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“Great find”
Review of John's Grill

John's Grill
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Ranked #149 of 5,664 Restaurants in San Francisco
Price range: $30 - $40
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Restaurant details
Good for: Large groups, Local cuisine, Special occasions, Families with children
Dining options: Lunch, Dinner, Accepts American Express, Accepts Discover, Accepts Mastercard, Accepts Visa, Full Bar, Highchairs Available, Reservations, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Takeout, Waitstaff, Wheelchair Accessible, Wine and Beer
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.)"
Austin, TX
Level Contributor
8 reviews
3 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Great find”
Reviewed June 29, 2013

My wife and I arrived in SF late due to airline delays and had to cancel our dinner reservations for her birthday. Our hotel clerk recommended John's Grill. Close to Union Square, we walked in after 8:00 pm and were promptly seated, although the place was busy. My 10 oz ribeye was appropriate for the price and was cooked to order, great steak. I added the creamed spinach and was glad I did! My wife had the Chef's Special Red Snapper (topped with crab and shrimp in a lemon cream sauce) and raved about it.

After being seated, our drink and food orders were taken by a server obviously having a foul night. We didn't see much of her after that, perhaps because she was only filling in for a few minutes. We were rescued by Chris, however, who was much more pleasant and willing to take care of us.

Over all, we were well satisfied with our visit to John's.

  • Visited June 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank kknob62
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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English first
Level Contributor
26 reviews
15 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed June 21, 2013 via mobile

After enjoying so many resturants all week in San Francisco ww saved this one for last. It was close to our hotel and what i read seemed promising. I was sadly mistaken. The clam chowder was excellent. When the main course came - my wife's fish was good but the potato was extremely dry and overcooked. My filet- which i paid $36 for was very small - and over cooked. You can check out several reviews i posted and see that i usually post very positive reviews. I must confess that this was mot worth the $120 meal tgat i paid for.

1 Thank hilltopfwb
This review is the subjective opinion of an individual traveler and not of TripAdvisor LLC nor of its partners.
Level Contributor
44 reviews
22 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 43 helpful votes
“Retro-Cool & Didn't realise the music was live!”
Reviewed June 18, 2013

Somehow found my way in here with a friend after stepping off a 10 hour flight. I was too jet-lagged, hungry and tired to do any proper research.

When we first walked in it was really busy, manic and to be fair, first impressions didn't bode well. Wanted to leave immediately as it looked almost like an old timers restaurant you would find in a british sea-side town. You know the places that scrape leftover food into bins in full view. That was the first thing that greeted me.

But places like this are busy for a reason - the food and the atmosphere was really 'retro-cool'. The music was really interesting. It was so busy that It took me a long while to click that it was coming from this guy behind us who looked like he works full time as a corporate accountant rocking a keyboard! He was amazing.

The food was tasty and hot and portions big! Everyone looked like they were struggling to put a dent in their plates!

Love the Maltese falcon memorabilia on the wall - like a history lesson!

  • Visited June 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank mikeijay
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Durham, North Carolina
Level Contributor
16 reviews
11 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Classy Nostalgia”
Reviewed June 18, 2013

Great Union Square location with lots of atmosphere and history. And our steaks were fabulous! This film location for the Maltese Falcon displays lots of old Hollywood memorabilia related to the film and the stars who have visited. If you are looking for some excellent steaks, do give this place a try. It's not just a meal; it's an experience!

Visited June 2013
Thank Sam O
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
84 reviews
37 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
“Excellent and historical”
Reviewed June 15, 2013

This is one of those great places that we found coincidentally while walking the streets. Service and food were great. My family of 4 had lunch and we ate salad, steaks and seafood cannelloni. the place got full after our arrival. The place has apparently been in operation for about 100 years, and there is some connection to the Maltese Falcon movie, but I did not double check these facts.

Visited June 2013
Thank Joe S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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