John's Grill
John's Grill

John's Grill

  • 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.

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
236 reviews since July 2, 2014
Overall Rating4.1
  • Food4.1
    Service4.2
  • Ambiance3.9
    Noise LevelModerate
88% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
neighborhood gem (107)special occasion (89)fit for foodies (68)good for groups (58)romantic (41)great for lunch (36)hot spot (30)late-night find (25)notable wine list (20)vibrant bar scene (14)great for brunch (9)scenic view (2)great for outdoor dining (2)kid-friendly (1)Show More
  • dsks
    Dined on 10/27/2014
    The 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:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, late-night find, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great dinner
    OpenTable Diner Since 2011
    Dined on 10/27/2014
    John'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:
    good for groups, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • A Wonderful Restaurant
    GungaJim
    Dined on 10/25/2014
    Great 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:
    good for groups, great for lunch, late-night find, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • San Francisco Iconic
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 10/24/2014
    My 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:
    fit for foodies, notable wine list, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • enjoyeatingVIP
    Dined on 10/24/2014
    The 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:
    good for groups, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Hmmm
    Brian
    Dined on 10/23/2014
    Ok 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:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Nothing special
    Kaykay
    Dined on 10/22/2014
    Tables 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:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • good food -- terrible noise!
    spudjudge
    Dined on 10/22/2014
    great 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:
    hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Best service and food!
    HarborBoy
    Dined on 10/21/2014
    This was our first time there, after finding it on Open Table...great steaks and seafood!
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • An icon
    BobbibcVIP
    Dined on 10/20/2014
    John'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:
    fit for foodies, notable wine list, special occasion, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Terrific experience
    enjoygoodfood
    Dined on 10/18/2014
    My 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 there
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Group Dinner for 14
    GroupDinner
    Dined on 10/15/2014
    We 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:
    special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • best steak in sf
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 10/14/2014
    There 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 store
    Special Features:
    hot spot, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great lamb chops... very noisy
    benrbennett
    Dined on 10/14/2014
    The 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:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • A special occason
    dinerguy777
    Dined on 10/12/2014
    Brought 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:
    special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2002VIP
    Dined on 10/12/2014
    Average food at best. Average service at best. Go for the history.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Maltese Falcon Dining
    Girltym
    Dined on 10/11/2014
    Always 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:
    hot spot, late-night find
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great dinner spot
    Random1234
    Dined on 10/10/2014
    I 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:
    fit for foodies, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • gem of a restaurant
    midlanderer
    Dined on 10/10/2014
    This 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:
    fit for foodies, hot spot, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2008
    Dined on 10/7/2014
    We 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:
    fit for foodies, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
  • A Taste of Old San Francisco
    FairfieldKen
    Dined on 10/6/2014
    I 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:
    romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2006
    Dined on 10/4/2014
    Food 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.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 10/4/2014
    Very rushed service no time to enjoy ambiance. Very disappointed food was excellent but not a dining experience.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
  • DeliciousVIP
    Dined on 10/3/2014
    Jack La Lane salad was perfect. Service was great. Music was just right
    Special Features:
    late-night find, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Outstanding in all respects!9
    greygoose
    Dined on 10/3/2014
    I 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:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Excellent
    Ladylee123
    Dined on 10/1/2014
    Wonderful evening with attentive, friendly staff and very good food.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, late-night find, neighborhood gem, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Needs a makeover
    LJ94070
    Dined on 9/30/2014
    I 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.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Conversation Starter
    mthauvette
    Dined on 9/30/2014
    It'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:
    great for lunch, hot spot, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Stay Clear of the T-bone!
    OpenTable Diner Since 2005
    Dined on 9/28/2014
    Recommended 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:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great Resaurtant!
    Jude
    Dined on 9/27/2014
    There 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:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, hot spot, late-night find
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Recent diner
    fun2dine
    Dined on 9/27/2014
    Was 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.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • CatherineVIP
    Dined on 9/27/2014
    Enjoyed our meal. Great SF institution. Steaks were delicious. Martini overflowing!!
    Special Features:
    good for groups, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • A lot of fun
    papamange
    Dined on 9/26/2014
    Good food and service. Traditional dishes that fit in with ambiance of restaurant. Jazz fitted in as well for the same reasons
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Historic Grill
    CarePers
    Dined on 9/23/2014
    Invited 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:
    good for groups, hot spot, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 9/23/2014
    Apparently 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:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Service was good, but ...
    OpenTable Diner Since 2013
    Dined on 9/23/2014
    food and service was good, however we felt like we were being rushed to wrap up our dinner fast. Overall positive experience.
    Special Features:
    good for groups
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Here's looking at you, kid."
    MikeZ
    Dined on 9/22/2014
    John'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:
    great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Steaks
    Miracoli
    Dined on 9/21/2014
    Fantastic steaks, the best we ever had - awesome Very noisy atmosphere
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Standard and solid, not memorable
    KritiKareVIP
    Dined on 9/21/2014
    The 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.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Lively Place To Be Seen
    Karen
    Dined on 9/21/2014
    For 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:
    hot spot, late-night find, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
    I would recommend this to a friend.