John's Grill

4.4
4420 reviews
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$31 to $50
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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!!!
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What 4420 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
4.5
service
4.3
ambience
4.1
value
Noise · Moderate
92% of people would recommend it to a friend
5
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OT
San Francisco
1 review
Dined 2 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

It was great.

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c
San Francisco
14 reviews
Dined 2 days ago
Overall 1food 1service 4ambience 3

If u read this and go then you have no one to blame but yourself. Just bad food. Steak was okay, everything else was of poor quality.

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LB
San Francisco
6 reviews
Dined 2 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Traditional atmosphere, fabulous service, cozy atmosphere, excellent food quality. The best french fries ever.

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Y
1 review
Dined 3 days ago
Overall 2food 2service 1ambience 2

オーダの料理と違うステーキを持ってきて、平気な顔のウェイター。デザートをサービスしてくれましたが、当然チップは出さず。

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CQ
San Francisco
5 reviews
Dined 3 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Lunch at John's Grill was start of wonderful SF weekend with my sister. I LOVE liver & onions and they did not disappoint. Service was WONDERFUL. We will be back.

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JB
San Francisco
1 review
Dined 5 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great spot as always. Authentic

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OT
1 review
Dined on January 14, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Every year we come to San Francisco we make sure we eat at John's Grill.
Love the history.

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JR
Hawaii
1 review
Dined on January 14, 2019
Overall 4food 3service 3ambience 4

The food was pretty good but got cold quickly. It felt crowded and it was difficult to get around with my walker, especially getting upstairs.

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LF
St. Louis
11 reviews
Dined on January 13, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

It was a very busy Saturday night and we were a party of six. The service was excellent-the host, server, busser, all! The food was very good with the exception of the creamed spinach-it was more like cream of spinach soup. Everyone's steaks were cooked perfectly. It was so very loud, it was difficult to enjoy the music, but still a great experience.

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M
San Francisco
19 reviews
Dined on January 13, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great Classic Place. Will be back often.

This place has been around for yeas but our first visit. This will now be a regular place for us. Great food, service and atmosphere. Everyone really nice. My wife had he NY steak and it was fantastic and very reasonably priced. I had the classic lamb chops Outstanding. Great martinis. Would highly recommend.

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OT
New York Area
1 review
Dined on January 13, 2019
Overall 3food 4service 2ambience 4

土曜のとても混雑している時に10名での会食。サービスマンが慣れていないのか不慣れな感じでたどたどしかった。クラムチャウダー、シーフードサラダ、ジョンズステーキを注文。食事は美味しい。

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W
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on January 13, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Excellent food, service and location. We will be back. Loved all the food, and the sides were cooked perfectly. We had a 6pm reservation which was a good thing- this place was packed and the line out the door the entire time we were there. The server was excellent and all staff was on point.

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MM
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on January 13, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

Had a very good dinner. Service was wonderful and ambiance was perfect.

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M
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on January 12, 2019
Overall 1food 1service 2ambience 2

Very expensive for what it offers. The fist was horrible, probably a frozen fish fillets, with a bad mixture of spices and some veggies, would not recommend at all. Wine was average in quality, but expensive. The steaks that my colleagues had seemed to be a bit better, but nothing spectacular. It is a tourist trap restaurant. For 90 dollars per person there are much better restaurants in SF.

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L
New York Area
11 reviews
Dined on January 11, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Food was excellent, as well as service. Excellent value with meat as good as any other steak places, but notas expensive. However, it was too noisy despite the fact that we went for a late lunch, 2:45pm.

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M
San Francisco
104 reviews
Dined on January 11, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

John's Grill is a San Francisco institution. Aside from its historical significance, the food is excellent, and the service was outstanding. My guest and I both had the Boston chowder, which was really good. I had a crab-shrimp Louis salad. Again, the salad was excellent. John's Grill is one of my favorite restaurants in San Francisco.

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OT
Hawaii
13 reviews
Dined on January 11, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 3

I cannot wait to go back to John's Grill. The food was outstanding and the value was excellent compared to other SF restaurants who are goughing tourists. I strongly reccomend the Petrale sole. Basic Salad was also terrific. Not thrilled about the house wine but the food was so good I did not care. My only real criticism was that the house music was slightly too loud. Tone it down so conversations are easier. Thanks for a great evening!

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OT
Minneapolis
1 review
Dined on January 11, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great history, great food and great value for the City

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G
San Francisco
49 reviews
Dined on January 11, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 4

Old SF style restaurant with great food!

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MB
San Francisco
10 reviews
Dined on January 11, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

John's Grill never disappoints! You feel like you've stepped back in time to an earlier chapter in San Francisco's history. The waitstaff is always excellent. The food is classic and ever so tasty.

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AW
1 review
Dined on January 10, 2019
Overall 3food 4service 4ambience 4

Great for visitors but queuing for 30 mins with a booking was disappointing

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C
1 review
Dined on January 10, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The atmosphere at John’s is always a delight. I’m a fan of detective noir generally, and Dashiell Hammett’s writing. The strip steak was prepared perfectly. Heirloom tomato salad was great. While it was busy during JPM, my colleague asked if we could go back next year.

I’m already looking forward to it

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OT
1 review
Dined on January 10, 2019
Overall 4food 3service 4ambience 5

Claaaic SF dinner spot. Started slow at 5:30, but was hopping the time we left. Food was good and what I expected. It’s not a blow you away place. It’s a classic establishment.

Going to put it in the rotation

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LS
San Francisco
18 reviews
Dined on January 9, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 3

This is my second visit to John's Grill. What I did not appreciate was the restaurant jacking up prices due to a conference in town. The menu and prices were different than their usual. While the service at reception and wait staff were very good, the food and ambiance were average (and very expensive). I assume this was due to how busy they were.

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n
New York Area
9 reviews
Dined on January 9, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 3ambience 3

Much too noisy...could not hear my lunch invite across the table!

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MB
New England
2 reviews
Dined on January 9, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Was great all around

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DW
San Francisco
25 reviews
Dined on January 9, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 4

First time. Food was OK - salad tasty, steak was rough to cut and gristly, wine list limited. The place was packed and really noisy to the poit that conversation was almost impossible. Our waiter was great but not enough to overcome the negatives. For Union Square area, there are much better choices....

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S
New Orleans
4 reviews
Dined on January 9, 2019
Overall 2food 2service 2ambience 1

Price was extraordinarily high for food quality and preparation. Old and dirty. Tablecloths were covered with white paper. Wine was fairly priced compared to other restaurants.

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DG
San Francisco
28 reviews
Dined on January 8, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Food and service was fabulous and our business guest really enjoyed it, too. Will be back!

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R
Miami
5 reviews
Dined on January 7, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

Had great meal with my wife and another couple, great service,great food, and ambiance. Highly recommend

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PJ
San Francisco
184 reviews
Dined on January 6, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 3ambience 4

Good old school establishment. Real San Francisco charm! I've wanted to go here for years and finally did. Food was good, service okay. Some tables, including ours, are a bit too dark. I like an intimate setting, but we were practically in the dark. There wasn't an overhead light even remotely nearby, only a very dim candle at the table.

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LS
Sacramento
3 reviews
Dined on January 6, 2019
Overall 2food 2service 5ambience 3

2 of our party had the Seafood Pasta and were sick afterwards. I had the Rib Eye and it was excellent. I can't return if the food makes you ill. Nice place and great service though.

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OT
1 review
Dined on January 6, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Family dinner in the city

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PG
Central Coast
1 review
Dined on January 5, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 3

Tables are very close together on second floor. We were often bumped by wait staff and patrons squeezing between tables. Noise level very high. Not a relaxing dinner experience.

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MS
1 review
Dined on January 3, 2019
Overall 1food 1service 1ambience 2

The worst - the absolute worst dining experience of my life. The food was inedible, plain and simple. The hostess was rude and totally uninterested in making our party welcome. I may never recover from recommending this place to the folks in my party. Won't be back, ever...

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C
Las Vegas
3 reviews
Dined on January 2, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Good food, outstanding service. Little bit over priced

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J
New York Area
8 reviews
Dined on January 2, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

This a SF institution. As in its been around for over 100 years. Also as in it seems exactly like its been around 100 years. Its great food and great service, but a little old fashioned for this SF native - and I am nearly 50. I think everyone should try it, but the menu might need to add an item or two from past say the Mad Men era.

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RJ
San Francisco
5 reviews
Dined on January 2, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 4

I haven't eaten here in many years, and it isn't as good as I remembered it being. It's still great old San Francisco history, but the food it only okay. A party of five, so five appetizers and five entrees, and nothing better than "good" in the bunch. Nothing was bad, it was all just meh, very ordinary.
And, to be fair, we enjoyed our evening. We were seated promptly -- we had a reservation, but that's not a guarantee at many restaurants -- and all our food and drinks were served appropriately. Our waiter was very good and I added a few dollars to the included 19% gratuity (parties of 5 or larger), so no complaints there.
It was fine to eat here once more, but I think this was the last time. Too many better places here in the city.

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OT
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on January 2, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 3

We love John’s Grill and it has become a Holiday tradition for my family to dine there. The food, service, and ambience or top notch. However, they could spend some funds to upgrade the ambience and furniture on the third floor dining room...the folding “dining tables” don’t do the restaurant justice.

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OT
Mexico City
1 review
Dined on January 1, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Celebración de Año Nuevo

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