New restaurants seem to spring up almost every day, bringing a variety of food to our home state. But Hoosiers know that the true test of any restaurant is the test of time. In fact, Indiana has a huge selection of restaurants that have been in business for several decades. If you’re looking for top quality food and a long standing reputation, look no further than these nine historic restaurants.
1. The Log Inn
Recognized as the official oldest restaurant in all of Indiana, the Log Inn has been in business since 1825. Plus, even Abe Lincoln himself dined at the Log Inn in Haubstadt in the same log room that you can dine in today. This family style restaurant is worth checking out for all of its rich history and great food.
2. The Rathskeller
The oldest restaurant in Indianapolis, the Rathskeller, has been serving traditional German cuisine since 1894. Interestingly enough, this gorgeously designed building is part of the Athenaeum, designed by Bernard Vonnegut, writer Kurt Vonnegut’s grandfather. For great beer, good food, and an amazing party venue, be sure to check out this historic restaurant.
3. The Broadway Hotel & Tavern
As Indiana’s oldest hotel & tavern (founded in 1834), you know Broadway has to be good. Located in the charming city of Madison, this fine dining restaurant offers a historic, Victorian ambiance that helps transport guests into the past.
4. The Nashville House
As Brown County’s historic restaurant, the Nashville House has been feeding weary travelers since 1859. Their rustic, old world décor and atmosphere has made them famous, along with their highly rated slow roasted turkey, cured ham, and fried chicken. Give them a try the next time you’re passing through.
5. St. James Restaurant
Established in 1878, St. James in Avillia, IN is a restaurant renowned for their steaks, chicken, and soups. They are considered the oldest restaurant in Northern Indiana and have been rated the best restaurant in the county for American cuisine. Stop in to find out what all the fuss is about!
This Columbus based local ice cream parlor and diner has been in business since 1900. Now visited for its fantastic, old world décor and ice cream parlor museum and collectibles, Zaharakos is still serving some of the best ice cream and food around.
7. St. Elmo's Steakhouse
This highly rated steakhouse has more going for them than just a superb menu and fantastic recipes. St. Elmo’s is actually Indiana’s oldest steakhouse, having first opened its doors in 1902. That means for more than 100 years, this steakhouse has been serving the best steaks in the area. That’s quite a reputation!
8. Old Style Inn
Opened in 1932, the Old Style Inn is considered one of the finest dining establishments in Valparaiso, Indiana. A local favorite for residents and college students, some even claim this building is haunted. The owner insists that the spirits are all friendly.
9. Old Mill Restaurant
This Evansville staple has been cooking up homemade, family style dinners since 1936. They focus on old world décor to add to the historical charm of their place and even offer a stunning seafood buffet. With 80 years in the industry, this restaurant is definitely worth the trip.
What do you think of these historical Hoosier restaurants? Are there any other long-standing Indiana restaurants worth checking out?