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The History of Restaurants

Restaurants are on every corner these days, with the choices of what kind of food and vibe you are looking for being endless. It wasn’t always this way though, which is why we’re exploring the history of restaurants in today's article. Though many believe that the first restaurants came from France, the first ones actually originated in the Song Dynasty in the 1100s. Tradesmen would travel between cities and were often unfamiliar with the foods of the different places, so locals opened restaurants to accommodate the travellers with foods that they were used to. These restaurants were, at times, very sophisticated and included high-end food and performance from waiters. Restaurants and tea houses also appeared in Japan in the 1500s, which also had distinct aesthetics and experiences. The development of restaurants in the West came much later, with the opening of broth restaurants in Paris. These restaurants served bouillon and gained much popularity as they were able to let people who didn’t have such high status still enjoy meals other than brown bread and other ‘peasant foods’. After the French Revolutions, these establishments slowly expanded their menus and started resembling what modern-day restaurants look like. In America, Delmonico’s claims to be the first restaurant, which opened its Manhattan doors in 1837, and provided a luxurious dining experience to those who visited it. These restaurants shaped the ones we have today and originated the experience of a fun night out enjoying delicious food!


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