5/23/2012 02:29:00 PM

RIP Fior D’Italia, America's Oldest Restaurant: Where to Kick It Old School

Fior d'Italia back in the day
Fior d'Italia, the 126-year-old San Francisco Italian restaurant that billed itself as the oldest in the county, threw in the towel on Monday. The old-school restaurant occupied several North Beach locations during its long tenure, including several decades at 601 Union Street near Washington Square Park in North Beach. A fire in 2005 forced it to move again to its final resting spot on The Wharf. In an interview with the San Francisco Chronicle, the owners blame the closure on the “tough economy” but holds out hope that some day they’ll be able to reopen.

According to Zagat surveyors, Fior d'Italia was the kind of place that “transports you back to a San Francisco that doesn’t exist anymore.” It’s true. With its passing, it goes the way of the Blue Fox, Ernie’s and Jack's. Ironically, one of the few surviving restaurants of the old guard is Original Joe’s, which also suffered a devastating fire and had to move to a new locale this year - 601 Union St.

If you’re feeling particularly nostalgic for the bygone days, we recommend you check out these other old-school joints.

Alfred’s Steakhouse 
Duarte’s Tavern 
Garden Court 
La Ginestra 
North Beach Restaurant 
Original Joe’s 
Tadich Grill 
Swan’s Oyster Depot


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