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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: Dinner, Breakfast, Late Night, Lunch, 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 1,040 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 339
    Excellent
  • 374
    Very good
  • 182
    Average
  • 90
    Poor
  • 55
    Terrible
Rating summary
  • Food
    4 of 5 stars
    Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 stars
    Atmosphere
    4 of 5 stars
ok

It was the only place we found while on our trip that served a baked potato. Our steaks were good and service was not an issue....one member of our party of 8 was extremely disappointed in one of their fish dishes and didn't eat it. we tried asking locals where to eat but overall were extremely... read more

4 of 5 starsReviewed August 29, 2015
janette l
,
harrison
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1,040 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Missouri
Level Contributor
31 reviews
13 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 97 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 31, 2015 NEW

We (2 couples) were here on our last night in SF--what a great choice! We arrived about 8:30 on Saturday evening; were told it would be about 15 minutes for a table, so sat at the bar and ordered drinks. We were seated promptly. Service was great, the atmosphere was fun and the prices were the most reasonable we experienced... More 

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Orlando, Florida
Level Contributor
240 reviews
108 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 244 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 31, 2015 NEW

Like many restaurants in San Francisco, they are small but great in flavor and freshness. I like the atmosphere, casual, and great quality food. We had the lobster ravioli for appetizer and the escargot, they were delicious. The filet mignon was perfectly cooked and veggies crispy. I love it.

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Austin, Texas
Level Contributor
343 reviews
208 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 140 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed August 30, 2015 NEW

Recently had a business lunch at one of the oldest and most historic restaurants in San Francisco. The ambiance is dark oak paneled walls, covered with autographed photos of many famous celebrities and local politicians. The restaurant is also famous as a setting for a scene in Dashiell Hammett's The Maltese Falcon. The food and service were good, but not... More 

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Fairfield, California
Level Contributor
17 reviews
12 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 29, 2015 NEW

This is my favorite San Francisco restaurant. If you haven't seen The Maltese Falcon or read the book, do it, and you'll get it. This is where Sam Spade and Miles Archer went to get their chops back on the 40's, and management has made every effort to preserve the feel of a 40's San Francisco restaurant. Not the greatest... More 

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harrison
Level Contributor
18 reviews
8 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 29, 2015 NEW

It was the only place we found while on our trip that served a baked potato. Our steaks were good and service was not an issue....one member of our party of 8 was extremely disappointed in one of their fish dishes and didn't eat it. we tried asking locals where to eat but overall were extremely disappointed in food from... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes
Charleston, West Virginia
Level Contributor
9 reviews
8 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 27, 2015 NEW

went there for lunch. it was amazing. we ordered from the bar, it was perfect. the ambiance is perfect. the price point was spot on for food and quality. the service was perfect. everything that we ate and drank was flawless.

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Phoenix, Arizona
Level Contributor
47 reviews
14 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 78 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 27, 2015 NEW

This restaurant came at the recommendation of our hotel concierge. The location is near BART @ Powell and cable car stop. We ordered the grilled snapper and grilled halibut. Both were delicious!! The service was excellent!!

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Calgary
Level Contributor
12 reviews
5 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed August 27, 2015 NEW

We checked this place out based on good reviews and it was within walking distance from our hotel. The restaurant was fine, service good and food ok. The experience just did not exceed expectations. For the cost, I would choose another establishment.

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Maine
Level Contributor
297 reviews
168 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 130 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 25, 2015

It is a very nice restaurant. Excellent Steak ( Porterhouse). Enough for two. Expensive but it is a steakhouse. We felt like we were being rushed...not the waiter, but, the busboy...kept stopping at our table to see if he could grab our plates. Very busy...make a reservation, casual dress.

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Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 24, 2015

It felt like we had stumbled upon one of the city's most treasured restaurants. Wall to wall pictures of all the city officials, and celebrities who have eaten there. Staff were friendly and talked me through all the different cuts of steak they offered. My steak was cooked perfectly and tasted gorgeous.

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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, 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
7 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.
Explore this neighborhood