered halibut, I had Fisherman's Pasta. My dinner was OK, but my wife's fish was dried out. I suggested telling the waiter, but she didn't want that, saying it tasted all right. Prices here are not cheap and I suppose we were expecting more than just "OK". We couldn't help feeling that the restaurant is just capitalizing on its situation in a tourist hotspot and on its history."
    Dined on 2/28/2014
  • "Wonderful greeting led to smooth professional service in warm unique classic ambiance. Strong martini's with generous pours of wine. Delicious seabass and melt in your mouth filet,"
    Dined on 2/26/2014
  • "We were taken extra special care of on our visit. Out of the 12+ meals we had in San Francisco, this one was by far the best! We had an excellent server and the best table in the restaurant."
    Dined on 2/22/2014
  • "This is a classic "grill" with a long history in San Francisco. It's very convenient to the touristy section of town near the convention center and Market Street shopping. Unfortunately the steaks we ordered were overcooked, and the place had an unpleasant odor. Our waiter was spectacular, and really made up for the experience. The wine was excellent. I probably won't ever go back, but am glad I went once. Perhaps it's better on other nights."
    Dined on 2/18/2014
  • "The entire family had a great meal…my kids especially enjoyed the meal. My kids, 10-13 yrs raved about the lamb and the mussels. The timing of the food was spot on, the food was excellent and the wait staff very friendly. We would go back anytime! Great history too!"
    Dined on 2/19/2014
  • "I surprised my bf with a last-minute trip to San Francisco. I was able to make reservations the night before at the exact time that I preferred, which was nice. It's not the absolute best restaurant I've ever been to, but really I was just looking for a place with good food and a relaxing and romantic atmosphere, and John's Grill definitely fit that criteria. The service was great... everyone was very polite, helpful, and attentive. The food wasn't fantastic, but it was pretty good. Especially the desserts (we got the cheesecake and vanilla bean ice cream). Overall, we had a great experience at this restaurant and I'm glad we picked it."
    Dined on 2/12/2014
  • "the ambience & setting were perfect for the occasion. the delivery was lack luster. I reserved 2 wks in advance for a birthday party, a 70th. I even went ahead a week early and arranged with the hostess with some notes. I was ensured that everything would be set up for us. when we arrived, the table was not set up. we ended up doing it, & then instructed to redo it. (the tablecloths were stained and the bud vases were also covered in sauce...ick) they didn't have the right amount of chairs... etc. this was stressful, as I had a table centerpiece, & decorations, & place cards, etc., to place.... :-(there is more to say regarding service & food, but not enough space to do it.overall: eh. food: stick to the lambchops.srvce: poor communctn"
    Dined on 6/8/2013
  • "Happened to be there on Valentines Day and the service was very good in spite of a full house. Shared the Porterhouse steak with a friend and it was cooked to perfection. If you are a fan of The Maltese Falcon you must sit upstairs as the room is decorated with photos and articles of the movie. Extra bonus, you can buy the glasses that advertise the restaurant with the movie. I would definetly go back whenever I get the chance to return to the bay area. Almost forgot to mention the live entertainment - one man band. It was a nice touch."
    Dined on 2/14/2014
  • "My husband and I needed a night out and we were very happy with our open table selection. Our food and drinks were great. We'd come back again. I enjoyed my filet mignon, Caesar salad and drinks."
    Dined on 2/13/2014
  • "The atmosphere or ambiance sets the stage nicely for the culinary acts to follow. Good appetizers, old fashion selection of fish and steak, good deserts. Some of the dishes were covered with too much sauce. There was a chip on the rim of a full cocktail glass. It was replaced immediately with a new drink. Service was very good, not too rushed. Noise level upstairs was less than ground floor. Festive scene, prompt service. Would return for special occasion celebration."
    Dined on 2/15/2014