Chicago is home to some of the oldest restaurants in the country, dating back as far as 1849. Whether you live in Chicago or are traveling to it, checking out some of these historic Chicago restaurants are surely something you will want to add to your bucket list. Some of the historic Chicago restaurants on this list have made plenty of updates since opening their doors, but others have taken plenty of care to keep up the original atmosphere and menu.
1. Village Tavern, Long Grove, Illinois
The Village Tavern is the oldest restaurant in all of Illinois, opening its doors in 1849. Guests will enjoy the overall decor of the restaurant because although it has been kept well, not too much has changed decor-wise throughout the years. They offer delicious food specials and live music on most nights of the week. History-lovers should make it a point to dine at The Village Tavern.
2. Green Mill Lounge, Chicago, Illinois
The Green Mill Lounge is a historic jazz club located on the Northside of Chicago. The club opened its doors in 1907, and is still open today, hosting well-known and emerging jazz artists from around the country. The Green Mill Lounge has a rich history in Chicago since it was considered a favorite for infamous Chicago gangsters like Al Capone. Due to the variety of famous customers and legendary dining, this is one of the most famous and infamous historic Chicago restaurants.
3. Daley’s Restaurant, Chicago, Illinois
Daley’s Restaurant is one of the oldest establishments on our list. It opened in 1892. The original owner was John Daley, an ironworker from Chicago. He built this historic Chicago restaurant with local construction workers in mind, needing a place to get food during their shifts. After a few years, John Daley sold the restaurant to two employees. Since then the restaurant has not changed much over the years and various owners.
4. Billy Goat Tavern, Chicago, Illinois
This well-loved Chicago staple opened in 1934 by owner Billy Sianis, hence the name Billy Goat Tavern. They are known for their freshly made cheeseburgers and other American fried classics. Billy Goat Tavern is located on the ground floor of the historic Tribune Building. Readers that do not live in Chicago might even be familiar with Billy Goat Tavern because it inspired the famous and hilarious Saturday Night Live ‘Olympia Restaurant’ skit.
5. Margie’s Candies, Chicago, Illinois
Margie’s Candies opened up in the Northside of Chicago in 1921. Back then they offered delicious confections like homemade ice cream sundaes and milkshakes, as well as a vast array of tasty chocolates and candy. Since opening up, Margie’s Candies has added a few more locations throughout the Chicago area, further making them a summertime staple.
6. Lou Mitchell’s Chicago, Illinois
Lou Mitchell’s is a West Loop staple, often referred to as the local king of breakfast. This restaurant opened in 1923, making it one of the oldest still operating. They offer diner-style fare and are only open from the early morning through lunch service. Travelers on road trips also adore this old school diner for its location at the beginning of Route 66.
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