A road trip down famous Route 66 wouldn't be complete without a nostalgic meal at the Ariston Café of Litchfield. Known as the longest-operating restaurant along entire Route 66, the Ariston has been a staple of classic Americana on the Mother Road since 1924. Starting in Carlinville, the original Ariston was built by Pete Adam, a burgeoning restaurateur.
After the famous highway was realigned further east in 1930, the Ariston moved with it to a new location in Litchfield, changed its name to the Ariston Café, and partnered with another restauranteur, Tom Cokinos. The new location, started on April, 4, 1935 and finished July, 5, 1935, was built by contractor Henry A. Vasel. The utilitarian design is most recognized by its curved parapet wall on the front façade and its iconic neon signs above the door. Hints of art deco design are reflected in the cafe's interior.
Long serving American diner fare, the Ariston specializes in Southern, Italian, and Greek menu items and is well known for their brunch options and breaded pork tenderloin. Guests can find friendly home-town service, delicious cooking made-to-order, and old-school vibes that echo with the spirit of Route 66. On May, 5, 2006, the Ariston Café was honored to be added to the U.S. National Register of Historic Places.