Journey Back in Time at Chicago’s Oldest Restaurants

Antique dotprinted photograph of painting: Formal dinner. Historic restaurants in Chicago concept.

Historic restaurants serve up plenty of atmosphere and history along with delicious food. If you would like to journey back in time while enjoying a delicious meal, then don’t miss visiting Chicago’s oldest restaurants:

Walnut Room

A Chicago tradition since 1905, the Walnut Room was the first ever department store restaurant. Found inside Macy’s on State Street, its elegant dining room features Austrian chandeliers, Circassian wood paneling, and a towering fountain. The restaurant offers friendly service, and it’s a great place to take a break from shopping. Offerings include oven-baked meatloaf, caramelized Alaskan salmon, and Wisconsin Asiago-crusted chicken. 


Called the “Best Italian on State Street, Pompei has served authentic Italian cuisine for more than four generations. The Pompei family opened the eatery as a bakery in 1909. At the time, they only made bread and cheese pizza and lived above the business. Pompei is now a full-service restaurant where the service is always friendly, and the meals are made from fresh ingredients. Choices include gnocchi, meat lasagna, and broccoli fettuccini Alfredo. Diners with a sweet tooth don’t want to miss a slice of the tiramisu. 

Green Door Tavern

At the Green Door Tavern, the motto is “Leave Your Prohibitions at the Door.” It was established in 1921, and the green door identified the tavern as a speakeasy during Prohibition. Today, it’s one of the only authentic speakeasies remaining in Chicago. The cozy dining area features wooden walls covered with memorabilia from days long past. The friendly staff strives to make everyone’s visit memorable, and they welcome locals as well as guests from around the world. Try a burger such as The Bootlegger, The Legend, or The Feature. 

If you would like to live near these restaurants and other fabulous eateries, please contact our leasing staff. They’d love to give you a tour so you can see firsthand all Catalyst Apartments has to offer. 

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