The American culinary road is one of great trials and tribulations in this US history. Americans since the 1700s have strived for a capitalist free nation where men and women from all walks of life can enjoy a night out on the town and great meal to go with it! We compiled the oldest surviving American eatery’s in all 50 states, from oldest to youngest. Some have more delightful food then they do décor and vice-versa. Hope you have as much fun scrolling through American history as I did.
You know what they say, “when you don’t know something, ask your elders.” So, why not go to the oldest restaurant when you don’t know where to eat?
The White Horse Tavern has been around since 1673, and today serves up a fresh, contemporary, farm to table culinary experience. Imagine that, a culinary establishment that has been serving America for over 350 years.
The Red Fox Inn & Tavern has been around since 1728 serving seasonal ingredients from a local harvest, all with a southern flair! Looking to plan a wedding?
Well, Red Fox is just the place for you! At Red Fox, there is room to Eat sleep, drink, and party like its 1728!
It seems as though many of the places on the list had started out as hotels or “Inn’s” in early America, and at one point realized that one can offer a La Carte service in their establishment too.
The Robert Morris Inn is the first full-service Inn in America dating all the way back to 1710, it added a restaurant to the hotel in 28 years later.
The New England wedding game must have really been poppin’ in the 1700s because New Jersey was getting in on the fun too with the opening of the Cranbury Inn 1750. Although I’m not sure, they were serving veal Osso Bucco in 1700s America.
I also can’t say if there was fresh mozzarella salad in America back then too, but you can be damn sure that their 20 OZ. T-bone steak was on the menu since the beginning.
Growing up, I had no iPads or smartphones at home to pass the time. We only had one TV in the house, which my sister would control to watch ghost-themed Victorian horror flicks. The result was a very traumatic childhood for five-year-old me. So, the steak at the 76 House better be good or as to distract me from the fact that it made the list of Americas most haunted locations in Ghosthunts.com.
Just read the sign at the entrance, “76 house, where Major John Andre, British spy, plotter with John Arnold. To deliver West point was confined before his execution.” You can eat anything from an Alligator Empanada to an American red deer cut, all in a 1754 atmosphere.
One of the oldest continuously operated inns in America, the Griswold Inn opened its doors on the very historic date of 1776. The year the Declaration of Independence was signed. Maybe our forefathers celebrated there after signing it, of course, they would have had to travel from Philly all the way to Connecticut, but hey who cares no more taxes yay!
Just kidding, they replaced British taxes with American taxes.
Also known for its ghost encounters, The Old Talbott Tavern opened its doors in 1779 at a time where the state of Kentucky was not too populated at all. So, I beg to wonder what kind of people wandered into this old Inn on their way to the gold rush.
Each of the Inns six rooms is named after famous or infamous figures who stayed there on their way west, such as the Lincoln Suite, The Jesse James, or the Washington Irving Suite.
Opened in 1789, the menu at the Hancock Inn celebrates some of the region’s favorite foods such as seafood chowder, lobster and corn hushpuppies, and lobster rolls. If you’re staying the weekend, you can enjoy some of the most beautiful scenery the “Heart of New England has to offer, such as Mt. Monadnock, recognized as the second most climbed mountain in the world.
You can also enjoy hiking the lakes, rivers, and tens of thousands of acres of wilderness great for people who like boating and fishing.
The moment you arrive at the Ye Old Tavern 1790, you will feel as if you have entered a time machine taking you back to 18th century New England. The simple yet elegant atmosphere at the Ye Old is befitting considering the statesmen, and gentry who often dined and socialized there both before and after Vermont became a state.
The marble porch there has been around since 1850 back when it was called the Lockwood’s Hotel.
After traveling from New Jersey to Ohio in 1803, a man by the name of Jonas Seaman had spent just four dollars (sixty-seven dollars in today’s economy) to license a “house of public entertainment” in the newly-founded village of Lebanon, Ohio. Not a bad investment considering it survived for more than 200 years.
At the time it was opened, most Americans still did not know how to read; therefore, the name, Golden Lamb, was actually a way for him to put a Lamb at the entrance of the restaurant to encourage the message that food was being served.
The Union Oyster House is located on the Freedom Trail, near Faneuil Hall, Massachusetts, has been serving food in America since 1826 and has continued its serving with the stalls, and oyster bar still today.
The Union Oyster House is plaqued as a National Historic Landmark and was frequented daily by customer Secretary of State Daniel Webster who served in the Harrison, Tyler, and Fillmore administrations.
The J. Huston Tavern takes you back to the Arrow Rock’s frontier heyday. The tavern was built in 1834 by Joseph Huston, Sr, who is an early Arrow Rock settler and civic leader from the state of Virginia.
The tavern was built initially as Huston’s family home, but as thousands of immigrants began passing by his home, Huston began offering lodging, and meal service to travelers and local citizens.
New Mexico’s El Farol has provided locals and visitors with over a century’s worth of authentic Spanish cuisine, and memorable experiences since 1839.
Today the restaurant features traditional Spanish tapas, as well as paella, steaks, and daily specials. Their bar was once referred to as one of the best bars on earth by The New York Times.
The city of New Orleans is where a young man by the name of Antoine Alciatore, after stopping in New York and seeing the food scene there, decided to open his own restaurant in 1840 New Orleans.
The family-run restaurant would stand tall and proud of serving food for more than 179 years to date. However old this restaurant may be, they still a have a very modern dress code, so make sure to follow suit before you come for dinner.
One of the oldest original Inn and stagecoach stops in the United States was built in 1825. At the time the Log Inn was one of the center stagecoaches stops between Evansville and Vincennes Indiana.
In 1844 as he was en route back home from Evansville, President Abraham Lincoln stopped to sleep at the Inn as he was campaigning “Clay for President” on the Clay Whig party ticket.
Built in 1848, the Red Circle Inn is the oldest restaurant in Milwaukee and coincidently was opened on the same year of the inauguration the state of Wisconsin itself. “We are the seventh owners here.
We have made some changes, but we want to make sure that the history stays the same,” Red Circle Inn & Bistro co-owner Norm Eckstaedt said.
In 1849, Nikola Budrovich, Frano Kosta, and Antonio Gasparich, three immigrants from Croatia, set up a tent on Long Wharf and posted a sign on it that read Coffee Stand. Long Wharf was a pier that reached half a mile into the Bay. Hundreds of sailing ships were tied up there, and the pier was lined with hastily built shops, saloons, markets, and gambling dens.
Coffee Stand served fresh fish grilled over charcoal to the merchants, and sailors, who frequented the pier. Today the place is so frequented that you may be waiting a couple hours in line outside to get a table to eat in.
The Village Tavern has been in continuous operation since 1847. This family-owned restaurant, in classic road house style, has been a favorite “watering hole” for generations. A spacious dining room and antique bar area preserve the establishment’s rustic authenticity.
Especially favorite is the massive 35-foot mahogany bar, which survived Chicago’s “Great McCormick Place Fire” in the 1960s.
Opened in 1852 by a federal permit issued from President Millard Fillmore, Breitbach’s is Iowa’s oldest food and drinking establishment.
Jacob Breitbach, the great-great-grandfather of the present owner, purchased the business in 1862, and through six generations, the Breitbach family has been in ownership ever since.
Seth Hays, the great-grandson of Daniel Boone, came to Council Grove with a license from his cousin A.G. Boone to trade with the Kaw Indians. When he arrived in 1847, the town was already a wagon train rendezvous on the bustling Santa Fe Trail. Hays soon built a log cabin and began the business of serving food and trading goods.
The Hays House building was built by him in 1857 and sits right on the Santa Fe Trail, now parallel with Main Street.
The Olde Ale House was opened shortly after the cracking of the Liberty Bell, and long before the ground was broken for City Hall Philadelphia.
The beer taps at McGillin’s have been flowing since 1860, making it the oldest continuously running tavern in the city of Philadelphia. McGillin’s has outlasted Strawbridge’s, the Civil War, and even the Prohibition.
Wyoming’s oldest bar “Miners and Stockman’s Steakhouse & Spirits” has been serving good drinks and great steaks in the state of Wyoming since 1862. Their minimalist menu showcases only two things, their excellent drinks, and the even more celebrated “Prime: USDA Black Angus Steaks.”
If you are looking for a great place to get some history, maybe a little tipsy, and have a great cut of meat, then this is the place for you!
In 1866 a German immigrant and Civil War veteran named August Scholz opened his public bar and café over an old boardinghouse. He had purchased the building and surrounding property for $2,400 ($41,580 today.)
Scholz Garten soon became a favorite meeting place for the German population in and around Austin and still serves up a good meal and service today!
Since 1870, generations of families have gathered around Weidmann’s tables to sample some of the most exceptional food and beverages available in Mississippi.
Starting with the freshest ingredients, consistently fun recipes and just a little bit of loving care, Weidmann’s is the place to go for some good old history, and comfort food.
The original building was developed in 1848 by Daniel Ammerman, who used it as a general store in the small village of Metamora. Two years later, it was purchased by Lorenzo Hoard, who turned it into an inn and stagecoach stop known as the Hoard House, which charged 50 cents for overnight guests.
When a man by the name of Frank Peters took it over in 1923, he had changed the name to Th White Horse Inn.
Glur’s Tavern was built as a drinking establishment in 1876 in the city of Columbus, Nebraska. The oldest continuously operated tavern west of the Mississippi river, Glur’s is in the National Register of Historic Places.
Local legend says that Buffalo Bill paid his bill at Glur’s Tavern in May 1883 with a $1,000 bill after a funeral in Columbus for Major Frank North.
The Palace was built in 1876 and is the oldest frontier saloon in the state of Arizona. In the late 1870s, Wyatt Earp, Virgil Earp, and Doc Holliday were patrons of the Palace.
Virgil and his wife Allie lived in Prescott where Virgil owned a sawmill at Thumb Butte and was Town Constable.
Originally called the “The Bureau Saloon,” Huber’s Café was established at the corner of 1st and Morrison in downtown Portland in 1879.
Huber’s Café has a “Turkey Sandwich Culture” as back in its day, patrons would sit in the very few seats there were, and convene over a turkey sandwich. You want a good turkey club? This is the place to be!
The Snake Pit has been a landmark of the state of Idaho for over 135 years.
Located at the fork of the Coeur d’Alene River, the Snake Pit has served as a boomtown bar, railroad layover, hotel, house of ill repute and starting point for loggers and miners of yesteryear.
The Horseshoe Café & cocktail lounge is the oldest continuously operating café & cocktail lounge in Washington.
The restaurant prides itself on its never changing concept of serving the residents of Whatcom County with quality, American style, freshly prepared meals.
The Oark General Store is listed in the Arkansas Register of Historic Places and was opened in 1890 due to a demand for groceries and supplies in the isolated community of Park, in northern Johnson County Arkansas.
Oark General Store has served the community ever since having the distinct recognition of being the oldest continually-operated store in Arkansas.
“Pracna on Main is closed,” reads the printed note on plain white paper taped to the front door of the business that billed itself as “the oldest restaurant on the oldest street in Minneapolis.” This is the heart-breaking news that befell the people of Minneapolis in 2015.
The restaurant had stood the test of time since the year 1890, but nothing is forever.
Denver’s original steakhouse, The Buckhorn Exchange is located in the city’s oldest neighborhood, just 5-minutes from downtown Denver — with a light-rail stop right across the street.
This National Historic Landmark and Western Museum has been serving the finest in Old West fare since 1893. Try there fifty-nine-dollar T-Bone Steak.
Built in 1897, the Skagway Inn originally catered prospectors amid the Gold Rush. Operating first as a brothel, a family residence, a boarding house and lastly a Frontier Country Inn, the Skagway Inn retains its fascinating history with a luxurious ambiance. A turn-of-the-century décor keeps the legacy alive and brings each guest into the history, mystery, and magic of the Klondike Gold Rush.
You can find your own piece of paradise and live your dream during your vacation as you relax in your cozy room, enjoy exceptional service, and sit down to world-class Alaskan dining.
Opened in 1899 the North End Tavern and Brewery or “NET” was featured on the Thrillist as the oldest restaurant in West Virginia, and Brookston Beer Bulletin lists North End Tavern & Brewery as the 122nd oldest bar in America.
Come for great prices on a fun vast menu of freshly made sandwiches, and some great old American appetizers.
The site of the Silverado Gaming Establishing has been a staple of Deadwood, South Dakota since the legendary gold camp sprang up in late 1875. The junction of City Creek and Whitewood Creek, just a few feet from the Silverado, was the site of the first gold strike in Deadwood Gulch, made by Frank S. Bryant when he was out hunting.
After the city of Deadwood was laid out and began to develop, the current Silverado building was constructed by local philanthropist and businessman W.E. Adams for the Hills Chevrolet Company.
Amazingly, the Columbia Restaurant in Tampa Bay, Florida, has not just been around since 1905, but it has been run by the same family for 5 generations and counting! It all began in Tampa’s Ybor City, (pronounced EE-bore) as a small 60-seat corner cafe known for its Cuban coffee and authentic Cuban sandwiches, frequented by the local cigar workers.
Today the establishment boasts three different locations in the State of Florida.
Since 1907, The Bright Star restaurant has been serving generations of customers with its specialty Greek-style snapper and steak’s, signature seafood gumbo, luncheon specials, and famous pies.
Located in Bessemer, Alabama, the restaurant has a regional following and draws patrons from throughout the Southeast as well as nearby Birmingham.
Varallo’s is Tennessee’s oldest restaurant. A Family owned and operated establishment since 1907. Varallo’s is famous for their classic Buttermilk Pancakes, Delicious French Toast, as well as their Famous Chili.
If you are looking for the real deal Nashville culinary experience, then this is the place to go!
Cattlemen’s Cafe opened its doors to hungry cowboys, ranchers, cattle haulers and the like in 1910. The Stockyards City area was the center of activity back then, as herds of cattle were driven to Oklahoma City in an unending stream to satisfy the East’s growing demand for beef.
By 1926, Stockyards City was the home of two primary meat processors, and the area became known as “Packing Town.”
The Pekin Noodle Parlor in Butte, Montana has a particularly storied past. Founded by immigrants in 1911, it claims to be the oldest continuously operating eatery of its kind in the United States. Now, the Museum of Food and Drink (MOFAD) in Brooklyn is featuring the eatery in its new exhibit.
Considering the fact that there are tens of thousands of Chinese restaurants in the US, being the first means a lot in the history books.
The Peacock Alley American Grill and Bar was established in 1911 and then added the bar part in 1933 following the end of the prohibition. Not only a dining and bar establishment, but Peacock Alley is also a historic location rooted in tradition.
The Peacock Alley of today is an award-winning national restaurant that prides itself on serving the most unique cuts of beef and using the freshest ingredients available.
When the Plaza Restaurant & Oyster Bar opened in 1916, it was located at 115 North Broad Street and could seat only 26 patrons at its white marble tables, but through the years the restaurant has grown with Thomasville.
Now located at the corner of Broad and Smith, The Plaza offers formal and casual dining plus a cocktail lounge and outdoor seating.
The Manago Hotel was opened in 1917 and is located in Captain Cook Town on the slopes of Mauna Loa at an elevation of 1,350 ft on the island State of Hawaii. It overlooks the beautiful Kealakekua Bay and the ancient Hawaiian Place of Refuge in Honaunau.
This is an ideal location with cool, quiet nights, and sunny days, where travelers can relax and sleep comfortably. The photo below is a typical ocean view from one of our private rooms with a balcony.
Carolina Coffee Shop was built in 1922 and features an inviting environment that proudly shows its history while also embracing modern drinks and food. Carolina Coffee Shop is an excellent place for friends, family, and first dates.
The restaurant is located in the heart of downtown Chapel Hill, Carolina Coffee Shop has the proud distinction of being the oldest continually running restaurant in North Carolina.
The Bluebird opened the doors in 1923 on President George Washington’s birthday. The newly built and present location at 19 North Main Street in Logan, Utah. Beautiful hand painted walls and ceilings adorned the new structure. The Ballroom on the top floor, now named the Florentine Room, was used for special banquets and frequent dances.
The Mezzanine was for smaller dinners, clubs, and receptions.
The Palace Diner was built in Lowell, Massachusetts in 1927 by the Pollard Company. It has been in Biddeford, Maine for its entire life and is one of two Pollard cars remaining in America.
Greg Mitchell and Chad Conley reopened the diner in March of 2014 and are its sixth proprietors.
Henry’s is centrally located in the historic downtown of Charleston at 54 North Market Street, across from the Charleston city market. Established in 1932, Henry’s is the oldest continuous restaurant in Charleston and the state of South Carolina.
Check out their great prices today on the Southern Seafood Platter on their menu!
Reno’s oldest restaurant, family owned and operated since 1937, Jessop’s Tavern & Colonial Restaurant still gives you that classic American experience that you would have had back int eh good old days!
Check out their hand made pizza for a good Italian fix!
The three-hundred-year-old building that now houses Jessop’s Tavern was originally built in 1674. A cooper named Abraham Jessop lived here and had his barrel making business here in 1724. Throughout the years 114 Delaware Street has seen many changes.
One of the changes was the establishment of Jessop’s Tavern & Colonial Restaurant in the year 1940.