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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
11:00 am - 10:00 pm
Closed now
See all hours
Hours:
Sun 12:00 pm - 10:00 pm
Mon - Sat 11:00 am - 10:00 pm
Dining options: Lunch, Breakfast, Dinner, 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 996 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 327
    Excellent
  • 352
    Very good
  • 174
    Average
  • 89
    Poor
  • 54
    Terrible
Rating summary
  • Food
    4 of 5 stars
    Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 stars
    Atmosphere
    4 of 5 stars
Great food, great ambiance and a lot of history

Historic restaurant in San Fran, over 100 years old. We went early evening without reservations and had no problem getting a table, I would recommend reserving a table if going later. Nice place, comfortable feel to the place, staff were welcoming and service was quick. A little more expensive... read more

4 of 5 starsReviewed July 26, 2015
Jim M
,
Thornaby On Tees, United Kingdom
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996 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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English first
Level Contributor
9 reviews
6 restaurant reviews
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 30, 2015 NEW

Great steak. Great atmosphere. It's an old joint that has character, cold beer on draft, a good wine list by the bottle and solid food. Friendly crowd was a mix of locals and tourists. I sat at the bar and got swallowed up in the usual bar banter with other patrons which was fun cause I was dining alone. Anyway,... More 

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Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
2 reviews
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 28, 2015 NEW

My partner and I enjoyed dinner here during our stay in San Fran. The service was fantastic and waiter was quite knowledgable of the wine list. We both ordered different cuts of steak, each was cooked perfectly and had the most delicious char grill. Side sauces paired wonderfully with steaks. Would definitely visit again.

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Thornaby On Tees, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
21 reviews
9 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 26, 2015 NEW

Historic restaurant in San Fran, over 100 years old. We went early evening without reservations and had no problem getting a table, I would recommend reserving a table if going later. Nice place, comfortable feel to the place, staff were welcoming and service was quick. A little more expensive than some of the restaurants nearby, however the food was well... More 

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Olympia, Washington
Level Contributor
7 reviews
3 restaurant reviews
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 25, 2015 NEW

This is an excellent place. We were with my 2 granddaughters, 4yrs and 8mos. They did put us back my the kitchen entrance but that was no surprise. Everyone was very accommodating and the food was excellent

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Portland, Maine
Level Contributor
37 reviews
16 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 25, 2015 NEW

A friend and I decided to try this landmark on our last night in the city. The Red Snapper was very good. Service was incredibly fast-- so fast my friend didn't have time to finish her cocktail before dinner arrived! Would recommend it for those who love steak as they have a extensive menu for that.

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3 of 5 stars Reviewed July 22, 2015

I decided to enjoy San Francisco on Sunday, July 18, 2015. I wanted to get some items in Chinatown. I took the Muni to Powell Street and started walking. I walked by John's Grill. I saw the sign about the restaurant, "Est. 1908". I always like trying new restaurants. As this one was over 100 years old, I knew it... More 

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Detroit, Michigan
Level Contributor
11 reviews
3 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed July 19, 2015

We were excited to try John's Grill with a family member that "loved it" when she visited years ago. We were disappointed. Service: We got a table for 5 immediately, they were not that busy that night, and we had great service from a knowledgeable server. Atmosphere: The restaurant appears a bit run down and could use some renovations. I... More 

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Liberty, Texas
Level Contributor
122 reviews
55 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 61 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 18, 2015

On our first night in San Francisco John's Grill was recommended for dinner. We went early, 6:30, and had no problem being seated. It was full when we left so reservations are a good idea. Prompt service and and excellent dinner. The restaurant had character, you can tell it has been in business for a long time. We would go... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
Prince Albert, Canada
Level Contributor
151 reviews
83 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 60 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 17, 2015

We both had steaks which were very tender & cooked rare, exactly as ordered. The meal was a good value ($$) & the waiter was very attentive. Would have loved to have tried an appetizer but we were stuffed as it was!

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
1 review
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 16, 2015

First time at John's Grill in San Francisco. Had an excellent meal! There were 6 of us there for dinner. Started out with oysters and shrimp as an appetizer for the group. They were fresh and great! The group was split on dinners, some fish and some steak. I had the Halibut and have to say it was one of... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes 2

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Additional Information about John's Grill

Address: 63 Ellis Street, San Francisco, CA 94102
Phone Number: +1 415-986-0069
Location: United States  >  California (CA)  >  San Francisco>  > Union Square
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
Average Prices: USD 30 - 40
Cuisine: American, Steakhouse, Chowder, Seafood, Barbecue, Soups

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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
  • Price Range: $ $ $
  • Cuisine: American, Steakhouse, Chowder, Seafood, Barbecue, Soups

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
6 months ago

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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.
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