Destinations

Historically-rich Restaurants in the USA

I’m excited to announce a contribution from freelance writer and mother of two, Jenny Holt. She loves nothing more than getting away from it and taking her pet Labrador Bruce for long walks, something she can do a lot more now she’s left the corporate world behind. She has written a post for us today about historically rich restaurants in the USA. I hope you enjoy her article!


photo-1506812779316-934cef283429The travel and tourism industry is one of the biggest industries in the USA, contributing 1.5 trillion U.S. dollars to the GDP in 2015. Travelling does not have to focus on visiting exotic tourist destinations and staying in luxurious hotels. The most important aspect of any trip is to have fun while getting in touch with the character of the people and places you visit. One of the greatest joys of travelling across the USA is discovering the rich diversity of food that is readily available.

States, regions and cities all have their own ingredients, specialty fare and must-visit markets and restaurants. If you are a bit of a historian as well as a foodie you might want to look up some of the older American eateries, each of which boasts a rich and colorful history and some fantastic food to boot. While many of the world’s oldest restaurants lie scattered across Europe, the USA boasts a number of its own historical eateries such as the following:

Oldest restaurants in the USA

Tadich Grill – San Francisco (1849)

The Tadich Grill in San Francisco was opened during the height of the Gold Rush in California back in 1849 when thousands of hopefuls headed west in the hopes of striking it big.  Originally opened as a coffee stand, the Grill has been a fully-fledged restaurant since an employee, John Tadich, bought it in 1887. The restaurant claims to be the first restaurant in the USA to grill seafood over mesquite charcoal which is a method of cooking the Croatian owner became accustomed to while growing up.

Antione’s Restaurant – New Orleans (1840)

Antoine’s is located in the French Quarter of New Orleans and has been serving up authentic Louisiana Creole fare since it first opened its doors in 1840.  The eatery was founded by Antoine Alciatore and has been in the family ever since. Antione claimed to be have invented Oysters Rockefeller in Antoine’s very kitchen. The restaurant was originally located a block away from its current location – it moved in 1868 due to demands for its expansion.

Union Oyster House – Boston (1826)

This building boasted “At the Sign of the Cornfields”, a formal dress shop, before it was turned into a restaurant in 1826.  The original name of the restaurant was Atwood and Bacon Oyster House, but was rapidly changed to the Union Oyster House. This eatery claims that the humble toothpick became popular here after a businessman imported the picks from South America and hired eager university students to dine there and request the handy teeth-cleaning tools. Today the Union Oyster House is a registered National Historic Landmark.

Grisworld Inn – Essex, Connecticut (1776)

The Grisworld is one of the USA’s oldest continuously-run restaurants. The eatery and inn was founded to provide shelter for shipyard workers building vessels for the war in 1776. It has served some highly esteemed guests such as Mark Twain, Albert Einstein, George Washington and Katharine Hepburn. Till today the restaurant continues to serve rustic American fare in the original eatery building.

Fraunces Tavern – New York City (1762)

Currently located in the heart of New York City’s financial district, the first building constructed on this property in 1686 was the home of New York’s mayor at the time, Stephanus Van Cortlandt. Stephanus gave the house to his son-in-law in 1700 ho eventually sold it to Samuel Fraunces. Fraunces made renovations to the building and transformed it into a restaurant and tavern in 1762.  The tavern was a regular meeting place of the Sons of Liberty prior to the American Revolution.

Traversing across America, seeking out historical restaurants can be very rewarding for both the mind and soul.  Whether you are an American citizen wanting to explore your own country better or a foreign traveler looking to get a closer view of one of the most splendid countries in the world you will be mesmerized by all the USA has on offer.

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