John's Grill

4.4
4613 reviews
icon/ic_price_rangeCreated with Sketch.
$31 to $50
icon/ic_cuisineCreated with Sketch.
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.
Live jazz nightly in the upper level dining room.

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.)”

Zagat Rates John's Grill - #1 Steakhouse in Downtown San Francisco!!!
avatar copy

Private Dining

Book your next event with us

View details
What 4613 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.4based on recent ratings
4.4
food
4.4
service
4.3
ambience
4.1
value
Noise · Moderate
90% of people would recommend it to a friend
5
4
3
2
1
Sort by
Newest
Filters
JV
1 review
Dined 3 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Although it's 110 years old, John's Grill is a recent find for me. Have been there 4 times since November 2018, and each time a very good experience. Definitely "old San Francisco", with a great ambiance. Each time, good food and service. Great conversation at the bar also.

Report
Helpful
WW
1 review
Dined 3 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I lived in San Francisco for many years and even after leaving I continued to return frequently. John's grill is always on my top list. I like everything about the place. If you want a feeling of old San Francisco and true city this is the spot.

Report
Helpful
JK
1 review
Dined 4 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Love this place. Brought my new girlfriend there!!

Report
Helpful
DC
Washington DC
39 reviews
Dined 4 days ago
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 3

It was just all ok. There was nothing to complain about, but the steaks were alright. Most cities have some wonderful steakhouses on offer, upscale chains or homegrown heroes. This place has some history, but needs to offer food a step up from Outback.

Report
Helpful
h
Orange County
10 reviews
Dined 4 days ago
Overall 3food 3service 5ambience 5

It was our 40th Anniversary. Staff was great, it might have been what I ordered as they changed a recipe to gluten free.

Report
Helpful
S
San Francisco
18 reviews
Dined 4 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great food and awesome service. Everything we had was so good. But save room for dessert.

Report
Helpful
P
San Francisco
19 reviews
Dined 5 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We haven't been here for ages and thought to try it after the theater. We were early and they seated us anyway. The tables are close together, but we had fun conversations with the tables along side us. The food was fabulous and Curtis, our server, provided the perfect customer service. We have to go here more often when we are in the city, especially how close it is to BART.

Report
Helpful
t
San Francisco
16 reviews
Dined 6 days ago
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

Good seafood dining experience with attentive wait staff.

Report
Helpful
AC
Tahoe
11 reviews
Dined on April 17, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

Great ambience and vibe. Cozy and old
School. Very attentive service.
Bread comes immediately and is fantastic.
Lobster bisque was tasty but bowl size seemed shallow and it was not piping hot.
Salads were decent. Great dressing but despite heirloom tomatoes it was still too early for tomato flavor.
Shrimp cocktail was great with extra horseradish

Old fashioned was too sweet with muddled maraschino cherries

Report
Helpful
MB
Orange County
11 reviews
Dined on April 16, 2019
Overall 2food 2service 1ambience 3

Halibut was really salty. Service was terrible and the additional 25% that was tacked on our bill for a surcharge and mandatory 19% really sucked.

Report
Helpful
OT
London
2 reviews
Dined on April 15, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Cenamos fenomenal , nos atendió Chris , una persona muy educada muy amable y muy profesional . Alta calidad de la carne, hecha al punto justo en el que la pedimos. Un restaurante muy recomendable para comer carne exquisita en San Francisco.

Report
Helpful
s
Seattle
2 reviews
Dined on April 15, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 4

Classic steak house menu, excellent preparation and awesome atmosphere. Always a great meal.

Report
Helpful
OT
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on April 15, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Love the old school style decor, this place made me feel like I was in the movies The Godfather or Goodfellas!! Can you believe the author of the Maltese Falcon actually dined and wrote part of the book here, that’s amazing. The food was delicious we ordered a cioppino, seafood cannelloni and the lamb chops. Our sever Jose was amazing he helped us and explained each and every plate we asked him about. The drinks were actually really good a bit strong but delicious. Overall our experience here was amazing, definitely coming back whenever we’re back in town. Thank you johns grill!!

Report
Helpful
YU
Tokyo
4 reviews
Dined on April 15, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Good Service, affordable price. I will use this restaurant again.

Report
Helpful
TH
London
17 reviews
Dined on April 14, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 3ambience 3

Just great steaks....

Report
Helpful
OT
Indiana
5 reviews
Dined on April 13, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 4

Very very noisy but the antique wood panels that cause it are magnificent. Excellent service but the food was just ok. Even with reservations there was a wait.

Report
Helpful
r
Portland
95 reviews
Dined on April 13, 2019
Overall 4food 3service 5ambience 5

John's Grill is a SF icon, and is still going strong. Food was good -- there was a mix-u[ with the steaks ordered (all 3 were under cooked for diner's tastes, and had to be sent back) but the issue was taken care of cheerfully and the waitstaff couldn't have been more accommodating. Overall the experience was great.

Report
Helpful
HB
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on April 13, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Always a nice evening out. My husband loves their lamb chops. We enjoy a pre-theater dinner here a few times a year and it never disappoints.

Report
Helpful
OT
London
5 reviews
Dined on April 12, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

John’s is always a wonderful experience! Whenever I visit San Francisco I make sure to have a meal there!

Report
Helpful
B
San Francisco
26 reviews
Dined on April 12, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

We went to John’s Grill last night before going to a show. The room shows a lot of history and upstairs where we sat, there was a jazz guitarist playing. The tables are really close together so forget about a private conversation. The food was good, but not great. We each had fish, halibut and sea bass, and while the portions were large, the fish didn’t have much taste and the baked potatoes and string beans were a bit dated. Something more creative and tasteful would have been appreciated. John’s Grill is an institution, but the food feels institutionalized.

Report
Helpful
MK
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on April 12, 2019
Overall 2food 2service 3ambience 3

Was disappointed in the quality of the food. Am not a fan of a lot of sauce on top of fish but that's what I got. Vegetables were sparse and tasteless and baked potato too large for my taste. Not a memorable dinner.

Report
Helpful
TN
Las Vegas
4 reviews
Dined on April 11, 2019
Overall 3food 4service 5ambience 3

Have had positive experience at John's in the past, but it was a bit disappointing this time we were initially seated upstairs and the noise was so great, we literally had to yell at each other over the small table. Before even getting our water, we decided to leave.
On a good note, a server/host noticed, and we're very understanding. They offered seating on the first floor which we accepted. The sound level was much more tolerable. The subsequent service was very good, and while the food was OK, it wasn't to the point of being above average or excellent.
Would probably try again next time I'm in town, but wouldn't go out of my way to do so.

Report
Helpful
MR
Seattle
6 reviews
Dined on April 10, 2019
Overall 1food 2service 3ambience 1

There was a dead fly in my water cup that I fished out. The tables are spaced so close together that you can have a very friendly conversation with the party next to you. The food is average at best. The wait staff are good and friendly people.

Report
Helpful
MM
New York Area
11 reviews
Dined on April 10, 2019
Overall 2food 2service 3ambience 3

Food is just not that good. Unsure why since they have been in business for a very long time.

Report
Helpful
OT
San Francisco
26 reviews
Dined on April 7, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great food, ambiance and service

Report
Helpful
OT
San Francisco
3 reviews
Dined on April 7, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great service and food-as always🥩

Report
Helpful
AH
1 review
Dined on April 7, 2019
Overall 4food 3service 4ambience 5

Normally, I’d write a great review for John’s Grill. But my lunch was a “meh.” My steak wasn’t that great. And the whole meal was a bit cold. As I ate my steak, I’d get these tiny chips of bone (3) during bites. Not the best meal by far.

Report
Helpful
f
San Francisco
13 reviews
Dined on April 6, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We always have good food, good service and I just love the feel of "Old San Francisco" that the interior has. It has an elegant San Francisco ambience to it. Love it!

Report
Helpful
OT
San Francisco
3 reviews
Dined on April 6, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

My third time coming to johns grill, and must say once again everything was perfect!! Decided to come in and celebrate my girlfriends birthday, and this place seem more than perfect since we’re both fans of steaks and seafood. Our server was amazing he recommended a wonderful pomegranate martini and must say it was so good we ordered a second. We had the lamb chops and cioppino everything was amazing and cooked to perfection. At the end of the night our server dropped off a lovely homemade flan with a candle set up beautifully for my gf, even had the guitarist played Happy Birthday for her. Once again thanks Johns grill for another amazing meal definitely made my girlfriends birthday a night to remember.

Report
Helpful
OT
1 review
Dined on April 5, 2019
Overall 1food 2service 2ambience 2

Fruit flys greeted us at the table. Server delivered my wife's chicken dish cool/warm, and the wrong type of steak to me. Waited for the correct steak while my wife ate her cool chicken.
Server never apologized, said a word, after clearing our meal, he just walked up and plopped a plate of Crem Brulee in front of us without a word, offered us coffee or dessert - bizarre, like that would make us happy.
We don't even eat it!
Won't go back, and if anyone goes, bring big spray (killed 3), and hope for a better time than we had.

Report
Helpful
OT
1 review
Dined on April 4, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

Classic place. Great service

Report
Helpful
L
San Francisco
10 reviews
Dined on March 31, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Dined here after our show at the Orpheum Theater. Dinner was fantastic as was the amazing and attentive staff. Will come back again

Report
Helpful
OT
San Francisco
3 reviews
Dined on March 30, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great find! Not to be overlooked!

Report
Helpful
N
Phoenix
3 reviews
Dined on March 30, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 3

I don't now if it was the Open table reservation but I felt Like I was crammed into a tight table next to the musician. felt a little put out.

Report
Helpful
KB
Chicago
3 reviews
Dined on March 30, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Reserved at last minute, and was able to get it. Food was incredible. Would definitely recommend

Report
Helpful
r
San Francisco
10 reviews
Dined on March 30, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

Great old restaurant. Good cocktails and meat and potatoes. Fish options good too.

Report
Helpful
LM
1 review
Dined on March 30, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Not the first time I have been to John's Grill...I continue to be quite pleased and will return whenever I get the chance..Have taken friends before and some have made the place one of their choices when in the area...Keep up the good work

Report
Helpful
YF
Orlando
2 reviews
Dined on March 29, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 3

Booked a special dinner for anniversary we both had fish... food was delicious! Our waiter was a little excited! Luckily I changed our reservation to 6pm because by 6:15 you were crammed in like sardines and there was a loudest salesman in the room competition going on.... not very intimate although we had a great table initially!

Report
Helpful
KM
San Francisco
10 reviews
Dined on March 29, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

First time here and we’ll be back! Food and service was outstanding!

Report
Helpful
2
Denver
4 reviews
Dined on March 29, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Steaks were so tender and flavorful, escargot was heavenly.

Report
Helpful
1
2
3
116