There’s nothing quite like feeling you’re getting a historic experience with your meal, and sometimes that can be hard to come by in a place that only received statehood in 1912. While for some places that means imitating history through acting and a themed dining experience, these restaurants offer the real deal. Check out these historic Arizona restaurants that have been operating even since Arizona’s territorial days:
1. Palace Restaurant & Saloon, Prescott, 1877
Holy moly, historic dining in Arizona doesn't get much older than this. The original building dated to 1877 and was a favorite haunt for people like Wyatt Earp and his crew before they relocated to Tombstone. The building was destroyed in a fire, but not before patrons carried their precious mahogany bar to safety and continued drinking as the fire raged on. The building was reopened in 1901 to what I can only assume was much celebration.
Address: 120 South Montezuma Street, Prescott.
2. El Charro, Tucson, 1922
Supposedly the birth place of the chimichanga, this family-owned restaurant opened in 1922 and has been serving up delicious Mexican food ever since.
Address: 311 North Court Avenue, Tucson.
3. Mormon Lake Lodge Steakhouse, Mormon Lake, 1924
Originally built in 1924, the lodge here was leveled after a fire in July of 1974. The reason it makes this list is because of the community's persistence in making sure their favorite eatery continued to operate—that same year locals volunteered to rebuild the lodge and steakhouse in just two months. It has continued operating since.
Address: 1991 South Mormon Lake Road, Mormon Lake.
4. Rock Springs Cafe, Rock Springs, 1924
If you're craving a slice of legendary pie, this nearly century-old haunt is the place to get some. The original commercial development here began in 1918 under canvas-covered tents, but in 1924, the new owner built the general store, hotel and saloon that people know today.
Address: 35769 South Old Black Canyon Highway, Rock Springs.
5. Charlie Clark's Steakhouse, Pinetop-Lakeside, 1938
Nestled in the pines of the White Mountains, Charlie Clark's also happens to be one of the oldest steakhouses in Arizona. During the Prohibition, it originally operated as a speakeasy that served 160 proof corn whiskey. In 1938, the location was sold to Charlie Clark who transformed it into a steakhouse.
Address: 1701 East White Mountain Boulevard, Pinetop.
6. Lute's Casino, Yuma, 1940
This eclectic restaurant has been serving meals to Yumans for decades, but before that the building was a commercial enterprise at the turn of the century with an investment company, general store and small hotel located inside. Dates as to when the Lutes family took over the operation vary, but most say it was in 1940 when it transformed from a pool hall to a popular restaurant.
Address: 221 South Main Street, Yuma.
7. The Stockyards, Phoenix, 1947
The Stockyards Restaurant opened in 1947 and quickly became a local favorite for politicians and locals looking for a more formal dining experience. Although Arizona's cattle industry has changed over the decades, this place continues to serve a meal worth savoring.
Address: 5009 East Washington Street, Phoenix.
8. Durant's, Phoenix, 1950
Durant's has offered steaks and a midcentury dining experience to a wide range of diners—including some pretty famous names, such as Joe DiMaggio—ever since its opening in 1950.
Address: 2611 North Central Avenue, Phoenix.
What are some other historic Arizona restaurants you think should have made this list? Don’t forget to share your thoughts here or on our Facebook fan page!