John's Grill

4.4
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4944 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 4944 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
4.3
food
4.4
service
4.3
ambience
4.0
value
Noise · Moderate
89% of people would recommend it to a friend
5
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TS
San Francisco
1 review
Dined 2 days ago
Overall 4food 5service 3ambience 3

Great food, but small space, aisle,and table with big dishes!

CM
New York Area
10 reviews
Dined 2 days ago
Overall 1food 1service 1ambience 1

What a disappointment!
1. Did not honor reservation...waited half an hour at overcrowded bar with no where to stand comfortably
2. Noise level is deafening
3Brought upstairs to an overcrowded eating area with no room between tables or ability to pass by.
4. Food was sub par! Caesar salad nothing to write home over, steaks are NOT prime, they are steamed..not a seared exterior and overdone, and vegetables are tasteless.
I cannot say that there was anything redeeming about this experience...run don’t walk!

FL
San Francisco
7 reviews
Dined 2 days ago
Overall 3food 4service 2ambience 3

I got a late enough time to get a table on the upper floors (after maybe 5:30), but they claimed we would need to wait an extra 20 minutes even with a reservation.

OT
San Francisco
9 reviews
Dined 2 days ago
Overall 4food 4service 3ambience 3

Very crowded and was given bad table.

MH
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined 3 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The only issue was the noise. Otherwise it was perfect!

TK
Hawaii
1 review
Dined 3 days ago
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

10人の会食で使用しました。三階のテーブルでしたが、店自体がそこまで広くないのでやや狭め。メニューは豊富で、私はサラダとジョンズステーキをいただきました。料理の量は少し多いくらい。料理は比較的早めに出てきてテンポは良かったです。ややガヤガヤした感じはありますが、そんなにうるさくはなく、お酒も食事も美味しくいただきました。また行きたいと思います。

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

Great experience. Loved seeing the Maltese Falcon. Food was great and our service was fast and friendly. Had the filet with baked potato. Yum. Cook perfectly

LM
New York Area
62 reviews
Dined 6 days ago
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

Very good restaurant overlooking the water with fabulous sunset over the mountains. Excellent brussel sprout appetizer. Also enjoyed the salad with grilled shrimp. Pork chop with very good, cooked perfectly but we didn't enjoy the sauce on the pork. Should have gotten it on the side. Overall, good food

AE
Philadelphia
6 reviews
Dined 6 days ago
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 4

I ordered a rib-eye steak medium rare and it was overcooked. That's not horrible but the steak flavorless. I was disappointed. I had higher expectations for this steakhouse.

OT
1 review
Dined on October 7, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

Out of town restaurant that was recommended. Good experience

P
Tahoe
3 reviews
Dined on October 7, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 5

Hardly News: John's Grill is as much at the heart of SF as Emperor Jones, the Gold Rush of '49 or the '06 earthquake. You couldn't have SF w/o John's. Love the ambience, really like the menu, and the fact that the One, the Only, Mayor Willie Brown dines there.

MT
San Diego
11 reviews
Dined on October 5, 2019
Overall 1food 2service 3ambience 2

Asked for a quiet table on the reservation. Was seated upstairs where it was so noisy we could hardly hear each other talk. When we left through the downstairs it was clearly quieter there so was extremely disappointed. I do not eat steak very often so I was looking forward to eating at John's as I have wanted to go there for many years. So, we did this year while in SFO. Steak was dry and very tough. Very disappointed. Will not return.

JA
Milwaukee
2 reviews
Dined on October 4, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

food and service was outstanding!

JD
San Francisco
3 reviews
Dined on October 1, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great place for lunch: I highly recommend the petrale sole and cream spinach. I recommend a reservation because it's a popular spot. Love the old-school San Francisco atmosphere.

MS
Birmingham
8 reviews
Dined on September 30, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

Old school vibe, very good food and great service! We loved our booth at the back of the bar.

JP
1 review
Dined on September 28, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 4

We had a reservation and got seated right away. our table was close to the bar and we had to deal with some noise, but it was not too bad. Our waiter was friendly, quick and courteous. The food came in a timely manner and was good.
We came to this place because of its history and were not disappointed. I especially liked the display of the movie prop from the movie The Maltese Falcon. The restaurant is mentioned in the novel.
Overall a pleasant evening.

OT
Raleigh
3 reviews
Dined on September 28, 2019
Overall 3food 4service 3ambience 3

The food was good, no options for sides, just baked potato and vegetable mix. It is difficult to walk through and very loud.

OT
1 review
Dined on September 28, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Love John's grill ever meal I have had here is seasoned to perfection!!!

OT
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on September 28, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Nice dishes and nice services. We had comfortable time!

TS
Sacramento
4 reviews
Dined on September 28, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

A great SF traditional restaurant. Great place to eat before the theater

CM
1 review
Dined on September 27, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Dinner was delicious and our waiter Tony was the best. Everyone was amazing and made our last night in San Francisco the best!

SS
San Francisco
4 reviews
Dined on September 27, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

One of the best steaks I have had. Consistently good and tender. Great place and great value

OT
Frankfurt Area
2 reviews
Dined on September 27, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Really good steak and salad. Good sides! This is not usual. So i was very impressed. Coming back when in SF again

KR
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on September 26, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Loved it! Food was great had the filet mignon...yummy!

OT
Tokyo
1 review
Dined on September 26, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

店員も明るくフレンドリーで、食事も美味しく、接待にも使える雰囲気の良いお店でした。ただ、すごく混んでるので予約は必須です。

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OT
Manchester
1 review
Dined on September 25, 2019
Overall 1food 2service 1ambience 1

Rushed uncompromising and noisy

OT
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on September 25, 2019
Overall 2food 3service 3ambience 4

We had to wait for 20 minutes although we had a reservation at least a week before.

N
New England
5 reviews
Dined on September 25, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 2

We had a reservation, but still had to wait in the crowded bar area for a long time. The place was packed and very noisy on a Wednesday night. We sat on the 2nd floor under the air conditioning unit/vents. so good thing we had jacket with us (was 90 outside). The place is really loud, so hard to have a conversation. The service was fine and the steaks were good.

MM
San Francisco
15 reviews
Dined on September 25, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I had orginally made our reservation for 5:00, but the traffic from the south bay was horrific. I kept updating our resevation time to make it later and later. I finally called John's Grill and said we wouldn't arrive until 5:30-5:40, but we needed to be finished by 6:30 to attend a show. The hostess was VERY nice and accommodating. She said that they could provide dinner and guarantee us that we wuld be done by 6:30. With fingers crossed, we ordered our dinner and we were done by 6:30 and had dessert!! Our server was VERY nice and wasn't put out by our request. I HIGHLY recommend John's Grill for the friendly reception, timely service, and EXCELLENT food.

k
San Francisco
14 reviews
Dined on September 25, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Always a great meal with a super cool San Franciscan vibe.

LR
San Francisco
19 reviews
Dined on September 23, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 5

Food overpriced for quality. Go here for old SF ambiance and literary history.

RM
Toronto
2 reviews
Dined on September 22, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 5

Fabulous lobster bisque; best I’ve ever had.
Very tasty filet mignon and liver and onions.
Excellent service.

d
San Francisco
19 reviews
Dined on September 22, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

celebrated our 35th anniversary. Great table great server and great food. Real Drinks

OT
Toronto
1 review
Dined on September 21, 2019
Overall 3food 4service 4ambience 3

Food was good, however the noise level was thru the roof. Was on the 3rd floor with two large group between us.

LB
Philadelphia
4 reviews
Dined on September 21, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

Very enjoyable excellent service

OT
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on September 21, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 4

Very noisy! They shut the front door the restaurant became very hot - I had to excuse myself to get air as I became faint. Service was on point with friendly and knowledgeable wait staff. The old fashioned was watery b

IM
Los Angeles
3 reviews
Dined on September 20, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 4

Steak was awesome, fish was ordinary at best! service was very quick. In and out very quickly.

OT
Portland
1 review
Dined on September 20, 2019
Overall 2food 1service 4ambience 2

Lamb chops were taken off the bill for being over cooked and my filet was so dry and so small. Terrible food.

OT
Los Angeles
4 reviews
Dined on September 19, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The music was terrific! The food was superb and our waiter was amazing. This was our second time and we’ll be back. Excellent clam chowder.

p
San Francisco
11 reviews
Dined on September 17, 2019
Overall 4food 3service 4ambience 3

Overall, fine but one visit will suffice. Too noisy to converse--at all. Decent food. Best, meatiest mussels ever.

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