63 Ellis Street
San Francisco, CA 94102Neighborhood:
Downtown / Union Square
AmericanPrice: $30 and under
- Dining Style: Casual Elegant
- Website: http://www.johnsgrill.com/
- Phone: 4159860069x
- 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
230 reviews since June 27, 2014
- Ambiance3.9Noise LevelModerate
neighborhood gem (106)special occasion (87)fit for foodies (66)good for groups (54)romantic (42)great for lunch (36)hot spot (29)late-night find (23)notable wine list (21)vibrant bar scene (14)great for brunch (11)kid-friendly (3)scenic view (2)great for outdoor dining (2)Show More
- 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:
- Best service and food!OpenTable Diner Since 2010Dined 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 iconOpenTable Diner Since 2007VIPDined 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:
- OpenTable Diner Since 2002VIPDined on 10/12/2014Average food at best. Average service at best. Go for the history.Special Features:
- Maltese Falcon DiningGirltymDined on 10/11/2014Always a fun place, good steak and salad menu, great ambience. Liked the Jerusalem Chicken and Blue Cheese Salad, husband liked the lamb chops. Never been disappointed eating in this historic restaurant.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Great dinner spotRandom1234Dined on 10/10/2014I found this great restaurant in downtown while on vacation. The dining tables are typical of a SF spot, cramming in as many tables in a small spot as possible. The food is fantastic making up for the lack of privacy.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- gem of a restaurantmidlandererDined on 10/10/2014This is a great location for quality dining in the heart of the city. You really feel like you've discovered a bit of a gem when you visit this restaurant. Great steaks. Good value. Not over priced. Great buzz about the place.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- OpenTable Diner Since 2008Dined on 10/7/2014We always enjoy John's. We took visiting relatives from Ireland. The other female and I had Sam Spade's lamb chops, and both agreed they were the best we'd had, anywhere! Noise level is high, but you come to expect that in a popular place.Special Features:
- A Taste of Old San FranciscoFairfieldKenDined on 10/6/2014I love to take special people to John's Grill to give them a peek at the San Francisco of the 40's. The food is always good, the service excellent, and the experience unique and wonderful.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- OpenTable Diner Since 2006Dined on 10/4/2014Food and ambiance quite nice and interesting. Service was very good. Surprised and disappointed by entree costs as they were very different from the menu on their website, almost double.
- OpenTable Diner Since 2014Dined on 10/4/2014Very rushed service no time to enjoy ambiance. Very disappointed food was excellent but not a dining experience.Special Features:
- DeliciousVIPDined on 10/3/2014Jack La Lane salad was perfect. Service was great. Music was just rightSpecial Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Outstanding in all respects!9greygooseDined on 10/3/2014I travel quite a bit & enjoy fine dining. John's is one of the best steakhouses in the world. I'm in San Francisco frequently and go to John's Grill every time I'm here and I've never been disappointed. If you're hungry try the Porterhouse.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- ExcellentLadylee123Dined on 10/1/2014Wonderful evening with attentive, friendly staff and very good food.Special Features:
- Needs a makeoverLJ94070Dined on 9/30/2014I was disappointed in this restaurant. It felt a bit uncared for. Molding on the walls missing, server phoning it in and food was overworked. Too much sauce on fish, too few veggies in plate.
- Conversation StartermthauvetteDined on 9/30/2014It's great to go to a 'historic' spot for a business lunch. It's great to get a conversation started. This 'off the beaten path' restaurant is located in the Union Square area and a great alternative to the more chain style restaurants located in the area. The food, service and ambiance are great with the added benefit of making you feel like you're going back in time.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Stay Clear of the T-bone!OpenTable Diner Since 2005Dined on 9/28/2014Recommended with reservations. What was missing from our meal was the piece de resistance, the tenderloin section of one diner's T-bone, the part you save til last. This one turned out to be a grizzly nub of nothing, and when we called our server's attention to it, she said, incredibly, 'oh, right, our t-bones don't have the tenderloin; if you want tenderloin, you need to order the porterhouse.' Ok, right. This from an establishment known for its beef? Maybe you should warn diners. One of us had the rib eye, which was superb, and another the baked oysters, gooey, globby, fatty lumps a la 1960 -- yuk! Great cocktails -- the French Gimlet out of this world -- Sidecars not bad either. Nice wines by the glass.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Great Resaurtant!JudeDined on 9/27/2014There was a group of six of us for supper. We were all from Canada. I have to say it was a great place to eat. I would defintely recommend it to anyone who goes there to visit.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Recent dinerfun2dineDined on 9/27/2014Was a fun place to visit in light of the history of the restaurant, but was noisy and service seemed a bit rushed to speed people thru their dinner.
- OpenTable Diner Since 2007VIPDined on 9/27/2014Enjoyed our meal. Great SF institution. Steaks were delicious. Martini overflowing!!Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- A lot of funpapamangeDined on 9/26/2014Good food and service. Traditional dishes that fit in with ambiance of restaurant. Jazz fitted in as well for the same reasonsSpecial Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Historic GrillCarePersDined on 9/23/2014Invited a group of 8 to this historic place in San Francisco. Food was good, service was excellent. A little loud to have a good dinner conversation. I would recommend a late dinner for conversation. You must check out the Maltese Falcon and academy award located on the second floor.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- OpenTable Diner Since 2014Dined on 9/23/2014Apparently a local landmark. Food was good but expensive, although comparable for San Francisco prices. Nice ambience, good service, not real friendly. Make reservations!!Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Service was good, but ...OpenTable Diner Since 2013Dined on 9/23/2014food and service was good, however we felt like we were being rushed to wrap up our dinner fast. Overall positive experience.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Here's looking at you, kid."MikeZDined on 9/22/2014John's Grill cannot be described in any of the above categories. It can only be described as what it is, a warm, inviting, old time San Francisco bar and grill, the kind Hammet wrote about in "The Maltese Falcon," the kind of welcoming hideaway that Sam Spade frequented when meeting with lying, conniving dames like Brigid O'Shaunessy. You know the kind. They go down well with a couple of bourbon and sodas.Special Features:
- SteaksMiracoliDined on 9/21/2014Fantastic steaks, the best we ever had - awesome Very noisy atmosphereSpecial Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Standard and solid, not memorableKritiKareVIPDined on 9/21/2014The service was fast-paced and the production line feel makes sense for Union Square and a touristy spot. The food was good but the frenetic pace and loud (but cozy and historic) space did not engender a relaxed or intimate feel. The wine list was really diverse. The sourdough bread that was served was a bit lackluster and would have been much enhanced by warming.
- Lively Place To Be SeenKarenDined on 9/21/2014For our short overnight trip to San Francisco, we were seeking a restaurant near our downtown hotel. We read the reviews on John's Grill and liked the quirky atmosphere and it's 103 year log history. It turned out to be one of those quaint old restaurants with dark mahagony walls covered with black and white photos. Food was great and wine list was excellent. The crowd was an entertainment in itself.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Too much popular.OpenTable Diner Since 2014Dined on 9/20/2014Very good food and service, maybe the tables too closed to neighbor and too much noise.Special Features:
- A Long-time FavoriteLJB1Dined on 9/20/2014Have been to John's Grill a couple dozen time throughout the years I have yet to be letdown. What a fantastic venue - unique, from a different era, yet enjoyed by any age group. This trip we had the signature lamb chops, a standard over the years, and seafood cioppino, both delicious with ample portions. The bartender are skilled at making mixed drinks and the wine list is adequate. ENJOY you visit!Special Features:
- Traditional Steak Househ20worksDined on 9/19/2014Scheduled a group of 6. Seated on the top floor which made conversation easier. Mike was our waiter and bartender. he did a great job taking care of us for the night. Steaks were cooked to perfectionSpecial Features:
- Typical high volume steak placeSilvi1234Dined on 9/19/2014I would describe this as a good "pump them through" steak house. Food was good but goal was to keep people moving and tables turning. No "special" experience here. My steak was perfect. Not overly seasoned or cooked, baked potato was good, a little scarce on the side of veggie.Special Features:
- It's A ClassicRAGandPattDined on 9/17/2014I don't know how I have missed John's all these years. My wife and I, celebrating our anniversary, had a tremendous experience. The hostess was so gracious and made our wait enjoyable even though a couple were stalling leaving the table we had specifically reserved. Our waiter, Boston Gary, provided us with the best service we have ever experienced. For me, John's is what old San Francisco is all about. I will not miss it again. It is now on my list of can't miss San Francisco favorites. The added history of the Sam Spade novel made it and even more interesting evening. I am so grateful to our friends for turning on to this classic.Special Features:
- Group dinnerFikiVIPDined on 9/15/2014Arranged dinner for a group of 16 on 9/15/14. The event organizer, Sean Kulanet, responded to my email requests and questions. Everything was well organized, staff was professional, and food outstanding. We used the group menu with choice of steak, chicken, or fish. All were excellent. Steaks were amazing. I highly recommend John's Grill.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Don't Go!DianaVIPDined on 9/15/2014Husband ordered the rib eye. He said it was basic, no flavor/seasoning. I had the chef's fish which was red snapper topped with crab and shrimp, topped with a lemon sauce. Oh my, what a glutinous mess that came instead! The fish was hot - only good thing. The shrimp were those really tiny shrimp, the crab meat totally disappeared in the sauce that barely tasted of lemon. It didn't even look appetizing! Both entrees came with crispy green beans, a couple of pieces of broccoli and ONE tiny carrot. The "baked" potato was baked, but seemed like it was nuked again before it was put on the plate. And for what we paid for these awful meals....Special Features: