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Chicago's Oldest Restaurants

Kad Feb 17, 2002 09:20 PM

I understand the Berghoff is Chicago's oldest restaurant and it has kept its old charm with its old decor. I enjoy eating at old restaurants that have'nt changed much through the years. Can someone tell me other restaurants that have been in existance for many years and you recommend to dine at, from cheap eats to fine dining!!!!! Thanks

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  1. s
    Sleepy Adam RE: Kad Feb 17, 2002 09:37 PM

    Gene & Georgetti's

    It's a steakhouse, but my favorite dish is the "garbage salad". Search Chowhound for reviews of it.


    1. c
      Cuthbert RE: Kad Feb 18, 2002 06:19 PM

      Check Bigg's at Dearborn and Elm. Late Victorian manse,was in the same family for many years but changed owner in the last 5 years or so. Higher-end place.

      The Drake Hotel comes to mind also. Cape Cod Room and Oak Terrace: same places as when I was a child (1950's), although I think the Oak Terrace, with big windows overlooking Oak Street Beach, was called the Walnut Room back then. Coq d' Or is a basically a bar, it's pretty dark, and the menu is abbreviated, but it all comes from the same kitchen. The last one in the hotel is the Club International. You have to be a member. Not really old, since I remember when it was an antique dealer's showroom. But it's a really nice room overlooking Walton and Michigan on the second floor, and the standard of service is superb. Prices are higher, and guests get the un-priced menus.

      2 Replies
      1. re: Cuthbert
        Paulette RE: Cuthbert Feb 19, 2002 09:42 AM

        The Walnut Room is in the State Street Marshall Fields and like some of the others it has been there eons. I went as a child and remember making a clean plate so that I could see the picture. Also dessert was a clown ice cream cone. I took my children there for lunch and am now going with my grandchildren. The menu hasn't changed much but the prices sure have. It is not a cheap eats.

        1. re: Cuthbert
          Querencia RE: Cuthbert May 27, 2014 04:40 PM

          This post is 12 years old. Biggs went out of business years ago and was followed by Il Mulino, which also went out of business, and the house has been sitting vacant for more than a year. Its stables building is Table 52, which seems to be doing OK.

        2. j
          j3s RE: Kad Feb 19, 2002 04:31 PM

          file this one under cheap eats, since they serve food but it's more of an ice cream parlor: margie's candies. they haven't really changed much since it opened, what, 80 years ago?

          if you go, they have copies of an article laying around that tells the history of the place: how the beatles ate there, how it got its name, and that they still make the same high-butterfat content ice cream that they've always made. my fave dish there is the turtle sundae.

          1960 n. western
          chicago, il

          Link: http://centerstage.net/restaurants/ma...

          1. s
            Sweet Willie RE: Kad Feb 19, 2002 09:20 PM

            A long time ago, my grandpap used to take me to Binyons and Jimmy Wongs. Not sure about Jimmy Wongs, but I believe Binyons is still around.

            As a kid I liked the turtle soup at Binyons.

            And of course a very kind asian man (did not have any in my world then) as a kid was the lock for me at Jimmy Wongs.

            4 Replies
            1. re: Sweet Willie
              Wladek RE: Sweet Willie Feb 19, 2002 09:28 PM

              Was'nt Binyons on Plymouth Court just South of Jackson?
              If that is the Binyons that is talked about in Chowhound Chicago, I beleive it has been under remodeling for many years and last time I drove by Binyons there was a for sale sign in the window.

              1. re: Wladek
                el panzone RE: Wladek Feb 22, 2002 05:03 PM

                binyon closed, had best turtle soup!

                1. re: Wladek
                  Latina RE: Wladek Jul 3, 2009 09:42 AM

                  Its now a fabulous place called the Plymouth, it has a down bar, main floor and rooftop bar its really cool.

                2. re: Sweet Willie
                  Phat eats RE: Sweet Willie Feb 28, 2002 04:49 PM

                  Sweet Willie,

                  Jimmy Wong sold all his restaurants in the late 1980s. The Jimmy Wong's over on Wabash was operated under his name but by a different owner until 1997, and Jimmy died last July.

                  What a lot of people don't know about him was that he was a pivotal player in creating the "new chinatown" area over around Argyle.

                3. b
                  biga290 RE: Kad Jul 28, 2009 09:42 AM

                  italian Village in the loop has been around forever. The decor is everything. Food is not terrible but that is not what you are going for.

                  1. r
                    RosalieD RE: Kad May 26, 2014 10:17 AM

                    For ethnic restaurants: Berghoff 1887; Red Star Inn 1899; Como Inn 1924; Italian Village 1927: Joe Pierce's deli about 1935 (owner Leonard Pierce); Jimmy Wong's Chinese restaurants 1950's; Pekin Chinese House 1950's; Café de Paris prior to 1961 when I ate there!

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