John's Grill

4.4
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5003 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 5003 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
86% of people would recommend it to a friend
5
4
3
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AF
Cincinnati
13 reviews
Dined a day ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Always a dependable favorite when we are in town!

PD
New York Area
7 reviews
Dined 3 days ago
Overall4food5service5ambience4

Food was excellent and a good value for the money. The tables are a little close together but all in all, a great experience.

MM
1 review
Dined 3 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience2

Two unhappy things were I was with someone mobility impaired and the elevator to the upstairs bathroom looks like it hasn’t worked in years. Heads up to anyone in a wheelchair. And the chairs were extremely uncomfortable. Positives were thevfood was excellent. Service was top notch.

JB
1 review
Dined 4 days ago
Overall4food4service4ambience5

Great atmosphere, delicious food and great service! Very busy when we arrived, but we got a drink at the bar and were seated at our table within a few minutes!

JP
Naples
3 reviews
Dined 4 days ago
Overall2food4service2ambience2

Having reservations was totally meaningless; the wait for our table was very, very long and everyone waiting was uncomfortable. Even after being seated, the noise made normal conversation next to impossible. Prices are very high.

R
Orlando
56 reviews
Dined 4 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Really fun place to come enjoy dinner with friends. Reservations are a must from what I can see. The service was great and the meals were made to order. We ended up returning for lunch the next day. Add this to your list of must do’s while in San Francisco.

OT
San Francisco
1 review
Dined 4 days ago
Overall4food4service3ambience3

2nd level, near the music, was over the top TOO loud. Not able to carry on a conversation! Others said, third level is quiet!
Waiter never checked to see if we wanted a second cocktail or another glass of wine. He gave us one free dessert to make up for lack of service.
Food good. We will try again.

WM
Dallas
9 reviews
Dined 4 days ago
Overall5food5service4ambience4

The food was terrific! The 3rd floor was great! The waiter was outstanding. I would recommend John's Grill.

ST
Memphis
1 review
Dined 4 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Was awesome! This was a dinner with friends from out of town. John's Grill did not disappoint.

B
San Francisco
7 reviews
Dined 4 days ago
Overall5food5service4ambience5

Our 30 the wedding anniversary great time very busy for a Sunday

MP
San Francisco
27 reviews
Dined 4 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Loved it all and it was quiet enough to actually carry on a conversation.....so unusual in SF restaurants.

OT
1 review
Dined 5 days ago
Overall4food4service5ambience4

Clam Chowder was a little salty for my taste. Ambiance was great but very loud. A little difficult to hold long conversations.

OT
1 review
Dined 5 days ago
Overall4food5service5ambience4

Good location, good food, good service, good ambiance but very loud.

B
Philadelphia
11 reviews
Dined 5 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Great food but rather noisy.

OT
1 review
Dined 5 days ago
Overall5food4service5ambience4

40th Birthday

OT
New England
3 reviews
Dined 5 days ago
Overall1food1service1ambience1

Negative
Won’t ever return

a
Hawaii
73 reviews
Dined 5 days ago
Overall4food4service4ambience4

Great light lunch; shared a Dungeness crab salad and it was perfect. Great margarita!

d
8 reviews
Dined 6 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

A classic SF venue. It's a well-oiled machine that functions spectacularly in a tiny spot with a lot of customer traffic in play.

MJ
Jacksonville
20 reviews
Dined 6 days ago
Overall3food2service1ambience2

Our waiter couldn't care less if we were there or not, not attentive at all. The food was average at best, we didn't even get to order drinks. We were just shuffled in, ate and left. Very disappointing

EB
New Orleans
1 review
Dined 6 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Steaks are delicious.

DP
Austin
4 reviews
Dined 6 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Wonderful service for our group of 8. Beautiful, historical atmosphere.

CJ
Nashville
2 reviews
Dined 7 days ago
Overall3food4service3ambience2

Restaurant seemed very small, crowded, noisy. Food was good, waiter polite. Nothing special, but good.

OT
Palm Springs
1 review
Dined 7 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Excellent food and service. Filet Mignon melted in my mouth!

K
San Francisco
4 reviews
Dined on November 7, 2019
Overall5food4service4ambience4

Old School San Francisco where natives, politicos, and tourists are elbow to elbow at Happy Hour. Service was friendly even though it must be hard work with all those people! Noise level off the charts near the bar when crowded but once it thinned out it was fine. This place will always be cool.

KK
Philadelphia
1 review
Dined on November 6, 2019
Overall4food5service5ambience4

We had to wait to be seated, even with a reservation, but the food and service were top notch. The noise level was high which we knew before we went.

LL
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on November 6, 2019
Overall3food3service4ambience4

The filet is delicious. The ribeye's are rather lackluster and bland. The vegetables served with the steaks were very bland and I've had better at a chain steakhouse. The clam chowder is delicious. Overall, it was okay. Nothing worth writing home about.

CB
San Francisco
7 reviews
Dined on November 5, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Always great food, atmosphere,. As a Bay Area native I try to come every time I get the chance. Over about 30 years they have never failed to be a favorite!

h
Hertfordshire
1 review
Dined on November 4, 2019
Overall4food5service3ambience4

We enjoyed the atmosphere and the quality of the food. The piano player added to this. It was very busy and we were at the end of the room so the service was a little inattentive but it did not spoil an enjoyable evening.

OT
Minneapolis
1 review
Dined on November 2, 2019
Overall4food5service4ambience4

Everything was great, but it was very hot inside the restaurant.

MD
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on November 2, 2019
Overall4food4service4ambience3

John's Grill is a classic steak and seafood restaurant and reminds me of restaurants back east like The Palm and Smith & Wollensky. The food was very good overall. The oyster's were to-die-for. It's a classic and I would eat here again.

D
San Francisco
13 reviews
Dined on November 2, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Old SF charm. Great menu, good value. Excellent friendly service and REAL sourdough bread. Made reservations already for larger group in December!

AH
London
1 review
Dined on November 1, 2019
Overall3food4service4ambience5

Great introduction to dining in SF great red snapper and service

TB
Phoenix
1 review
Dined on October 31, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Fantastic food. Good Value. Live Jazz is perfect for this historic place

M
Toronto
3 reviews
Dined on October 31, 2019
Overall4food4service4ambience3

Good food with reasonable price. Environment was nice with friendly servers

W
San Francisco
39 reviews
Dined on October 30, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We always love coming here when we visit S.F. It is such a throwback. The food and drinks were great. We will be back here in December.

OT
Phoenix
1 review
Dined on October 30, 2019
Overall4food4service2ambience3

Went with my step mom who is almost 80. She cannot walk up stairs and was told when we walked in by the hostess that there were stairs or an elevator. The elevator was not working and, as a result, it was very difficult for my step mom to
get up and down. Food was good, service average okay atmosphere. The manager comped is drinks should have comped the entire meal since they created an unnecessary liability. I had to assert the problem and one of the people denied that we were told the elevator did not work. It was loaded with cleaning supplies so it could not have been used even if it did work.

GJ
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on October 29, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We celebrated my daughter 24 th Birthday here and it got off to a rocky start. the owner's son was amazing! he made everything better ! Thank you for being so attentive and making her birthday the best one yet!
Ginger Jones and Alexis Hill

A
Minneapolis
1 review
Dined on October 29, 2019
Overall4food4service5ambience5

Very good food & fantastic service. Interesting place to visit.

CS
San Francisco
32 reviews
Dined on October 27, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Always such a fun time for lunch or dinner! Real SF atmosphere.....

L
San Francisco
17 reviews
Dined on October 27, 2019
Overall2food2service4ambience2

Dissapointed; have been going to John's Grill occasionally since 1970s. This meal was well below the standards expected - the noise level from the fellow diners along with the speaker from the piano next to our table made it impossible to have any conversation at all. The vegetables and baked potato had been on the steam table too long and weren't even hot. My liver was obviously previously frozen and the texture was mushy. The shrimp weren't awful, but relatively tasteless. In the past I've always thought of John's grill fondly, a place to get a good Martini, nice steak or chop and sides that while not elegant at least hot and fresh. We have always been seated downstairs, and while there has always been a nice crowd, the noise level was appropriate to the room without being overwhelming.