John's Grill

4.4
4478 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 4478 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
91% of people would recommend it to a friend
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L
San Francisco
77 reviews
Dined 16 hours ago
Overall 4food 3service 4ambience 5

Worth it for the old school vibe. This place is hopping!

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D
San Francisco
5 reviews
Dined 2 days ago
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

Very nice Vesper Martini. Steak good as always. My wife LOVED the Sole Almandine. Caesar is a great waiter. Real real San Francisco Feeling at this place.

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N
San Francisco
1 review
Dined 2 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

Great food, though the restaurant is a little small for so many people. If Icould dine with more space, it was fur better.

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DC
Philadelphia
3 reviews
Dined 2 days ago
Overall 1food 1service 3ambience 2

The food was poor and the restaurant was way too crowded and loud. I will never go back.

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BC
San Francisco
1 review
Dined 4 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Excellent food and service in a very historic (1908) ambiance. I would certainly suggest having a reservation as the place is very popular.

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KK
1 review
Dined 4 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Wonderful food & service. The atmosphere was fun! Loud, so not recommended for a quiet date night. Had some nice, soft, live music in the background.

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OT
San Francisco
169 reviews
Dined 5 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Top of line service , great quality of steak. Reasonable prices for the area.

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C
New York Area
45 reviews
Dined 6 days ago
Overall 4food 3service 4ambience 4

Dinner was enjoyable in this classic San Francisco restaurant. We had the lobster ravioli and a chicken special.

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OT
San Francisco
1 review
Dined 6 days ago
Overall 3food 2service 3ambience 3

Ribeye and Filet were cold. Lacked flavor and not juicy. However the chowder and lobster bisque were outstanding!

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JK
San Francisco
133 reviews
Dined 6 days ago
Overall 2food 2service 4ambience 2

Classic style with nice wine list, but was unimpressed with the quality of the steak cut. Service was quite good. With so many other options in the area, I doubt we will return given quality/price.

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PG
Seattle
1 review
Dined 7 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We found this timeless, classy restaurant on Open Table. What a great find. Almost 110 years in business, with great food and cocktails, wonderful service, and marvelous atmosphere. And very reasonably priced.

We will be back on our next visit.

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OT
San Francisco
35 reviews
Dined on February 9, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 2ambience 4

Living on reputation, I would not recommend this restaurant as there are so many better in San Francisco. The restaurant is worse than dirty and I do not know how is passes the health code,

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MB
1 review
Dined on February 9, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 5

Almost the best grill i have ever seen in the states.

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OT
1 review
Dined on February 9, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

It my birthday. We told the waiter not to make a big deal. When he brought out dessert, he had 1 lighted candle, didn’t sing, didn’t make a big deal! Perfect!
Dinner was excellent, service was equal to the food!!!!

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MH
1 review
Dined on February 9, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Always look forward to meeting up here. Even was sat next to BD Wong!

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L
Austin
3 reviews
Dined on February 8, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Everything was wonderful! Ask To be in Jeffrey’s section; he was superb!

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MJ
1 review
Dined on February 8, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Fabulous steaks and seafood. Friendly, playful, helpful, attentive service. We’ll be back...

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A
1 review
Dined on February 7, 2019
Overall 3food 4service 3ambience 1

I have been coming to John's Grill for years as part of the normal dinner tour while attending Photonics West. This is the first time that I have been very disappointed. My table of eight was placed in a small room and another group of eight, nine, ten, and finally grew to 12 people. The room was so loud that we could not hear each other. VERY disappointed in the way the second group was allowed to increase the number of people sitting at their table.

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CP
New England
1 review
Dined on February 7, 2019
Overall 3food 2service 3ambience 3

Average food, average service, overrated

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D
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on February 7, 2019
Overall 2food 3service 1ambience 4

We had a 4 pm res. We arrived early. The staff seemed glad to see us as he place was empty. The res turned into 8. At 6pm the waiter turned rude telling us we had to leave as they had other reservations. -is everyone treated so rudely at the end of a 2 hrs res?

The bar does not have real lime juice to make cocktails with.

We will not be back.

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OT
Los Angeles
2 reviews
Dined on February 6, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 3

Crab appetizer is excellent. Good for groups, but is very loud. Cannot talk/hear more than two people over at your table.

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BH
San Francisco
4 reviews
Dined on February 6, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

Great place with wonderful history

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ML
1 review
Dined on February 4, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

This place is amazing.. True San Francisco history

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R
Sacramento
8 reviews
Dined on February 4, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Awesome vibe! Iconic SF. Seated at the great corner table at end of the bar! Wonderful food, dressings made in house, and great service.

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MC
1 review
Dined on February 3, 2019
Overall 2food 2service 2ambience 2

Were a little early getting there, couldn't even wait in bar. Had to leave and come back. Got table at least half an hour late.
Food forgettable and overpriced.

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m
San Francisco
4 reviews
Dined on February 2, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Love this place. Celebrated my besties birthday and the staff was super attentive and friendly. Food was perfect too.

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H
Orange County
9 reviews
Dined on February 2, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The historical ambience that stems from the Maltese falcon connection really made it a great choice. Wish the homeless problem wasn’t so prevalent

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a
Tucson
2 reviews
Dined on February 1, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The staff was accommodating as our party arrived in stages and were happy to accommodate special requests

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EB
San Francisco
54 reviews
Dined on January 31, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Another fantastic lunch at John's Grill--thanks!! Everything was perfect, from the martinis to the lobster ravioli were excellent! Server (I think it was Cesar) was totally professional, really knew how to do his job, and made our meal special. Will continue to visit John's whenever I can!

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H
Edmonton
19 reviews
Dined on January 30, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

We were there before the theatre to celebrate a birthday... our server was efficient and friendly... we each chose one of the items he recommended and the food was amazing...robust rib eye, delectable lamb and delicious halibut! Excellent wine selection and great service.
Our table was right by the elevator so there was lots of coming and going.

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d
Sacramento
5 reviews
Dined on January 28, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

Enjoyed the history of John's Grill, all the photos, and the connection with Dashiell Hammett, and the Maltese Falcon. I have had lunch there twice recently, and love the ambiance and the friendly staff.

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L
1 review
Dined on January 28, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 3

Très bonne viande, tendre et goûteuse.
Le restaurant était complet : trop de bruit à mon goût. En plus, nous étions à côté d un pianiste.

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DM
1 review
Dined on January 28, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 4

First visit to John’s. Seated promptly despite being 15 minutes early for our reservation. Friendly staff. Excellently prpared food—we had the salmon, filet mignon and fried shrimp between us and all were excellent. Portions were generous—two of us had leftovers. The pecan pie was amazing. The coffee was average and was served with milk instead of cream.

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OT
San Francisco
3 reviews
Dined on January 27, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Amazing waiter!

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OT
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on January 27, 2019
Overall 2food 2service 1ambience 4

Food was below average and the service was terrible

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m
San Francisco
14 reviews
Dined on January 27, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 4ambience 3

Noisy but the food was good. We had a little of everything and got a free dessert for the birthday girl.

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d
Phoenix
8 reviews
Dined on January 27, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I hosted a party of 5 for a business meal. Each one of us raved about our entree's. I started my meal with the Roquefort Salad and boy was that tasty! For my entrée, I enjoyed the ribeye steak! Cooked to perfection! Tender, juicy, and flavorful! We ordered a key lime pie, pecan pie, and Chocolate Mousse Torte for the table to share. The pecan pie was our favorite. The ambiance is one of a kind! We got a great table by the front window and main entrance. A very upbeat pace. Our service was top notch as well! We were there from 6:15-9pm and the line was still a few groups deep waiting for a table. I'm not at all surprised. Definitely a go back again spot for us!

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LC
San Francisco
4 reviews
Dined on January 27, 2019
Overall 4food 3service 4ambience 4

We love John's for its old San Francisco ambiance. It is a bit pricey but it feels home to a native San Franciscan.

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CT
Detroit
7 reviews
Dined on January 27, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The service was excellent. We didn’t like where we were seated, so asked to be moved. With no hesitation, the staff placed us at another table. We asked a lot of questions about the menu, and our waiter was very knowledgeable, and steered us in the right direction. We really enjoyed our meal.

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c
San Francisco
154 reviews
Dined on January 27, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

My first visit to John’s Grill was one of the best dining experiences. We came to celebrate a birthday. The excellent experience has everything to do with our server who anticipated our every need. We had the dinner salad with bay shrimp, very fresh. Next the escargot in creamy garlic sauce which we haven’t had before, we kept dipping the sourdough bread in the addictive sauce. The split surf and turf New York steak, fried prawns and baked potato was more than enough for my mum and I.
The restaurant noted that we have a birthday and brought out a complimentary flan dessert with a birthday candle for a wish. We so appreciate that. And then they topped it off with a little present from the house - a Maltese Falcon key ring! Such a fine example of making guests feel special.

This might be our first dinner at John’s Grill but it won’t be our last. Mum and I are already planning to come back for the excellent service and delicious steak.

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