Seafood >John's Grill
63 Ellis St, San Francisco, CA | Directions 9410237.785543 -122.407116
Neighborhoods: Downtown, Northeast
John's Grill, a San Francisco tradition since 1908 is a must on a visit to San Francisco. This landmark was the setting for the Maltese Falcon novel whose author Dashiell Hammett was a regular and mentioned John's Grill in his novel.
It is a gathering spot for local and national celebrities where one enjoys excellent service and great seafood and steaks at honest prices in a traditional San Francisco atmosphere. Dark panel walls, antiques, white table linens, pictures of old San Francisco, photos of celebrities who frequent the restaurant are all a part of the excitement at this famous grill which was featured in Gourmet and chosen as one of the 10 best in S.F. by Esquire. Dress is casual. We have a full bar as well as an extensive wine list featuring wines from Napa Valley.
Tourist Trap, avoid at all costs! – Avoid at all costs! TIGHT seating. Bad service. The people at the tables next to me were closer than my wife across my table. The staff never asked how the meal tasted. They never refilled the water glasses. They never brought more drinks. They were fast at getting us seated and getting us out the door when we were done.
No good – Oh well. I will move on to other venues. There are other well known steak houses in San Francisco - will try them all "one-by-one".
EXCELLENT! EXCELLENT! EXCELLENT! – I have never had a bad meal at John's grill. the best steaks, chops, and wine. With the old picture's on the wall and the white linen tablecloth's this is the grace kelly of restaurants. If your looking for the "old" san francisco when Herb Caen referred to it as "baghdad by the bay" this is where it starts and ends. John's grill is as good as "the stinking rose" is bad. Bravo for John's grill! Avoid north beach, go to John's grill, have the sam spade special, and ambience you will feel.
Great place and great location! – I just had my boyfriend's surprise birthday party at John's Grill yesterday and we all had a fantastic time. Everyone enjoyed their meal and the staff did a good job even with 16 of us! I had the cioppino and it was very tasty. The red snapper chef's special got good reviews from our table as did the escargot appetizer and the huge jack lalane salad. The live jazz was a nice touch and the location was perfect as we had quite a few choices for after dinner drinks in the area. Definitely worth a visit!
Gotta come here once – Not the first place to dine in S.F but everybody should come here once. The atmosphere is perfect, and that's worth the trip even though the food and drink is barely average. It's a shame - if the owners and head chef would kick the food up several notches, that and the ambiance would make this place a one-in-a-million. Instead, come here once, but a second visit's a disappointment.
A Good Night – A co-worker and I had a great Friday evening here. Without reservations, we were seated upstairs near the jazz music and a window. The service was prompt, the Shrimp Dijonnaise was wonderful, so was my co-workers Sole. We would have liked the bread to come to the table warm, so we did not try it. Also the Cesear Salad had a little too much dressing, but overall OK. We would go back. The main meals were filling and tasty.
User review by mrunderhill9 – Went to John's Grill specifically for 2nd anniversary. Steaks (had to send the first one back as it was way to tough) were not that good. My second steak was bland and tasteless. On the other hand, my wife had the lamb chops and they were wonderful. Overall, we are from Las Vegas, and the food there did not come close to the food here.
Old Awsome San Fran Feeling – Went here to celebrate by birthday this week and had a blast. The dinner jazz added a special touch to the professional service and above all the clubby atmosphere. The lamb chops were perfectly done and the Chilean seabass was moist . Everyone at our table enjoyed the California only wines that were priced fairly. The place was crowded with diners that included media types that I recognized from nightly news . The Chalone chardonnay was to die for.
Ughh... – Mediocre would be kind. We were seated at a tiny table next to the bar with barely enough light to read the menus. The clam chowder was straight from a can. Salad was garden-variety (lol). The Chilean sea bass was barely defrosted. John's Steak appeared to be a mediocre bone-in NY strip, but it was difficult to tell. The service was actually decent, but the server appeared quite harried. Don't fall into this tourist trap like we did. The advertised nightly live jazz was nonexistent as well. We would have gotten a better and cheaper meal at Outback.
Very Evjoyable – We really enjoyed the atmosphere. The food is classic for a restaurant of this quality. The one great thing is that younger , middle aged and older people feel right at home. The Oystsers Wellington were fabulous. The martini's are big and staff vert attentive.
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