Oldest Restaurant in Every State

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OLDIE BUT A FOODIE

Running a restaurant is tough -- nearly 60 percent close their doors within three years of opening. Some, however, have staying power that endures for decades and, in some cases, centuries. Here's a look at the oldest restaurant in every state.

Photo credit: PaynesontheSquare/facebook.com

PAYNE'S SANDWICH SHOP & SODA FOUNTAIN, AL

City: Scottsboro
Year founded: 1869
Type of food: American

What people say: Payne's is a "lovely period establishment right on the square in the historic centre of town" with a good menu and choice of ice cream, says one Payne's customer via TripAdvisor, where the restaurant averages 4.5 out of 5 stars from reviews.

Photo credit: HistoricSkagwayInn/facebook.com

THE HISTORIC SKAGWAY INN, AK

City: Skagway
Year founded: 1897
Type of food: Seafood

What people say: Reviewers on TripAdvisor like the Skagway Inn's historic feel and big portions of local seafood. One reviewer called the food "very tasty and plentiful" and deemed the bread pudding "some of the best I have had in a long time."

Photo credit: The-Palace-Restaurant-and-Saloon/facebook.com

PALACE RESTAURANT AND SALOON, AZ

City: Prescott
Year founded: 1877
Type of food: American/Southwestern

What people say: Customers on the Facebook page of the Palace appreciate the feel of a place that's played host to the Earp brothers and Doc Holliday. "This place is awesome with so much history dating back to 1877," one customer writes. If the prime rib ($29) is too much, try the buffalo burger ($14) at lunch.

Photo credit: Courtesy of tripadvisor.com

WHITE HOUSE CAFE, AR

City: Camden
Year founded: 1907
Type of food: American

What people say: Customers enjoy the White House Cafe's folksy, yesteryear charm of the "neat old building," old-time counter, and stools -- and the standout burgers, according to reviews on Yelp.

Photo credit: Tadich Grill/yelp.com

TADICH GRILL, CA

City: San Francisco
Year founded: 1849
Type of food: Seafood

What people say: Dating back to the California Gold Rush, the Tadich Grill is one of the world's "10 Great Classic Restaurants Well Worth Visiting," according to Forbes.

Photo credit: Buckhorn Exchange Restaurant/yelp.com

BUCKHORN EXCHANGE, CO

City: Denver
Year founded: 1893
Type of food: Steakhouse

What people say: Described by a Forbes contributor as a "living Old West museum," Buckhorn Exchange gets appreciative nods on TripAdvisor for its frontier cuisine, with one customer drawing attention to the bison and elk tenderloins and "amazing" rattlesnake with chipotle cream cheese.

Photo credit: GriswoldInn/facebook.com

THE GRISWOLD INN, CT

City: Essex
Year founded: 1776
Type of food: Historic American

What people say: "There is no other place to compare with the 'Gris' in atmosphere, in hospitality, in the excellence of its cuisine," The Connecticut Almanac says of the Colonial-era icon, while Yankee magazine points visitors to The Griswold Inn's "stunning" wine bar with contemporary small plates.

Photo credit: Courtesy of wikimedia.org

KELLY'S LOGAN HOUSE, DE

City: Wilmington
Year founded: 1864
Type of food: Pub fare

What people say: There are mixed reviews for the country's oldest family-owned Irish pub (though Kelly's Logan House serves seafood and burgers, not Irish food), but most customers enjoy the deck and atmosphere. "Great atmosphere, great location, beautiful patio," as one customer put it on Google.

Photo credit: ColumbiaRestaurantGroup/facebook.com

COLUMBIA RESTAURANT, FL

City: Tampa
Year founded: 1905
Type of food: Cuban/Spanish

What people say: A reviewer on TripAdvisor says the Columbia, which has been owned by five generations for more than a century, has "the best Cuban food anywhere."

Photo credit: thomasvilleplaza/facebook.com

THE PLAZA RESTAURANT & OYSTER BAR, GA

City: Thomasville
Year founded: 1916
Type of food: Seafood/steakhouse

What people say: Several reviewers on TripAdvisor, where The Plaza averages 4 out of 5 stars, admire the buffet, and one suggests eating at the bar. "The bartender was fantastic! We weren't in a hurry and she let us take our time."

Photo credit: Mitzi A./yelp.com

HOTEL MANAGO, HI

City: Captain Cook
Year founded: 1917
Type of food: American

What people say: The restaurant averages 4.5 stars out of 5 on Yelp, where customers like its low cost (all entrees are under $19) and lack of pretension ("it's super basic but so worth it"). They also love The Hotel Manago restaurant's signature pork chops.

Photo credit: Cheryl R./yelp.com

THE SNAKE PIT, ID

City: Enaville
Year founded: 1880
Type of food: American

What people say: Reviews are mixed for this folksy mainstay, with slow service dragging down scores on Facebook, but menu items such as sweet potato buffalo chips, smoked brisket tacos, and Rocky Mountain oysters make The Snake Pit "a must-see for anyone passing through Idaho."

Photo credit: Rebecca C./yelp.com

THE VILLAGE TAVERN, IL

City: Long Grove
Year founded: 1847
Type of food: Bar/pub

What people say: Customers reviewing the tavern on TripAdvisor admire the service, the portions, and especially the decor -- wagon-wheel bar included. "Village Tavern is absolutely charming," one says. The fish fry gets the best reviews, and the turkey sandwich is actual turkey, not deli meat.

Photo credit: Angelus K./yelp.com

THE LOG INN, IN

City: Evansville
Year founded: 1825
Type of food: American

What people say: This restaurant, once visited by President Abraham Lincoln, is "a must stop if you like delicious food and great service," says a reviewer on TripAdvisor, where it gets 4.5 out of 5 stars. Diners at The Log Inn love the fried chicken, gizzards, and livers.

Photo credit: Breitbachs/facebook.com

BREITBACH'S COUNTRY DINING, IA

City: Balltown
Year founded: 1852
Type of food: American

What people say: "There's not much else to choose from in the area but no need, this place has everything you need," says one customer on TripAdvisor, where reviewers give it an average 4.5 out of 5 stars. In addition to "exemplary" hospitality, there's a Breitbach's tenderloin sandwich said to be worth a 100-mile drive.

Photo credit: ML ../yelp.com

HAYS HOUSE, KS

City: Council Grove
Year founded: 1857
Type of food: American

What people say: Top-notch service, perfect proportions, and super Hays House fried chicken -- featured in a Sunday fried chicken buffet for $15 -- dominate the best customer reviews of this Santa Fe Trail eatery on TripAdvisor.

Photo credit: Bill B./yelp.com

TALBOTT TAVERN, KY

City: Bardstown
Year founded: 1779
Type of food: American/pub

What people say: A young Abraham Lincoln, rowdy Jesse James, and French royalty circa 1797 have all stopped at Talbott Tavern, which has reasonable prices, a solid breakfast, good bourbon, and apparently a ghost or two.

Photo credit: Courtesy of wikimedia.org

ANTOINE'S, LA

City: New Orleans
Year founded: 1840
Type of food: French/Cajun

What people say: Antoine's, claimed to be the oldest family-run restaurant in the country, averages 4.5 of 5 stars on Facebook from more than 1,200 reviews -- 70 percent of which give it 5 stars for "amazing" food and being an "unforgettable experience."

Photo credit: RunAway B./yelp.com

PALACE DINER, ME

City: Biddeford
Year founded: 1927
Type of food: Diner

What people say: Made from one of two existing Pollard railroad cars in the United States, the Palace Diner has only 16 seats. "So there may be a wait," one customer writes on TripAdvisor, "but the food is worth it!" The Lumberjack Breakfast ($16) and fluffy flapjacks ($11) are musts.

Photo credit: Sandy C./yelp.com

ROBERT MORRIS INN, MD

City: Oxford

Year founded: 1710 
Type of food: American/seafood
What people say: The seafarers using Oxford as a port for tobacco, hides, and salt port made good use of the beds and tables at The Robert Morris Inn, and it's still what TripAdvisor reviewers call an "outstanding" spot for everything from crab cakes to freshly made scones. Chef Mark Salter has even been known to give cooking demonstrations.

Photo credit: Sari Marissa G./yelp.com

PUBLICK HOUSE, MA

City: Sturbridge
Year founded: 1771 
Type of food: American/Seafood
What people say: There's no shortage of history in this central Massachusetts town near the Connecticut border -- it's well known for its Old Sturbridge Village living history museum. A follow-up visit to the Publick House could include the lobster pie ($32) or fish and chips ($17), but a stop by the Bake Shoppe for a pecan sweet roll ($1.25) or whole apple double-crust pie ($16) might also satisfy.

Photo credit: RunAway B./yelp.com

SLEDER'S FAMILY TAVERN, MI

City: Traverse City
Year founded: 1882
Type of food: American/pub

What people say: "Its decor and atmosphere is really neat," says one customer on TripAdvisor. "Everything I have had on the menu was delicious." Don't be surprised to see people climbing up to get face to face with a moose head mounted on the Sleder's wall; kissing Randolph is supposed to be good luck.

Photo credit: hubbellhouse/facebook.com

HUBBELL HOUSE, MN

City: Mantorville
Year founded: 1854
Type of food: American

What people say: "Great food and reasonable prices, but what really makes this place is the atmosphere," says one TripAdvisor in a review, citing a "very cool old building" that was originally a hotel for a stagecoach trail. Try the Hubbell House Bloody Mary, steak, and roast beef.

Photo credit: weidmanns1870/facebook.com

WEIDMANN'S, MS

City: Meridian
Year founded: 1870
Type of food: Steakhouse

What people say: "Definitely a place to hit on your way to the Gulf Coast," says one customer writing on Yelp. "The redfish is out of sight. Service is excellent and ambience is good. I look forward to eating here every time I'm in Meridian." Enjoy the Weidmann's free appetizer of crackers and peanut butter.

Photo credit: J Huston Tavern/yelp.com

J. HUSTON TAVERN, MO

City: Arrow Rock
Year founded: 1834
Type of food: American

What people say: Dinner is served family style, and there's plenty of it -- fried chicken, potato salad, coleslaw, biscuits, watermelon, ham, mashed potatoes, gravy, corn, and green beans -- "way more than we could eat," a J. Huston customer writes on TripAdvisor.

Photo credit: Jess J./yelp.com

PEKIN NOODLE PARLOR, MT

City: Butte
Year founded: 1880
Type of food: Chinese

What people say: With a massive building hosting an informal museum of Butte's Chinatown, "there is no establishment in Montana quite like" the Pekin, the Montana Quarterly says. But the food is revered too, and the most expensive single entree on the menu at the Pekin Noodle Parlor is a T-bone steak for just over $9.

Photo credit: King-Fong-Cafe/facebook.com

KING FONG CAFE, NE

City: Omaha
Year founded: 1921 (some say 1918)
Type of food: Chinese

What people say: Several reviewers write as fondly of the atmosphere as they do of the food, with one saying, "This place is pretty fun. It's like if you were in the movie 'Big Trouble in Little China.'" The restaurant has kept customers waiting since 2016 after saying it closed for renovations; filmmaker Alexander Payne told the Omaha World-Herald that he bought the restaurant's building in part to see the King Fong Cafe stay open.

Photo credit: Courtesy of wikimedia.org

THE MARTIN HOTEL, NV

City: Winnemucca
Year founded: 1898
Type of food: Basque/American

What people say: The Martin serves its food family style, but in reviews on TripAdvisor, customers are divided about how well it represents the cuisine of France and Spain's Basque region. "Ask about spiciness if that is a factor for you, and be prepared that everything has tons of garlic," one warns.

Photo credit: Larissa J./yelp.com

HANCOCK INN AND FOX TAVERN, NH

City: Hancock
Year founded: 1789
Type of food: American

What people say: One reviewer on Yelp recommends the Hancock for anyone who loves New England charm -- but the food at its recently renamed Fox Tavern is pleasing as well. "The main course menu makes it almost impossible to pick something," a customer writes. "From what we understand people come from across the country to try their pot roast."

Photo credit: Jazz F./yelp.com

YE OLDE CENTERTON INN, NJ

City: Pittsgrove
Year founded: 1706

Type of food: American/Seafood
What people say: The garlic-heavy Centerton Salad ($6.50 or $10) and Steak Centerton -- filet mignon topped with crab and Bearnaise for $38 -- get plenty of attention from TripAdvisor customers giving Ye Olde Centerton Inn an average 4 stars, but the cozy fireplace and complementary dessert tray deserve attention as well.

Photo credit: elfarolsf/facebook.com

EL FAROL, NM

City: Santa Fe
Year founded: 1835
Type of food: Spanish

What people say: This quaint eatery has plenty of fans for atmosphere and savory food. "El Farol is a 'must stop' location for me," one customer says on TripAdvisor. "Love their tapas! When the weather is nice, we can spend the whole day on the porch people watching, drinking wine, and eating."

Photo credit: Risa S./yelp.com

THE '76 HOUSE, NY

City: Tappan
Year founded: 1668
Type of food: American

What people say: It's hard to overlook the fact George Washington stayed at the '76 House, especially when the menu includes such classic colonial-era food as cuts of wild game and a boar's sausage appetizer ($12). But there are also alligator empanadas ($14) and lobster mac and cheese ($28).

Photo credit: yumyumbettericecreamandhotdogs/facebook.com

YUM YUM BETTER ICE CREAM AND HOT DOGS, NC

City: Greensboro
Year founded: 1906

Type of food: American/cafe
What people say: This family-owned restaurant serves hot dogs legendary in this college town -- it's actually on the University of North Carolina campus -- and ice cream homemade on premises. Yum Yum survived its patriarch's death and a car crash in the past year. 

Photo credit: Bryan L./yelp.com

PEACOCK ALLEY, ND

City: Bismarck
Year founded: 1933
Type of food: American/steakhouse

What people say: "Great service, interesting menu choices, and the food was superb. The atmosphere was superior," says one Peacock Alley customer on TripAdvisor. The caramelized chicken salad ($12) and brisket candy and ribs appetizer ($10) are suggested.

Photo credit: TheGoldenLamb/facebook.com

THE GOLDEN LAMB, OH

City: Lebanon
Year founded: 1803
Type of food: American

What people say: The 5-star customer ratings are plentiful on Facebook for this eatery that's served presidents as far back as John Quincy Adams. (A historian is around on weekends to answer questions.) Golden Lamb diners enjoy "fabulous comfort food," such as a turkey dinner for $22.50.

Photo credit: Laurel O./yelp.com

EISCHEN'S BAR, OK

City: Okarche
Year founded: 1896 
Type of food: Bar/pub 

What people say: Neither Prohibition nor fire have been able to keep Eischen's from serving its simple grub -- food such as chili, barbecue sandwiches, and okra. But it's the fried chicken that draws the most compliments; some call it the best in the Midwest. 

Photo credit: Nicholas L./yelp.com

HUBER'S CAFE, OR

City: Portland
Year founded: 1879
Type of food: America

What people say: Don't leave without a Spanish coffee (so long as you're of drinking age). Huber's averages 4 out of 5 stars on Yelp for other reasons, as well, including décor and comfort food. "I had the beef stroganoff and it was unbelievable," one customer writes. "Perfect on the cream sauce, and meat that was just cooked to perfection."

Photo credit: Karen P./yelp.com

JEAN BONNET TAVERN, PA

City: Bedford 
Year founded: 1760s 
Type of food: American/seafood 

What people say: This tavern's spot on the Lincoln Highway began long before there was a Lincoln Highway, first as a French fort and later deeded in 1762 to a trader. Though a few owners over the centuries have used the trader's building as a home, instead of a tavern, it's long been back to serving visitors just as it used to serve people headed west in wagons.

Photo credit: WhiteHorseTavern/facebook.com

WHITE HORSE TAVERN, RI

City: Newport
Year founded: 1673
Type of food: American

What people say: Proper, business-casual dress is required here, but colonial trappings and a roaring fireplace, not to mention "impeccable" service and "exquisitely prepared" food that updates the classics may make the White Horse Tavern worthwhile, a customer suggests on Facebook.

Photo credit: Villa Tronco Italian Restaurant/yelp.com

VILLA TRONCO, SC

City: Columbia
Year founded: 1940
Type of food: Italian

What people say: "It completely lived up to the billing," says one Villa Tronco customer on TripAdvisor. "Sure, the décor inside is dated (probably renovated in the '70s), but has a real old-world atmosphere. Superb food, cocktails, and service."

Photo credit: DEADWOODLEGENDS/facebook.com

LEGENDS STEAKHOUSE, SD

City: Deadwood
Year founded: 1903
Type of food: American/steakhouse

What people say: Although many TripAdvisor reviewers rave about the Legends steak, it's the au gratin potatoes that seem to get the highest marks.

Photo credit: Michael C./yelp.com

VARALLO'S, TN

City: Nashville
Year founded: 1907
Type of food: Diner/cafe

What people say: All-day breakfast at low prices keeps customers coming back to Varallo's, and for some people it's love at first bite. "The chicken biscuit I just ate for breakfast has me emotional," one customer says on Yelp.

Photo credit: Tom G./yelp.com

SCHOLZ GARTEN, TX

City: Austin
Year founded: 1866
Type of food: German-American

What people say: Food can be an afterthought at this crowded beer garden ("Except for the nachos. Best. Nachos. Ever," says one customer on Facebook). The Reuben ($14) and sausages at Scholz Garden also have their fans.

Photo credit: Bill B./yelp.com

HI-MOUNTAIN DRUGS, UT

City: Kamas
Year founded: 1920
Type of food: American

What people say: One of the country's last old-fashioned, eat-in drugstores, according to The Salt Lake Tribune, this place has good portions and delicious classic fare such as burgers, fries, and fish and chips, but it's the Hi-Mountain shakes, especially, that can make for long lines at popular times of day.

Photo credit: YeOldeTavern/facebook.com

YE OLDE TAVERN, VT

City: Manchester
Year founded: 1790
Type of food: American/steakhouse/seafood

What people say: This "historical, quaint, cozy, quintessential New England inn" averages 4.5 out of 5 stars on TripAdvisor, where customers say they like to sit by the fireplaces and enjoy Ye Old Tavern comfort food such as pot roast ($20) and chicken pot pie ($19).

Photo credit: redfoxinntavern/facebook.com

THE RED FOX INN & TAVERN, VA

City: Middleburg
Year founded: 1728
Type of food: Tavern food

What people say: Everyone from JFK to Tom Cruise has passed through the Red Fox, which averages 4.6 of 5 stars from customer reviews on Facebook. Get the fried green tomatoes ($13) and skip the pricey chicken cordon bleu ($28).

Photo credit: horseshoecafe1886/facebook.com

HORSESHOE CAFE, WA

City: Bellingham
Year founded: 1886
Type of food: Comfort food

What people say: The Horseshoe, with its all-day breakfast, averages 4 stars out of 5 from customer reviews on Yelp. Those who love it rave about the "great food" and "quaint atmosphere." Even detractors throw a bone to the old, small-town feel.

Photo credit: Holly B./yelp.com

NORTH END TAVERN & BREWERY, WV

City: Parkersburg
Year founded: 1899
Type of food: Pub fare

What people say: "This place isn't flashy or stylish," one customer writes on TripAdvisor, and that's true enough, but the simple menu of burgers, sandwiches, and fries at the North End Tavern has its devotees, and prices get down to $4 for Braunschweiger or grilled cheese.

Photo credit: Red-Circle-Inn-and-Bistro/facebook.com

RED CIRCLE INN & BISTRO, WI

City: Nashotah
Year founded: 1848
Type of food: Gourmet American

What people say: The Red Circle Inn is heralded for combining modern trappings with historic charm. "The food is delicious and they have amazing desserts, including soufflés that are just outstanding," a customer writes on Google. (The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel agrees the $8.50 soufflé is "the dessert of choice here ... a rare treat.")

Photo credit: MinersandStockmenssteakhouseandspirits/facebook.com

MINERS AND STOCKMEN'S STEAKHOUSE & SPIRITS, WY

City: Hartville
Year founded: 1862
Type of food: Steak and seafood

What people say: The restaurant averages an impressive 4.9 stars out of 5 from a small but enthusiastic customer base on Yelp. "Perfectly cooked and tender filets, creamy mashed potatoes, strong whiskey, and maybe the best cheesecake for dessert," one fan of Miners & Stockmen's rhapsodizes.

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