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
207 reviews since May 22, 2014
Overall Rating4
  • Food4
    Service4.2
  • Ambiance3.9
    Noise LevelModerate
90% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
neighborhood gem (97)special occasion (87)fit for foodies (54)great for lunch (39)good for groups (37)romantic (31)hot spot (24)late-night find (18)notable wine list (17)vibrant bar scene (15)great for brunch (12)kid-friendly (6)scenic view (3)great for outdoor dining (2)Show More
  • 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.
  • Great dinner
    Georges83
    Dined on 7/7/2014
    Very easy to book with internet, as we fortunately did: a crowd of 20 peoples were waiting outside. Although full, neither the first quality of the meal nor the excellent service were missing. Each time I come to SFO, I never miss to visit John's Grill.
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • John's Grill
    OpenTable Diner Since 2004
    Dined on 7/7/2014
    John's Grill is one of my very favorite places to go in my neighborhood. The ambience is great and the history fun to show out of town visitors.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
  • SF classic
    OpenTable Diner Since 2012
    Dined on 7/5/2014
    Steaks were outstanding, veggies and potatoes were so so. Service pretty good, and ambience was classic American steakhouse, but too many tables in too little space made it cramped and loud.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Date night
    Happywife1
    Dined on 7/3/2014
    We wanted to go to this SF institution for many reasons and it was worth it. The food was great and we had a wonderful time. Even our waitress made a mistake on our order, she surprised us with a free dessert. Classy!
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • mamatoots
    Dined on 6/28/2014
    Loved it except the menu on their website was quite outdated. Entrees were at least 10 dollars more.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • EXCELLENT
    OpenTable Diner Since 2009VIP
    Dined on 6/27/2014
    Excellent service and food as always! We had the Jack Lalanne's Salad, Oysters Wellington and the Porterhouse Steak.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, kid-friendly, fit for foodies, good for groups, romantic, special occasion, great for lunch, late-night find, neighborhood gem, hot spot, vibrant bar scene, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Birthday treat
    RogerK
    Dined on 6/27/2014
    There are so many trendy restaurants in the Bay Area that sometimes it's easy to overlook the classic joints that have been around for years. Took my wife here for her birthday. I chose this place because I remembered a romantic dinner we had there 25 years ago. The only small negative is that our table for two was very small, but I understand it because the place isn't that big. Service was excellent. Both the waiter and the busboy were very attentive and friendly. Food was very good. I doubt most people even know who Jack LaLaine is, but the salad named for him is fantastic. The grilled snapper was perfect. They also make a perfect martini.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Jeff
    Jeffh
    Dined on 6/26/2014
    Walked by Johns grill on the way to and from the convention I was attending. Sign jumped out out to me as old school San Francisco. My wife and I tried it. It was as I thought it might be, and more. Food was great and well priced. Had their New York,came out perfect. The live jazz playing while we ate finished off a great night. Will be back next time in town!
    Special Features:
    good for groups, special occasion, late-night find, neighborhood gem, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Old and New San Francisco
    OpenTable Diner Since 2009VIP
    Dined on 6/26/2014
    Any SF local or tourist needs to come to John's Grill. I will never get tired of saying that they have the best steak and seafood around.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, kid-friendly, fit for foodies, good for groups, romantic, special occasion, great for lunch, late-night find, neighborhood gem, hot spot, vibrant bar scene, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • historic ambience and charm
    maltesefalcon
    Dined on 6/25/2014
    I dined at johns grill three times whilst in SF. The history and ambience of the place lend to its unique charm, fantastic food and friendly staff
    Special Features:
    romantic, special occasion, great for lunch, late-night find, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • A go to favorite
    ErnieS
    Dined on 6/25/2014
    We were hungry after a long day of shopping and felt like good steak to satisfy the craving. I remembered the John's Steak, what a beauty! I ordered it and bowl of what I think is the best clam chowder in the city...I mean the best. My wife had the petrale sole, which was so moist and flaky I was jealous but I have to say my steak is a can't miss favorite. I highly recommend this place not only for the food but for everything about it, the history, service and location.
    Special Features:
    special occasion, great for lunch, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Wonderful!
    Chris
    Dined on 6/25/2014
    Staff was awesome and food was too. We would go again on our next trip and would use Open Table to reserve a time! It gets crowd and noisy.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • wojo
    Dined on 6/25/2014
    Prompt and attentive service despite being busy. Food was excellent and price was typical for Union Square fine dining. Nice casual and friendly place to dine in SF. Definitley would return. It's more than steak!!
    Special Features:
    good for groups
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • super find
    mustgothere
    Dined on 6/24/2014
    Great spot....we celebrated our brother and sister in laws 40th wedding anniversary and they were thrilled with the total experience. Food and service were excellent. Put this restaurant on your list of must go there!!!
    Special Features:
    special occasion, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Unique
    tebiii
    Dined on 6/24/2014
    Food was very good. We'd had raw oysters, crab cocktail, a steak fillet (cooked as ordered and tender - despite reading a review to the contrary), and drinks. Very good service
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Classic dinner spot by Union Square
    SanMateoGuy
    Dined on 6/22/2014
    Had a wonderful meal in late June at the classic John's Grill. The paneling and mid-1900 era pictures on the wall were fun to view. Ambiance was great, a good balance of energy but quiet enough to hold a conversation. Service was excellent and the food was really good. We also appreciated their flexibility with rescheduling our dinner reservation. We will definitely return there when in SF again!
    Special Features:
    scenic view, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Good....Prob used to be GREAT!
    Chloemonkey
    Dined on 6/20/2014
    Service was wonderful.....oysters were great as was the seafood salad although I feel that it should have been abit more "cold" as it was not . Shrimp cocktail was the best or one of the best that I have had ever....Ciopino was to hubby's liking.....my filet was overlooked and the Bernaise was TOO salty. Other thing that bothered me was the baked potatoe "fixings" came already prepared in those little cups.......sort of lost some ambiance there.....and the food (entree) was just NOT hot! Veggies, baked potatoe and steak were just warm.... BUT I would try them again...just think that they are leaning more on their "past" performances and need to keep a closer eye on quality. Again....service and decor and location was great.
    Special Features:
    late-night find, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Historic
    BuddyAwreetus
    Dined on 6/20/2014
    John's Grill is historic. Everyone (San Franciscans included) needs to eat here at least once. This place is old school. The food is ok, their prices are a tad on the touristy side, but doable for most. They do need to update their beer selection though!
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate