John's Grill

4.5
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5203 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 5203 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
89% of people would recommend it to a friend
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OT
1 review
Dined 13 hours ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

It was really good especially the lobster bisque

OT
San Francisco
28 reviews
Dined 14 hours ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Old school SF
Always great quality food and ambience

SM
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined 4 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We went for our adult son’s birthday. Our waiter put us at ease immediately with a few jokes, was very charming and attentive and helpful with menu recommendations. The ambience is old San Francisco and buzzing but relaxing. The steaks are perfectly seasoned and cooked, veggies not overcooked and dinner salad could be shared by two. One of us ordered the sole entree and said it was fresh and expertly cooked. Our waiter brought a flavorful flan with a candle and we added a chocolate dessert for the table. A memorable night for all!

PP
1 review
Dined 5 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great food at a historic location 110 years in 2018. I highly recommend the French Gimlet, Lamb Chops and Jack LaLanes Salad!! The service was outstanding and the place had a lively crowd. Will stop in again on my next trip to San Francisco.

OT
Chicago
1 review
Dined 5 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Always a great place to take customers. A wide variety of offerings and outstanding food. Service is always excellent!

FB
San Francisco
5 reviews
Dined 5 days ago
Overall4food4service5ambience4

Service was superb. Drinks were on point. The filet mignon could have been warmer. Tasted like it had been sitting a tad too long before serving.

GP
Los Angeles
2 reviews
Dined 5 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The food was great Rib eye was cooked just right and very flavorful The veggies and baked potato were perfect. the bread is excellent but do not eat to much and you want to finish the great steak

DW
Orange County
3 reviews
Dined 6 days ago
Overall3food3service3ambience2

Not really all it was hyped up to be......

Oysters Wellington is the only thing that is worth mentioning. All other food you can get at any fine steak restaurant. Unfortunately John's Grill has too much competition and is kind of depending on its history more than its menu.

I was hoping that the restaurant would excel in service but it also was just mediocre. I asked for a special table as I was celebrating a birthday and I like to order a lot of food which requires a little real estate. We were given the smallest table in the joint in a very busy uncomfortable area. I intentionally told the server that we would have to order one dish at a time with such a small table. I had them take away the Bread Basket the Bud Vase and the sugar decanter just to get more room on a very uncomfortable 3ft by 2 foot eating area. The servers were good but could not be excellent because of the very tight working area.

Sorry I was excited to try Johns but unfortunately it did not meet the specs of a 4 or 5 start review. It is barely a 3 star. With so much Steak House competition especially in the Downtown SFO area a historical restaurant like Johns needs to do more than relay on its history to remain relevant....

E
San Francisco
25 reviews
Dined 6 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great old school restaurant. Exceptional food and service

KB
San Francisco
1 review
Dined 6 days ago
Overall5food4service5ambience5

It is a fun place to go. It is an old school place which is a big part of it's charm.
The steam clams are to die for. Great drinks.

MM
New York Area
12 reviews
Dined 6 days ago
Overall4food3service4ambience4

Staff very helpful and accommodating. Food of average quality. Rib eye a bit tough and tepid. Very good bread. Decent wine list.

WF
Denver
27 reviews
Dined 7 days ago
Overall2food2service4ambience3

The service was very satisfactory, the portions large and the venue was interesting. The quality of the both the chicken and the fish was average at best. The chicken was touted as award winning but my niece found it not so. I hadn’t been there for years and I think it was my last visit.

BB
Philadelphia
1 review
Dined on January 15, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Excellent meal. Good service and entertainment on the second floor.

LR
San Francisco
3 reviews
Dined on January 15, 2020
Overall4food5service5ambience4

GREAT FOOD and SERVICE.. can get very loud, but highly RECOMMEND

SR
1 review
Dined on January 15, 2020
Overall5food4service5ambience5

When I made the reservation, I didn't realize a convention in town would prevent the regular menu. I brought a friend, bragging about the menu and ambiance of a true San Francisco Icon. So, I was a bit disappointed, and understand at the same time. The sauce used on the red snapper dish really disappointed. However, the fish itself was fresh and done to perfection.

F
San Francisco
12 reviews
Dined on January 15, 2020
Overall4food5service5ambience4

Great salads and fish. Service was very good and even though the restaurant was crowed we received our food in a short period of time. At peak times the restaurant noise level is pretty high.

A
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on January 14, 2020
Overall1food3service1ambience1

Clearly overbooked...despite having reservations the wait 30 minutes or more (even after an OpenTable update that delayed the booking for 15 more minutes). Waiting patrons hovered over you as they had no where else to wait. The table service staff was excellent. The hosting and reservation staff was not.

MM
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on January 13, 2020
Overall4food4service4ambience4

thank you, our board meeting dinner was a success at your restaurant. The food was fabulous!

DF
New York Area
9 reviews
Dined on January 13, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Outstanding steaks and seafood. Old school steakhouse, they do it better than anyone.

H
Palm Springs
13 reviews
Dined on January 12, 2020
Overall4food4service4ambience5

Teenage granddaughters experiencing San Francisco history

b
Milwaukee
4 reviews
Dined on January 12, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The food was excellent. We were having a quick meal/meeting before heading back to the hotel. I had the ribeye which was cooked to a perfect medium rare. Highly recommend!

j
San Francisco
11 reviews
Dined on January 12, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

This restaurant never disappoints. Love the ambiance and food and the service is always a 10+

BM
1 review
Dined on January 11, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great piece of San Francisco history. Will visit again on our next trip to the city.

HM
Orange County
3 reviews
Dined on January 11, 2020
Overall3food3service5ambience5

The execution of the menu items needs to evolve. It was okay.

a
San Francisco
54 reviews
Dined on January 11, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Fabulous SF spot. Food is spot on and the price is very reasonable. Great staff. A SF must see.

G
San Francisco
24 reviews
Dined on January 11, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Old school SF. Excellent service and food. I loved the feeling of stepping back in time to early SF roots, but with a modern menu. It’s my new favorite place!

LS
Raleigh
1 review
Dined on January 10, 2020
Overall3food3service4ambience4

Very touristy and pricey for the food quality in my opinion. We had much better meals in San Fran.

K
San Antonio
2 reviews
Dined on January 9, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Loved this place. Was in San Francisco in 2011 and visited then. Went two times this last trip. Always can expect great food.
Only downfall, the bartender didnt know how to make a good brandy old fashion. However, dont let that scare you away...many other great drinks on the menu!

JC
San Francisco
6 reviews
Dined on January 9, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great service and delicious food. I love the ambiance in John's Grill

b
Salt Lake City
7 reviews
Dined on January 8, 2020
Overall4food4service5ambience4

We were seated upstairs at about 5:45p, which was considerably less full and much quieter. By the end of the hour the upstairs had become full and also noisier, but no worse than any other place we’ve dined.

Our waiter was attentive and thoughtful, I didn’t catch his name, but he was from Romania and made us feel like welcome friends.

The food was good, well-prepared and not overly seasoned.

KE
1 review
Dined on January 7, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We always dine at Johns grille whenever we visit SF. Steaks are incredibly delicious. Always. Staff very friendly. Dinner jazz Music upstairs nitely. Comfy restaurant with lots of SF history. We send lots of international visitors here and they too cone back again and again. This is a must for all of our trips.
Thanks Johns!!! Kevin

SH
1 review
Dined on January 5, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

I ate at John's Grill with my Mother and daughters after we saw the first part of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. It was a short walk from the Curran. The food was outstanding. I had the Halibut, and my daughter had the shrimp dijonaise and they were both great. My mom had lobster raviolis, clam chowder and Escargot which she really enjoyed. Our server was outstanding, friendly and attentive. We will definitely go back.

m
San Francisco
5 reviews
Dined on January 5, 2020
Overall4food4service5ambience5

NY Steak cooked to perfection plus I added the Peppercorn sauce which was outstanding. I do not like baked potatoes so I opted for the French Fries. Not sure how they were cooked but we all agreed they were delicious. Jack Lalanne salad was also very good. Service was excellent! We discovered this established restaurant a few months ago and this is our third time there.

OT
Las Vegas
1 review
Dined on January 3, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great historical spot!

KM
Portland
5 reviews
Dined on January 3, 2020
Overall4food4service5ambience4

Great staff and service. Anything other than well drinks were outrageously expensive.

MC
1 review
Dined on January 2, 2020
Overall4food4service5ambience3

Great steak excellent service. In my party we had two steaks the salmon and a salad. All were prepared perfectly. Very good old school steak house my 17 year old son and 20 year old daughter thought the place was for old people but enjoyed the food. Would go back

KB
1 review
Dined on January 2, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Excellent steak... very juicy and tasty. Good service and the live music was spot on

JV
Tahoe
1 review
Dined on January 2, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We were referred by a friend who lives in San Francisco. The only thing that was a bit crazy is that we had to walk through the Tenderloin to get there because of the bus route we took. Obviously that isn't the restaurant's fault. Such great food!

SV
San Diego
16 reviews
Dined on January 1, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Our family had an incredible New Years Day dinner. Steaks, lamb chops and the famous artichoke chicken were all delicious. Very short wait time despite the full restaurant. Food was nicely plated and hot upon arrival. Our wait person was attentive but not annoying. Looking forward to our next visit !

VJ
Phoenix
19 reviews
Dined on January 1, 2020
Overall2food1service2ambience1

Nothing to brag about! It’s a long time San Francisco restaurant but nothing special!