Historic John's Grill

4.7
5546 Reviews
$31 to $50
American
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 Hammett, 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. Now, offering a 700-square-foot outdoor dining area and indoor as well. Delivery is available via Caviar, Uber Eats and Doordash!

ZAGAT RATED: Food 26 / Decor 24 / Service 25 / Cost $44

"Step back in time” at this circa-1908 Downtown “landmark”, where “solid steakhouse fare" and "strong drinks" draw “tourists and locals alike"; "one of the last old-style SF eateries", it’s also renowned as a "Dashiell Hammett hangout" (and a setting in The
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Safety precautions

Cleaning & Sanitizing
  • Surfaces sanitized between seatings
  • Common areas deep cleaned daily
  • Digital, disposable or sanitized menu provided
  • Sanitizer or wipes provided for customers
  • Contactless payment available
  • Sealed or wrapped utensils used
Physical Distancing
  • Limited number of seated diners
  • Distancing maintained in common areas
  • Extra space between tables
Protective Equipment
  • Waitstaff wear masks
  • Diners must wear masks unless eating or drinking
Screening
  • Sick staff prohibited in the workplace
What 5546 people are saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.7based on recent ratings
4.6
food
4.7
service
4.5
ambience
4.5
value
Noise · Moderate
98% of people would recommend it to a friend
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OT
OpenTable Diner
1 review
Dined 2 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

A San Francisco classic for a reason. The staff was very attentive the food was excellent and the clam chowder is a must. The escargot was served in a garlic cream sauce that was very flavorful and their house peppercorn paired perfectly with the filet mignon. Definitely worth a visit.

AJ
AprilJ
Central Coast
7 reviews
Dined 2 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Wonderful restaurant, delicious food, impeccable service.

M
vipMidmodgal60
San Francisco
25 reviews
Dined 2 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Excellent service and delicious food! When we arrived the music was a bit loud in the upstairs dining room. Other than that it was great.

F
Fred
San Diego
1 review
Dined 2 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

If you like old school this is your place.
Great steaks and signature cocktails.
Atmosphere is super as with the service.

LB
LisaB
Minneapolis
2 reviews
Dined 2 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience3

I booked John's Grill for my wife's birthday lunch with some trepidation - we needed to sit outside because of our dog - and the parklets lack the same atmosphere as inside. But we had the best time - loved our private booth, the great food, and most importantly, the excellent and perfectly timed service from Cornelius, our server. We hope the parklets can stay as otherwise we likely can't eat inside with our dog - we plan to be back soon!

D
vipDavid
San Francisco
9 reviews
Dined 3 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Everything was great as usual! Took a fall while getting up from dinner and they were all there immediately to help. This is an exceptional place with great food and staff!

CM
CaroleM
Los Angeles
1 review
Dined 5 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Server was excellent. The steak was the best, so tasty.

JW
vipJohnW
Los Angeles
7 reviews
Dined 5 days ago
Overall3food2service4ambience2

The service was great.
The food was average, my lobster tail tasted like it had been frozen for awhile.

The worst part was the upstair seating area. There was a party of about 20 people who were drunk, loud and obnoxious. It would have been nice to have been given the heads up before being seated that a large party was going to be on the floor.

Overall, the experience was not that great due to the noise and conduct of the large party and the staff not intervening and advising the group to be considerate of other patrons.

OT
OpenTable Diner
San Diego
1 review
Dined 5 days ago
Overall3food3service4ambience5

My wife and I enjoyed the experience. The service was fantastic. The cuisine, while average, currently not worth the bill. The atmosphere was what you would expect. Certainly a tourist stopping place.

OT
OpenTable Diner
San Francisco
1 review
Dined 5 days ago
Overall4food4service5ambience5

Always great, very noisy on this day!

DR
DougR
Hawaii
1 review
Dined 6 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

great to be back opened up. food & service was awesome

OT
OpenTable Diner
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined 6 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Amazing every time!

NJ
NikkiJ
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on June 15, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Historic John's Grill is a favorite of mine. The staff, food, and service are consistently outstanding. I was treating out of town guests and they were amazed.

SF
vipSFtommy
San Francisco
3 reviews
Dined on June 15, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

A classic, with great food, atmos, and service.

SK
SK509
San Francisco
12 reviews
Dined on June 12, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Classic SF dining experience! Service was superb, George was our waiter and he was excellent! Was a great place to celebrate our Son’s 27th birthday. Highly recommend a steak and prawns!!

h
viphied
San Francisco
138 reviews
Dined on June 12, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

This is our go to place for a great meal. We started with the clam chowder which was great then shared the shrimp Louie.

BM
vipBarbaraM
San Francisco
36 reviews
Dined on June 11, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We were so happy to be able to dine indoors at John’s Grill again. The ambiance at John’s Grill is special. The music, the bar, the framed photos on the walls. The food was very good as usual. The service was top notch. One of our favorite places to dine. We’ll be back soon.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Costa Rica
1 review
Dined on June 11, 2021
Overall5food1service5ambience5

Lamentablemente la comida estuvo muy mal. El filet mignon estaba muy quemado por fuera, lo sirvieron con unas papas que no fueron hechas en el momento y estaban añejas. No tenía ninguna salsa y los vegetales que lo acompañan dejaron mucho que desear.
Por otro lado, la pasta fisherman estaba recocida.
No lo recomiendo.

Report
MW
vipMarkW
Los Angeles
28 reviews
Dined on June 11, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great very old school restaurant in Union Square. Up there with Musso and Frank, been a SF institution since 1908. Dashiell Hammet would agree. Recommended for anyone who loves a good drink, steak or seafood.

K
vipKaren
Central Coast
39 reviews
Dined on June 11, 2021
Overall2food2service4ambience4

Pretty disappointing. I ordered the Sole and it was literally inedible. One person in our party had the fried prawns and said it was ok, my husband had the filet and he thought it was also just ok, my daughter had the burger and it was probably the best of the four entrees, although she said it was not one of the best she’s had, but “good”. It was unfortunate since we are only in San Francisco for two nights and we sadly wasted one dinner here….in one of the beat food cities in the world.

LP
LoganPM
Las Vegas
1 review
Dined on June 10, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great food in a very interesting setting. Sort of a mashup of a dive bar and a gangster era steak house in terms of vibe. Not as expensive as comparable steak places, and the food was excellent. To top it off the signature cocktail was very tasty and comes with a souvenir glass. Would definitely go again.

t
viptravelmentor1
San Francisco
51 reviews
Dined on June 10, 2021
Overall3food3service4ambience4

food a bit heavy fo r our tatse but they are trying very hard

JF
JeffF
1 review
Dined on June 10, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Short walk from our hotel (St. Francis) and loved this place so much that we went back two days later for another dinner experience. Surf and Turf, Ribeye, Jumbo Prawns, Caesar Salad, Baked Potatoes, Bread, and Wine were all great, but I give a nod to the Surf & Turf. Not a very large place so you better make reservations. Highly recommend this historic steak house.

OT
OpenTable Diner
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on June 10, 2021
Overall5food4service5ambience5

Excellent service and good food.

MK
MollyK
1 review
Dined on June 9, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Absolutely delicious!

Inside felt quite chilly, but good came out piping hot just how I like it.

Would definitely go again!

DS
DaynaS
Houston
2 reviews
Dined on June 9, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

One of my favorite places in downtown SF. I love the historic setting. This last visit I enjoyed the Petrale Sole, and my nephew enjoyed a steak. The wine list is excellent and the cocktails are inviting.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Orlando
1 review
Dined on June 8, 2021
Overall5food5service4ambience3

Wonderful food
So glad stopped in
The chicken dish was beyond amazing !! Yum

d
vipdow1
Cincinnati
21 reviews
Dined on June 6, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We found the restaurant on the internet while visiting San Fransisco. It looked good so we went. It was outstanding. Their bar service was especially good - they make an awesome martini. 2 of us had steak, 2 had their chicken fettuccine. We all enjoyed our meal very much. We would go back in a heartbeat

AM
AndreaM
1 review
Dined on June 6, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great ambience with Jazz in the background- a little bit dark but we sat close to the window.
We all took three different cut of steaks (medallion, filet and ribeye) all cooked perfectly.
Great service at a reasonable price

RB
RandyB
1 review
Dined on June 5, 2021
Overall4food5service4ambience3

Arrived a few minutes late, but they had my table ready. Was seated and ordered drinks, which came out promptly. Had the prawn cocktail as an appetizer, very satisfied. My wife and i both ordered the filet, which was cooked to perfection. I added the lobster tail to my order, and was pleased, The only downside was the table next to us was loud, and the loudest patron continuously dropped f-bombs. Kind of took away from the romantic evening i was looking for.

p
vippeterc
San Francisco
18 reviews
Dined on June 5, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Had a great experience. Well prepared rib eye, great drinks and dessert. Will continue to return for sure

OT
OpenTable Diner
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on June 4, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We have come here for years, and Johns Grill never disappoints! The food is so good, one of us gets a steak and one seafood so we can split, cuz we cannot make a decision on which to get. The staff is superb! They truly spoil you. Thank you Johns Grill!

TI
ToddI
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on June 4, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Went there for a second night! It did not disappoint! Will recommend to our friends when they travel to San Francisco. Food was outstanding for a very reasonable price. Being a part of the Maltese Falcon certainly was a plus!

CC
CarleenC
New Mexico
1 review
Dined on June 3, 2021
Overall4food5service5ambience4

The food was excellent. The service was good we always enjoy this classic restaurant even though the noise level is a little bit high.

TI
ToddI
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on June 3, 2021
Overall5food5service4ambience5

Found this gem in a review. Wow! We loved the history and especially the wonderful steak! Will return

BA
vipBARTdiner
San Francisco
28 reviews
Dined on June 3, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Best value fine dining in the Union Square area with 'old school' charm and service.

KM
KateM
1 review
Dined on June 2, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

John's Grill is always a great experience due to food, ambience and "literary and film making history" as well as San Francisco history. Who can resist Sam Spade's lamb chops (to die for--in film noir?) and the Hammett martini!

OT
OpenTable Diner
1 review
Dined on May 30, 2021
Overall4food5service5ambience4

Visiting daughter

ZG
ZanderGreenway
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on May 29, 2021
Overall4food4service5ambience4

Still a great big piece San Francisco’s big heart.
Old fashioned and proud of it.

CE
CrystalE
Indiana
1 review
Dined on May 29, 2021
Overall2food2service3ambience2

The food was not very good. Definitely would not return or recommend.

FAQs

You can order delivery directly from Historic John's Grill using the Order Online button. Historic John's Grill also offers takeout which you can order by calling the restaurant at (415) 986-0069.

Historic John's Grill is rated 4.7 stars by 5546 OpenTable diners.

Historic John's Grill does offer gift cards which you can purchase here https://www.giftrocker.com/secure/order/?h=2168a60c.

Yes, you can generally book this restaurant by choosing the date, time and party size on OpenTable. Due to local restrictions, this restaurant may not be accepting reservations at the moment.