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Reserve a table
2
Fri, 6/21
8:00 PM
This property has identified as Hispanic/Latinx-owned.
About
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 Hammett, 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. If you're looking for a great steak dinner or seafood dinner in San Francisco, then John's Grill is a must-try restaurant. We can't wait to serve you!
PRICE RANGE
$20 - $50
Special Diets
Vegetarian Friendly, Gluten Free Options
Meals
Lunch, Dinner
FEATURES
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, Street Parking, Non-smoking restaurants
Reviews (2,647)
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2,076 results
Traveler rating
868
673
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79
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LanguageEnglish
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Traveler rating
868
673
316
140
79
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All reviews baked potato steak roquefort salad red snapper seafood prawns clam chowder bread maltese falcon sam spade dashiell hammett historic restaurant union square old school sf city martini
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Reviewed 1 week ago via mobile

I didn’t have a reservation and the restaurant was relatively busy. However, the person from the front of the house helped me quickly to find a small table in the bar area. The restaurant interior was well preserved and had all the charm that you...might expect from a 100 years old institution. I ordered the ribeye. The cut of meat was not as impressive as I expected but my steak was tasty and cooked as I ordered it. The veggies on the side were kinda bland, so it would have been good to have salt readily available on the table. I reluctantly ordered the chocolate torte too and that turned out to be even better than I was hoping - very silky and tasty. Overall this was a good experience - although not perfect. This restaurant was the best fit for me in the Union Square area.More

Date of visit: June 2024
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Reviewed 4 weeks ago

Busy, fervorous, expensive inordinately compared to 'Fervor' in Buenos Aires offering similar fare at a most exquisite level. Not spacious, couples are crammed in little tables and a meal with a bottle of wine for two comes to $250.00 at least. It has ambiance and...a reference to the town's history including Dasjiell Hammet. The food is good, the lamb chops are considered excellent, they are interesting but not divine. The steaks are again run of a good mill, the side dishing is not to write home about. Active and attentive personnel including the third-generation owner. Clientele appears swarming in and satisfied. A lively eateryMore

Date of visit: May 2024
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Reviewed 4 weeks ago

I always go to John's Grill whenever I'm in San Francisco. The service is attentive, the food excellent, and the wine list reasonably priced. The private label house wines are a good value. Absolutely zero complaints. There's a reason why John's Grill has been open...for over a hundred years.More

Date of visit: May 2024
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Reviewed 4 weeks ago

If on a Friday, or any day, you are seeking fish and chips, the freshest fish is found here. The dish has a generous portion. Don't expect to have room for dessert. I liked the tangy tartar sauce, too. It comes with cocktail sauce but...I don't eat it that way. The batter sticks to the fish, too, which makes it a reason I would order it again. Only fresh fish is used. The French fries were perfect with the right amount of seasoning. Food arrived quickly even during the busy lunch hour.More

Date of visit: May 2024
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Reviewed May 15, 2024

Traditionell Steakhouse with good food at reasonable prices. We went there for lunch and were happy to get a table - it was very crowded.

Date of visit: May 2024
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Reviewed April 20, 2024

Old school historic restaurant in SF. Come here for nice meal and nice great time in historic old SF restaurant. We had halibut, Lamb Chop, and Fisherman's pasta and everything was perfect. Our server Chris was amazing and allowed us to eat in peace and...was unobtrusive. Great experience!More

Date of visit: March 2024
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Reviewed April 18, 2024

We had a great dinner at John’s Grill. Cute intimacy restaurant. Everything tasted great and everything was well priced. We got the filet with peppercorn brandy sauce and it was insane. Service was great. The manager made us feel right at home. I would recommend...this restaurant for your visit to SFMore

Date of visit: April 2024
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Reviewed April 15, 2024

We stumbled across this restaurant on a cold and rainy day and thought "this will do". Well... it was really fantastic. I had the most perfectly cooked piece of salmon with mash and asparagus. My friend had a huge salad. We threw a few martinis...in there too and we weren't disappointed. This restaurant has had some really high profile visitors over the years and I can see why. A mix of modern and traditional foods, served in a traditional atmosphere by great wait staff made for a wonderful afternoon. It was so good we went back when passing through San Francisco a few weeks later and each had a pasta dish and were very happy. Complimentary bread and butter is provided and for those of you from outside the USA - it was proper French style baguette and a welcome reprieve from the over sweetened American style bread. I thought the food was of an exceptional quality so represented great value. I would happily eat here again.More

Date of visit: March 2024
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Reviewed April 10, 2024

Having read several reviews, decided to dine here for our Anniversary dinner. Was recommended to make reservations so we did same day (@5:30pm), the restaurant was empty at this time. A few hours later we returned for our 7:30pm reservation to be advised that our...table was not available as "someone" forgot to press a button to confirm? This was coming from the the same gentleman we literally spoke to hours before to make our reservation?!? Service for mid-week would be best described as mediocre as restaurant was not that busy based on the numerber of restaurant staff vs guests. Server came by once? We had to request water refill and pepper from another waiter. Meal- Steak was good, side vegetables cold and undercooked. We both ordered a steak dinner, $45 USD pp + tax and gratuity. Worth + $100 USD?. This dining experience was not worth it based on our personal experience.More

Date of visit: April 2024
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Reviewed April 8, 2024 via mobile

Food, ambience, service, History, it was perfect. If ever we return to San Francisco, we will definitely make it a point to undertake another visit.

Date of visit: April 2024
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Reviewed February 22, 2024 via mobile

As always, great food & drinks. My husband had the NE Clam Chowder, the Louis salad & the Pacific Snapper. I had the roasted beet salad & the Petrale Sole dinner. The food was exquisite. as per usual. I had a couple of martinis, the...signature “Belvedere”. They were excellent, my husband had gin & tonics - same. The service is always excellent. We love it here. My only disappointment was that the Oysters Wellington was no longer on the menu, my go-to for many years. I’d never even seen it on the menu anywhere else. That was my favorite for many years. I wish they would bring it back.More

Date of visit: February 2024
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Reviewed February 6, 2024 via mobile

I read about John’s Grill in the Air New Zealand in-flight magazine and decided to visit the restaurant on my last day. I was a little worried that it might not lit live up to expectations to be honest. However, from the initial welcome I...received at the door through to leaving I was very well looked after. Both the food and the service were excellent. I ate at a couple of very good restaurants during my stay but John’s Grill, whilst lacking the views, had a great atmosphere and was very good value for money. Highly recommended.More

Date of visit: February 2024
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Reviewed January 13, 2024

Came here tonight and from the moment we arrived we were so well looked after. We were blessed to have Edwardo as our waiter and provided the best advice on what meal to choose and wine. My son had the signature lamb chops and I...had the surf and turf. It was the best steak I’ve ever had and I’m an Aussie surrounded by beef! John the owner was so friendly and the whole vibe of the restaurant screams San Francisco. Do yourself a favour and make sure you go here on your travels. Book ahead and ask for a booth. Many were waiting for a table.More

Date of visit: January 2024
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Reviewed January 12, 2024

Nice atmosphere (not like a modern restaurant or one that is part of a chain). I had a nice fish dish. Staff acted professionally. Good value for money.

Date of visit: January 2024
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Reviewed January 12, 2024

We stayed at the Herbert Hotel near Union Square. The hotel is a short walk to John's grill. I called the restaurant to see if we needed reservations on a Sunday evening. I was told they were completely full and to go online to see...if there was a reservation time available. There was a spot open for 7:45 pm. When we arrived, lots of people were standing outside waiting. It was extremely crowded to get to the host stand. I checked in for the reservation and went back outside to stand. I waited until 30 minutes after our reservation to check back in. I was told we would be next. I waited another 15 minutes and checked back in after I saw others being seated before us. He told me that we had been "skipped" and taken off the list. He said we would be seated next. We were then seated about 45 minutes after our reservation. The restaurant was extremely busy and to be fair we are lucky we got in at all. I would highly recommend reservations but be flexible to eat at a later time if you see that the restaurant is full. The tables are extremely close together and there are only a few seats at the bar. That is why everyone was standing outside. There is no lobby/waiting area either. Our server was polite and punctual. She did not offer any conversation or friendly service. We had 2 cocktails-$16 each. They are quite pricey everywhere in San Franciso. My husband really enjoyed the bread/butter. The sourdough is served with a warm/toasted crust. We decided to share the pre-fix menu for $95. It was a delicious option and perfect for the both of us to share. It came with a nice sized bowl of creamy lobster bisque. Then a VERY small lobster tail (about 4 bites) and a filet mignon. I added the peppercorn sauce on the side and that was delicious (a little spicy and flavorful). The steak was cooked perfectly. We also got green beans and mashed potatoes. I would recommend the mashed potatoes over the very small baked potatoes I saw on other plates. The mashed potatoes had a nice parmesan flavor. Then it came with a dessert. We chose the chocolate torte. It was very good as well. It was light with chocolate mousse with some strawberry sauce and cream. It was a lovely dinner, and I am glad we waited. It was worth it.More

Date of visit: January 2024
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Questions & Answers
Ask a question
Frances S
February 15, 2022|
AnswerShow all 2 answers
Response from johnsgrillSF | Property representative |
We accept Visa, Mastercard, Amex, & Discover.
0
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Georgia D
September 7, 2019|
AnswerShow all 6 answers
Response from Troy B | Reviewed this property |
Unsure, as we had dinner downstairs in the main restaurant
0
Votes
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
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JOHN'S GRILL, San Francisco - Union Square - Menu, Prices, Restaurant Reviews & Reservations - Tripadvisor

Frequently Asked Questions about John's Grill

Yes, John's Grill offers takeout 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