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
206 reviews since May 23, 2014
Overall Rating4
  • Food4.1
    Service4.2
  • Ambiance4
    Noise LevelModerate
90% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
neighborhood gem (98)special occasion (88)fit for foodies (54)great for lunch (40)good for groups (38)romantic (33)hot spot (25)late-night find (18)notable wine list (17)vibrant bar scene (14)great for brunch (12)kid-friendly (6)scenic view (3)great for outdoor dining (2)Show More
  • The food was excellent and
    OpenTable Diner Since 2008
    Dined on 8/8/2008
    The food was excellent and the service was great! I highly recommend this place to friends.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, great for outdoor dining, notable wine list, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
  • This is a great San Francisco
    OpenTable Diner Since 2008
    Dined on 8/4/2008
    This is a great San Francisco restaurant that captures old San Francisco. Love the fact you can carry on a conversation without screaming. Food is good, reasonably priced.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • I took friends from Germany
    ArchbackVIP
    Dined on 8/2/2008
    I took friends from Germany here and the food was good, but not great. This is a very dependable, moderately-priced neighborhood place. It's been around for many years. Great atmosphere. I would return but not if I wanted a "wow" night out. This is more of an "old standby" kinda place.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, neighborhood gem, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Service was excellent; our
    OpenTable Diner Since 2005VIP
    Dined on 7/4/2008
    Service was excellent; our waitress was top-notch; food was very good. But... there was a horrible smell as one walked through the restaurant, up the stairs and continuing onto the 2nd floor where we were seated. It was possibly mold or mildew, dampness under the carpet?; a rotting smell. Wow, it was overwhelming. The carpets were filthy throughout; looks like they'd never been vacuumed nor cleaned. I suspect that was the smell. So sad, because it really brought about an uneasy feeling and questionable cleanliness of the the restaurant and mgmt's attitude overall. Jazz guitarist Friday evening was very enjoyable. Unfortunately, because of the smell issue, we will not return.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • The food was expensive; the
    OpenTable Diner Since 2003VIP
    Dined on 6/30/2008
    The food was expensive; the steaks all tasted burned. A baby cried the entire time we were there. We were disappointed.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Amazing in every way~ 'scenic
    OpenTable Diner Since 2008
    Dined on 6/26/2008
    Amazing in every way~ 'scenic view' is selected above because of historic nature, location, and 'the scene' inside of the restaurant. Loved it, have loved it over the years. Bartender, however, notably horrible! NOT a good first impression for first-timers who might be having a drink while awaiting dining room seating... he claimed he couldn't transfer our bar tab to our table tab ?!?!? Also poor attitude... just thought you should know.. he was abrupt, and doesn't do the place, and rest of the staff justice...(not a good John's ambassador).. Thankfully, hostess, and wait staff were absolutely exceptional. Also was happily surprised folks paid attention to advance notice of one of our party's b-day,lovely dessert presented A++++++
    Special Features:
    late-night find, neighborhood gem, romantic, special occasion, scenic view, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
  • We had a great experience,
    ExplorerVIP
    Dined on 6/21/2008
    We had a great experience, the service was very good and the portions were filling. A great down town restaurant close to everything.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • The dining tables are so close
    OpenTable Diner Since 2008
    Dined on 6/14/2008
    The dining tables are so close together and small that it is difficult to have a conversation without those seated adjacent to your table becoming involved in the conversation. More space between the tables would make for a much improved dining experience. The tight quarters takes what would otherwise be a fantastic meal to the level of adequate. Appreciate your openness to this feedback.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • The food was delicious, the
    OpenTable Diner Since 2008
    Dined on 6/14/2008
    The food was delicious, the service was great and we even got a free after dinner coffee cocktail for making on line reservations!
    Special Features:
    kid-friendly, neighborhood gem, romantic, special occasion, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • service was a bit slow at
    OpenTable Diner Since 2008
    Dined on 6/12/2008
    service was a bit slow at times. 2 of our steaks came out medium-well when we asked for them well-done. They had a decent wine selection but small steak selection and their veggies could have been better. For steaks nothing beats Bobs Steak and Chophouse! They were able to easily accomodate a party of 9 with a 1 day notice, which was a huge plus for me.
    Special Features:
    good for groups
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • It's always a treat to dine
    OpenTable Diner Since 2008
    Dined on 6/7/2008
    It's always a treat to dine with the ghost of Sam Spade and the Maltese Falcon. And of course the food is great and not terrible expensive.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Even though I made my reservations
    OpenTable Diner Since 2008
    Dined on 6/6/2008
    Even though I made my reservations well in advance of June 6, I had to wait for my table until I found out one party could not come to dinner. Also, too much salt in the Oysters Wellington. Waiter was friendly and gave excellent service.
    Special Features:
    late-night find, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Terrific steaks and wonderful
    sfjcVIP
    Dined on 6/4/2008
    Terrific steaks and wonderful service. A classic - every San Franciscan should eat here at least once!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • I have eaten here before and
    OpenTable Diner Since 2005
    Dined on 6/2/2008
    I have eaten here before and would come back again. Its 100 year old San Francisco Gem.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, special occasion, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Had the Petrale sole--it came
    OpenTable Diner Since 2007VIP
    Dined on 6/1/2008
    Had the Petrale sole--it came covered in a mushroom gravy that completely overwhelmed the delicate fish.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • I recently began coming to
    OpenTable Diner Since 2008
    Dined on 5/31/2008
    I recently began coming to John's at lunch and having the Jack Lelane's Perfect Salad, the best salad in the world. I had been wanting to come back to try the steaks. So last Saturday, we started with escargot which was very good. We had the ribeye steaks. The meat was top-quality but under-seasoned. The baked potatoe and mixed veggies were sufficient but not very exciting. The price for USDA Prime steak was very good compared to the major steakhouses in the city. They gave us a very nice Khalua and Cream for reserving through Opentable, which was a nice surprise. Finally, I loved the cheescake.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Other than a small table it
    OpenTable Diner Since 2008
    Dined on 5/25/2008
    Other than a small table it was great. Service was excellent and so was the food.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • My daughter and her 12 friends
    OpenTable Diner Since 2008
    Dined on 5/25/2008
    My daughter and her 12 friends dined here before their prom. They were treated with the utmost respect, and thoroughly enjoyed their experience here. It definitely added to their memorable night. thanks!
    Special Features:
    good for groups, great for outdoor dining, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • The seafood dishes were a
    OpenTable Diner Since 2008
    Dined on 5/23/2008
    The seafood dishes were a big hit. We had a party of 14 and could not have asked for better service.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Loved the food and the atmosphere.
    OpenTable Diner Since 2008
    Dined on 5/22/2008
    Loved the food and the atmosphere. Great experience and location.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem, special occasion, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • John's Grill is filled with
    OpenTable Diner Since 2008
    Dined on 5/22/2008
    John's Grill is filled with great history and the food, while not exceptional, was good. It's quite basic, nothing really original, but you won't walk out feeling disappointed either. The service was excellent, the wine list decent.
    Special Features:
    vibrant bar scene, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • The location is very convenient
    OpenTable Diner Since 2003
    Dined on 5/17/2008
    The location is very convenient for all the downtown theatre and shows...however, it was way too noisy, the service was mediocre at best (mainly because it was so crowded), lots of tourists (which slows down service since they love to talk). The food is good, the prices are reasonable and the portions are satisfying. Need a better desert list. Overall I would probably go again, mainly for convenience sake, but would ask for a quieter spot in the restaurant (if one exists!).
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, late-night find
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • On my reservations I requested
    OpenTable Diner Since 2005
    Dined on 5/17/2008
    On my reservations I requested separate checks for my table as to not inconvenience the staff at the last minute; well, my waiter was annoyed and when we told him that we had made the request in advance, including a confirmation phone call, he just walked away; and that was the highlight of our experience because the food was just atrocious. I had the "Gourmet" recommended sole fish dish, stuffed with crab and shrimp; it was old, bland, stale and tasteless; the carrots and veges were sour(spoiled, fermenting); the Jack Lalang salad was swimming in the dressing; I realized it was a tourist spot so I didn't make a fuss, but I'll never return; I only went because it was book club week and we were discussing Dashiel Hammett's Maltese Falcon.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • good food, but restaurant
    OpenTable Diner Since 2005
    Dined on 5/9/2008
    good food, but restaurant has strong musty odor and needs updating
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • WE were going to the theater
    OpenTable Diner Since 2006
    Dined on 5/9/2008
    WE were going to the theater this was perfect locaton. The staff is very friendly and professional. The history makes it very special.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Reliably excellent food and
    OpenTable Diner Since 2008
    Dined on 5/7/2008
    Reliably excellent food and service. Good wine list to boot. Love it that the management still pays homage to the history of the place. So glad that - in the middle of a world of constant change, John's Grill is the same. We ALWAYS come here when we visit San Francisco and we have never been disappointed.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • The clam chowder was the best
    player23
    Dined on 5/3/2008
    The clam chowder was the best I've had in San Francisco. The Kalula and milk after dinner drink was a nice surprise. I was happy to hear they hired a local artist to replicate their lost Maltese Falcon.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Quality of steaks were not
    OpenTable Diner Since 2009
    Dined on 4/24/2008
    Quality of steaks were not good. Restaurant has an old musty odor which does not fair well with food. Would not reccomend it.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Chicken Jerusalem was amazing.
    OpenTable Diner Since 2008
    Dined on 4/20/2008
    Chicken Jerusalem was amazing. Also lemon drop from the bar was the best we've had. Steak was only slightly above average; could have been a little more tender. Overall fun place, will definitely return.
    Special Features:
    special occasion, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Very, very enjoyable experience
    OpenTable Diner Since 2005VIP
    Dined on 4/19/2008
    Very, very enjoyable experience ... we will definitely be back!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for brunch, neighborhood gem, romantic, special occasion, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • We arrived about 7pm and were
    ditsey
    Dined on 4/18/2008
    We arrived about 7pm and were seated upstairs where a jazz guitarist was playing. It was very relaxing, and thouroughly pleasant. We ordered and were served one of the best salads I've ever eaten. The rest of the dinner was excellent as was our service. However by 7:30 the restuarant was so full and noisy you couldn't hear yourself think let alone what your dining companion was saying. We were served two after dinner drinks compliments of Open Table. A very classy touch, and much appreciated. John's is a very special place. I just wish it weren't so noisy
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Place is nostalgic. The salad
    SusanL
    Dined on 4/18/2008
    Place is nostalgic. The salad especially good. The entrees a bit swimming in buttery sauce. Shrimps a bit overcooked. Otherwise, pleasant place.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • left credit card on table
    bernie
    Dined on 4/17/2008
    left credit card on table upon leaving, restaurant called, to my relief, to let me know that they had found it. Many thanks for quick response. Thanks Steve
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • I only had a salad and clam
    CarolaVIP
    Dined on 4/14/2008
    I only had a salad and clam chowder. The chowder was excellent but the serving was Tom Thumbish. We ate upstairs and it has a lot of ambiance. Love using the open table--always my first choice for a restaurant.
    Special Features:
    vibrant bar scene, neighborhood gem, special occasion, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Tried and true. We had a very
    OpenTable Diner Since 2005VIP
    Dined on 4/12/2008
    Tried and true. We had a very nice dinner and especially enjoyed the muscles.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • I had a table for 8 that became
    MichaelVIP
    Dined on 4/11/2008
    I had a table for 8 that became 12 at the last minute. They were very accomodating and over all the experience was very good.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • This was my first visit to
    rfsullyVIP
    Dined on 4/9/2008
    This was my first visit to John's Grill. I would definitely go back.
    Special Features:
    notable wine list, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • John's Grill could stand to
    ambivalentVIP
    Dined on 4/4/2008
    John's Grill could stand to buy some new chairs. I thought my chair was going to fall apart at any moment.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • What a wonderful dining experience
    Songbird61
    Dined on 3/27/2008
    What a wonderful dining experience for our entire family -- especially with us being Dashiell Hammett fans! Our host, John, made certain we were seated in "The Maltese Falcon" room, and then allowed us to go up to the third floor where the Dashiell Hammett society meets. And the food and service were absolutely perfect -- a real old-San Francisco experience with fantastic food fare and attentive service. Thank you for a memorable evening!
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • I entered a special message
    OpenTable Diner Since 2008VIP
    Dined on 3/21/2008
    I entered a special message on OpenTable.com to the Maitre'd - to sit upstairs where we could listen to the live music. It worked perfectly. He brought us up to a nice table upstairs where we listened to very nice dinner music. It was nice to see that someone reads those special notes.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, neighborhood gem, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate