John's Grill

4.5
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5244 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 5244 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.5based on recent ratings
4.4
food
4.5
service
4.3
ambience
4.1
value
Noise · Moderate
90% of people would recommend it to a friend
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OT
San Francisco
1 review
Dined 2 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great resteraunt and great food. A little pricey and loud but will definitely visit again

OT
1 review
Dined 2 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Went for Valentine’s Day never being there and being from out of town found here on open table and it was great....service was excellent and food was great....great steaks can not go wrong I would definitely go back

DF
San Francisco
5 reviews
Dined 2 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

First visit to John's Grill and I enjoyed the service and the food served. excellent quality of good menu for Valentines Day dinner. Best stop before the show and happy we chose this place. We will return again. Curtis, our server was very professional and helpful to our group night out.

GM
San Francisco
35 reviews
Dined 2 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Really enjoyed our meal at John's Grill. We have a misunderstanding about our reservation time, and despite being very busy, the hostess was able to get us seated immediately. Great service and food, this is a neighborhood gem you should try.

FL
San Francisco
4 reviews
Dined 3 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Fabulous food!

SD
San Diego
41 reviews
Dined 3 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Valentines Day

g
New York Area
4 reviews
Dined 6 days ago
Overall4food4service4ambience4

Ristorante storico. Servizio puntuale. Cibo ottimo, sia la carne che il pesce. Buona la birra. Prezzi nello standard di San Francisco e cioè medio/alti.

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OT
London
1 review
Dined on February 8, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great food and ambiance.

AV
Tahoe
2 reviews
Dined on February 8, 2020
Overall3food2service3ambience3

Just ok. Not so much of a jazz band only one guy playing and looked like her wasn’t really playing. Restaurant was very crowded tables are very close to each other we could listen to our neighbors conversation and not a lot of room to move around. Won’t be going again.

BM
1 review
Dined on February 8, 2020
Overall2food3service2ambience4

The food and service were both acceptable, but not as good as I expected for the prices paid. My steak was properly prepared but arrived lukewarm, and the server never returned to check on our meals so I had no opportunity to allow them to rectify that situation. I really enjoyed the Roquefort salad. I didn’t like being seated at a table that was three inches away from another couple when there were plenty of open tables for twothat could have allowed us more space,

DM
Portland
1 review
Dined on February 8, 2020
Overall4food4service5ambience5

Food was good but pricey, the filet mignon was ordered medium rare and it was fairly well cooked, so medium well. They replaced it quickly however and offered a free dessert as comp.

r
San Francisco
11 reviews
Dined on February 7, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Always a great experience
The food and service is always top notch!!
Highly Recommend John’s

SR
1 review
Dined on February 7, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

My parents courted at Johns Grill in the 1930s. It always has and always will have a special place in my heart.

Long may it live!!

DS
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on February 7, 2020
Overall3food2service4ambience4

Had seafood cannelloni. Filling was all ground up, just a fish taste, not noticeable shellfish or shrimp. Vegetables overcooked.

OT
Los Angeles
1 review
Dined on February 5, 2020
Overall2food2service5ambience3

Steak quality has dropped over the last few years, I’ve been twice and ordered the NY steak, the cut both times was noticeably thinner that a few years ago, it was disappointing.

PB
San Francisco
6 reviews
Dined on February 3, 2020
Overall4food2service5ambience5

The host and waiter made our birthday guest feel very special. The service was exceptional throughout the evening. But I must confess, the food was disappointing, like a short order cook prepared it rather than a nicely plated gourmet meal.
I love the ambiance and handsome bar so will give them another try.

BM
London
4 reviews
Dined on February 2, 2020
Overall3food3service5ambience4

Authentic grill - service good but really busy, and food wasn’t as good as hoped (steaks were disappointing).

p
Orange County
12 reviews
Dined on February 2, 2020
Overall4food5service4ambience4

The Sam Spade lamb chops plate is one of our favorites. Our entire party ordered this classic. The chops are prepared well, cooked perfectly and served with baked potato and sliced tomato. Each plate had a generous portion of 5 to 6 chops. Simple yet tasty.

p
San Francisco
33 reviews
Dined on February 2, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Fabulous food and cozy traditional San Francisco ambiance. Eat downstairs if a couple or a small party. Very relaxing yet full of activity.

M
San Francisco
5 reviews
Dined on February 2, 2020
Overall3food2service4ambience4

Food was just ok. Canneloni was awful.

OT
San Francisco
40 reviews
Dined on February 1, 2020
Overall4food4service4ambience3

I really like John's Grill. With that said, it is extremely loud and very, very hectic on the main floor dining level. It is a bustling, exciting place to be but it's difficult to find your server at times, and is very hard to grab a drink before dining. With that said, there is a market for this place. It has a very special place and purpose in the food scene. It is historic, old-school and very cool. If you are looking for a place to bring a large group or children, I would opt for another steakhouse. This is a great place for a hearty meal and drinks with perhaps 4 people maximum. Plan to stay awhile; this is not a location you go to if you are heading to the theater straightaway.

MD
San Diego
2 reviews
Dined on February 1, 2020
Overall3food3service2ambience4

This was my 3rd time at John's Grill. This time the service was pretty bad. The food was delivered to the table, I looked at the plate, was just going to tell the waiter to please bring butter, sour cream for the baked potato and he was gone and never to return until time to deliver the check. Time to try some place different.

OT
1 review
Dined on February 1, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Amazing food, fun atmosphere

MR
San Francisco
7 reviews
Dined on February 1, 2020
Overall4food4service3ambience4

Nice old school steak house! Great food, good value for the money

TS
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on January 31, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great place, enjoyed the atmosphere, food was amazing.

r
Washington DC
4 reviews
Dined on January 28, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience4

If you are in San Francisco and want to feel history and love mystery novels, you have to sit where Dasheil Hammett sat and Sam Spade ate.

WB
1 review
Dined on January 26, 2020
Overall4food5service4ambience5

Iconic restaurant with very good food and fantastic atmosphere.

JL
Hawaii
3 reviews
Dined on January 26, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

My wife and I were in San Francisco on business and found John’s Grill on Trip Advisor. It was 2 blocks from our hotel so we walked. I had looked at reviews of John’s and was not disappointed. Our waiter, Eli was very attentive and helpful with food allergy questions. The food was excellent - best porterhouse I’ve ever had at a restaurant. My wife had Sea Bass which was also very tasty. She was offered French fries as she can not eat butter,sour cream offered with the baked potatoe. Her quote-“ best French Frys I’ve EVER had” and I agree. If you like old style steak houses, try John’s Grill on Ellis St. and you won’t be disappointed!!!!

OT
San Francisco
6 reviews
Dined on January 26, 2020
Overall3food3service3ambience3

The salad was awesome, the claim chowder was lukewarm but honestly the steak was dinner was kind of blah. The steaks were fine, not great. The baked potatoes seemed like they were reheated in the microwave and had a bunch of eyes in them. Will probably not dine here again

GD
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on January 26, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Will recommend and faithfully return.... Thank you fir a marvelous evening and meal...

SS
Los Angeles
7 reviews
Dined on January 26, 2020
Overall4food3service5ambience4

Service was very good. Menu was very good as well. Cool ‘old school SF’ vibe. We were a group of 7 for a pre-theatre meal. Two of our group ordered steaks and both were over cooked. There wasn’t time to send them back.

OT
Los Angeles
100 reviews
Dined on January 26, 2020
Overall4food3service4ambience3

This old school steak house is an institution in San Francisco, full of "Musso & Frank"-style charm, celebrity photos on the walls, and history. Our steaks were good and well prepared, the sides typical of a classic steak house. Service was excellent. When looking for something classic and good, this is the place to go.

LS
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on January 25, 2020
Overall2food2service2ambience2

Upstairs ambience isn’t the same a downstairs. Service (wait staff) was super rushed. Fish dishes were overcooked and dry. The food was not equal to the high price.

KC
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on January 25, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Our food was delicious! The service was great! They even were able to seat us a few minutes early!

PG
Sacramento
1 review
Dined on January 25, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

This was my third visit to John's Grill in 25 years. As always, the reception, attentive service, delicious food, and overall ambiance was superior.

OT
San Francisco
27 reviews
Dined on January 25, 2020
Overall5food4service5ambience4

This was our first time eating at John's Grill and we can see why it's maintained its long reputation for consistently fine dining. The service was excellent and attentive. The menu, while not extensive, has tried-and-true entrees that my guests and I enjoyed. I ordered the cioppino, which was chock-full of seafood, both fish and shellfish. The broth was delicious. Another guest ordered the NY steak with fried prawns, which was enough to take a portion home. The server split the salads without additional charge, and was attentive in refilling drinks.

TT
1 review
Dined on January 24, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great history, ambiance, food and service. If you're in the City, John's Grill is a must!

S
San Francisco
29 reviews
Dined on January 24, 2020
Overall4food5service3ambience3

The food is always excellent here. On this particular visit, although we came late in the lunch period (1:45 pm) and had asked in advance for a quiet table, we were seated just beside the bar which had several very noisy patrons. As a consequence, our server who had a very soft voice was hard to understand. He also had trouble understanding us, which resulted in both an error in my husband's drink order and our food order. Nonetheless, the food when it finally arrived was as good as expected and the martini was both tasty and large. Overall, we will go back.

OT
1 review
Dined on January 23, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

It was really good especially the lobster bisque

OT
San Francisco
28 reviews
Dined on January 23, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Old school SF
Always great quality food and ambience