photo credit: Julia Chen
John’s Grill is a San Francisco institution, and we’re willing to bet not much has changed in the way of atmosphere since it opened in 1908. Black-and-white portraits and scenes of the city line the walls, and the dining room looks like a ski lodge with dark wood and chandeliers. This place is always filled with a steady stream of tourists and families who were shopping in nearby Union Square, and regulars nursing martinis at the bar. Hearty American plates (and endless free bread) are the name of the game—think ribeyes with a baked potato, lobster ravioli smothered in tomato cream, and mountains of salad loaded with shrimp, crab, avocado, and bleu cheese vinaigrette. None of the food will change your life, but that’s not the point. You’re here to soak in a slice of SF history and check out the upstairs shrine to The Maltese Falcon.
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