History of Restaurants

Timeline created by carterem
In History
  • A La Petit Chaise - Paris

    A La Petit Chaise - Paris
    Yet another restaurant claiming to be the oldest in Paris, La Petit Chaise was originally the site of a wine merchant. As this during the time of the guilds, prior to Boulangers court case win to be able to sell Sheeps foot soup, this was also not likely a true restaurant at the time. However, food was given away with the wines sold by the proprietor, Georges Rameau; an early attempt to provide the most hospitable and favourable service in support of sales.
  • Before Boulanger - Ancient and Medieval Times

    Before Boulanger - Ancient and Medieval Times
    Prior to the development of restaurants as we know them, most chefs were employed privately by the aristocracy and prepared feasts for private affairs. Taverns and inns would serve as a communal eating option, offering a single house meal option (take it or leave it), and commoners sought individual food items from specialist producers (bakers, butchers, charcuterers, patissiers) and would reheat them over the fire as proper kitchens were rare. Food was an essential item and protected livelihood
  • Restaurante Sobrino de Botín opens as an Inn - Madrid

    Restaurante Sobrino de Botín opens as an Inn - Madrid
    Restaurante Sobrino de Botín in Madrid, now lauded as the world's oldest restaurant, first opens - though at that time, it was an Inn, and not a restaurant as we now know it, due to bans on selling meats, wines and baked goods. This was lifted in the late 18th century (date unconfirmed)
  • The world's first "Restaurant" - Paris

    The world's first "Restaurant" - Paris
    An unknown man named Monsieur Boulanger is credited with opening the first iteration of what we would now consider a 'restaurant'. Coming from the French 'restaurer', 'to restore'. He set up a soup shop as this was unmoderated by the guilds of the time, and is famously reported to have fought and won a court case to be allowed to sell soup with meat in it, despite not being in the caterers guild. The 'restorative broths' were also, to some degree, the worlds first health food craze.
  • La Grande Taverne de Londres Founded - Paris

    La Grande Taverne de Londres Founded - Paris
    More sophisticated than Boulanger's stall, the first "real" restaurant - again in Paris - is credited to Antoine Beauvilliers, an ex royal chef and later the auther of L'Art de Cuisinier seemingly one of the first books outlining hospitality. This restaurant for the first time brings the elite food of the wealthy, with its silverware, tablecloths and trappings, to the middle class and average citizen. It also introduced the menu and the concept of dining choice.
  • The French Revolution

    During 1789 the French Revolution erupted - though designed to overthrow political exploitation of the lower classes, the two key results which birthed the restaurant industry were that 1) a host of private chefs suddenly found themselves jobless, and 2) the guild system which had tightly controlled who could sell what items, was eventually dissolved.
  • Spanish Ban on Selling Meat and Wine Lifted

    Spanish Ban on Selling Meat and Wine Lifted
    In the "Late 18th Century", probably around the same time as the French, the ban on selling meat and other foodstuffs is lifted in Spain, allowing the Restaurant Botin to become a true restaurant. Prior to this, the Inn could only cook what the travellers brought in with them, as they would otherwise be seen to potentially damage the business of the food-tradesmen (just as in Paris).
  • Rule's Restaurant - London

    Rule's Restaurant - London
    The oldest restaurant in London is still in operation, following the French revolution it opened up, specialising in Game cooking. It still owns a private game hunting estate (as early aristocrats would have owned) from which it is able to source produce for this traditional cooking style. The focus on game seems to continue the European motive of bringing the food of the wealthy to the commoners.
  • Union Oyster House - Boston

    Union Oyster House - Boston
    Union Oyster House is the oldest continuous service restaurant in America, interestingly located in a building which prior to it's opening, housed an exiled French monarch. It also claims to be the first place in the USA to use the toothpick. This seems to be the first restaurant specialising in a latest trend of the time (oysters) and to public hype, rather than providing a selection of meals based on seasonal produce
  • Delmonico's - New York

    Delmonico's - New York
    The first white-tablecloth, fine-dining establishment in America, Delmonico's is also credited with the first a la carte menu (rather than table d'hote). Post American revolutionk, this exlusive dining style was not in imitation of an aristocracy but of wealth for wealths sake derived from a free economic market.
  • Tour D'Argent - Paris

    Tour D'Argent - Paris
    The Tour D'Argent claims to be one of the oldest restaurants in the world, and to have been open since 1582. However, historical records do not support this claim, even listing other shops in its place. The first record dates to 1860. Some time in the 1890's, the restaurant's proprietor began a system of offering a numbered certificate to any patron who orders the signature pressed duck, probably the earliest instance of verified social validation of an eating experience.
  • Savoy Restaurant (Kaspars) - London

    Savoy Restaurant (Kaspars) - London
    The Savoy Hotel modernised the hospitality side of toursim, it was the first luxury hotel in Britain taking the quality and elegance to royalty, the rich, and the indulgent common. Auguste Escoffier, one of the early celebrity chefs, created many innovative dishes while at this hotel which have lasted to present day. Evening dress was required to dine - the restaurant was a platform for aspirations and indulgence, as well as as a symbol of the future with creative cuisine and electric lighting.
  • The First Fast Food Restaurant: White Caslte - Kansas

    The First Fast Food Restaurant: White Caslte - Kansas
    White Castle opens in Kansas for the first time, the world's first 'fast food restaurant'. The goal of the founders was purpotedly to change the public perception of the hamburger from being a low quality, side-show food made from offal and offcuts, to a premium product prepared in an open kitchen in a state of cleanliness. Ironically the world's first fast food restaurant had similar motives and methods as the rebirth of 'healthy eating' and fresh produce restaurants in 2000 onwards.
  • The First McDonalds

    The First McDonalds
    1948 and the world's first McDonald's opens, revolutionising the restaurant world with it's assembly line system and paving the way for a host of fast food chains that became global empires. Food for the first time deviates away from merely sustenance, and away from a dedicated craft, and now puts the focus on convenience for a diner with a hectic lifestyle.
  • The French Laundry - Napa Valley

    The French Laundry - Napa Valley
    The French Laundry focuses on the perfection of traditional French cuisine, and is credited by American chefs as one of the most influential restaurants, which by way of it's dedication to the art and precision of cooking, 'legitimised' cooking in America.
  • The Fat Duck - Bray

    The Fat Duck - Bray
    The Fat Duck at the hands of Heston Blumenthal has reinvigorated medieval food showmanship. It seeks to blend culinary art with science, with it's own attached lab for experimentation, and is an excellent example of the 'celebrity chef' craze. The Fat Duck and it's spinoff, Dinner, are infamous around the world for pushing diners boundaries with theatrics, visuals, and unusual flavour combinations. The aspirationso f the royal medieval dining table are revived for a modern audience.
  • Eleven Madison Park - New York

    Eleven Madison Park - New York
    An iconic American restaurant specialising in localisation of cuisine and farm to plate mentality opened in 1998, although it's current chefs did not start working there until 2006. They have been at the helm steering it into it's role as one of America's leading examples of the 'modern, fresh, local, seasonal' ideal. They offer a multi course table d'hote menu only, no a la carte is available.
  • NOMA - Copenhagen

    NOMA - Copenhagen
    NOMA opens in Denmark in 2003, quickly becoming one of the most influential restaurants in the world, becoming world no.1 in 2010. It's focus is on local and traditional food products, and sustainability. The move is away from specialty food and back to seasonal variation. The chef is not just a chef, but an activist, working with farmers, other chefs, and academics. In the growing 'foodie' culture, NOMA is both a destination and an aspiration. They champion farm to plate and kitchen theatre.
  • Momofuku Noodle Bar - New York

    Momofuku Noodle Bar - New York
    David Chang's Momofuku Noodle Bar, inspired by Japanese ramen, is hailed around the world as one of the most influential venues for popularising and normalising Asian cuisine in a trendy Western setting. It has spawned a host of additional outlets, as well as cookbooks, and inspired countless ramen restaurants globally which cater to a Western aesthetic and desire to consume 'traditional' Japanese essential fare. Globalisation is the major hype.