Historic John's Grill a landmark restaurant established in 1908 offers private dining rooms for 25-300 guests. Classic San Francisco atmosphere offering local seafood and fine cuts of steaks and chops. Chosen as top 10 by Esquire and featured in Gourmet.View Private Dining Details
Food was great, service was fine. It was really decorated for the holidays to get you in the festive mood. We had an outstanding time
Service and food were excellent!! Restaurant was a little crowded with tight seating but well worth it. Had a great time.
We had a reservation for two at 7:30 and arrived early so the host told us we could wait at the bar. I figured since it was so busy that night that we would be three people deep at the bar, but we found two seats in the corner and decided to eat there as it was convenient and we liked the energy of the bar scene.
I had the Chicken Jerusalem which was absolutely divine. I'd go back here in a second and order this again. My date had the surf and turf and she said it was delicious. We shared a ceasar salad to start which was very good as well. The service was excellent considering the place was packed. Very friendly upbeat atmosphere. I felt like I was in an old school NY steak joint. Very cozy. I highly reccomend this place to all.
My husband and I went to John's Grill while staying in S.F. for a little getaway. Heard it has been around for years, and had great history. Mind you we went over the busy holiday season...but left very disappointed! My husbands surf & turf was not good, and the steak was a petite cut. If your a meat person this cut was the size of a quarter! My Halibut was over cooked! We are hoping maybe to give the place a second chance someday. We should have stuck with our favorite...The House of Prime Rib!
The place was a little crowded. The food lacked flavor and the portions were ridiculously small. When you are paying high dollar for a meal, you expect a little more than bite size pieces. The baked potato was plain and the largest item on the plate. The filet mignon was a chld size portion with no seasoning, just a charred taste. The dipping bowls for the prawns were larger than the piece of steak.
We were 15 minutes late and host was not happy about that. Bar was small and host woudl not let us stand there while we waited which was a shame because there was room. Once we got seated (by hostess who was much happier), the service could not have been better and food was great. If we had not been late, would have been overall perfect experience. Maybe the Christmas crowds were getting to the host...
Was a slight mix up on our table request hope for better results next time.
Old school restaurant with Maltese Falcon history and memorabilia. Nothing else stands out. Go once to say you've been there. Maybe just for an app and drinks at the bar.
Good food, great location near Union Sq, and near all public transportation; within walking distance of many, many hotels. My first visit on a Sat night, definitely make a reservation. Very noisy
We ordered the surf-n-turf cooked medium, granted a small filet mignon, but it was the driest filet mignon we ever had. My husband even questioned if it was truly that cut. For an operation that touts itself as a "steakhouse", it should have that piece of it down. Further they really pack you in tight, the person behind me kept bumping my seat and not because either of us was overweight. Go only for the location (downtown, near theaters) or if you like to look at pictures of famous people lining the walls. Sorry, I am not a foodie, but was really hoping for more out of a 100+ year old restaurant.
I love John's Grill. The food is good, the location is great and more police officers have eaten there than the Dunkin' Donuts in Times Square.
We went before the theater. The place was cozy and comfortably noisy. The decor was interesting and old fashioned. My husband and I ordered ciopino to split and were both happy with taste, presentation and portion size but out friends ordered the surf and turf and the steak was the smallest I had every seen. The appetizer was just two slices of feta cheese with some regular olives and raw grated carrots/cabbage. For the prices we paid we expected dishes that were more flavorful and less run of the mill. I ordered a champagne cocktail and was served plain champagne. For the money you could do lots better.
The waiter was not very friendly which was a bit of a downer as we were out for a Christmas festivity.
Food & Service was great. Wait staff was very friendly & customer focused.
Our friends showed up a little before us (and before our reservation time) but were courteously shown to our peak time reserved table at the front corner on the second floor. It was perfect, with a view of the bustling street and lights below. The waiters were very helpful, and our drinks and food were excellent!
My husband and I dined at John's Grill before going to the theater. We took advantage of a deal which got us a martini or a glass of wine when we showed our theater tickets. Nice! We both tried the Gourmet suggestions. The oysters were great and the chicken was forgettable. Great atmosphere -- where else can you find the Maltese Falcon??!!
Revisiting after several years, we were reminded about why this historic restaurant is still thriving. Six of us, each ordered something different and each was delighted. Food was delicious, servings generous, service excellent and friendly allowing us to linger as we chatted well past dessert.
We love going to John's Grill, especially with people who have never been there. The food is good, very expensive for the portions. The filet was melt-in-your-mouth tender and tasty. We go more for the falcon than the food. Good location.
Food was very good. Atmosphere was very busy and crowded. It was Holiday shopping. However that was the problem. Despite having made reservations we were told since we were fifteen minutes early to "go back outside and come back in" like we were a problem... while the evening was stressful for the maitre D which we totally understood, I found him rude in his response. He gave no indication that when we came back we would be seated. In fact when we did come back we were told to "wait we will be with you".
i found the demeanor of the first person you speak with to be confrontive as opposed to welcoming.... So we have decided not to return for dinner or lunch despite that our waiter was excellent in his service and personality.
I went in a party of 6 on a Saturday night and got seated promptly with the reservation. Service was good but not overly prompt due tot the full house. Sitting on the third floor was less noisy then first but also alot hotter. I sent my steak back as it was underdone but it took the waitress quite some time to come around and check on the us so that got a bit impatient.
Others said their filet's were just okay. I have had a better experience here before but it did not meet expectations this time.
This is my go to place for a guaranteed delicious meal and awesome time! Right next to Johnny Foley's too so there's plenty of after dinner fun around.
Had a party of 14 for dinner on a Saturday night. Service was great-food was good-for the most part. Several people had steak and it was so tough they could not cut it with a knife or chew it. Filet Mignon was very good-lambchops were good. Please be aware that there are a lot of stairs and no elevator-which is difficult on the elderly.
In a party of four we had a wonderful corner. A party of two would be a little cramped.
Good Food. The Jack LaLaine Salad is great. The service is great and fast. Be sure you have reservations. It is noisy but it is well worth it.
Our reservation was honored to the minute even though the restaurant was busy. Food and service were outstanding.
We will go again.
My wife is wheat intolerant and the server was knowledgeable and helpful.
Had BFF Christmas lunch here. No rush, great service, delicious food and drinks. We love this restaurant
This is a gem in SF & for good reason. ALWAYS good food & wonderful service. It is wonderful during the holidays season. A true pleasure!! Steak sandwich-great flavor, tender scallops & calamari and Yumolicious stuffed sole with lots of shrimp and crab-huge portion. Veggies just the right crunch and the Bloody Mary is a must try. Have a wonderful holiday outing at this landmark in our great city by the bay! Happy Holidays!
I was very surprised when I made my reservations I told them it was my fiancee birthday they made sure that at the end of our dinner they brought out a very good flan and it had a candle for her birthday! They went above and beyond!!! Thank you John's Grill
We arrived on a busy Friday evening. We were seated upstairs. Our server was very efficient and attentive when needed. We ordered the Sam Spade Special for my husband, which he enjoyed very much. However, I ordered the Petrale Sole and was disappointed. It came with a creamy mushroom sauce over it (were they hiding something?), which I had never seen done with this dish before. In retrospect I should have sent it back, but we were going to a play, and I was worried it would take too long. The sauce did two things: 1. hid the flavor of the fish, and 2. turned the fish's texture too mushy. The baked potato was not really the right side-a good rice pilaf would have been better-but the veggies were cooked correctly!
A group people from all over the US were in town on a Thursday night. I was asked to come up with a place close by Union Square to eat. They were able to accommodate us within half an hour. Everyone enjoyed their meals and were impressed with the ambiance. Having been born and raised in San Francisco, this is truly one of the last of many of what used to be a typical downtown restaurants.
While the food was great as usual-the service lacked character. Part of the charm of this historic restaurant is service with an added touch. Regrettably, that was missing on my last visit. The server was rushed and there was no personal touch that I have come to expect at John's Grill.
John's grill is part of SF dining history. The sauce with my sole was excellent but too little for the sole itself , which was tasteless in its absence. My friend's sea bass was over salted. Vegetables and Caesar salad both were excellent. The waiter was nicely pleasant and attentive without hovering. We had time for dessert and coffee and still made it to the theater easily.
My husband and I are lucky to visit San Francisco a few times a year as we have a time share on Union Square. We love good food and the choices are never ending. Sometimes we like to dine at the old established restaurants and mostly enjoy the experience. John's was what we expected like going back in time. Good service and ambiance. The food was good not great. We loved the lobster stuffed ravioli and escargot. The salads were tasty and my bowl of clams was just right. My husband ordered the Filet Mignon and it was a little over cooked and not much flavor. It could happen at any restaurant and we did not let it ruin our night. We would recommend John's and will probably be back.
We went for special dinner celebration and they were kind enough to comp a birthday dessert. We ordered Surf and Turf and found the steak to be on the small side. Hard to have a steak medium rare when on the tiny side. Walls covered with pictures of important people (we assume) but all from before our time.
We had seven people in our party. The service was great... We dined upstairs which was great due to the size of our party. We had a private round table which made it easy to communicate with everyone. Everyone enjoyed their dinners with the exception of two people. One ordered the porter house steak which was thin and dry...little seasoning. I had the halibut which was a nice piece of fish but it was over grilled which made it dry:0(..
All in all I would recommend this restaurant.
We had a party of 6 and most of the food was enjoyable. They do use a good amount of salt o their food, so you should request to hold the salt. Very energetic with larger groups on the third floor. We would go there again ......... Service was very good.
We came here with a group of 7 for my husband's 40th and we were very happy with the food & especially the service. We showed up 20 minutes early for our reservation and were seated immediately. Tentative staff the entire meal & even my chef husband was impressed with the menu. If you're staying near Union Square I recommend stopping for dinner here!
Food is ok, but always enjoy the experience.
John's Grill is an old SF tradition. A throwback to a different age. Going there is not something you do because you want top food....you go for the history. That said, there is no excuse for the owners of this cash-cow to make the food sub-normal. Even an old fashioned menu can be cooked with skill and style. Not true here....food is dull, poorly cooked and not even very fresh. Service was good and the ambiance is what it is....history. The owners should be ashamed of themselves for not keeping the kitchen up to at least minimal standards given the number of tourists who see this as their "big-spluge" restaurant in San Francisco.
I would not go here for the food. It is a beautiful old spot. It feels like the 1930s. If you like history, this is your place!
Very good food with excellent service. Very crowded and noisy, but very San Francisco.