Since 1969, restaurant, hotel, travel & other witty reviews by a handpicked, worldwide team of discerning professionals—and your views, too.

THIS RESTAURANT IS CLOSED Original Joe's

144 Taylor St. (Turk St.) Send to Phone
415-775-4877
THIS ESTABLISHMENT IS TEMPORARILY CLOSED Experience the huge hamburger---hand-formed and broiled to order---at this venerable Italian eatery located in the rough and tumble Tenderloin.

Cuisine
Open
Lunch & Dinner daily
Open late
Features
  • Parking available
  • Dress code: Casual
  • Full bar
  • Reservations suggested

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THIS RESTAURANT IS CLOSED Original Joe's Restaurant Review

: THIS ESTABLISHMENT IS TEMPORARILY CLOSED While there are numerous Joe's-style imitators in the Bay Area, this venerable location established by Louis Rocca and Tony Rodin in 1937 is widely considered the original Joe's restaurant. The Rocca family also opened a sister location in downtown San Jose in 1956. The Tenderloin is a slowly improving neighborhood that still carries a rather rough reputation, but the adjacent valet parking is helpful. Once inside, red vinyl booths, an exhibition kitchen and moody lighting take you to a long-gone era. Waiters in vintage tuxedos are grumpy but good, and many have worked at Joe's for decades, as have some of the cooks. The huge hamburger---hand-formed, broiled to order and served on a hollowed-out French roll---is excellent. Hearty and heart-stopping Italian-American classics like eggplant Parmigiana, fettuccine Alfredo with smoked ham and peas, and spaghetti with meatballs make up the balance of the menu. Though hotly debated, many believe that the famous Joe's Special---a scramble of fresh spinach, eggs and ground chuck---originated here.
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