Historic John's Grill
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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- 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
- Limited number of seated diners
- Distancing maintained in common areas
- Extra space between tables
- Waitstaff wear masks
- Diners must wear masks unless eating or drinking
- Sick staff prohibited in the workplace
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]
Fried Combination Seafood
Server was excellent. The steak was the best, so tasty.
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.
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.
Always great, very noisy on this day!
great to be back opened up. food & service was awesome
Amazing every time!
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.
A classic, with great food, atmos, and service.
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!!
This is our go to place for a great meal. We started with the clam chowder which was great then shared the shrimp Louie.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
food a bit heavy fo r our tatse but they are trying very hard
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.
Excellent service and good food.
Inside felt quite chilly, but good came out piping hot just how I like it.
Would definitely go again!
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.
So glad stopped in
The chicken dish was beyond amazing !! Yum
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
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
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.
Had a great experience. Well prepared rib eye, great drinks and dessert. Will continue to return for sure
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!
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!
The food was excellent. The service was good we always enjoy this classic restaurant even though the noise level is a little bit high.
Found this gem in a review. Wow! We loved the history and especially the wonderful steak! Will return
Best value fine dining in the Union Square area with 'old school' charm and service.
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!
Still a great big piece San Francisco’s big heart.
Old fashioned and proud of it.
The food was not very good. Definitely would not return or recommend.
The jack lalanne salad was great, so was the clam chowder. We ordered the fisherman’s pasta and a ribeye. Steak was perfection. I will dream about it. Great dirty martinis.
We ate outside on the sidewalk so our experience does not reflect indoor dining. The food was very good. The reason for 4 stars instead of 5 was that the beef medallions were more well done than medium rare as ordered. It was surprisingly pleasant eating on the street and I hope they keep this option. Eating outside means that you don't get quite the level of service you'd get inside.
Took friends from out of town. Everyone enjoyed their meal. Great flavor. Excellent service. No problem recommending this to a friend
Amazing food and drinks! Loved the atmosphere and highly recommend the gold rush drink!
Wonderful service, well prepared food, and clean. The overall experience was lovely and I would happily go back every night ❤️
My sister and I wanted to take her husband to this historic restaurant. The jumbo prawns in the Dijon sauce is excellent. He (we) loved the food and the ambiance. The salmon and the mixed seafood is wonderful
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 5542 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.