63 Ellis Street
San Francisco, CA 94102Neighborhood:
Downtown / Union Square
AmericanPrice: $30 and under
- Dining Style: Casual Elegant
- Website: http://www.johnsgrill.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: 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, Personal wines welcome (corkage fee applies), Private Room, Wine
- Entertainment: There is live jazz nightly in the upper level dining room.
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 photosSee all photos
John's Grill reviews from OpenTable diners
250 reviews since July 28, 2014
- Ambiance4Noise LevelEnergetic
neighborhood gem (106)special occasion (88)good for groups (65)fit for foodies (65)great for lunch (46)romantic (43)hot spot (36)late-night find (24)notable wine list (19)vibrant bar scene (13)great for brunch (8)kid-friendly (2)scenic view (1)great for outdoor dining (1)Show More
- Never fails, always a good time at John's GrillAnonVIPDined on 11/22/2014A repeat customer, but my first review for it. We just flat out love this place, especially for bringing out-of-towners to. Being book collectors, of course, the Hammett connection makes it extra special, but what brings us back is the friendly staff, the no-nonsense menu, and the great ambiance of a place that time seems to have forgotten (save for the prices!). The T-bone steak was PERFECTLY cooked, delicious, and didn't need a single sauce or garnish. The sole with mushroom sauce was a generous helping of two filets, and the sauce complemented the fish, and didn't overwhelm the nice flaky and moist dish. Dessert was a stellar chocolate mousse, that for once wasn't just chocolate pudding on dry chocolate cake; moist, sweet, and a good finish to a wonderful evening with friends.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Great place to catch upOpenTable Diner Since 2014Dined on 11/22/2014You walk in to "Old San Francisco" You automatically feel like you back in time. It a warm friendly and slightly mysterious. Service was prompt friendly and unrushed. Food, let's just say that between the four of us there was nothing left on our plates. The food was familiar and very tasty... Reasonably priced for an evening out.. Location is perfect for an after dinner walk to the theater.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- LeslieOpenTable Diner Since 2014Dined on 11/22/2014This place never disapoints! Started with the clam chowder and it definitely lived up to its reputation. Certainly a must have when visiting this restaurant. My husband had the Jumbo Prawns Dijonnaise and loved it! I had the Seafood Cioppino and it was fantastic. We have been to this restaurant a few times and I am always impressed. An overall great experience with great service as well. Can't wait til next time!Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Great Anniversary DinnerOpenTable Diner Since 2006Dined on 11/21/2014We celebrated our 10 year anniversary here with a late dinner reservation. We were not disappointed. Our server (Jeremy?) was excellent- respectful, attentive, and recommended a great bottle of wine. We both decided on steak since that is their specialty. My fillet mignon was everything I was hoping for! The veggie side dishes were a bit bland and could have been jazzed up a bit more, but overall we really enjoyed the food. We were spoiled with complimentary glasses of champagne and dessert to celebrate our special night, which we thought was so sweet. Very nice touch. We'll be back!Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Love John's - some of the timeKimbafaceVIPDined on 11/19/2014I have been going to John's Grill for years. For my last two visits I was seated upstairs and I have to say I just don't like it up there. There tends to be large groups and a much louder environment that is not very relaxing. It also feels like the restaurant sticks the more casually dressed or "tourist-looking" people upstairs (although I was in a business suit). The next time I am in I will ask how I can ensure a seat downstairs. That aside, the food is always great. I love the Roquefort salad and this time I took the waiter's advice and tried the prawns dijonnaise. Yummy!! And a lot more than I could eat with a giant baked potato and nice vegetable combination (green beans and broccolini). My server Tony S was outstanding!!!Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- solid, basic place for a steakOpenTable Diner Since 2003VIPDined on 11/19/2014dined here with a business associate. both of us had the rib eye, so i have no comments on other menu items. nice old place. comfortable and busy on a wednesday evening. service was attentive, food was prepared with appropriate promptness. we had no problem having a conversation at normal speaking level. the steak was cooked to order (med rare), but this is not morton's or ruth's chris. the price point is mid to upper $20s for the steaks so you get what you pay for. a good basic steak with potato and vegetables. you are not going to impress clients with this place unless frugality and common sense is your goal. if you are in town on business and want a decent meal in a comfortable place john's grill is worth a try.I would recommend this to a friend.
- Celebratory lunchHappyRetireeDined on 11/15/2014I was meeting friends for an early lunch because I was going to the theater afterwards. Requested 11:30 AM reservation on Open Table...reserved because I did want to get a window table & had mentioned it was their first anniversary. (otherwise I would not have reserved for lunch.) Open Table gave 11:45 as earliest. We got there early and as expected it was empty. We were seated at the window table which was great.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- This place is Spot on!OpenTable Diner Since 2004Dined on 11/14/2014The food and drinks were very good. The service was excellent. A bit noisy but hey this is the city. We'll definitely be back!Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Value priced Steak houseCJCbostonVIPDined on 11/14/2014To balance the well established abundance of newer steak-house Chains all with a similar successful formula, we decided to try one with history. To start - the booth seats are ultra vertical and not cushioned - and the place is definitely a bit cramped. But the orders were taken soon, food came out reasonably soon after, and our steaks were tender and flavorful. But - the baked potato was not cooked enough for my preference. And the wine list is modest at best for a steak house. I'd say go if what you want is just a steak for the night's dinner rather than the many features of wine lists and comfy decor that goes with the next tier up.I would recommend this to a friend.
- JulesDined on 11/14/2014The History of the restaurant is worth visiting. Food is adequate. Only lmecommend lunch.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- JohnDined on 11/13/2014This a friendly centrally located restaurant with evening parking across the street. Local San Francisco scene. A little loud at times. A good place for groups.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Fabulous DinnerlifeisgoodDined on 11/13/2014The lamb chops were delicious, and a really large portion-took half of them home and had the next day. The bloody brigid was delicious and the keepsake glass is priceless!Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Melt in your mouth steaksOpenTable Diner Since 2005VIPDined on 11/12/2014We had a filet and bone-in New York they were so tender. Service and atmosphere are one od a kind.Special Features:
- John's GrillOpenTable Diner Since 2008Dined on 11/10/2014Rich in ambience and San Francisco lore, a great place for lunch.Special Features:
- dining at John's GrillmomoDined on 11/9/2014We enjoy the feel of old San Francisco and the choice of food. I have been there several times and once with a large family group upstairs. I think it is a good lunch spot as well.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- SF landmarkOpenTable Diner Since 2005VIPDined on 11/9/2014i chose this place for the fun history and varied food selections - and the seafood that I knew my mom would like. The Jack LaLanne salad was perfect - sharing calamari steak and fried oysters made it a tasty lunch. my husband had the snapper - great portion and yummy. Uncle had a club sandwich. topped off with a bottle of sauv blanc, we had an enjoyable meal, esp when the crowd got thinner so we could talk. It was a fairly busy midday and I would have liked a bit more attentive table service but we were not in a hurry and enjoyed each other's company. old san Francisco dining that works across the ages.Special Features:
- OpenTable Diner Since 2014Dined on 11/8/2014This is a classic spot in San Francisco. Be ready for a wait during Dinner time for sure. They also cram you in pretty tightly. We sat on the second floor and right next to the great piano player, but it sure was hard to have a conversation. We both had steaks and they were great. Food was wonderful.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- SF landmark restaurantMDGirlforLifeDined on 11/8/2014A must for fans of San Francisco history. Excellent steaks and cocktails, great place to take visitors.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Nice Vacation closing dinnerOpenTable Diner Since 2014Dined on 11/7/2014We stayed at john's our Last evening in SFO. We had an excellent Service Team That also Adressed my daughters Vegetarian needs. They served 2 filet mignon which were perfect.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Popular restaurantlive2eatDined on 11/5/2014I don't know whether it was because I had reserved a table or the fact that we were just lucky, but we were given a table on the 1st floor, right by the jazz musician, which was a great table. I felt a bit sorry for the musician as everyone seemed to be talking over his music and not really listening or appreciating his playing. The food was good - I ordered John's steak and the meat melted in my mouth - it was also a good size portion. The cocktail I ordered was strong but the cocktail my husband ordered was nice - bloody brigid. Had an enjoyable time.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- seasonedeaterDined on 11/3/2014great good food great good food great good food great good food great good food great good foodSpecial Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- ValentinDined on 11/2/2014Booking and hostess was excellent. All in all it was a good dining experience with friends from Australia. The steaks were good and the martinis were excellent. The only downside was our server. She was impersonal and distant. Did not enjoy her job and never responded to 4 requests for an additional napkin. She seemed perturbed that we were a table of 4 enjoying a nice long dinner. She imparted the feeling that she would have liked to turn the table and has us on our way.Special Features:
- Best filet mignonPeterrxDined on 10/31/2014Nice ambiance, with a guy playing smooth Jazz , excellent by the way, and the music wasn't to loud. A little bit noisy from the people speaking.Special Features:
- dsksDined on 10/27/2014The live jazz is great. Don't go when you are in the mood for a quiet place as there is a combination of an enthusiastic patron group and the music.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Great dinnerMemphianDined on 10/27/2014John's Grill was able to accommodate a large party like it was nothing. The wait staff was attentive and friendly, the ambience was spectacular, and the food was great.Special Features:
- A Wonderful RestaurantGungaJimDined on 10/25/2014Great ambiance, courteous, friendly service, and simply outstanding food. This restaurant can't be beat. This is the second time our group has dined at John's Grill. And we come from all over Northern California. But it is worth it and we will be back again. I ordered steak and it was delicious; other ordered seafood and that also was outstanding. The atmosphere is dark and wooden - just perfect for a cozy dinner with your significant other or a large group.Special Features:
- San Francisco IconicVerickyDined on 10/24/2014My wife and I were visiting San Francisco after many years and our timing coincided with our wedding anniversary. We don't know the SF restaurant scene but were looking for something casual and memorable where to celebrate. We found John's Grill by reading the Open Table reviews. For sure, it's not for everyone but if you savour adventure and the out-of-the-ordinary characterized by excellent food, wine and service in a Dashiel Hammett decor, this restaurant should be experienced. My lamb chops were extraordinary and my wife concurred with the sea bass. A fine California pinot noir suggested by our waiter complemented our meal. Noise levels reflected the intimacy of the room but never overwhelmed the delightful jazz guitar played live.Special Features:
- enjoyeatingVIPDined on 10/24/2014The food was good and wait staff very attentive . The salad was very good and so was the fried shrimp. Very historic place to eat. Enjoyed our experience !Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- HmmmBrianVIPDined on 10/23/2014Ok it was nice but the steaks were grilled on a flat grill and not on the grill it had a different taste...I would not order steak again there...Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Nothing specialKaykayDined on 10/22/2014Tables so close. Jazz was just a guitar playing to prerecorded music and to soft to hear. Steak was good but all side dishes were nothing to brag about. Coffe shop experience for twice the cost.Special Features:
- good food -- terrible noise!spudjudgeDined on 10/22/2014great steak and very good service. but this place was way too noisey for my group to enjoy the meal. could not even converse with person sitting next to me, and impossible to talk cross-table.Special Features:
- Best service and food!HarborBoyDined on 10/21/2014This was our first time there, after finding it on Open Table...great steaks and seafood!Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- An iconBobbibcVIPDined on 10/20/2014John'so Grill was recommended by 2 different people without hesitation so we thought we should give it a try. We are glad we did! Excellent meal and thoroughly enjoyable jazz player.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Terrific experienceenjoygoodfoodDined on 10/18/2014My husband and I went there on a recommendation from the concierge at the hotel where we were staying. The steak was perfect done (medium rare) and the food came quickly. The atmosphere was a little on the noisy side, only because it was very busy. The best part was the history of the building itself. It was one of the first buildings rebuilt after the 1906 earthquake and the building has been preserved in its original 1908 design, with of course, updated amenities. Numerous celebrities have visited over the years and many of their pictures, as well as historical pictures of the time period were on the walls. We really enjoyed our meal and the ambiance thereSpecial Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Group Dinner for 14GroupDinnerDined on 10/15/2014We had a group of 15 and were split into 2 tables. Service was slow and it was too packed on the 3rd floor. In fact, there were so many people that the temp in the restaurant had to have reached about 85 degrees. I was very disappointed.Special Features:
- best steak in sfOpenTable Diner Since 2014Dined on 10/14/2014There is nothing bad about johns steak house, from the food to the service 5 star all around! Great wine pours from bartender also! A must stop when a special evening is in storeSpecial Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Great lamb chops... very noisybenrbennettDined on 10/14/2014The lamb chops were excellent (and I'm not a big lamb eater). The clam chowder (recommended by the server) was a bit bland... ok after I added quite a bit of salt and pepper. the house made ice cream was well worth it. overall it was just ok. it was very (very) noisy and hard to hold a real conversation. the food was great but a bit pricey for what we got. worth going once but I won't be back anytime soon.Special Features:
- A special occasondinerguy777Dined on 10/12/2014Brought my wife who was celebrating her birthday. Got seated promptly and were treated to a celebratory glass of champagne for both of us as we had noted my wife's birthday on our OpenTable reservation. We both selected the filet mignon cuts and the chef prepared them as we asked. And then to our surprise, John's Grill also surprised my wife with a complimentary flan dessert with fresh berries. An excellent experience. We've been coming to John's Grill for 27 years and will continue to do so.Special Features:
- It is a Period PieceBrianVIPDined on 10/12/2014The menu took me back to the 50's and 60's. I enjoyed the nostalgia even though the food is, well, dated and executed with a heavy hand. Had fun here, the place is historic after all.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- YesSirVIPDined on 10/12/2014Average food at best. Average service at best. Go for the history.Special Features: