Although no longer in its original location in the Tenderloin district, Original Joe’s is a tried and trusted San Francisco institution that dates back to the 30s. Now found in historic North Beach, Original Joe’s offers up all the same old world charm and character that its patrons rely on, with waiters in bow ties, red leather booths, and an extensive Italian-American menu. At its heart, this is a family joint, passed down from generation to generation, and now run by siblings John and Elena Duggan who restored the restaurant after the fire that destroyed the original Original Joe’s.
Open through lunch and dinner week-round, with a solid brunch menu on weekends stuffed with classics like house-made brioche french toast and warm Italian jelly doughnuts, there’s no bad time of day to visit Original Joe’s. The only prerequisite is a big appetite. Diners here can tuck into perennial favourites, like the Joe’s Special (a scramble of ground beef, spinach, onions and eggs) or the classic hamburger, heaping bowls of spaghetti and meatballs, the Bay Shrimp Cocktail, sautéed sweetbreads, or the richly savoury Eggplant Parmigiana, layered with lightly fried eggplant, marinara sauce, ricotta and parmesan. And if you’re looking for a drink to stand up against the flavour-packed dishes, look no further than the wine and cocktail lists. Is there anything better than a 25-oz Prime Bone-in Ribeye accompanied by a perfectly mixed martini or a carafe of local Californian red? We think not.