Here you’ll find over 200 classic restaurants in cities from all 50 states. It is perhaps the most comprehensive nationwide guide to traditional high-end and historic dining yet compiled. Generally, the selections can be described as “upscale,” such as steakhouses, white tablecloth seafood restaurants, high-end ethnic restaurants and, of course, continental style fine dining. Not included are diners, coffee shops, or roadside restaurants that have been well documented by others.
Yet, this list is by no means complete or exhaustive and I apologize if I left out your favorite restaurant. To add your recommendations, please comment below, providing enough information for me to verify that the establishment meets my classic dining criteria.
Be sure to consult the restaurant’s website before venturing forth, because unfortunately some of these restaurants may have closed. As for the food and service, I can’t vouch for either as restaurants do change. Keep in mind that online reviews often focus on food and service while giving short shrift to the historic setting. To me, authenticity, character, and atmosphere are just as important – perhaps more so in a world of chain restaurants and trendy but short-lived upstarts.
Classic restaurants with their smells, flavors, sounds and ambiance connect us to our past – sometimes several generations back – in ways that newer establishments simply can’t. That’s the magic of classic dining.
Go forth and enjoy!