Dining Experiences from the Past: The Oldest Restaurants in America

Published on April 12, 2020

In the United States, we can find history everywhere we look- especially when we travel around all 50 states. It’s easy to imagine colonial streets filled will all sorts of characters, living out lives as vivid and complex as our own in the modern-day. The American cuisine we eat today oftentimes hails from many, many generations in the past, giving us a taste of times gone by. When we pull out our travel guides, we can learn about the stories that have taken place in squares and street corners that, to us, seem entirely ordinary. Restaurants, in particular, can also be a source of storied history for those who seek it. Restaurants hold a great story to tell when it comes to the history of America because they have a unique perspective and, a lot of time, they are far from the tourist track.

Far from ordinary, these old restaurants have stuck around for a reason. They have a role in the community that has stood the test of time and left people wanting to come back for generations. The patrons of these restaurants may be simply nostalgic for a time gone by — or perhaps they’re seeking something new (to them, at least) and truly authentic. No matter the reason for visiting, is there any better way to experience another era than through our taste buds? We think not! For a country with a relatively short history, the United States has more than a few restaurants with stories (and flavors) that pack a punch. Here are 25 of the oldest, and the most memorable!