Joe's Special

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Joe's Special
Joe's Special 2019.jpg
Place of originUnited States
Region or stateSan Francisco
Created byOriginal Joe's
Main ingredientsEggs, spinach and ground beef
Ingredients generally usedOnions, garlic and sometimes mushrooms, and various spices
VariationsItalian Joe's, Mexican Joe's

Joe's Special is a dish that originated in San Francisco. It always includes eggs, spinach and ground beef. Other common ingredients include onions, garlic and sometimes mushrooms, and various spices. It is a scramble.[1]

Original Joes in San Francisco

Although the dish has been served for decades at many restaurants throughout the San Francisco Bay Area including several with "Joe's" as part of their names,[2][3] it was popularized by Original Joe's, a restaurant in San Francisco's Tenderloin District.[4] During World War II, a serving cost 75 cents.[5] When Original Joe's relocated to the North Beach neighborhood following a fire, San Francisco mayor Ed Lee issued a proclamation calling the Joe's Special "famous".[6]

As a dinner entree, the dish can be served with slices of toasted sourdough bread spread with garlic butter, or on a bed of rice or pasta.[7] It is also sometimes served as a breakfast dish.[1] Ketchup or Tabasco sauce are common condiments.[8]

Variations include Italian Joe's, which includes Italian sausage as the meat component, and Mexican Joe's, which includes chorizo instead of ground beef.[8]


  1. ^ a b Jamison, Cheryl Alters; Jamison, Bill (2002). Real American Breakfast. Harper Collins. p. 9. ISBN 9780060188245.
  2. ^ Oseland, James (October 23, 2012). "Joe's Special". Saveur. Retrieved December 20, 2015.
  3. ^ Burros, Marian (July 1, 1987). "A July 4 Toast to Foods That Made America Great". New York Times. Retrieved December 20, 2015.
  4. ^ Evans, Judith (September 30, 2009). "Joe's Special is famous dish Recipe Exchange: Eggs scrambled with onions, spinach and ground beef is a classic and beloved dish in San Francisco". Saint Louis Post-Dispatch. Retrieved December 20, 2015.
  5. ^ Severson, Kim (August 13, 2003). "Eat at Joe's / In San Francisco, all roads lead to this Tenderloin original". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved December 20, 2015.
  6. ^ Lucchesi, Paolo (January 26, 2012). "Mayor Ed Lee declares today Original Joe's Day". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved 2012-01-26.
  7. ^ Hensperger, Beth (2008). Not Your Mother's Weeknight Cooking: Quick and Easy Wholesome Homemade Dinners. Harvard Common Press. ISBN 9781558323681. Joe's Special.
  8. ^ a b Morehouse, Matt; Morehouse, Linda (2009). Cast Iron Cuisine: From Breakfast to Dessert - Grandma's Skillet Reborn. Paradise Cay Publications. pp. 9–10. ISBN 9780939837847.