Looking Back: DiMaggio’s Restaurant

September 27, 2016


Please excuse the quality of the reproduction: this is a forty year old Xerox of a menu that was already forty years old when I copied it.  But there’s a lot to look at here, from the fact that abalone was still pretty inexpensive, that Olympia oysters were still available (they all but disappeared for many years), and that a child’s plate consisted of filet of sole or lamb chop (one). Not exactly what we’d consider kid food today.





If you want to see what Di Maggio’s Restaurant looked like, this article includes wonderful vintage video of the place.


What isn’t mentioned?  That Joltin’ Joe’s Dad, Giuseppe, a lifelong fisherman, was not allowed to fish during World War II because he was Italian, and considered an alien risk. He was not, in fact, even allowed to visit the family restaurant: As an enemy alien, he was prohibited from traveling more than five miles without permission. (Italians in San Francisco also had a curfew, and many of their homes were seized by the government.)

For more information on the family, this article is instructive.

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  • Jane says:

    Thanks for this memory, I ate at Di Maggio’s on my first trip to San Francisco in 1964, I was a junior in college in South Dakota and loved everything about San Francisco. As I recall, the food was very good. Now I live in a city about 40 miles east of SF but still love visiting “the city”.

  • Mary Jane says:

    My first sit down (as distinguished from ‘walk away’ crab cocktail) dinner in San Francisco was at DiMaggio’s in 1968. I was 16 and visiting from Missouri to interview at colleges. I ordered the Cippino. It was so fresh and fabulous! It was also a huge amount of food. I was accepted to the college of my choice and never looked back. Subsequent visits to DiMaggio’s were hosted by my dorm-mates parents who always took us there on their visits to visit their daughters. Thank you for posting the menu, Ruth. It brings back really great memories.

  • Norma alexanian says:

    In the early 1950s I remember my uncle George Kozomian playing piano in the evenings at Joe’s restaurant. They were friends and I didn’t know how famous he was I just knew him as Joe. They also golfed together. Later as an adult I realized who he was. My uncle was an accountant by trade after the war where he was an Air Force pilot and then a commercial pilot. They were so similar and I rember Joes kindness sitting the living room chatting at my uncles house on Twin Peaks

  • Leo phillips says:

    I have a great photo of the neon sign out front from 1954 if you’d like to see it email me!

  • Gregory O’Leary says:

    Please send me the photo of the sign. My father Dan O’Leary and his partners John and Lou Papais’s company, Ad-Art Signs of Stockton designed and contructed Fisherman’s Warf Sign, Ghiradelli, Hams Beer and Glass that would foam to the rim and many Vegas signs on the strip in Las Vegas., Superdome, and many notables. Can you forward a photo of the sign you referenced? Thanks so much. 209 639-2908.

  • admin says:

    Gregory, I wish I had Leo Phillips’ email, but I don’t. Hopefully he’ll see your note.

  • Melissa says:

    My husband was stationed at Alemeda Naval Air Station in 1973-74 and thinks he ate at DiMaggio’s on the wharf. Was it still open by then?

  • Susan Hubbs says:

    I flew down from Seattle and ate at DiMaggio’s on the wharf February 14th 1981. I had the crab salad and it was excellent. I want to go back and have another crab salad but was sorry to hear that this restaurant is gone. Great memories of a good time.

  • Rod Burton says:

    I was 13 and a big baseball fan when our family visited San Francisco in the summer of 1953. We went to Fisherman’s Wharf for lunch and ate at Joe Dimaggio’s. I don’t remember much about the food, but I do remember walking down a hallway in the back of the restaurant to find the men’s room. There was an office with a big picture window, and sitting behind the desk, talking to someone, was Joe Dimaggio. Quite the thrill.

  • Brad M says:

    Thanks for the memory….my family ate at DiMaggio’s often. I remember their cioppino most of all.

  • Angela Blesi says:

    My 97 year old Mother, June has a signed menu by Joe Di Maggio from his World Famous Di Maggio’s Restaurant in SFO. We are wondering if this is something you would like for your archives and/or if it is valuable? We would love to hear back from you

  • jeff says:

    IF they don’t want the autographed menu I would like it for my collection but I don’t have much money. You can reach me at 3 zero 9-nine 6 two-6 four nine 1.

  • Kevin Mahoney says:

    I worked at Dimaggios for several years in the early 1970’s. The entire family was very good to me as I was working my way through college. I know they kept me on in the winter longer than necessary to help me out. They were good to work for and were very kind to their employees – now Joe not so much, but he was not that nice to anyone.

  • Craig S Kuhn says:

    I actually have an original menu with Joe’s autograph on it.

  • Steve says:

    Knew the family through Dom’s side and my dad. Used to sit in the Boston family box. Last was in the SFO restaurant in 1974. Miss the old days. Almost too old to travel that far now anyway, but I’d really like to turn back the old clock!

  • William Cox says:

    Visited Joe’s Restaurant in the early 60’s with my parents. We didn’t have enough money to eat there, so we only had cocktails. (Of course I only had a Shirley Temple). I got Joe’s autograph on a cocktail napkin. Don’t know what became of it. Must be worth a couple of hundred bucks, these days! He was larger than life – a real man’s man! I’ll never forget it!


    For those who may be interested…

    Put this in your web browser —> https://www.ebay.com/itm/174162137163


  • Jim Steglich says:

    I have in my possession a souvenir mechanical pencil from DiMaggio’s restaurant in San Francisco. It’s in the shape of a little baseball bat. I rescued it from my father’s desk when he retired to a nursing home 20 years ago. I thought it was cute. Is it worth anything? It still has pencil lead loaded in it.

  • COULD you tell me when the restaurant first open and when they closed i was there a few years ago n i loved it

  • Michael Wiesenfelder says:

    Do you know the recipe for the DiMaggio cocktail that was referenced on the cocktail napkin for the restaurant? Thank you!

  • Robert Taylor says:

    My father was a bellman at the Chancellor Hotel and my mother was a hairdresser at a shop out on Clement. They bought a house on 29th avenue when working folks could still afford to live in the city. Going out to dinner was a big deal. Dad in a tie, mom and sis in dresses. 1962 was a great year for the Giants. I met Jim Davenport at Dimaggios on the wharf one night. So…my father asks our server for a “doggie bag” for the leftovers. (Even a dog on the bag.) I piped up with: “Wow! We’re going to get a DOG!” (Stern look from my dad.) “My son here…is a real comedian.” His tone suggested a slight rebuke, but I took his comment as vocational advice. Well, humor was a big part of my nursing practice. (psych)

  • Thomas Jones says:

    I remember going to Fisherman’s Wharf when I was stationed at Travis AFB in 1973. A friend of mine, William Smith, and I went sightseeing and had lunch at DiMaggio’s. Being a farm boy from small town Iowa, it was a thrill just to be there. I wanted to meet Joe DiMaggio, but he wasn’t around. I remember it was July, and it was sunny and COLD. Nice memory….

  • Julie Taylor says:

    Here’s a memory for you. I’m Julie will be 61 this year. I spent a summer with my uncle Tony Beals who lived with his wife on Fillmore street.. He had a –I think a tugboat… Named the “Duck” because there was a duck glued and secured on the boat. But he’d bring in fish for Tom– I never heard of “Dom” Di’Maggio’s — I just knew it was Joe’s brother. My uncle would swap fish for his bread. My 1st experience with salmon and bread was from Dom/Tom and just a sip of wine at 12 yrs old.. 1972 was such a crazy weird year for me.. So opened up my eyes.. But so blessed..

  • Armand says:

    I ate at DiMaggio’s restaurant back in the summer of 1970 with my family. I was only 7 years old but Dom DiMaggio was at the restaurant that day and my father took me over to him for an autograph. Sadly I threw the autograph in the garbage being too young to really know or appreciate who he was. I do have a nice photo of the restaurant though.


    I remember our my first trip to San Francisco with my parents I was probably nine or 10 years old sister was seven or eight. We ate at Joe DiMaggio‘s Place! Mr. DiMaggio I actually showed up and was greeting his Restaurant patrons, and I yelled out really loud look mom looked at it Mr. coffee! Everybody in the restaurant had a big laugh! I am now 56 years old which happens to be Joe DiMaggio’s record 56 consecutive hits Streak. No argument for me the best baseball player ever!

    —Michael Albert Flocken

  • mjaiello says:

    In 1955, our dates, the men from Sacred Heart High School took us there for dinner before their Senior Ball. Memorable dinner, memorable night.

  • Donna Sinclair says:

    As a young child up to about age 12 or 13, I remember our family eating at the DiMaggios about once a month or so.
    This DiMaggios however was located somewhere in the LA area, perhaps Hollywood?
    Anyway, this was back in the 1960s and 1970s.
    I loved the Shirley Temples and bread sticks before the main course was served I’d be pretty full. LOL.
    I wasn’t t aware that there was more than one DiMaggios!

  • Marie Beals-basinger says:

    I knew Tom DiMaggio and his wife. My husband and I would visit His restaurant on more than one occasion for breakfast. The restaurant was closed and Tom would cook our breakfast . We would just sit, look out the window down at the wharf. And talk. We would fish with him on the yankee clipper Or fish on our own boat, communicating over the radio Telling him where we were. He felt women were bad luck. But occasionally we would out fish him and I of course would brag. He was a wonderful man and we loved him dearly. Joe would drop in occasionally for a cup of coffee. It was a wonderful experience and I miss Tom. I have his picture on the dresser in the guest bedroom and enjoy the wonderful warm memories of by gone days. . He gave my sons a baseball signed by joe, Dominic, Vince and of course Tom , sadly it was stolen. Oh the memories. They were so special and wonderful. Tom gave me a recipe for Salmon soup on the back of an envelope. The front of the envelope was addressed to Tom from Dominic. I still have the envelope.

  • Paula Meehan says:

    I remember going to DiMaggio’s in the late 50s early 60s. We had moved from Denver Colorado to Palo Alto. What I remember best about DiMaggio’s was the sourdough bread that was the best bread I’ve ever eaten in my life. I remember it to this day. I am allergic to fish and shellfish so I didn’t have anything but a steak I believe but I made up for it in the bread. I’d give anything to have a loaf of it now.

  • Tom Allee says:

    I ate their when DiMaggio ran the restaurant.
    I wasn’t aware that I should have asked him for an autograph.
    Tom Allee

  • Nick Jaffe says:

    At the age of 15 I saw the NY Yankees play a preseason game against the SF Seals at Seals Stadium in 1951. Joe Dimaggio was on the roster. The Seals beat the Yankees 10 – 3! The game program, which I still have, showing the Yankees roster, had adds for various SF businesses. Included one for Dimaggio’s Restaurant; showing lunch for $1.00 and dinner for $1.50.