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Original Joe's

601 Union St. (Columbus Ave.) Send to Phone
Classic, colorful Italian restaurant that woos the city's politicos, business big-wigs and socialites to its red vinyl booths.


Lunch Mon.-Fri., Dinner nightly, Brunch Sat.-Sun.

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Operations may be disrupted due to COVID-19. Be sure to contact the restaurant to find out its current status and offerings.

Original Joe's Restaurant Review

: Italian-American favorites, Mount Etna-size portions, attentive tuxedoed servers, brass-tacked red vinyl booths, swiveling counter seats, a lively bar, photographs of local hotshots: Original Joe's is a heartwarming time-tunnel, a retro relic of an era when dining out entailed elbow room, friendly elegance and full plates --- and when Italian food was still considered "ethnic." Attracting families and local notables since 1937, the original Original Joe’s was destroyed in a 2007 fire, then resurrected at this North Beach location in 2011 by the same family. Thankfully, its menu still features the classics: veal scaloppine, behemoth meatballs smothered in tomato sauce, plump crab cakes and prawn cocktails, plus exotica such as golden-crisp arancini and oxtails. Eggplant Parmigiana is a towering, meat-free and satisfying skyscraper, and linguine Alfredo is rub-your-hands-together rich. For dessert: Bombolini, warm Italian donuts, are served with a choice of affogato or root beer float. Drink prices are one of the city's best-kept secrets. Wines start at $6 a glass; classic cocktails --- kamikazes, cosmopolitans, Negronis --- are also refreshingly affordable. The ambient soundscape is a soft rumble of genuine enthusiasm.

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