We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Best dinner so far”
Review of John's Grill

John's Grill
Reserve with OpenTable
John's Grill is not available for your requested time. Choose another time, or search restaurants with availability.
The time you selected has already passed.
Ranked #110 of 5,866 Restaurants in San Francisco
Price range: $30 - $40
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Dining options: Dinner, Late Night, Breakfast, Lunch, Reservations
Dining style: Casual Elegant
Neighborhood: Union Square
Cross street: Powell Street
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.)"
Reviewed May 7, 2013

Right in the middle of town, great friendly & attentive service. Meal came very quickly and was well presented and tasty. We both had steak, cooked how we wanted, the veggies were cooked to just done and perfect. For the first time since we've arrived the waitress gave us the option to see the sweet menu and didn't assume we'd finished after the main meal. If you're down town and want some good food give it a go.

Thank Edith677
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a ReviewReviews (1,999)
Traveler rating
Traveler type
Time of year
  • More languages

1,222 - 1,226 of 2,000 reviews

Reviewed May 7, 2013

This classic grill still serves up great late night dinner in a nostagic setting. Steaks were excellent, service was good and wine list was strong

Thank Harry J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 7, 2013

Had a terrible experience here a year or so ago. Way too noisy. Awful service. Below average food. Felt like a tourist on an assembly line. UGH!!

Thank David02543
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 2, 2013

Had a great time with two other couples. The food was delicious. The waiter was nice and the water was always refilled. Tables were close but that's how a good restaurant is in a city. Was not cheap but good servings, good wine and enjoyable time. Would definitely go back. Memorable.

Thank Dan_Kris
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 1, 2013

I love Cioppino. If it's on the menu I order it. Tonight was my first time at John's Grill so I ordered my "go-to" favorite.
The restaurant was clean and had a good atmosphere but I was quite disappointed with one thing in particular. On the menu, the first ingredient listed in the Cioppino was crab. When it arrived, I instantly noticed it was full of clams and mussels but no crab. Most second rate Cioppino is heavily loaded with those less desirable items. When I questioned the waiter about it, he said the crab was in the broth, which was a completely ridiculous and untrue statement.
I have no tolerance for such behavior so I will not return to John's Grill and i will spread the word to everyone I know to do the same.
If a restaurant makes a mistake but attempts to correct the issue, I usually have sympathy but there was no attempt to justify this blatant misrepresentation of their ingredients.

In addition to the crab issue, the broth was very thin and lukewarm. Overall taste was decent but it still ranks on the bottom of the list of all versions of Cioppino I've tried in SF.
Also, another person in our party ordered a steak that he called a $35 Sizzler steak. Tough, fatty and tasteless.
One final miscue, the waiters gave the wrong meal to several of us, we had to trade plates around once they went to get the next set of meals. Not really a big deal, just another strike against this place.
Sorry, just when I thought i was done, something else came to mind. We were a large group seated at 5:00 PM. There was NOBODY else on the third floor but us. They crammed us so tightly together that we were bumping shoulders. They could easily have added another table to accommodate us. I complained but they didn't do anything about it.

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank khub79
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers who viewed John's Grill also viewed


Been to John's Grill? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing