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Oldest Restaurants in the Country

Written By Scott Joseph On July 22, 2016


I’ve always been fascinated by old restaurants. Oldest restaurants, actually. Maybe it’s because in the Central Florida market longevity is an illusive goal for so many. Indeed, the oldest restaurant in the Orlando area is Linda’s La Cantina, the steakhouse on East Colonial Drive, and, at 69, it isn’t much older than its average customer. (Also, the existing restaurant is not the original structure, which qualifies an asterisk next to the word oldest, in my book.)

For me, the real intrigue is in restaurants that started before the turn of the previous century. And it’s extra special if the business occupies the original building, and even better if it has been under the same family ownership from the beginning.

So I tend to seek out the oldest restaurants whenever I travel. Some, like Le Procope in Paris, make one wonder how — or why — they lasted so long. In others, such as Madrid’s Botin, which is listed as the world’s oldest continuously operating restaurant, and (at times) Rules in London, offer insight into what it takes to live a long life.

Zagat recently published an article on its website that listed restaurants around the U.S. that are the oldest in their categories, including the oldest Spanish restaurant, Ybor City’s Columbia, which is also Florida’s oldest restaurant of any kind (1905) and Anotine’s of New Orleans, pictured at top, oldest creole restaurant.

Do you share my love of old restaurants? How many on the Zagat list have you been to? And do you have a favorite? Tell us in the comments below.

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