America’s Best Historic Restaurants

Cnn.com highlights some of the best historic restaurants around the country. The list includes:

Columbia Restaurant, Tampa FL (1905)- What started as a corner cafe for the cigar workers in Tampa, FL has ballooned into a 1,700-seat restaurant specializing in Cuban and Spanish cuisine.

Louis’ Lunch, New haven, CT (1895)- Legend has it that in 1900, a customer asked the restaurant’s founder, Louis Lassen, for a quick meal he could eat on the run. He broiled some steak trimmings, put them between two slices of bread, and voila, the burger was born. The menu offers just four items: burgers, potato chips, potato salad and pie.

Samoa Cookhouse, Samoa, CA (1893) – Began as a mess hall/community center and continues the tradition of serving affordable, family-style meals in a no-frills setting. Current menu items include French toast, pancakes and sausage for breakfast, chicken parm and pot roast for lunch, and roast beef, short ribs and ham for dinner.

Red Fox Inn and Tavern, Middleburg, VA (1728) – The inn housed presidents and Revolutionary War heroes, was a medical center for the Confederate Army during the Civil War, and has attracted famed guests like Jackie Onassis and Elizabeth Taylor. The menu changes seasonally but features old Southern classics like fried chicken, crab cakes and peanut soup.

Al’s Restaurant, St. Louis, MO (1925)
Though Al’s began as an outpost selling egg sandwiches to the dock workers nearby, the founders’ son transformed it into a fine-dining chop house. A staple in the area, this restaurant is run by the grandchildren and great-grandchildren of the original immigrant founders.

Chef Vola’s, Atlantic City, NJ (1921)
Up until the 1980s, when the current owners bought it, Chef Vola’s had no phone number, no signage and survived for 60 years in the basement of an Atlantic City row house strictly by word of mouth. The setting is unique in that it feels like someone’s home and the vibe is that of a large family gathering.

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