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The Oldest Restaurants in Chicago

The Berghoff Restaurant
The Walnut Room
Daley’s restaurant
Lou Mitchell’s
Pompei
The Berghoff Restaurant
The Walnut Room
Daley’s restaurant
Lou Mitchell’s
Pompei

Chicago has a lot of history, and you can soak it up while you enjoy a nice meal. Some restaurants throughout the Windy City are 100 years old or more, showing they have what it takes to stand the tests of time. If you want to eat at a restaurant with a century’s worth of experience, check out our list of the oldest restaurants in Chicago. 


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The Berghoff Restaurant

17 W Adams St, Chicago, IL 60603
(312) 427-3170

When you’re craving German food, The Berghoff Restaurant is the only place that you should consider in Chicago. They’ve been serving up traditional German fare since 1898. The wood paneling and the chandeliers will give you an old-world vibe that is impossible to duplicate elsewhere in the city. It’s actually one of the first bars to get a liquor license after prohibition, and the original speakeasy can still be found inside. As for the food, you’ll find a bit of everything, but Gretchen’s Potato Pancakes should be ordered to start off every meal.

 


photo credit: Opentable

The Walnut Room

111 N State St, Chicago, IL 60602
(312) 781-3139

The Walnut Room is located inside of the Macy’s, right by the theater district. It’s the first restaurant to ever open inside of a department store. You’ll find an array of events going on throughout the year, including holiday meals that are absolutely unforgettable. They’re open for lunch throughout the week and for dinner Wednesday through Saturday. It’s classic American fare, ranging from French onion soup to meatloaf and many other favorites. 

 


photo credit: Yelp

Daley’s restaurant

6257 S Cottage Grove Ave, Chicago, IL 60637
(773) 643-6670

Daley’s Restaurant is a historic diner that has been serving up food for Chicagoans since 1892. The menu features a lot of soul food, from pork chops to waffles. Located in Cottage Grove, the diner is a no-nonsense kind of place where you can go in and get quality food. The location recently moved, so there’s a more modern look, but the menu and the people behind it have all stayed the same. To ensure you can enjoy the food regardless of the wait, there are also pickup and delivery options.

 


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Lou Mitchell’s

565 W Jackson Blvd, Chicago, IL 60661
(312) 939-3111

Lou Mitchell’s is one of the oldest restaurants and bakeries that has been serving up breakfast and lunch for years. They also offer catering, which is popular for wedding parties and business luncheons alike. They’ve been in business since 1923 and are still known for their pancakes as well as their char-grilled burgers. They also claim that they have the best cup of coffee in all of Chicago. 

 


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Pompei

1531 W Taylor St, Chicago, IL 60607
(312) 421-5179

Pompei has grown a lot since it first opened its doors in 1909. Luigi Davino is the founder, an Italian immigrant, who started it all as a bakery selling only bread and cheese pizza. The location has moved and expanded over the years. The best location is in Little Italy, though there are three other locations to choose from as well. You’ll find a comprehensive menu of authentic Italian dishes. During Lent, be sure to stop in for a pepper and egg sandwich.

Green Door Tavern

678 N Orleans St, Chicago, IL 60654
(312) 664-5496

The Green Door Tavern offers a vintage dining room and bar where you can enjoy modern American fare. The location was established in 1872. Then, due to prohibition, they opened again in 1921. The history is seen all over the walls. You’ll find plenty of delicious food on the menu, including the Chicago Fried Chicken “Sanguich.” There are plenty of beers on tap as well as an intense whiskey and cocktail menu. 

 


photo credit: Grubhub

Orange Garden

1942 W Irving Park Rd, Chicago, IL 60613
(773) 525-7479

Orange Garden is the longest-standing Chinese restaurant in Chicago. The Cantonese cooking has been happening since 1932. There’s a lot of old-school charm with art and artifacts lining the walls. There are a few dining rooms, making it easy to have a private get-together should the need arise. You’ll always find luncheon specials, and they are known to have some of the best soup you’ll ever have the pleasure of slurping.

 


photo credit: valoisrestaurant.com

Valois Restaurant

1518 E 53rd St, Chicago, IL 60615
(773) 667-0647

Valois Restaurant is more like an old cafeteria, complete with the counter-service approach when you walk through the door. It’s a cash-only space, but the food is well worth it. You’ll find all of the American comfort food that you can handle within this Harper Court space. They’re only open for breakfast and lunch, so indulge with a steak omelet or prime rib. The muraled space around you will provide plenty of conversation when you grab a seat and relax to eat.