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John's Grill

COVID-19 update: See the added health and safety measures this property is taking.Read more
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Sun, 5/9
8:00 PM
Travel safe during COVID-19
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What you can expect during your visit
  • Face masks required for staff in public areas
  • Hand sanitizer available to guests & staff
  • Regular temperature checks for staff
  • Socially distanced dining tables
  • Staff required to regularly wash hands
  • Tables disinfected between guests
Read more
Updated 10/03/20 Safety precautions are provided by the property and are not checked by Tripadvisor for accuracy.
Updated 10/03/20 Safety precautions are provided by the property and are not checked by Tripadvisor for accuracy.

Ratings and reviews

Travelers' Choice

Mentioned in

Food and ambience

Local cuisine, Steakhouse, American, Seafood, Vegetarian Friendly

Location and contact

Union Square
0.0 miles from Market Street
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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. 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
$20 - $50
Special Diets
Vegetarian Friendly, Gluten Free Options
Lunch, Dinner
Steakhouse, American, Seafood
Takeout, Highchairs Available, Wheelchair Accessible, Serves Alcohol, Full Bar, Gift Cards Available, Reservations, Seating, Wine and Beer, Accepts American Express, Accepts Mastercard, Accepts Visa, Accepts Discover, Accepts Credit Cards, Table Service
Reviews (2,498)
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All reviews baked potato steak red snapper seafood salad escargot prawns clam chowder salmon maltese falcon sam spade dashiell hammett humphrey bogart live jazz historic restaurant seated upstairs union square
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Reviewed 1 week ago

It had been decades since my spouse and I had eaten at John's Grill. We decided to try it again in order to take advantage of their $15.00 Restaurant Week lunch. The location is great for people shopping at Union Square stores. The old school...atmosphere is quite charming. Recommended COVID-19 precautions were in evidence; staff were masked and tables were well-spaced. The food was very good. We both started with the clam chowder, which we enjoyed. We tried both of the main courses on offer. The fish and chips were very good, hot and crisp and not at all greasy. The chicken Milanese was tender and moist and came with mashed potatoes and a caper beurre blanc. When we checked the regular-priced menu, we discovered that the prices are quite reasonable for the area. Overall, our experience was quite pleasant, and we will definitely be returning soon.More

Date of visit: April 2021
Reviewed September 29, 2020

The food is phenomenal! The service is even better! This place has adapted to the pandemic to create a beautiful outdoor seating area. The waiters are on the go to meet your needs. The menu is wonderful. This historic restaurant will not disappoint!

Date of visit: September 2020
Reviewed August 28, 2020 via mobile

Am staying in a nearby hotel and decided to get a take out order. We picked up a wonderful jack lalanne salad for 2. The restaurant always comes through. Their outdoor dining look wonderful.

Date of visit: August 2020
Reviewed March 21, 2020

Last fall I went on a business trip to San Fran and the group decided to eat here. It is a small restaurant however it has a beautiful interior. The place has been there since 1908. I had the Seafood Canelloni, delicious. Portions were very...generous & the staff was very attentive. If I ever visit San Fran again I will definitely stop here for a bite to eat.More

Date of visit: October 2019
Reviewed March 19, 2020 via mobile

We dined here in January after arriving late into SanFran. Had a reservation at Harris’s but their kitchen closed at 9.00. John’s is open until 10.30. Decor is cosy, lots of great pictures and wood. Service is excellent with great dishes on a very good...menu. We shared a superb lobster ravioli and moved onto 2 NY Steaks. Ravioli was delicious and the steaks top quality. I would als recommend John’s house Chardonnay.......lovely! To finish great coffee and a bill of 147.65! Much, much cheaper than Harris’s...... If in SanFran a must for dinner!More

Date of visit: January 2020
Reviewed March 11, 2020

Such a San Francisco Classic! We loved our salmon and sole dishes (best french fries too!). Very attentive service and an all around fun place to dine.

Date of visit: February 2020
Reviewed March 6, 2020 via mobile

Excellent food, every meal was delicious. Oyster Wellington was amazing, seafood pasta and chowder were amazing. Definitely recommend.

Date of visit: March 2020
Reviewed March 5, 2020

Really enjoyed the atmosphere here, great to grab a bite somewhere with a little history. Steak was good, and the Jazz in the background set the mood nicely

Date of visit: March 2020
Reviewed February 22, 2020 via mobile

Always loved this place and it’s historical references. I took my kids and the food was okay (good burger). I wish they had a printed kids menu. It is Very over priced for lunch. I ordered johns salad and think they forgot because it came...much later than all the other entrees. The salad was also way over dressed-shame because I loved the crab and shrimp.More

Date of visit: February 2020
Reviewed February 22, 2020

We were in the Union Square area around lunch time and were looking for something good to eat for lunch. We opted for the San Franciscan classic, John’s Grill located 2 blocks off the square on Ellis Street at Powell. This area can be a...little sketchy at night but has recently cleaned up a bit. They have a nice menu with quite a few different options. They are known for their steaks which is the way we went. Our party of 2 both ordered the NY Steaks; one bone in, and the other boneless. They were great and came with potato (baked or mashed) and a side of fresh grilled vegetables. Sourdough bread is served with the meal and they have a full bar which we passed on given time of day we were here. Our server was excellent and she did well by us. The food was tasty and we recommend it and will go back.More

Date of visit: February 2020
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Questions & Answers
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Georgia D
September 7, 2019|
AnswerShow all 6 answers
Response from troyb292 | Reviewed this property |
Unsure, as we had dinner downstairs in the main restaurant
Kent Z
September 11, 2018|
AnswerShow all 7 answers
Response from sallyn313 | Reviewed this property |
I'm not sure I can give you a 100% accurate answer. I'm sure the wait staff would be friendly. I am not sure if they have a children's menu, because we did not need one, so I never inquired. We ate lunch there, and I did... More
November 22, 2016|
AnswerShow all 11 answers
Response from 355janat | Reviewed this property |
Casual but classy. My husband wore long pants and a golf shirt. I was dressed similarly.
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Frequently Asked Questions about John's Grill

  • Yes, John's Grill offers takeout services.

  • Yes, John's Grill offers delivery services.

  • Yes, John's Grill is taking precautions against COVID-19. A full list is available within the "safety precautions" section of this page.

  • John's Grill is rated accordingly in the following categories by Tripadvisor travelers:
    • Food: 4
    • Service: 4
    • Value: 3.5
    • Atmosphere: 4