Here’s a list offering the oldest restaurant in each state. I’m saving it myself as a travel resource. I’ve been to eight of them, and have a write-up of The Bright Star in Bessemer, Alabama. Eating at all 50 would be a nice project. I certainly plan to eat at The Cattlemens’ Steakhouse in Oklahoma City again when we do our state capital walk on Oklahoma, and to try others in, near, or on the way to other capitals, beaches, mountains, warm places, cool places, and friends as travel permits.
For those interested in the oldest restaurant in each of the colonies (areas whose residents are taxed by the US, but are deprived of voting representation in congress) the supposed oldest restaurant in DC is The Old Ebbitt Grill. Actually it is a very new Ebbitt Grill, the original, historically significant restaurant and building having been sacrificed to a developer, who reflexively tore it down; calling it the oldest once the history has been eliminated is typical of Washington. Other old restaurants in DC (the Occidental was vacant for a long time) are listed here, and you really should get a half-smoke with chili at Ben’s Chili Bowl, but not more than once a year.
La Mallorquina in San Juan, Puerto Rico, is the oldest restaurant in Puerto Rico. I’m not sure about the other colonies. If you know about the oldest restaurant in the US Virgin Islands, Guam, American Samoa, or the Northern Marianas, please post a comment.