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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
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Today
11:00 am - 10:00 pm
Closed now
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Hours:
Sun 12:00 pm - 10:00 pm
Mon - Sat 11:00 am - 10:00 pm
Dining options: Lunch, Dinner, Accepts American Express, Accepts Discover, Accepts Mastercard, Accepts Visa, Full Bar, Highchairs Available, Reservations, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Takeout, Waitstaff, Wine and Beer
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 1,186 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 392
    Excellent
  • 430
    Very good
  • 204
    Average
  • 103
    Poor
  • 57
    Terrible
Rating summary
  • Food
    4 of 5 stars
    Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 stars
    Atmosphere
    4 of 5 stars
Hopping place!

Old world charm, Dashiell Hammett Society location, delicious food and good service. The Jerusalem Chicken was fabulous and large proportions; NY strip tender and generously sized. If in Union Square area of SF, would highly recommend.

4 of 5 starsReviewed 3 days ago
Lisa G
,
Ann Arbor, Michigan
via mobile
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1,186 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Ann Arbor, Michigan
Level Contributor
12 reviews
4 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed 3 days ago NEW via mobile

Old world charm, Dashiell Hammett Society location, delicious food and good service. The Jerusalem Chicken was fabulous and large proportions; NY strip tender and generously sized. If in Union Square area of SF, would highly recommend.

Helpful?
Thank Lisa G
Level Contributor
76 reviews
52 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed 6 days ago NEW via mobile

This was a lovely restaurant steeped in history as many celebrities had visited this restaurant. There was a girl outside giving you the option of looking at the menu first with no pressure to go in. Staff inside were very pleasant too and the steak was beautiful. We were glad we had visited there and thanks Johns Grill for a... More 

Helpful?
Thank 140AngelaL
Anaheim, California
2 reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 1 week ago NEW

We decided to try John's Grill due to the reference in The Maltese Falcon. Ordered the lamb chops medium rare and they were outstanding. My boyfriend had a great steak and the homemade vanilla bean ice cream is unexpectedly good.

Helpful?
Thank maskmomma
Miami, Florida
Level Contributor
59 reviews
30 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed 1 week ago via mobile

John's Grill is a historic restaurant within walking distance from Union Square. Great overall ambience, live music and a delicious affordable menu make of this a great choice for dinner or lunch.

Helpful?
Thank J R
Adelaide, Australia
Level Contributor
17 reviews
12 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 1 week ago

We dropped in on a spur of the moment and what a great discovery. Good reasonably priced menu with loads of character in the heart of San Francisco. We'll definitely be back.

Helpful?
Thank Scott B
Lima, Peru
Level Contributor
30 reviews
24 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed 1 week ago via mobile

Have been here twice. Good service, nice choice of California wines and a classical menu. The broiled salmon and porterhouse steak were great with a bottle of Zinfandel. Nice live music. An historic place in town

Helpful?
Thank patriciabadinotti
Carmel
Level Contributor
10 reviews
5 restaurant reviews
4 of 5 stars Reviewed 1 week ago

A great place to eat a steak without going crazy in price, really free perfectly cooked meat and side dishes, beverages are also very reasonably priced, its not your 5 star steak house but a great place to be, live music in the 2nd floor restaurant level, table sizes and spacing is good and the noise level downstairs is very... More 

Helpful?
Thank Daniele G
Marlborough, Massachusetts
Level Contributor
45 reviews
33 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed 2 weeks ago

Dropped in without a reservation right at dinner time and were seated immediately upstairs. At first glance, you would think you were in an old New York City steakhouse -- tables two stories up, white linen table clothes, celebrities on the wall and a menu that screamed 1940s. Nothing fancy or special here. We ordered salads and I was disappointed... More 

Helpful?
Thank rml01752
Level Contributor
16 reviews
13 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 2 weeks ago

Johns grill has great steak and seafood! It can be busy and a bit tight,but well worth it! Best to make reservations. I love the ribeye, as well as the shrimp cocktail...enjoy! PS Great friendly staff!

Helpful?
Thank Dan L
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed 3 weeks ago via mobile

Mad house, but fun. Three stories of tables, tiny bar, good food. I had the seafood crepes which were magnificent! Large parties are seated on third floor where it wasn't so crowded. May go back on quieter night to see if the food was just as good.

Helpful?
Thank Barbara J

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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: Steakhouse, American, Seafood

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
3 questions
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Rawlins, Wyoming
San Jose, California
over a year ago

See all questions (3)

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