Adventures written by the VAMONDE Team
Original Joe's history began in 1937 when it was merely a 14-stool counter in San Francisco's Tenderloin neighborhood. After struggling with hunger, war, and hardship, Croatian immigrant, Tony Rodin, founded the restaurant to live the American Dream. Unfortunately, in 2007, Joe's suffered from a fire that devastated the original restaurant; however, Rodin's grandchildren John and Elena Duggan were devoted to restoring their grandfather's vision. After five long years of searching for the appropriate location, they settled in North Beach overlooking Washington Square Park. Original Joe's has been thriving again ever since. Original Joe's takes credit for creating what is now known as "Joe's Concept"— an exhibition kitchen where guests at the bar can watch the chefs in action, plush leather booths, an Italian-American menu with large portions, and cocktails to complement it. The new restaurant is a beautiful mashup of old-school Italian with a more modern feeling.
The hearty menu consists of traditional Italian-American food for brunch, lunch, and dinner. For lunch, guests can taste classic San Franciscan fare such as Dungeness Crab or shrimp cocktail, Prime Rib dip, Joe's Filet of Sole, or their housemade fettuccine alfredo. Original Joe's dinner menu consists of the same lunch menu dishes with the addition of steaks and chops and roasted Prime Rib as well as daily specials like their housemade gnocchi. Joe's ravioli, a fan favorite, is filled with beef and spinach, then tossed in their classic meat sauce and parmesan cheese.
Don't forget about cocktail hour. Original Joe's extensive selection includes favorites such as Joe's Manhattan, which has been coined "SF's best;" Negroni, and The Goodfella, which is made with Johnnie Walker gold label, noilly prat sweet vermouth, 12 filthy black cherry syrup, and fresh orange juice. Their wine list is almost as big as the lunch menu with a wide range of whites, reds, house, and bubbly options. Original Joe's also has a Reserve list, the John Sr. selection with bottles ranging in price from $250-$700.
Cover image: "Original Original Joe's" by Thomas Hawk is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0.