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John's Grill

$$$
Neighborhood:
Union Square
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63 Ellis Street, San Francisco, CA 94102-2207 (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, Lunch, Breakfast, 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 916 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 298
    Excellent
  • 325
    Very good
  • 158
    Average
  • 84
    Poor
  • 51
    Terrible
Rating summary
  • Food
    4 of 5 stars
    Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 stars
    Atmosphere
    4 of 5 stars
Nice stay with the guys from germany

I stayed here again after i was there with a friend from San Francisco. The Steaks are delicious. We had all Steaks and everybody was fully satisfied. Nice Place to eat.

4 of 5 starsReviewed April 26, 2015
Christian W
,
Hamburg, Germany
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916 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

Date | Rating
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  • Danish first
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  • English first
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English first
Geneva, Switzerland
Top Contributor
103 reviews 103 reviews
4 restaurant reviews
81 helpful votes 81 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed May 1, 2015 NEW

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
8 reviews 8 reviews
7 restaurant reviews
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
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 

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Hamburg, Germany
Contributor
17 reviews 17 reviews
10 restaurant reviews
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 26, 2015

I stayed here again after i was there with a friend from San Francisco. The Steaks are delicious. We had all Steaks and everybody was fully satisfied. Nice Place to eat.

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
Cleveland, OH
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
5 restaurant reviews
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 21, 2015 credit card Amex Card Member Review

Good enough for Sam Spade, good enough for us. In short, we went to John's Grill because Dashiell Hammett ate there and gave Sam a meal there in The Maltese Falcon (lamb chops, baked potato, sliced tomato). We shared a rib eye (mediocre) and creamed spinach (average). Service was friendly and efficient. Don't go there for the food but because... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
Saint Augustine Beach, Florida
Senior Contributor
40 reviews 40 reviews
26 restaurant reviews
40 helpful votes 40 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 20, 2015

We had our anniversary dinner at John's. We had great steak dinners that included the vegetables and wonderful bread. Our server was attentive and ended our evening by giving us champagne. As visitors to the city it is so overwhelming to figure out where to eat. If you want good food in a quaint and historic setting, this is the... More 

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Athens, Greece
Contributor
20 reviews 20 reviews
12 restaurant reviews
25 helpful votes 25 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 20, 2015

I have eaten here a several times during my 10-year stay in San Francisco. The food is really great, the staff was always very friendly. Not sure what the negative review are for. I made mostly reservations for lunch/dinner and walked-in a couple time. Great Clam Chowder, delicious Roquefort salad, Crab Louis Salad, Jack Lalanne's Salad (my favorite!), yummy Fisherman's... More 

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Mainz, Germany
2 reviews
1 of 5 stars Reviewed April 19, 2015

loud, busy, expensive. do not go. conventional 60's fare. impersonal mass service. do not go. busy, loud, all focussed on quick turnarounds. may they perish.

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Big Bear Lake, California
Contributor
20 reviews 20 reviews
13 restaurant reviews
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 16, 2015

We had the Petrale Sole and Filet Mignon with real Bernaise sauce. We ate every bite. Really incredible. Old world decor, lots of dark wood, with white table cloths. The place was busy on a Sunday night.

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London, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
70 reviews 70 reviews
27 restaurant reviews
26 helpful votes 26 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed April 14, 2015

Decent steak and efficient service. Many better options for a classier dining experience in the city but you can't go wrong here if you just want a good steak.

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los angeles
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
3 restaurant reviews
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed April 12, 2015

I have been there many times and I always get sucked in since it is close to Union Square and it appears to be romantic and charming. I never saw or read anything about the Maltese Falcon but it sounds so cool. We were able to get in with ease and I must admit that the whole dining community are... More 

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Restaurant Details

Location and Contact Information

  • Address: 63 Ellis Street, San Francisco, CA 94102-2207
    (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, 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
1 question
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San Jose, California
3 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