The Oldest Restaurant in Every State

Take a delicious trip back in time.

The ingredients of the 1905 Salad, which is a thing most everybody seems to order at the Columbia Restaurant in Tampa, are about as classic as salad makings come. Iceberg lettuce ripped to shreds. Green olives, the kind with the little pimiento pepper stuck in the middle. Ribbons of baked ham and Swiss cheese. Then, comes the dressing, with sprinklings of dried oregano, and the white wine vinegar, along with a sizable hit of Worcestershire sauce, and an abundance of grated Pecorino Romano.

This is not so much the kind of salad we eat now, this is the salad you read about in the pages of a brittle mid-century cookbook, and yet the 1905 is arguably the most important item on the menu at Florida's oldest restaurant. Occupying a Spanish-to-the-nines palace of many rooms, the Columbia's menu is every bit as mashed up as the historic culture of Tampa's Ybor City, a neighborhood where immigrants came from around the world to work in the cigar factories in the 1800s. The restaurant knows just how much the salad matters to its loyal patrons, and they present the dish with a level of care many other restaurants reserve for big-ticket items like, say, caviar.

Columbia Restaurant
Columbia Restaurant

Well-dressed servers mix the restaurant's calling card tableside, day after day, as they have done for so long now. The result is a crunchy, cold, satisfying thing, with that one-two umami punch from the Worcestershire and the aged cheese, and then there is that feeling you get when something is made especially for you, with no small amount of care or attention. Julienned cold ham or not, this is a delicious salad, one you will remember long after you forget most other salads.

Of course, the setting helps — the Columbia is one of the most extravagant restaurants you will find in the Southeast. Each corner has a story to tell and every table seems to have history. The original Ybor location of the Columbia — there are now a number of Columbias — is one of those places that you always find your way back to, even if you are not very hungry; you come, even if only for a moment, to touch a past that you will discover, in the case of Tampa, is still very much alive.

In nearly every state, from Revolutionary War-period taverns in New England to Gold Rush holdovers in the West, America's oldest restaurants offer us a direct line to days gone by in a country — and an industry — typically preoccupied with the now and the next. Again and again, the story repeats itself, from a century-old hotel dining room on Hawaii's Big Island to one of the country's oldest Chinese restaurants, still going strong in Butte, Montana. Along the way, there's plenty of fried chicken, and there's so much pie, too. From Texas to Washington to Maine, the landscape of nostalgia-fueled restaurants holds so many surprises. To help you navigate it, we've tracked down the oldest restaurant in every state, organized alphabetically below.


The Bright Star (Bessemer)

Famous for fresh-caught Gulf seafood, not to mention a fine beef tenderloin marinated in olive oil, lemon juice, and garlic, this long-running, Greek immigrant family-owned restaurant is a mainstay in the post-industrial downtown of Bessemer. Open since 1907, it's also one of the state's most treasured dining establishments. At heart, this is a classic meat-and-three establishment, one where ingredients and highly professional service still matter a great deal.


Peggy's (Anchorage)

Horseshoe counters, forest green banquettes, wood paneling, and garish accents of burnt orange tile — this coffee shop is about as classic as they come. Peggy's has long been a favorite of the bush pilots flying in and out of Merrill Field, right across the busy highway. From morning until late, Peggy's serves the working-class Mountain View neighborhood, as it has since 1944. For many, Peggy's is all about the pie — for 35 years, a woman named June baked them herself. When she retired, her recipes (dozens of them) stayed, and don't even ask what's good because this is Peggy's — they're all pretty great.


The Palace Restaurant & Saloon (Prescott)

Where does one start, really, when considering the overwhelming amount of history — the fascinating, the lurid, the plain hilarious — that you get when you pop into what is not only Arizona's oldest bar (dating back to 1877) but also its longest-running business? How about the time when Wyatt Earp killed a couple of guys in a gunfight out back? Doc Holliday doing knife fights, right in the bar? The speakeasy years? The brothel years? The time when the place caught fire (which happened more than once)? Or when the patrons carried the actual bar out into the street and kept right on drinking? There are tales about ghosts and stories about Hollywood types (Steve McQueen, Peter Fonda, and Brooke Shields, to name a few) who stopped by. And you'll want to stop too — enter via the 1901 vintage swinging saloon doors, have a drink, and stay for lunch or dinner.


White House Cafe (Camden)

When this modest, small-town café opened in 1907, it was situated so close to the train tracks that passing railroad workers could practically reach out and grab themselves a plate. Today, the trains don't come quite so close to the building, and the railroads here, as elsewhere, aren't nearly what they used to be, but there's something about the restaurant — serving a very-this-part-of-Arkansas blend of Tex-Mex and Southern classics — that just won't quit, even after the building of a highway that makes it easy to avoid Camden entirely, a series of ownership changes, and the passing of more than a hundred years. Grab a seat at the counter — here, as so often in these types of establishments, it's the place to be.


Tadich Grill (San Francisco)

Standing on California Street, peering past the net curtains and into the warmly-lit dining room of the state's longest-running restaurant, cable cars rumbling in the background, it's impossible not to feel jealous of everyone inside. Beginning life in 1849 as a humble coffee stand on Clay Street, the restaurant was purchased in 1886 by Croatian immigrant John Tadich, who sold it to the Buich family, also from Croatia, in 1928. Then, just like now, the restaurant is all about fresh seafood grilled over mesquite charcoal and while you'd never know to look at it, it's only been in its current location since the 1960s.


Buckhorn Exchange (Denver)

From Hollywood elite to English royalty to cowboys to degenerate gamblers, this all-comers-welcome saloon has been open since 1893. Proud the holder of Colorado's first liquor license, Buckhorn Exchange features a menu that apparently is said to have seen only minimal tweaking over the years. Drop in for the rattlesnake dip, an order of Rocky Mountain oysters, and a gander at the impressive array of taxidermy on the walls. (Safe to say, there's a bit of overlap between the display and the menu.)


Griswold Inn (Essex)

As old as American independence, which is pretty old, Grisold Inn is one of the country's longest-operating taverns. Serving meals since 1776, it was even commandeered by the British and used as a command center during the War of 1812. Located steps from the protected harbor along the Connecticut River that has been a sailing port since forever, the inn retains a nautical theme. During Prohibition, it's said that the Griswold (The Gris for short) stayed afloat entertaining the sailors.


Kelly's Logan House (Wilmington)

Proudly laying claim to the rather specific title of the country's oldest continuously operating bar that has actually been continuously operated by the same family (that would be the Kelly's), Kelly's Logan House has been a fixture since 1864. It's conveniently located in Wilmington's Trolley Square neighborhood, which, as you might imagine, is the place to be on St. Patrick's Day. The rest of the year, drop in for a pint and an order of the crab dip.


Columbia (Tampa)

If only the walls could talk at this splendorous Spanish (with clear Cuban influences) palace in historic Ybor City, a Tampa essential since 1905. Iceberg lettuce receives the royal treatment via the famous 1905 Salad, constructed at your table with a great deal of pizzazz. The white chocolate bread pudding made with local Cuban bread will haunt your dessert dreams.


The Plaza Restaurant (Thomasville)

Today, visitors to one of the Southeast's most pleasant small towns have an array of choices at their fingertips — eating-wise and drinking-wise. However, none are quite so well-established as The Plaza Restaurant, a fine dining institution dating back to 1916. Today, it's regularly sought out by locals and visitors alike for its long-running menu of Greek, Italian, and Southern specialties.


Manago Hotel (Captain Cook)

Pile into the wood-paneled dining room at Manago Hotel, a Big Island institution since 1917, for meals of fresh-caught ono and opakapaka, or perfectly-cooked pork chops, all served with generous sides.


The Snake Pit (Enaville)

Tabloid-worthy crimes, Rocky Mountain oysters on the menu, and too many secrets for one building in small-town Idaho make this spot — mercifully close to I-90 for the road tripper's pleasure — the sort of place you want to return to again and again. Surviving fires, floods, booms and busts in the mining trade, and a phase as a house of ill repute ever since it opened in 1879, The Snake Pit is now known for its Saturday seafood buffet, prime rib nights, and monster-sized chicken fried steaks.


Village Tavern (Long Grove)

Nowadays, most people know Long Grove as one in a string of suburbs to the northwest of Chicago, but go a little deeper and you'll find the old village center, home to the state's longest-running bar and restaurant, a reminder of a very different time indeed. At Village Tavern, a bastion since 1849, a menu of comforting classics includes a great pollack and chips and a top sirloin beef stew. The best nights here might just be Mondays and Wednesdays, which are the all-you-can-eat broasted chicken nights. (Broasting, a combination of broiling and roasting, is such a Midwestern thing to do to chicken, and it's delicious.)


The Log Inn (Haubstadt)

Honest Abe Lincoln himself is said to have dined at this venerable establishment back in 1844, where to this day you will find comforting Midwestern cooking and plenty of baked desserts. First opened as a stagecoach stop in 1825 — said to be one of the first in the Midwest — the Inn has been modernized somewhat over the years, but the tradition of stopping by for chicken dinners remains.


Breitbach's Country Dining (Balltown)

Now owned by the sixth generation of the Breitbach family, Iowa's oldest restaurant hasn't just survived its share of disasters (including two devastating fires in the space of one year), it has thrived since opening in 1852. The older Breitbach's gets, in fact, the more popular the place seems to be, and while an ever-changing buffet certainly helps draw in the hungry, it's the a la carte menu of reasonably-priced local Black Angus steaks and pork tenderloins, along with a particularly robust offering of house-made pies, that make this rural stop-off near Dubuque an Iowa must.


The Hays House (Council Grove)

One of the oldest continuously operating restaurants west of the Mississippi River, the Hays House was founded in 1857 by Seth M. Hays, a grandson of American pioneer Daniel Boone. The restaurant has survived its fair share of incidents, including a fire that led local residents to pool their money together to restore the structure. Eat here and you'll quickly see why — with comforting dishes like chicken fried steak and blueberry cobbler, the food is just as homey as the atmosphere.


Talbott Tavern (Bardstown)

Hosting everyone from a five-year-old Abraham Lincoln — who lodged here with his parents — to Jesse James, who is said to have shot the place up one night in a fit of paranoia, this oasis of hospitality at the tail end of a historic stagecoach route has long been a part of life in a handsome town that came up along with the bourbon trade. Said to have been open and serving its guests since 1779, the preferred local tipple figures heavily on the menu, from bourbon barbecue ribs to a steak that goes out practically floating in compound bourbon butter, not that there's anything wrong with that.


Antoine's (New Orleans)

This suite of elegant rooms dedicated to Haute Creole cooking — a civilized retort to clamorous Bourbon Street practically out the front door — is the birthplace of Oysters Rockefeller and has hosted president and pope (as in, John Paul II) alike. Serving classic dishes since 1840, this is the longest-operating, family-owned restaurant in the country, surviving everything from Prohibition, when drinks were served in coffee cups, to Hurricane Katrina, which wrought havoc on the restaurant's considerable wine collection.


Palace Diner (Biddeford)

There are certainly older restaurants in Maine, but the not exactly overpopulated state has had a few issues with keeping the lights on. If you're looking for old-old (and a stunning oceanfront setting), it's the now very much updated Cliff House in Ogunquit you want — they first began serving in the 1860s, though the kitchen took a pretty significant break before firing the stoves back up. Longevity-wise, it's another kind of New England classic — one of two dining cars of its kind left in the country, it is said — that takes the crown, and the Palace isn't just any diner, it's renowned for its sensitively updated menu, prepared with great care and excellent ingredients, in one of the most charming settings any diner lover could ever ask for.


Old South Mountain Inn (Boonsboro)

Back in the 1700s, when places like Ohio were considered the Wild West, so to speak, the National Road was, as the name implies, one of the most important routes in a fledgling America. This well-kept stone tavern in Turner's Gap was always a popular stopping-off point along the way, and certainly saw its fair share of Civil War drama. After a brief period as a single-family residence, the Inn returned to its original mission; today, it's a destination spot — haunted, people say — for crab cakes (you're in Maryland, are you surprised?), stuffed lobster tails, and Beef Wellington.


Union Oyster House (Boston)

From Daniel Webster, who is said to have been able to eat multiple plates of oysters in one sitting — for his lunch, mind you, washed down with a brandy — to an up-and-coming John F. Kennedy, many a who's who of New England have walked through this door. The building, said to date back to the early 1700s, already had something of a past before it became a restaurant. Among the stories: An exiled French king — Louise Philippe — lived upstairs for a time, not long before the oyster house opened in 1826.


New Hudson Inn (New Hudson)

While the White Horse Inn over in Metamora might be nearly as old and definitely has the more in-depth menu, it's hard to compete with Michigan's oldest business on the good times front — this sometimes raucous bar, just a little over a half-hour drive from Downtown Detroit, attracts its share of bikers, for beers, cheeseburgers, live music, and dancing. Fridays, stop in for the best deal of the week, at least where food is concerned — they do an all-you-can-eat fish fry.


Neumann's Bar (North St Paul)

Claiming the title of the oldest continuously operating bar in Minnesota, Neumann's Bar has been serving beer since 1887. Even Prohibition didn't stop the drinks from flowing — the bar just opened a speakeasy on the second floor. Visitors still flock here to drink Hamm's beer on tap and peer through the keyhole window upstairs that was once used to discreetly track people's comings and goings.


Weidmann's (Meridian)

The sign says 1870 and the Weidmann family (immigrants from Switzerland) and Meridian definitely go that far back, but in its present state and location, things have been up and running since 1923. Swiss they may have been but this is one restaurant that definitely knows its audience. Whether you come for lunch or dinner, you start with crispy fried green tomatoes, moving on to the likes of gumbo, catfish, and shrimp salads luxuriating in remoulade. Meals begin, as they have for the longest time, with peanut butter and crackers, and many end with a slice of the black bottom pie, a house specialty.


J. Huston Tavern (Arrow Rock)

A handsome callback to the early 1800s, when Missouri was on the frontier, this carefully-restored tavern is a town highlight. (The village of Arrow Rock is a short detour on the St. Louis-Kansas City route, and definitely worth the visit.) The Missouri Department of State Parks owns the building, which is a testament to its historical legacy. After surviving a kitchen fire in recent years, J. Huston Tavern is back and better than ever, thanks in part to steadfast fans.


Pekin Noodle Parlor (Butte)

Said to be the oldest continuously-operating Chinese restaurant in the country, this terrific throwback stands as a living tribute to the hard-working immigrants who built the West. Dishes you most likely haven't seen on menus in decades — egg foo young, chop suey, chow mein — never went anywhere; meals are served up in a series of private booths, as was the style in 1911 when the noodle house blew onto the scene in a then-booming Butte.


Glur's Tavern (Columbus)

The vibe says mid-20th century Midwest watering hole, but this burger-slinging relic not so secretly goes all the way back to 1876. Buffalo Bill is said to have been a regular during its heyday.


The Martin Hotel (Winnemucca)

You can still get to Winnemucca by train, just like in the old days. And when you get here, on the California Zephyr, which stops once a day on its run between Chicago and San Francisco, you can still roll up for a full Basque dinner with all the trimmings at this 1898 boarding house, which once hosted sheepherders and cowboys and everyone else passing through. Meals are served family style — there's always lamb, sweetbreads, and all the grilled garlic you can stand on the side. Save room for the desserts — homemade flan, bread pudding, or both.

New Hampshire

The Hancock Inn (Hancock)

More of a living museum than an actual town — most of the charming Main Street is listed — Hancock was once partly owned by John Hancock, hence the name. It's where you'll find the state's oldest bar, restaurant, and inn, which first opened in 1789. You can still spend the night here, too.

New Jersey

The Cranbury Inn (Cranbury)

Operating since 1750, The Cranbury Inn is a welcomed reminder that New Jersey food culture goes way further back than red sauce joints and all-night diners, even if its early history does tend to slink in the shadows more than in some other nearby states. This modest Revolutionary War-era tavern remains a stalwart on the main drag of an attractive village that time and two highways (the Turnpike and US 130) have passed by. You can sit down to a full dinner of the usual this-part-of-the-world suspects: surf and turf, veal osso bucco, and what have you — and you should. But make sure to kick things off with a drink in the Colonial Bar, occupying the original timber frame tavern, once a stagecoach stop.

New Mexico

El Farol (Santa Fe)

From humble beginnings as a bar along a dusty Canyon Road, long (so long!) before the strip became known for its collection of high-priced art galleries, what was once just La Cantina over time evolved to become El Farol. Known both for tapas and some very talented flamenco dancers, the restaurant still calls back to the city's salad days, when everything as far as you could see (and far beyond) was dubbed New Spain. If you haven't been in recent years, you might be surprised — an ownership change led to a sensitive update of the 1835 interiors, which now highlight the restaurant's collection of vintage murals.

New York

The ’76 House Tappan

The assumption that New York City's Fraunces Tavern is the state's oldest dining and drinking establishment is made rather frequently but historians and the folks in this impossibly cute Rockland County village say otherwise. Back when there was an actual George Washington instead of a George Washington Bridge, shortly before the Fraunces became the hottest thing in Manhattan nightlife, this modest hostelry was a hive of activity; early on in life, it was the place of confinement for Benedict Arnold's British co-conspirator John Andre, hanged in Tappan in 1780. (For years, the tavern was nicknamed Andre's Prison, and to this day, some are convinced the place is haunted.) Today, it likes to call itself the oldest dining room in America, and while it certainly has had its ups and downs and stops and starts since opening in 1755, there's no denying the vibe — this is the rare sort of place where in the 21st century you think to yourself, yes, perhaps I will have the Yankee pot roast.

North Carolina

Carolina Coffee Shop (Chapel Hill)

Don't be fooled by the name: Carolina Coffee Shop is a full-service restaurant and bar. It became one in the 1950s, after being founded as a soda shop in 1922. Located steps from the UNC campus, this historic restaurant has long been a fixture for college students. So much so that, in recent years, when it was put up for sale and faced closure, UNC alumni stepped in to buy it. Today, this century-old restaurant has a decidedly contemporary feel, and continues to serve up eggs benedict, French toast, and biscuits and gravy.

North Dakota

Peacock Alley American Grill & Bar (Bismarck)

The old Patterson Hotel isn't the Patterson Hotel anymore, but throughout its history, what was once the state capital's tallest building (seven stories!) has proved that you can't keep a good boozer down — the hotel famously operated a speakeasy during Prohibition, and is said to have been quite the lure for local politicians, before, during, and after. The return of legal liquor in 1933 brought the restaurant you see in the now-residential building's lobby today, serving three meals a day, many of them high-quality steak dinners, and (of course) plenty of drinks.


The Golden Lamb (Lebanon)

Lord Stanley, John Quincy Adams, Charles Dickens, Mark Twain—it's more like who hasn't stopped at this handsome 19th-century brick tavern not all that far from Cincinnati, a legendary spot that goes all the way back to 1803 when Ohio was just sorting out statehood. Owned by the Portman family for a very long time, that's Portman as in Senator Rob Portman, the hotel and restaurant (the Black Horse Tavern) remain popular to this day. You start with the sauerkraut balls — pork, beef, kraut, and spices breaded and fried, just go with it — and move on to the famous tavern fried chicken dinners, served with all the trimmings.


Cattlemen's Steakhouse (Oklahoma City)

Steak for breakfast, steak for lunch, steak anytime — from a hefty T-bone to calf's brains, this fabled classic in historic Stockyard City serves the local specialty (meat) from early morning until late at night. Opened in 1910 by a notorious bootlegger said to have lost the place in a dice game back in the 1940s, Cattlemen's thrives today as one of Oklahoma City's top restaurants, said at one point to be serving more than 10,000 customers every week.


Huber's (Portland)

Long before Portland's culinary scene became a thing that people around the world knew about, there was handsome Huber's, where waiters would roll up to your table and construct elaborate Spanish coffees, made with triple sec and rum (set ablaze, naturally, because drama), whipped cream, and enough Kahlua to put whoever invented Kahlua's kids through college. Resting comfortably — underneath iconic stained glass skylights — in the same spot since 1879, Huber's began as a tavern, and only became known for its food when Chinese immigrant Jim Louie took the reigns of the place in 1912, shortly after it moved to the downtown corner where you'll find it today. Then, as now, it's the turkey dinners that are the calling card.


McGillin's Olde Ale House (Philadelphia)

Before there was a city hall or a Wanamaker's department store, and a lot of other things that have come and gone in Center City Philadelphia throughout the years, there was the Bell in Hand Alehouse, owned by the McGillin family, there on skinny little Drury Street. Established in 1860, the tavern grew and evolved and became McGillin's, remaining in the hands of just two families throughout its history. You come for brats, crab cakes, shepherd's pie, meatloaf, or a filet mignon sandwich. Lancaster County legend Stoudt's Brewery handles production of the three house beers — McGillin's is said to serve more Stoudt's beer than any other bar in the state, and if you've ever been here on a typical end-of-the-week evening, you certainly wouldn't dispute this statistic.

Rhode Island

White Horse Tavern (Newport)

While there is the question of what exactly the restaurant that calls itself America's oldest tavern was serving its guests since 1673, the White Horse (which has only been the White Horse since 1730 but who's splitting hairs) has had many functions over time. Rhode Island's state legislative body once met here, the place was run by a pirate at one point, it housed troops during the Revolutionary War, and it even had a rather low period, where it functioned as a relatively unremarkable boarding house, leading to a near-scrape with the wrecking ball in the mid 20th century. Newport being Newport, the local preservation society rallied. Today, the on-site restaurant serves things like Beef Wellington, housemade charcuterie, and of course plenty of local clams and calamari in a series of magnificently moody rooms.

South Carolina

Villa Tronco (Columbia)

Restaurant origin stories don't come more charming than this Italian institution in the state capital, with Sadie Tronco serving spaghetti and meatballs out of her family's fruit store to homesick Italian-American soldiers stationed at Camp Jackson during World War II. During those earliest days, it's said that Sadie had to give her pizza away, just to get the locals to try the stuff. These days, it's hard to find someone in Columbia who hasn't at least heard of Villa Tronco, family-owned since 1940, and still going strong in its charming, original home. Veal piccata, the house chicken soup, and the special house Italian dressing all make a strong case for a local legend.

South Dakota

Legends Steakhouse (Deadwood)

Snaking its way through a scenic gulch in the Black Hills, the entire city of Deadwood is an immersion in Wild West times, a town that boomed and busted its way from a late 1800s gold rush into the modern era. At the heart of it all, the Franklin Hotel, host to everyone from Teddy Roosevelt to Babe Ruth to John Wayne, has had its share of ups and downs since 1903 — at one point, it was closed down and converted into apartments — but you'd never know it now. Stop by for slow-roasted, bone-in prime rib, or a dry-aged South Dakota buffalo ribeye — everything's aged for a minimum of 21 days, and prices are quite reasonable.


Varallo's Restaurant (Nashville)

Nowadays, it's a safe bet most people aren't visiting Nashville for the chili but no local restaurant has managed to hang around quite so long as this Church Street institution, even if it is no longer on Church Street. A location on Fourth Street is the sole surviving outlet of what used to be a slightly larger operation established in 1907. (At least it's still family-owned.) The chili — not Cincinnati-style, not Southwest-style, but rather in a world of its own, and you can get spaghetti and a tamale with it — is certainly a staple here but plenty of locals come in for the fried catfish, the meat-and-two-veg combos, simple Italian-American fare, and hearty breakfasts. The space as you see it here may only have been in existence since the 1990s, but somehow feels much older.


The Stagecoach Restaurant (Salado)

By the time this vital link to Texas history — a stagecoach stop established in 1861 on the Chisholm Trail — shuttered for renovation in 2015, it was barely feeling itself anymore, having fallen far from its heady early days, when it played host to everyone from Sam Houston to Jesse James. Thank goodness one of the state's most handsome old inns — perhaps now more appealing than ever — is back. While old-timers have balked at some of the upgrades, the restaurant's menu has brought back some of the more popular dishes from its mid-century heyday, from a tomato aspic starter to the strawberry kiss — ice cream on a bed of meringue, bathed in strawberry sauce — for dessert.


The Bluebird (Logan)

The last few years have not been exactly benevolent toward Utah's oldest restaurants — many of them are now closed. And while this Logan legend cannot actually claim to be in operation as you see it today since 1914, no matter what the very attractive vintage sign says out front (the Bluebird moved to its current location in 1923), of the two oldest restaurants remaining in the state (the other, a drug store in Kamas, opened in 1920) this is the one that retains an incredible amount of charm. Everybody comes for the famous Bluebird Chicken, battered, deep-fried and served in a spicy-sweet sauce and the house rolls are locally revered.


The Dorset Inn (Dorset)

In a state as old as Vermont, one must allow for a bit of uncertainty when it comes to long-ago history, and there tends to be some confusion regarding the lineage of the state's oldest inns, taverns, and restaurants. The Dorset Inn, however, appears to be able to lay claim to being the oldest continuously-operating establishment in the state, having served food to its guests since 1796. Throughout its history, the hotel has been quite proud of its culinary offerings, and today is no exception, with New American menus leaning as heavily as possible on regional produce.


Red Fox Inn & Tavern (Middleburg)

At the center of one of the country's most privileged small towns is what claims to be America's oldest continuously-operating inn, in business since 1728. The restaurant's location in Virginia's this-close-to-actually-being-English, rather exclusive hunt country means the Red Fox has had a seriously impressive roster of visitors, presidents, and celebrities galore — many of them no doubt stopping by to try what has been called some of the best fried chicken in the state. Start with a glass of Virginia wine — they've got quite the list.


Horseshoe Cafe (Bellingham)

Back in frontier times, before the busy college town of Bellingham was even incorporated, visitors and locals could depend on an all-hours welcome at this still-busy restaurant and lounge, said to be continuously operating since 1886. Nobody seemed to blink when it moved across the street in 1958, and to this day, you can drop by late into the night for solid, often quite creative diner fare, or cocktails in the pleasingly retro Ranch Room.

West Virgina

North End Tavern & Brewery (Parkersburg)

Expanded, renovated, rebuilt, reimagined — everything that could happen to a neighborhood bar has happened to this Parkersburg institution since 1899. There's very little left about the place, save for legend, to tell you that you're in the state's oldest bar, which has also been one of West Virginia's most successful microbreweries since the 1990s. No matter — this is definitely, very legitimately, a piece of West Virginia history, and no matter what it might look like now — a popular brew pub, with a complete menu — it still has one very important thing in common with its earliest days as a simple, local tap: people really like hanging out here.


Red Circle Inn & Bistro (Nashotah)

Back in the 1840s, when Waukesha County's Lake Country was the preferred summer destination for Milwaukee's high society, brewer Frederick Pabst set his eye on the old Nashotah Hotel, which had been going strong for fifty years already, thanks to its location along a popular trading route. The Pabst family owned and operated the premises for just a decade or so but their rebrand stuck, and so did the restaurant. The current owners have been at it for over a quarter century now, and with the region essentially a bedroom community for Milwaukee, the Red Circle is more than just a historic curiosity — it's essential dining (quality steaks, seafood, some minor twists) in the region, offering a more formal dining room and a laid-back bistro experience. Save room for souffle.


Miner's & Stockmen's Steakhouse (Hartville)

Back in frontier times, the town of Hartville, roughly one hundred miles north of Cheyenne, was about as wild a town as you might expect to find in the Wyoming Territory, offering a great deal more excitement than you might expect from a settlement of a few hundred frontiersmen and women. Today, there isn't much left to Wyoming's oldest surviving incorporated town, save a few dozen holdouts, the local town hall, a post office, and this treasured old haunt from 1862, both Wyoming's oldest surviving bar and restaurant. Stop in for steaks — USDA Prime Black Angus, and they're super proud about this — wedge salads, and reasonably priced wines by the bottle.

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