Historic 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 Hammett, The Maltese Falcon.
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 Maltese Falcon.)"
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- Common areas deep cleaned daily
- Sanitizer or wipes provided for customers
- Contactless payment available
- Waitstaff wear masks
- Diners must wear masks unless eating or drinking
- Sick staff prohibited in the workplace
- Proof of vaccination required to dine indoors
Sam Spade's Lamb Chops
Served with baked potato and sliced tomatoes Sam Spade went to John's Grill, asked the waiter to hurry his order of chops, baked potato, sliced tomatoes and was smoking a cigarette with his coffee when" -The Maltese Falcon
New York Steak
Due to covid we don’t go out often. I picked this place because I liked what they listed in their website the precautions they were taking. The food was less then mediocre. We had the special seafood salad. The shrimp was tiny and the crab was scarce, the dressing was flavorless but heavy. We both had fish for the main course and both were over cooked, vegetables were dressed with few day old garlic oil. We sat outside where the spiderwebs everywhere. The service was good. I won’t go again. Hope they will improve their food, and hate that I’m writing a bad review as we were looking forward to have a nice dinner out.
The food, drink, and service were excellent. We elected for the outdoor dining and were very pleased. The dining is in structures off the sidewalk in front of the restaurant, with many individual tables for four partitioned off with plexiglass in a way that allowed for outdoor seating with ventilation. There are heaters also but they did not need to be used that night. There is hired, but inobtrusive security, as the experience is on a sidewalk in downtown SF. A truly wonderful and safe dining experience in COVID America, if you are nervous about indoor dining.
I was really impressed with that staff, the service was excellent.
The food and service were excellent
Martini, Halibut and Creamed Spinach. Wonderful evening!
My husband and i went here for his birthday. He had the New York Steak and I had the Medallions. We like our beef pretty well done, and both were done to our specifications, yet meat was still tender. Excellent service, since we were eating indoors, we were asked for our vaccination cards. After showing, the vaccination cards, we were quickly seated. Knowing that everyone inside had been vaccinated, made us feel safe. Drinks and food came quickly, we had a wonderful time. When we finished our meal, shortly after, our server brought a dessert with a lit candle. It was nice that the restaurant paid attention to the occasion. I highly recommend this restaurant.
Our dining experience was great! Service and food were both outstanding! Would definitely recommend it!
A very enjoyable meal with well prepared food (the lamb chops and the broiled salmon), wonderful drinks and wine, all provided with great service in a quiet clubby atmosphere.
We always have a great evening at john’s grill . Very comfortable
Great old time SF experience and if you are a fan of the Maltese Falcon / Sam Spade........this is a must. Chat with the bartender to see the Falcon behind the bar and then head to the 2nd floor. Glad we went........again!
Had the house salad and the fresh halibut. Delicious
Right staying, overpriced even for SF, great portions, generally ok.
Excellent all around!!!
Felt like a burden instead of a customer. I asked to change a side dish (willing to pay extra for it) but was told they can’t. Not good for business if you ask me.
Very nice staff and the food was great!!!!
The food was delicious, the service was outstanding and the ambiance was perfect. We had a great time.
We went to the second floor and it was very noise but the service and food was incredible. I would recommend it.
We were seated 10 min before our reservation. The food and service were wonderful! The building has a cool history with lots of photos on the wall to view.
Roquefort shrimp salad was soggy, clam chowder was just barely warm and so salty with few pieces of clam or potatoes. Wait staff were great. They work so hard! Maybe we just hit an off night as things pick up after being shut down. I see many people had a great experience.
A scaled back menu and proportions which makes sense as we are still in the muddle of a pandemic. A restaurant having to limit number of people needs to limit choice and quantity enable to survive economically.
The ONE true drawback is the noise level which is terrible and difficult to carry on conversations.
Excellent food and service as always.
Fantastic shrimp salad.
Great food, a little too crowded and noisy. Will definitely return though.
The service was poor, we waited 15 minutes before our server arrived. Appetizers and drinks came promptly but our main course was forever in coming 30 minutes later. My husband’s food was cold and not done as requested. Mine was odd, the halibut was extremely hot and the mash potatoes and zucchini was lukewarm. Waiting for desserts was not happening.
John's is consistently outstanding and truly a San Francisco gem. I am always amazed at the freshness of the food, the great preparation, and the friendly service. And the value is unbelievable; prices are some of the most reasonable in he City.
WE ARRIVED A FEW MINUTES EARLY AND WERE SEATED IMMEDIATELY. THE SERVICE WAS AMAZING. IT WAS MY HUSBANDS 50TH BDAY AND THIS PLACE DID NOT DISAPPOINT! EXCELLANT FOOD AND OUR SERVER KRISTEN WAS OUT OF THIS WORLD!
THANKS TO ALL FOR A BIRTHDAY HE WILL NEVER FORGET!!
Pretty decent steak place. Old school sides. My ribeye wasn’t a ribeye or,if it was, was poor quality. My wife loved her medallions of filet. Doneness was a little rare. Service was great. Wine list extensive and very reasonably priced.
From start to finish everything was absolutely amazing!
The service was top both hit and the food was delicious.
The halibut was soggy and reheated. I had to use a knife to cut it. My partners prawns were excellent. Everything else was as we have come to expect. Always very good. We will keep trying.
Ambiance, food, service: top notch. Thank you.
Great food, best steaks in SF, great ambience, lots of history and character to the place.
I love John’s grill. My only disappointment was the scaled down menu. It’s the only place to have great liver and onions
Excellent food and service. Offers a wide selection on menu.
Food was brought out VERY quickly - couldn’t have been made to order. Meal felt very rushed - in and out in 45 minutes. Food was mediocre.
Classic San Francisco ambiance, everyone loved their meal.
It was a bday dinner. The waiter did not observe this event nothing was given to the bday person to recognize her bday like a small cupcake, anything or the waiters singing Happy bday
We had a great time at John’s Grill! It was the perfect place to spend our one year wedding anniversary, the food was delicious and the service was amazing! They even surprised us with glasses of champagne and dessert for our celebration! We loved the ambiance and had an overall great time! Would definitely recommend
My guest and I ate outside. A bit less ambiance than the historic restaurant, but quite comfortable. My guest had a Caesar’s salad, and I had the chowder—both excellent. We both had the surf and turf. The NY steak was really good. The wine choices were generous and of high quality. The waiter was very attentive. Another great meal at one of my favorite S.F. restaurants.
Awesome food! Fantastic customer service! Great Martini! Loved it!
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 4.6 stars by 5613 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.