John's Grill

4.4
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5040 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 5040 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
88% of people would recommend it to a friend
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MS
Washington DC
5 reviews
Dined 3 days ago
Overall4food4service5ambience3

Probably one of the best and oldest Steak houses in San Francisco. It is locate in a bit of a sketchy area and I would suggest not to spend too much time outside as transients are everywhere. We had an unfortunate experience with a homeless man that turned a bit violent because we did not give him any cash ... its not a reflection of the restaurant but as I mentioned definitely a reflection of the area. It best to get in and out of the car quicky! The restaurant itself was what you would expect from a stake house, the atmosphere nice (yet quite noisy), the food was good and the service quick and attentive. The one thing that seemed off was the bathrooms - they could definitely use a solid scrubbing or refurbishment.

MB
New England
4 reviews
Dined 3 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great experience. A classic. Seemed like “Old San Francisco”. Lots of energy. Great wait staff. Food was simple but quite good. I had grilled salmon which was done perfectly. Nice firm vegetables. Not a hint of over-cooked. Even the music was nice: subtle and classy. We were seated on 2nd floor. At first I wondered “is this a downgrade?”
But not at all. It was packed!

S
San Francisco
27 reviews
Dined 3 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

As always excellent food and service.

T
San Francisco
25 reviews
Dined 4 days ago
Overall4food3service4ambience3

Moderate prices and old San Francisco feel are what bring you to John's Grill. The place is small and the tables are pretty tight. You will have friendly wait staff though and great drinks from the bar. Classic dishes like lobster bisque, club sandwich, and steaks are on the menu, but the prices are pretty reasonable by SF standards. You won't go home hungry.

OT
Los Angeles
13 reviews
Dined 5 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Fun place to visit very San Francisco

E
San Francisco
22 reviews
Dined 5 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience4

OUTSTANDING staff! This is a group of professionals. Food to match. A little cozy and bustling. If you are ever in the Union Square or going to the theater a definite go to.

s
San Francisco
1 review
Dined 5 days ago
Overall5food5service4ambience3

Excellent food! Very charming place. A little loud tho. I go every year at this time , I am never disappointed.

SL
San Francisco
19 reviews
Dined 5 days ago
Overall5food4service4ambience4

Our annual Holiday dinner

OT
1 review
Dined 6 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Very cozy and warm mood and foods are delicious :)

C
San Francisco
15 reviews
Dined 6 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

John’s is a staple for excellent food any night of the week. It is especially good for hosting out of town family after the Union Square Christmas tree lighting. When the weather is rough outside, John’s warm atmosphere complete with festive holiday decorations makes for a cozy escape from the rain, wind, and cold. Add great food served by friendly and expert servers, and you have the right ingredients for a delightful evening.

DE
San Diego
3 reviews
Dined 6 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Couldn't have been better! Food was great and service was impeccable.

OT
San Francisco
3 reviews
Dined 6 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

#1 Best steak in San Francisco. Consistently perfect. Every.
Time. Been going here for years.

AG
1 review
Dined on November 25, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We had a most enjoyable meal at John's Grill for my husband's birthday. We were seated right away at our reservation time. The wait staff was excellent! The food was served hot and tasty. We even had a dessert that was customized to our liking! After dinner, our waiter escorted us outside to help us get a taxi! Service above and beyond. We'll definitely be back!

t
Vancouver
6 reviews
Dined on November 24, 2019
Overall5food4service5ambience5

Perfect place for our large group to eat dinner after a long day!

AW
1 review
Dined on November 23, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Awesome steak great restaurant & great service & atmosphere

d
San Francisco
9 reviews
Dined on November 23, 2019
Overall4food5service4ambience4

Food excellent as always. Service prompt. A bit noisy, but the downstairs has tables close together, probably the only thing of which I am not fond. I have been coming here for years..

OT
New York Area
1 review
Dined on November 22, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Very nice place, delicious food!

MB
San Francisco
11 reviews
Dined on November 21, 2019
Overall4food5service5ambience4

This is our go-to restaurant before or after the theater and it never disappoints! The food and service are always outstanding. The menu never changes, which we love as we know we'll always get our favorites (of which there are many). The noise level can be over the top, which is our only complaint. We always take friends to John's Grill as it has been a dependable meal every time. We highly recommend it! Enjoy!

OT
Dallas
1 review
Dined on November 21, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Love the feel of the place. Best lamb chops ever.

NS
1 review
Dined on November 20, 2019
Overall4food5service4ambience4

Excellent food in an old-school establishment. Great server. Only complaint is that it was a little warm in the 2nd-floor dining area.

OT
1 review
Dined on November 20, 2019
Overall3food4service4ambience2

I was looking forward to Jazz, but the Dreamforce event was so noisy that I couldn't hear anything. The meal was delicious.

NJ
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on November 20, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The service was amazing and the food was outstanding!!

OT
Atlanta
1 review
Dined on November 19, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Wonderful staff, great food and fun environment.

OT
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on November 19, 2019
Overall3food2service2ambience1

Got a terrible table, dark, very noise. Food was ok, service was ok. Not coming back

JH
1 review
Dined on November 19, 2019
Overall5food4service5ambience5

Very tight space between tables, but otherwise very satisfied with the food & service.

OT
Minneapolis
1 review
Dined on November 16, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

They have the best steak in San Francisco.

VS
Los Angeles
1 review
Dined on November 16, 2019
Overall3food3service3ambience3

2nd floor seating is not best. Too loud, too warm, server is too rushed and has too many tables to handle. Chowder was served lukewarm. Our server was too busy to check on us.
Our 2nd visit in the same weekend was just like we remembered. Great ambience on the 1st floor, perfect temperature, noise level was energetic but not annoyingly loud, chowder was served hot and delicious, our server was very attentive and competent. Adelin is very charming and quick in his service! We will return!

ST
1 review
Dined on November 16, 2019
Overall4food5service5ambience3

The noise level is very high - difficult to carry on conversation at the table. But the food is AMAZING.

OT
New York Area
3 reviews
Dined on November 16, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience4

It’s a nice restaurant to have dinner with friends.
If you want to have very serious business meeting, this is not the one, but almost cases are fine.

C
London
1 review
Dined on November 15, 2019
Overall4food4service5ambience4

Great food and service. Would go back again, only complain is that it closed a bit early and we’d have liked to have stayed for more cocktails!

OT
1 review
Dined on November 15, 2019
Overall1food1service1ambience3

Bug in crappy margarita- cold steak- low quality - crappy service

OT
Las Vegas
9 reviews
Dined on November 15, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great historic restaurant! Food, service & above all atmosphere are all excellent!
I am a local & I am thankful that such an amazing “Old School” restaurant is still open & still stands for quality & excellence.

RO
Los Angeles
10 reviews
Dined on November 15, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience4

We tend to like old-school restaurants and took a chance on this one. It was a super solid choice! The menu is not exotic just pretty straightforward with lots of steaks, chops, prawns etc. But all of those were done really really well! At our table we had two fillets one ribeye And the prawn dinner all of which were done to perfection. Don’t pass up the peppercorn sauce if you are a fan it had great flavor and a bit of a bite! Everybody gets a baked potato and seasonal vegetables but we added the creamed spinach which was very tasty. Great drinks and a good bottle of wine rounded out the meal. The service was top-notch and our water glasses and the bread basket were always full. Live guitar added to the ambience. Like many San Francisco restaurant it’s a bit crowded and a bit noisy But not overly so. We would go back for sure!

IL
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on November 14, 2019
Overall4food4service5ambience4

We enjoyed John’s Grill very much. It was busy, somewhat noisy, and the tables are close together. But our server was excellent, the food very good, and we enjoyed ourselves. Would recommend it to our friends.

AF
Cincinnati
13 reviews
Dined on November 13, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Always a dependable favorite when we are in town!

PD
New York Area
7 reviews
Dined on November 11, 2019
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 on November 11, 2019
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 on November 10, 2019
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 on November 10, 2019
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 on November 10, 2019
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.