John's Grill
John's Grill

John's Grill

  • Dining Style: Casual Elegant
  • Website: http://www.johnsgrill.com/
  • Phone: 4159860069
  • 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: Steak, American
  • 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.
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John's Grill reviews from OpenTable diners
191 reviews since April 25, 2014
Overall Rating4
  • Food4
    Service4.2
  • Ambiance3.9
    Noise LevelModerate
89% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
neighborhood gem (83)special occasion (81)fit for foodies (45)great for lunch (39)romantic (30)good for groups (26)hot spot (24)notable wine list (20)late-night find (17)great for brunch (13)vibrant bar scene (13)kid-friendly (8)scenic view (5)great for outdoor dining (2)Show More
  • Cramped atmosphere
    BB13VIP
    Dined on 8/20/2014
    The food was good, unfortunately poor service. (appeared to be only 1 waiter and one busboy for up to 12 tables being served lunch) Seating and tables were cramped with too much unwanted chair contact.
    Special Features:
    great for lunch, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Classic marred by tourist predation
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 8/18/2014
    John's Grill is a famous spot, and it knows it. It knows it so much that it thinks it can get away with fairly poor service and just okay food. It's worth it to say that you went to the place that Hammett used to drink (and where he had his character Sam Spade eat), but I would not go back for the food, and would actively avoid the prissy, fussy, and mostly-inattentive waiter. It's a problem that is not unique to John's: why try hard when you have a steady stream of tourists?
    Special Features:
    romantic, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Great way to end the afternoon!
    Carolyn
    Dined on 8/17/2014
    We walked from the Orpheum Theater to John's Grill. It is historic and a fun place to visit. We had decided to have some kind of seafood until we walked in and smelled the grilled steak! We all had the steak and they were delicious. Also had cocktails which were pretty good we had a liberal pouring bartender. Our waitress was so nice, she made a pleasant time even better. We did eat on the early side. 5:30pm so it was quiet I expect it can get noisy when full but in a place like John's it would only add to the ambience.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, great for lunch, late-night find, neighborhood gem, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Not bad for the price in SF
    JustLikesGoodFood
    Dined on 8/16/2014
    This place is like a step back to the 70s in decor and menu. The service was good, and the steak seasoned nicely, but mine was ordered medium rare and was a good solid medium to medium well, and my spouse's ordered rare was a solid medium rare. The potato and vegetables were unremarkable. I guess, for $34, this isn't bad for San Francisco. And to their credit, when I mentioned that mine was over-cooked, they did not charge me for it! The problem was that the server didn't check back until I had eaten half of it or they could have replaced it with one properly cooked. I would have expected a restaurant specializing in steak to be more proficient in cooking them to order. There was only the tiniest trace of pink left in my steak.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • walked a few miles
    walkamileinmyshoes
    Dined on 8/16/2014
    We walked from fisherman warf all the way to your restaurant and it was well worth it we will definitely be back
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, romantic, great for lunch, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great food and service
    Sevillachica
    Dined on 8/15/2014
    My husband and I ordered the ribeyes and they were delicious. The service was great too. Our waiter was on top of it and he had a lot of tables to serve.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Date night at John's Grill
    MSPIGGYSF
    Dined on 8/15/2014
    True San Francisco dining at John's Grill makes this a great place to enjoy as you are greeted at the front door with a smile. Excellent Martini's and the Ribeye steak was cooked to perfection. Love the ambiance , service, and menu. Definitely coming back
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, romantic, special occasion, great for lunch, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • terrific
    katerina
    Dined on 8/15/2014
    add it to your list of places to go. Food was great. Huge portions, nice staff, great buzz and energy in the place. Harkens back to the old days reminds you of a time gone by like Sarde's etc. Highly recommend the fish with crabmeat.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • John's Grill
    merlinVIP
    Dined on 8/13/2014
    A San Francisco tradition and deservedly so. Good service and good food. A favorite.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • historic place
    Karen
    Dined on 8/11/2014
    A nice historic appeal to the place. Food was acceptable but not noteworthy. We ordered the lamb chops and the filet mignon. Filet was slightly overcooked.
    Special Features:
    great for lunch, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Nice experience, would recommend
    BarbaraA
    Dined on 8/9/2014
    Although it was insanely busy, we had a nice experience. We reserved through Open Table at 7.30 pm for a 7.45 reservation, and only had to wait for our table for ten minutes, while walk-ins were being told 40 plus minutes. I had red snapper, my husband had oysters and NY strip steak. All good and simply prepared. Wait staff, though extremely busy, were efficient and polite. We were seated upstairs, and there was live music, a singer doing pleasant standards such as "Wonderful World." He was quite good, and we enjoyed ourselves very much.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Great night
    Specialoccasiondiner
    Dined on 8/9/2014
    I highly recommend John's Grill, but think getting there earlier rather than Later in the evening is better. We had reservations for 7 and it was perfect, by the time we were leaving there were so many people waiting to get a table, it was crazy. The service is very fast, basically trying to accommodate people who need a table later. So, if you think you are going to sit and leisurely chat after dinner, plan on doing it elsewhere.
    Special Features:
    romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • OK
    CalibriVIP
    Dined on 8/9/2014
    The food was good, not great, especially for the price. I will not be going back.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Noir night out
    KRKdining
    Dined on 8/8/2014
    Great place for a noir night out. Dress as a cool Dashiell Hammett character and enjoy a night in SF in the 40s. Even the food is 40s and quite good (not cheap). Reserve a corner table by the window upstairs or eat in the bar area downstairs (much louder).
    Special Features:
    good for groups, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Great Classic Steakhouse
    JeniVIP
    Dined on 8/7/2014
    Great food, great atmosphere, great experience! The jazz guitar player was a bonus and his volume level was perfect for a small room. That sums it up and I don't really have anything else to say.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • lc18
    Dined on 8/4/2014
    A fun spot if you are interested in movie & san francisco history
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Overprice
    Lolly
    Dined on 8/2/2014
    Tried out John's Grill... it is fun because of it's history and ambiance, although the portions were large, I felt the food was way overpriced for what you got. My steak was good, but nothing special. My friend had the seafood canilloni and was quite disappointed, she had to search for the seafood since it was chopped up with a lot of filler. Because of the pricey menu, we only ordered entrees, no salads, drinks, sides, or desserts. I am and SF local and will not be going back unless someone is really into The Maltese Falcon.
    Special Features:
    romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Blah
    MeTwo
    Dined on 8/2/2014
    While the ambiance is outstanding, the food was subpar. It reminded me of what food likely tasted like in the 1920's: cooked well, but under flavored and slightly bland.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Decent quality/unimaginative
    Mvv63
    Dined on 7/28/2014
    WAs not overly impressed. While the food preparation was ok, the menu choices were pretty basic for the prices. Note that we did not have steak dishes, I had the shrimp and my friend fish. The sauce on the shrimp was ok but tended to get a bit overwhelming after a few bites (I'm not a big fan of heavy sauces though). Perhaps the steaks are worth while. Service was very attentive and professional. Decor very tired.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Classic
    bonkbonk
    Dined on 7/27/2014
    This venerable restaurant doesn't go for flash or experimentation. What they do, they do very well; classic steakhouse cuisine. The cocktails are perfect, the wine list is limited, but decent. Your food will be cooked the way you like it.
    Special Features:
    special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Old school
    HananVIP
    Dined on 7/27/2014
    Just visiting San Fran and was looking for a place with good reviews. This has just that. I didn't appreciate it's dark atmosphere on a very nice and sunny day. Had to pull out my iPhone flashlight to see we're I was sitting. Yes it's that dark. Hear the foods great. I didn't stock around to find out. I only had an appatizer.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Noisy
    Mirandy
    Dined on 7/26/2014
    The food was great but the noise level made it impossible for conversation...plus the tables are so close the person next to you is privy to everything you say anyway.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 7/23/2014
    Food & service was excellent. Catered to my wife who is gluten intolerant. Portions Large
    Special Features:
    special occasion, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Memorable birthday night
    Dobermann
    Dined on 7/21/2014
    My friend had her birthday 48 hours before, and I decided to celebrate it at John's Grill. They were friendly and casual, most enjoyable, and the food was excellent. The only problem was the vollume was so generous that neither of us could finish what we had ordered. (Fresh oysters, Caesar salad, Grilled salmon, and Ribeye.) Her cat only remained happy for left-overs. The waiter was so kind to offer two glasses of champaign as compliment. God bless him!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • A favorite!
    Bayareadiner
    Dined on 7/19/2014
    We love John's grill and come here a few times a year. It seemed exceptionally busy and crowded this visit. We loved the music (the piano). We'll be back but maybe in Fall or Winter, when it should not be so crowded.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, special occasion, great for lunch, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • 106 years for a reason!
    mlabout
    Dined on 7/17/2014
    Great place, small and a little tight but great service, food, had a great time and evening, just a short walk from our Hilton Hotel at Union Square location.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Family Reunion
    Reunion
    Dined on 7/17/2014
    Several of our family decided to spend a weekend in San Francisco together and met at John's Grill for our first night out. What a fantastic meal of Porterhouse steaks, fish, and Ciopinno. All of us were quite satisfied with our food and the surroundings were excellent. There was a musician playing right next to us but the volume was just right that we could carry on our conversation with ease. The service was outstanding as was the whole experience.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Great steaks
    Steaklover
    Dined on 7/16/2014
    Don't choose John's Grill for its ambience, go for its great steaks. Having eaten at a more expensive steak house earlier in the week, we were very pleased with the quality and taste of the steaks here which we were informed by the waiter was sourced from Harris ranch not far from San Francisco. We ordered 3 different cuts of meat between us and none of our party was disappointed.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • A Terrific Dinner
    FoodLover
    Dined on 7/16/2014
    John's Grill gave us superb food, excellent service, and a good time in a traditional old-SF venue. A tad noisy, but what can you do when a place is packed. We had a great time.
    Special Features:
    romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Glad I saw their ad
    Theatergoer
    Dined on 7/15/2014
    Good steaks that won't break your budget. Liked the fact that the steaks were served with a baked potato and vegatables without extra charge. Prawn cocktail appetizer was fantastic.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Good Old style SF restaurant
    SFSOEats
    Dined on 7/14/2014
    The food here was good. We had steaks and the Caesar salad both good, also the restaurant had a good wine list and made great cocktails. check out their specialty house cocktails. we were seated promptly by a friendly hostess. The noise level is loud. Our server was ok, a little rushed but overall not bad. A fun place to check out a part of San Francisco history. Definitely would recommend but it can get noisy and crowded in there.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for lunch, late-night find
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Fantastic
    stan95
    Dined on 7/13/2014
    When my mother, fahther, sister and I went to dine at John's Grill, we expected quite a bit, since the restaurant was on a top-10-restaurants-of-San-Francisco list somewhere. I even made a reservation a month beforehand, because we came from far. I must say that it is one of the best dining experiences I've ever had. The food was excellent and with live jazz music, there wasn't much to wish for. I recommend the restaurant to everyone who can appreciate good food and a comfy atmosphere!
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • As good as it always is
    Geraint
    Dined on 7/12/2014
    When in San Francisco we always east at John's Grill and are never disappointed, the food is excellent, the wine list extensive and reasonably priced and the service is top notch, what more can you ask for?
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • SarahVIP
    Dined on 7/12/2014
    We were visiting San Francisco and went to John's. We thought that it had been around for so long because of good food. Although the food was the best part, it was still below par. The service was lacking and we felt as though we were inconveniencing the waiter and that he was there to get us back out the door as quickly as possible. It was within walking distance rom our hotel and we could get in on a Saturday night. So, it did fit the bill. I am heading back to SF later this year and this will not be a stop.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Never disappoints
    Toothfairy
    Dined on 7/12/2014
    John's Grill is always consistently good!!! Service is great, food is great, what more could you ask for? Maybe a little more elbow room and sturdier chairs, lol. Every visit to SF includes dinner at John's!!!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • ccwilliams
    Dined on 7/12/2014
    Wonderful restuarant - outstanding service, great food, good atmosphere, the entire meal from start to finish was fantastic!
    Special Features:
    special occasion, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Amazing Food
    Retired
    Dined on 7/11/2014
    All members of my party greatly enjoyed the food and ambience! We are all from out-of-town both north and south and met here for dinner. Would definitely recommend to others!
    Special Features:
    good for groups, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great live jazz and good food!
    Scarlett
    Dined on 7/11/2014
    This was actually one of the cheapest meals we had during a week stay and we enjoyed. Small bar but good drinks, good wine selection. We went with waiter recommended dishes because we could not make up our minds between the seafood and the steaks offered. He was right on..try the prawns dijonaise.
    Special Features:
    late-night find, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Absolutely terrible!
    JimSpriggsVIP
    Dined on 7/11/2014
    The worst meat I've ever been served in a restaurant in my life. "John's Steak" they called it. Tough and undercooked. Didn't order a starter, thank God. Vegetables were steamed within an inch of their life. And the side of creamed spinach came to the table looking like someone had taken a couple of spoonfuls out of it - which was a blessing, because it tasted like cleaning fluid of some kind. I'm not a crank; I rarely write reviews of restaurants anywhere online. But this place was a total disaster!
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • SF Gem
    ALSPS
    Dined on 7/10/2014
    7/10 In town for quick pursuit of hot tip. Checked all leads without hitting pay dirt. Dog tired and grumpy from wasted effort, met an old flame at the scene of our initial encounter. Not much has changed over the years...at least with the joint. Candor - and a cheap mirror - made me admit to myself that the time (thirty-two years) has not graced me as favorably. Was thankful that the excellent wine and perfect steaks seemed to deflect my companion's attention...unless, possibly, she was just being kind. Humm, maybe there is a chance tonight will improve... S. Slade
    Special Features:
    romantic, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.