Original Joe's, San Jose

3.5 out of 5 stars 3.5 Stars - 8 Reviews

301 South First Street (408) 292-7030

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    Old school charm: Original Joe's

    by Shaft28 Updated Jun 11, 2003

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    OJ's is old school Italian food - pasta, steaks, ravs and great service from guys 3 times your age.
    Personally the raviolis and the steaks are worth it alone. But I have been a huge fan of the chicken parmigian (sp?).
    Like a very upscale diner with dozens of wait staff. You can feel the old school about this place when you slip the maiter de a $20 to get a table right away.
    A San Jose tradition for many birthdays for me and my buddies from high school. Been aroung for about 50 years and stays open until 1:30 am or at least it used to.

    Favorite Dish: The ravs are great, but get them as a side with the prime rib.

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    Original Joe's: Newly remodeled.

    by trvlrtom Written Sep 29, 2007

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Original Joes' is an old time classic restaurant, popular in San Jose for generations. The building was recently renovated, so the restaurant has just reopened. While I haven't been there since the reopening, I can't imagine the standard menu has changed - or the service, known for its rather distanced waiters.

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    Original Joe's: Pasta and service are great!

    by venteeocho Written Oct 20, 2005

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Established in 1956 by the Rocca Family, Original Joe's Restaurant in San Jose, California has been the cornerstone of an ever-changing downtown and the growth of Silicon Valley. Descended from the first Original Joe’s founded in 1937 in San Francisco, the San Jose Original Joe’s was the first San Francisco based restaurant to open in San Jose in the South San Francisco Bay Area now known world wide as the heart of Silicon Valley.

    Today Original Joe’s continues to serve its cuisine with a traditional San Francisco flair. Watch our video and see for yourself the vibrant atmosphere of Original Joe’s Restaurant and then come on by for a taste of San Francisco in the heart of Silicon Valley in San Jose!

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    Original Joe's: Teach them how to make English style tea!!

    by pmarshuk Written Jun 30, 2004

    1.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    My main memory of here was that it took three atemmpts to get and English style tea from them. First time I got iced tea, then hot lemon tea and finally a cup of hot Liptons tea with milk..
    As I remeber the food was only average and the service not great _ that's why we only went once.

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    So Many Restaurants, So Little Time!

    by Kiisu Updated Jul 12, 2003

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    There are so many wonderful restaurants here, which makes sense considering the rich diversity of cultures! Original Joe's is a great downtown italian restaurant - it's been here since 1956, and I go there every time I visit. Their Veal Scallopine, Prime Rib, and Spumoni ice cream are out of this world. 301 S. 1st street, and their website is originaljoes.com (above average prices, don't wear jeans). A great steak house is Henrys Hi-Life, which has also been here for over 20 years. If you like ribs and steaks and a no-nonsense atmosphere, this is the place to go. 301 W. St. John St., downtown - their website is henrys-hi-life.com (average prices, casual). Zorba's is a long-time greek restaurant on Bascom Ave. - go when there's live music and belly dancing (don't wear jeans). The Diner of Los Gatos, on Los Gatos-Saratoga Blvd serves great American diner food - great shakes and blue plate specials (casual). Hobee's, which serves fresh/healthfood cuisine has several locations, although I like the Mt. View location on Central Expressway (the original), and their Cupertino location on Stevens Creek Blvd across from De Anza College - their breakfasts are fantastic, especially their blueberry coffee cake. www.hobees.com. And I miss Togo's Eatery sandwich shops, which has many locations throughout the area.

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    Original Joe's: Original Joe's - Downtown

    by Ewingjr98 Updated Aug 31, 2008
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    I read a lot of great reviews of Original Joe's while planning my trip to San Jose, so I decided if I had just one meal in the city it would be here. Even more convenient, I stayed at the Sainte Claire Hotel right next door, so it was just a 30-second walk from my room to Joe's.

    We arrived for a late lunch Sunday afternoon and the establishment was very busy. Most of the tables were full, and the old-fashioned counter overlooking the kitchen was also about half filled. We were quickly seated at a table near the counter with a view into the open kitchen offering an interesting view of the inner workings of the restaurant. Our fancy waiter in his tuxedo and bow-tie offered us water then left. He returned, offered us bread, then again left. We were ready to order, but he seemed awfully busy. Finally he handed us off to another waiter who acted just as harried throughout the meal, barely glancing at us as he walked past asking us if we needed anything. When my meal (calamari steak sandwich with fries ~$10) was ready, he carried it over to the table, asked me what kind of bread I wanted, then returned it to the kitchen, because I must've guessed wrong. Throughout our meal they kept bringing other people's drinks and asking if they were ours, even at the beginning of the meal when we had full glasses on the table.

    The meal was tasty with good portions, and I especially liked the thick, crunchy French fries. The service was poor to average. The meal was expensive for two sandwiches and two drinks at $30, and 1.5 hours for a couple of sandwiches made for a terribly slow and painful meal, at what is probably a great restaurant on most days.

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    Original Joes: Huge tasty steaks, what more do you need?

    by tvdandy Written May 25, 2012
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    Original Joes's is well know for huge steaks and chops. Sit at the bar and get a real treat as you watch them on the grill. Pretty tasty with their own special sauce. Doesn't kill the wallet as well. The overall atmosphere is average. Just a long bar and restaurant. No outlandish artwork.

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  • Laurel16's Profile Photo

    Original Joe's: A San Jose Classic

    by Laurel16 Written Jul 13, 2011

    As a person who lives in the area, I can tell you this place is a must-dine when in San Jose. Everyone loves Original Joe's. It has great food, an excellent downtown location and it the classic San Jose establishment. The decor and ambiance reminds me of my Italian Grandmother's dining room. Love it!

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