Kathy and Dick Luther took over Joe Jo’s Pizza and Gelato about ten years ago when they left their hometown of Green Bay and moved to beautiful Door County. Without any experience in the restaurant business, running a successful pizza restaurant was quite the challenge. With lots of hard work and long hours, the Luthers have created one of the most popular pizza restaurants in Door County. In fact, Joe Jo’s was voted Best Thin Crust Pizza in the county, a sign of their commitment to excellence.
In addition to great pizza and gelato, a special bonus of Joe Jo’s are the displays of fabulous artwork in the form of beautiful, hand-stitched quilts made by the owners themselves. Both Kathy and Dick are handy with a needle and thread, and several of their works decorate the restaurant’s interior. One look and you’ll agree – these quilts are exquisite pieces of art.
Location: 10420 State Highway 42 in Ephraim, Wisconsin
Joe Jo’s is in a great location in Door County on highway 42, one of two main roads running north and south on the peninsula. With numerous shops, art galleries, hotels, and the bay close by, everything on the Door is close to Joe Jo’s. And don’t miss the Red Putter Mini Golf course right next door. Combining a round of mini golf and great pizza is a favorite activity of many families visiting Door County.
Menu: With everything made from scratch, Joe Jo’s pizza starts with fresh dough made each day. The thin pizza crust is covered with homemade sauce, sausage seasoned in-house, fresh toppings, and topped off with a blend of Mozzarella and Provolone cheese.
Guests can order plain cheese or add their choice of toppings, including sausage, mushrooms, pepperoni, onions, green peppers, black olives, green olives, sun-dried tomatoes, artichoke, garlic, pineapple, bacon, Canadian bacon, and fresh tomatoes.
Joe Jo’s special salad is very popular – fresh vegetables marinated in Italian House Dressing with Catalina dressing and cheese.
For an option to pizza, try the delicious Spicy Italian Beef Sandwich, with juicy beef roasted in pepperoncini, hot chiles, and spices, and served with pickles and chips.
Craft beers and wine and a variety of soft drinks are available.
Italy’s ice cream, gelato, is the perfect finish to a great pizza. Made from all natural fresh ingredients in a myriad of flavors, this tasty treat is low in fat but high in taste. Creamy flavored favorites are Death by Chocolate, S’mores, Mama Mia, Stracciatella, and Peanut Butter Fudge. Top fruit flavors include lemon, raspberry, and strawberry.
Thoughts: Joe Jo’s is a perfect fit for Door County. With its beautiful natural attractions, beaches, parks, antique shops, and art galleries, it is no wonder that thousands of people visit the Door every year. And for a family or couple on vacation, there is nothing like the local pizza joint to relax and enjoy some freshly baked pizza, have a cold drink, and add in a little gelato for the cherry on top.
Recently, beer and wine referendums passed in Ephraim, enabling restaurants like Joe Jo’s to serve alcohol. After years of being a dry town, this move was welcomed by many customers, who often like a beer or glass of wine with their pizza. They now serve some select craft beers and wines to the delight of those so inclined.
As long as Dick and Kathy continue to make the best thin pizza in the area, happy visitors will continue to flock to Joe Jo’s to get their fill. Whether customers are coming in to warm themselves on a snowy winter’s day or coming in to escape from the summer’s heat, Joe Jo’s is a welcoming and friendly refuge. They always welcome you with a smile, and customers immediately feel Kathy and Dicks’s warmth and family values as they share stories along with great food and drink.
Next time you visit Ephraim, Sister Bay, Fish Creek, or any of the other great places on the peninsula, be sure to drop by Joe Jo’s Pizza and Gelato for the best pizza and gelato on the Door.
And don’t forget to check out the beautiful quilts!
Prices: Prices for cheese only pizzas range from about $8 for a small to $16.75 for an extra large pizza. Toppings are $1 each for small, $1.50 for medium, $2 for large, and $2.50 for extra large. Joe Jo’s Special Salad is $6.50 and the Spicy Italian Beef Sandwich is $7.50.
The author received a complimentary meal on his visit to Joe Jo’s Pizza and Gelato.
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