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“Anniversary dinner”
Review of John's Grill

John's Grill
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Ranked #147 of 5,711 Restaurants in San Francisco
Price range: $30 - $40
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Restaurant details
Dining options: Late Night, Lunch, Dinner, Breakfast, 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.)"
Stockport, United Kingdom
Level 5 Contributor
41 reviews
18 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
“Anniversary dinner”
Reviewed July 20, 2014

My wife and I were taken out for dinner with friends Jim, Jerry and Beverley to Johns Grill. They are all San Franciscans and have been to many restaurants in the area and took us here to celebrate our 17th anniversary. They have all been here many times over the years and we are so glad they chose this great place. The restaurant has seen many changes over the years and has quite a lot of history to it. Lots of writers and actors have been to Johns, loads of memorabilia and photos. The decor sort of takes you back in time. The waiters and staff are all very professional and make the experience special. The food was superb, we all had different dishes, it was all very well presented. It's not surprising that this place has stood the test of time and is one of the oldest restaurants in the area. If your in San Francisco check out Johns.

  • Visited June 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
1 Thank Michael W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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English first
San Francisco, California
1 review
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“The best steak in San Francisco”
Reviewed July 19, 2014

I was there from a friend's recommendation. It was a busy Saturday night, but they help me to find a table right away, I ordered steak and I thought it will take a long time to get my food since it was a busy Saturday night, however, I got my food within 20 minutes. I so much love the steak that I had, it was one of the best steak I ever had so far. I love the place, service and of course the food. Nest time, I will bring my friends there. I really like this place.

  • Visited April 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
1 Thank Ian T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level 6 Contributor
164 reviews
66 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 67 helpful votes
Reviewed July 16, 2014

We hadn't been to John's Grill for about 6 years but going through the door little seemed to have changed. The restaurant was still relatively small with limited space between tables, has a cramped bar area and very limited space for those waiting for tables. However, there was still the same sense of character that is missing from so many restaurants today. The place was buzzing with every table taken (reservations recommended certainly at the weekend) and a real sense of life from a mixture of tourists and locals, but with the majority seeming to be residents of San Francisco. So many locals in a place is normally a good sign.

The serving staff are always busy so service may be a bit slow but always friendly and pleasant. However, this is not a fast food joint and soaking up the atmosphere is part of the overall experience. The food is good, but not exceptional, and not too fancy or expensive for a popular mid-town restaurant. The tables are small and can get a little overloaded if you order too much for the same time. The decor is very traditional with walls covered by photographs of the famous plus local worthies and what seems like a photo history of members of the SFPD.

Probably not first choice for a quiet, intimate first date, but if you value real character that takes decades to develop and want a good meal at a sensible price close to Union Square then this is the place to go. Hopefully it will not be another 6 years before we are back in San Francisco.

  • Visited June 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank Highlander022
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Francisco, California
1 review
“One of the Best Steak Houses in the City”
Reviewed July 14, 2014

We walked by several times. Last Saturday was our first and we were quite impressed.
Our filet mignon was prepared to perfection. The staff was very warm and friendly.
Definitely will go back to John's Grill.

  • Visited July 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank MattTanti
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level 4 Contributor
34 reviews
10 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
“best food ever!!!”
Reviewed July 14, 2014

exceptional restaurant ! service, food and staff all a++. i dined here four times during my stay. if you are a fan of the Maltese Falcon I'd doubly recommend the place. the t bone steak and sam spades lamb chops are a must! good wine selection too.

Thank frequentflyer861
This review is the subjective opinion of an individual traveler and not of TripAdvisor LLC nor of its partners.

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