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John's Grill

$$$
Neighborhood:
Union Square
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63 Ellis Street, San Francisco, CA 94102 (Powell Street)
+1 415-986-0069
Website
Today
12:00 pm - 10:00 pm
Open now
See all hours
Hours:
Sun 12:00 pm - 10:00 pm
Mon - Sat 11:00 am - 10:00 pm
Dining options: Dinner, Breakfast, Lunch, Late Night, Reservations
Description: John's Grill has been a San Francisco tradition since 1908. This historic...
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 Hammetts, 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.)"
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TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 928 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 301
    Excellent
  • 328
    Very good
  • 163
    Average
  • 84
    Poor
  • 52
    Terrible
Rating summary
  • Food
    4 of 5 stars
    Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 stars
    Atmosphere
    4 of 5 stars
John's Grill San Francisco

The steaks were good. The live jazz guitar music added to the atmosphere. Two things: I don't see well in dim lighting. It's like trying to see through smoke. I my guest and I were seated in a recessed area with only a dim light sconce . I kindly asked for another place to sit. We were... read more

4 of 5 starsReviewed May 18, 2015
Caroline M
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928 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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English first
Top Contributor
83 reviews 83 reviews
54 restaurant reviews
30 helpful votes 30 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed May 21, 2015 NEW

this is a place where you can get an easy dinner...steak is OK. nothing fancy, but good. you should reserve as it is often full

Was this review helpful? Yes
Hackettstown, New Jersey
2 reviews
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 20, 2015 NEW

Staff very accommodating. We had 7:30 reservations this past Friday and we couldn't make it until 8:30. They were wonderful and we had no problem. The food was very good. Service was great and we were not rushed at all. One of the best meals we had while in San Francisco.

Was this review helpful? Yes
Daytona Beach, Florida
Senior Contributor
29 reviews 29 reviews
20 restaurant reviews
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed May 20, 2015 NEW

This restaurant seems to be very popular. You should make a reservation but I wouldn't bother. The tables were very close together and it was crowded. Food was so-so. Wait staff not attentive but you don't know til you try. Lots of other places that are better.

Was this review helpful? Yes
Senior Contributor
22 reviews 22 reviews
6 restaurant reviews
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 18, 2015 NEW

The steaks were good. The live jazz guitar music added to the atmosphere. Two things: I don't see well in dim lighting. It's like trying to see through smoke. I my guest and I were seated in a recessed area with only a dim light sconce . I kindly asked for another place to sit. We were re-seated. But the... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes
Cincinnati, Ohio
Senior Contributor
26 reviews 26 reviews
16 restaurant reviews
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 15, 2015

Stop by for dinner with coworkers, and the service was excellent. They mostly serve sea food, but we were all in the mood for some steaks, and it turns out to be great. The waiter did warn me about, and the house special mixed drink was not that great. But if you want their souvenir glass, you have to order... More 

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Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
3 of 5 stars Reviewed May 13, 2015

The place hosts live jazz artists and has a magical touch of character. Don't expect the food to amaze you though.

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Shanghai
Top Contributor
154 reviews 154 reviews
35 restaurant reviews
96 helpful votes 96 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 11, 2015

This is really an old restaurant, not only based in described history on the walls but also visible looking into decoration that is shabby enough to proof its 100 years. Seems to be very popular with locals and can be very crowded, with little distance among tables and a very noise ambient (think twice if you look for a very... More 

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Naples, Florida
Top Contributor
75 reviews 75 reviews
41 restaurant reviews
36 helpful votes 36 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed May 6, 2015

This is a popular restaurant in the heart of downtown. The food quality is slightly above average to go with the above average prices. The bread would be much better served warm rather than cold and like it had been sitting out for more than a couple of hours. The clam chowder is well over priced at $10.95 and below... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
Geneva, Switzerland
Top Contributor
109 reviews 109 reviews
5 restaurant reviews
82 helpful votes 82 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed May 1, 2015

We didn't choose that place, we were partying. The service was just average, the angus (really?) steak poor, and that was incredibly expensive for what we get. The only thing correct was… the ice cream. You'd better avoid it.

Was this review helpful? Yes
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
8 restaurant reviews
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 26, 2015

We arrived in SF on valentines with no reservation for dinner. As John's grill was recommended to us by friends we went along and hoped for the best. We were pleased to be offered a table and just had a short wait at the bar which was crowded but were served right away. The whole place was buzzing and we... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes 1

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Restaurant Details

Location and Contact Information

  • Address: 63 Ellis Street, San Francisco, CA 94102
    (Powell Street)
  • Location: United States  >  California (CA)  >  San Francisco>  > Union Square
  • Neighborhood: Union Square
  • Phone Number: +1 415-986-0069

Price and Cuisine

  • Average Prices: USD 30 - 40
  • Cuisine: American, Steakhouse, Chowder, Seafood, Barbecue

Restaurant Characteristics

  • Dining Style: Casual Elegant

Description

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 Hammetts, 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.)"
Open Hours
Sunday
12:00 pm - 10:00 pm
Monday
11:00 am - 10:00 pm
Tuesday
11:00 am - 10:00 pm
Wednesday
11:00 am - 10:00 pm
Thursday
11:00 am - 10:00 pm
Friday
11:00 am - 10:00 pm
Saturday
11:00 am - 10:00 pm

Questions & Answers

Here's what previous visitors have asked, with answers from representatives of John's Grill and other visitors
1 question
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San Jose, California
4 months ago

See all questions (1)

Questions? Get answers from John's Grill staff and past visitors.
Posting guidelines
Typical questions asked:
  • Do you have gluten-free options?
  • Is there a dress code?
  • Do you allow dogs on the outdoor patio?

Staying in Union Square

Neighborhood Profile
Union Square
Originally home to rallies supporting the Union Army in the Civil War, this grand square has become the city's premier shopping and entertainment district containing the largest number of upscale department stores, chic boutiques, art galleries and theaters in the city. It's a large open area where tourists and locals gather, watch cable cars and crowds go by, enjoy a snack, or plan their day of shopping and sightseeing, If feeling the pulsating energy of the city is on your agenda, Union Square is the place to soak it in.
Explore this neighborhood