Discover the 18 Oldest Restaurants in Boston

culinary traditions, heritage, historic restaurants

18 Oldest Restaurants in Boston

Boston is a city steeped in history, and its dining scene reflects that rich heritage. From eateries that have been serving patrons since the 18th century to iconic pizza joints and ice cream parlors, Boston offers a plethora of options for food enthusiasts looking to experience the city’s culinary traditions. Let’s take a closer look at some of the oldest and most beloved restaurants in Boston.

1. Warren Tavern

Located in Charlestown, the Warren Tavern has been a local favorite since 1780. This historic establishment is rumored to have hosted famous figures like Paul Revere and George Washington. With its cozy atmosphere and a menu featuring traditional New England dishes, the Warren Tavern is a must-visit for those interested in experiencing Boston’s rich history.

2. Union Oyster House

If you’re a fan of seafood, the Union Oyster House is the place to be. Originally opened in 1826, this iconic restaurant near Faneuil Hall has stood the test of time. Indulge in freshly shucked oysters and hearty New England favorites like baked beans while surrounded by the restaurant’s charming 18th-century design.

3. Parker’s Restaurant

Nestled within the Omni Parker House hotel, Parker’s Restaurant is a true Boston institution. This historic eatery has welcomed famous guests throughout its long history, including John F. Kennedy and Malcolm X. Be sure to try their famous Boston Cream Pie and Parker House Rolls.

4. Yvonne’s

Housed in a building that dates back to 1832, Yvonne’s is a speakeasy-style restaurant with a touch of mystery. Formerly home to the legendary Locke-Ober restaurant, Yvonne’s pays homage to its past with original fixtures and features. Enjoy a debaucherous atmosphere and indulge in their contemporary American cuisine.

5. Amrheins

As the oldest restaurant in South Boston, Amrheins boasts a lineage that dates back to 1890. This grand Victorian building offers classic New England dining and strong cocktails in a cozy, wood-lined interior. Be sure to visit before it potentially becomes another condominium complex.

6. J.J. Foley’s Cafe

A classic haunt that has been around since 1909, J.J. Foley’s Cafe is perfect for those looking for a laid-back atmosphere and delicious comfort food. This family-owned establishment has witnessed a lot of local history and is known for its mouthwatering burgers and chowder.

7. OAK Long Bar & Kitchen

Located within the Fairmont Copley Plaza Hotel, OAK Long Bar & Kitchen has a storied past. Over the years, it has transformed from the Copley Café to the Merry-Go-Round Bar to The Oak Room. Today, guests can enjoy a dining experience inspired by the grandeur of the late 19th century.

8. Woodman’s of Essex

Step back in time at Woodman’s of Essex, a seafood shack that opened in 1914. Known for serving the first fried clams, Woodman’s has been a favorite among locals for over 100 years. Enjoy some of the best New England seafood on the North Shore.

9. S&S Restaurant

The S&S Restaurant in Inman Square has been a beloved establishment since 1919. This Mid-Century Modern diner offers a mix of American and deli-style cuisine, with big plates of pasta and fresh seafood being the highlights of the menu.

10. Pizzeria Regina

Regina lays claim as Boston’s oldest pizzeria, dating back to 1926. This North End spot is known for its brick-oven, thin-crust pizza, made with freshly made dough. A visit to Pizzeria Regina is a must for any pizza lover.

11. Caffe Vittoria

For a taste of Italy in Boston, head to Caffe Vittoria. This Italian café opened its doors in 1929 and offers expertly brewed espressos, cannoli, and gelato. The warm and welcoming atmosphere will make you feel right at home.

12. Santarpio’s

If you’re craving pizza, look no further than Santarpio’s in East Boston. This family-run pizzeria has been serving up delicious pies since the 1930s. Their unique style of putting toppings under the sauce creates a flavor-packed pizza that keeps locals and tourists coming back for more.

13. South Street Diner

A true Boston landmark, the South Street Diner has been feeding hungry patrons since the 1940s. Open 24/7, this retro-cool diner is the perfect spot to indulge in American comfort food and milkshakes whenever the craving strikes.

14. James Hook & Co

Since 1925, James Hook & Co has been a go-to spot for fresh seafood on the Boston waterfront. This family-owned business serves up classic New England dishes like lobster rolls, clam chowder, and whole cooked lobsters in a laid-back atmosphere.

15. J.J. Foley’s Bar & Grille

Located on Kingston Street, J.J. Foley’s Bar & Grille is a popular spot for after-work drinks and casual dining. This lively establishment has been serving the Financial District crowd since 1959 and offers a menu featuring burgers, hot dogs, and sandwiches.

16. Cantina Italiana

If you’re in the mood for Italian cuisine, head to Cantina Italiana in the North End. Open since 1931, this restaurant offers classic American-Italian dishes like fettuccine alla carbonara and chicken parmigiana in a friendly and welcoming atmosphere.

17. Cabot’s Ice Cream

Since 1969, Cabot’s Ice Cream has been delighting locals with its delicious frozen treats. This family-friendly spot serves up a variety of flavors and toppings, making it the perfect place to satisfy your sweet tooth.

18. Harvest

For a fine dining experience, look no further than Harvest. Opened in 1975, this restaurant has trained many celebrated chefs and remains a top dining destination in Cambridge. Whether you’re dining in their interior courtyard or cozying up by the fireplace, Harvest offers a memorable culinary experience.

These are just a few of the oldest restaurants in Boston that have stood the test of time. Whether you’re a history buff or a foodie looking to indulge in classic New England cuisine, these establishments offer a taste of Boston’s rich culinary heritage.

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