As it stands, America is over 240 years old. When the country first started, it didn’t take long for businesses to open, including restaurants. The very first place to eat opened in 1827 when brothers Giovanni and Pietro Delmonico started a cafe. Then in 1830, they began the restaurant Francais. In between Francais and today, millions of people dine at many places all across the country, whether they be large franchises or Mom and Pop shops. Here are the oldest restaurants across America. All years are current as of 2020.
North End Tavern And Brewery – West Virginia
Located in West Virginia is a restaurant that’s 121 years old. It’s named the North End Tavern and Brewery and has a menu including a ton of burgers and tasty sandwiches. A more modern update was the brewery the owners opened in 1997.
The craft beer is what keeps the people coming back to this small town gem disguised as a standard sports bar. The journey began in 1899, and it will continue as long as possible.
Olivia’s Bistro At The Historic Skagway Inn – Alaska
Thanks to the late 19th-century gold rush, many went to Alaska, which at the time was only a district. In hunt of the precious mineral, some became millionaires while others went broke. As a result, Alaska’s population grew exponentially.
One of the positive outcomes during this time was Olivia’s Bistro at The Historic Skagway Inn. The restaurant opened in 1897, making it 123 years old! The business remains steady ever since opening and their king crab legs are a favorite.
The Buckhorn Exchange – Colorado
For any steakhouse lover that visits Denver, Colorado, you must take a trip to The Buckhorn Exchange. The rich history this restaurant possesses mixed with the fact that it opened in 1893 should give you enough reason to try it.
Being 127 years old is an accomplishment many can’t relate to in business. They must do something right. The Buckhorn Exchange was the first restaurant in Colorado to get a liquor license, so we’re sure it was the hot spot during that time.
The Palace Restaurant And Saloon – Arizona
The Palace Restaurant and Saloon in Arizona is 133 years old! It first opened in 1877, in Prescott, Arizona, serving outlaws, cowboys, and anyone else who walked through the swinging doors.
In 1900, the business changed forever after getting torched by a fire. After a year of working hard, management managed to get it running again, and regained the original vibe it had before the flames. Even if you go in today, the cowboy-like ambiance is still safe and sound.
Scholz Garten – Texas
The culture in Texas is a bit different than all the other states in America. Part of that is the restaurant named Scholz Garten, the oldest Biergarten in America! This place has 154 years of history!
Located in Austin, it was a German immigrant named August Scholz that established this place right after the Civil War. After opening, Scholz Garten was a hub for German immigrants and became the mecca for German culture in the city of Austin.
McGillin’s Olde Ale House – Pennsylvania
In 1860, Abraham Lincoln won the presidential election, and that was on everyone’s mind. For Catherine and William McGillin, their focus was on the restaurant they had recently opened, McGillin’s Olde Ale House.
Standing for 160 years, this restaurant is Pennsylvania history. They initially called it bell in Hand Tavern, but locals went with McGillin’s in honor of the owners. They finally rebranded to the name they now have now, and the rest is history. When you first walk inside, you’ll feel the age.
Hays House – Kansas
Not many restaurants can say they’ve been a church, theater, courthouse, and a mail distribution center, but Hays House in Kansas can. The grand opening was in 1857, which means it’s 163 years old!
Seth Hays made Hays House with a restaurant and trading post in mind. Like another entry on this list, Hays House caught fire in 1886, when locals rushed over there to help extinguish the flames. It didn’t take long for the establishment to get back on their feet!
Old Ebbitt Grill – Washington D.C.
The Old Ebbitt Grill in Washing D.C. didn’t experience anything like a fire, but they’ve changed their location many times since opening in 1856. Perhaps the moving around helps contribute to their 164 years of business.
If you’re ever going to visit the White House and want something to quiet the rumblings in your stomach, head over to the grill since it’s only a block away now. The Old Ebbitt started off strictly as a saloon, but with time it became a restaurant.
Tadich Grill – California
There are so many grand places to dine at in California which makes it hard to choose somewhere special. Well, if you want to sit down at one of the oldest restaurants ever (171 years old), you should head to San Francisco for the Tadich Grill.
The Tadich Grill started as a small coffee stand in 1849 but now it’s a full-fledged restaurant. Employee John Tadich purchased the coffee stand in 1887 and wasted no time transforming it into an eatery.
Antoine’s Restaurant – Louisiana
Young entrepreneurs have been around for generations. Ask Antoine Alciatore, the man that opened Antoine’s Restaurant when he was 18 in 1840. He created one of the city’s most popular destinations in the process.
There’s a snazzy dress code in place here as you dine on the French-Creole flavors that get customers coming back in droves. Franklin Roosevelt, Brad Pitt, and even Pope John Paul II are some of the high-profile people to enjoy this 180-year-old restaurant.
El Farol – New Mexico
For 185 years, you can depend on great service at El Farol in New Mexico. That’s nearly 200 years of satisfying customers, but it wasn’t always strictly used for eating purposes.
Traveling cowboys would see this place as an oasis. El Farol makes sensational steaks, it has awesome live performances, and great paella. You’re going to get your money’s worth if you ever eat here while visiting New Mexico, so make sure to add it to your list.
Union Oyster House – Massachusetts
When you open in 1826, you can bet your establishment will go through some changes. Native John Quincy Adams was the president when Union Oyster House opened in Massachusetts 194 years ago.
One of the things that changed is the name. Once called the Atwood and Bacon Oyster House, Union Oyster House has a better ring to it. Many famous people have had the pleasure of dining here, and they even dedicated John F. Kennedy’s most cherished booth in his memory.
The Log Inn – Indiana
If your establishment served Abe Lincoln and it’s still around then that’s a good enough sign that it’s one of the oldest places in America. The Log Inn in Indiana has had customers for 195 years now.
They provided great service to Lincoln in 1844, 19 years after opening. The Log Inn became more accessible as other cities expanded over the land. The Log Inn serves family-style meals and their fried chicken is a very popular menu item.
Ye Olde Tavern – Vermont
The Ye Olde Tavern located in Vermont didn’t always go by that name. When it opened in 1790 (230 Years Old), the name was the Stagecoach Inn. It wasn’t until the 1970s that the restaurant went under restoration and adopted the Ye Olde Tavern name.
They might’ve made some modern adjustments to the establishment, but there’s still a massive colonial vibe to it. You can grab some fabulous lobster bisque, pot roast, cranberry fritters, and many other Vermont dishes when you dine at the Ye Olde Tavern.
The Hancock Inn – New Hampshire
Many historians recognize 1789 as the year George Washington began his presidential journey. Food critics might know that year as the time when The Hancock Inn opened in New Hampshire, making it 231 years old.
Noah Wheeler came up with the idea to open the restaurant after passing through the area and seeing all the potential. There were so many exciting things going on in town that Wheeler knew he couldn’t miss out on the action.
The Old Talbott Tavern – Kentucky
In 1779, Bardstown, Kentucky built the Talbott Tavern as a stagecoach stop. Ever since then, the restaurant has been a staple in the community. The restaurant and inn continues its run of business 241 years later.
Talbott.com reads: “Fried chicken and country ham are the house specialties. For dessert, chess pie and Talbott Tavern pie are favorites.” Those specials not only sound filling but also like a taste of the south that will please your tastebuds.
The Griswold Inn – Connecticut
Now, we’re getting to the earliest days in American history. The same year the USA declared its independence from Great Britain, The Griswold Inn opened its doors in Essex, Connecticut, making the restaurant 244 years old.
The Griswold Inn served as a great location for shipyard workers after they spent their days working on ships to go up against the invading British. When you go here today, you can count on a quality meal and a nice place to eat as well.
The Red Fox Inn & Tavern – Virginia
Long before the colony had independence, the Red Fox Inn & Tavern had customers coming in to eat in 1728. If you’re no good at math, that means the Red Fox Inn hasn’t closed in 292 years!
It’s really something special when you can say you work at a restaurant from half a century before the colony’s independence. Over the years, guests like Tom Cruise, John F. Kennedy, and Elizabeth Taylor have all had a bite to eat here.
White Horse Tavern – Rhode Island
The White House Tavern gets the honors of showboating the fact that they’re America’s oldest tavern. We would hope so if this was somewhere the Founding Fathers used to spend their time.
The grand opening was in 1673, and they’ve been in business for 347 years! Think of this as the hot spot during the colonial era. Everybody from British soldiers to pirates would show face here to enjoy a drink and food as they passed by the location.
The ’76 House – New York
Well before the United States was the United States, there was a restaurant settled in Tappan, New York, which served English and Dutch settlers. Some argue over the exact age of the ’76 House (352 years old?), but the majority say it dates back to 1668 when the Dutch founded it.
Local patriots and others would meet at the ’76 House during the Revolutionary War. They have a sign outside the establishment that reads: “Where Major John Andre, British Spy, Plotter with Arnold, to delivery West Point was confined before his execution.” There’s a ton of history here.
The Bluebird – Utah
At only 96 years old, The Bluebird in Utah is a place that your grandparents possibly had a bite to eat at some point. At the Bluebird, you can get a heaping helping of long bars, jukebox joints, and a milkshake for the road!
Many of the shops like this haven’t managed to stick around very long, but the Bluebird still stands the test of time. Located in Logan, Utah, if you’re ever out there, you should give it a try.
Carolina Coffee Shop – North Carolina
For almost 100 years (98 years), Carolina Coffee Shop in North Carolina continues to provide locals with their hot coffee, including the University of North Carolina students. Carolina Coffee Shop dished out there first serving of flapjacks in 1922.
They haven’t slowed since, as innovations to improve customer satisfaction and bring in more fans remains constant. We’d bet that this is where you want to go after dancing all night in Charleston. Hopefully, the Carolina Coffee Shop can last another nine decades!