The historic Ariston signs are down being restored. Join us when we Relight the Signs Saturday, May 4th just before sunset (8:05 pm central time). Music, vintage cars, light refreshments, guest speakers, all leading up to throwing the switch. Free outdoor event. Open to the public. Join us May 4th at the Ariston Cafe as we kick off the Route 66 travel season.

The Ariston Cafe

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Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, &
Sunday: 11:00 a.m. - 8:00 p.m. 

Friday - Saturday: 11:00 a.m. - 9:00 p.m.

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About Ariston Cafe

The Ariston Cafe is a near-century-old piece of history that technically predates Route 66 as it was built on the road's predecessor, Route 4. We were established in 1924 and moved to Route 66 in 1935, less than 10 years after the highway opened. We're proud to call Litchfield, Illinois, our home, and to share in the rich history of one of the most famous stretches of asphalt in the country. 


Our Home, Litchfield

Litchfield lies tucked away in fields of corn, soybeans, wheat crops thanks to a largely agricultural economy. The town is more than 150 years old and owes its life to the luck of the draw. When the time came for a railroad to come through the area from St. Louis and Alton, the village of Hardinsburg hoped for the rail to pass through. They lost, but the residents of the town just two miles southwest had hedged their bets and built everything on skids with wheels. When the loss of the railroad became certain, they hooked everything to teams of oxen and dragged it all to Litchfield.

Despite the loss in Hardinsburg, the new village of Litchfield prospered and continues to do so today. The city is home to a variety of manufacturers that provide employment, with most factories housed in the first of two industrial parks. A second is ready for occupancy and located near us on Old Route 66. Sports lovers and active people can find many recreational facilities, and there's even a 1500 acre lake, named for Mayor Lewis Yaeger, with 45 miles of shoreline and a 500-acre park with recreational and camping facilities.

The city is proud of its educational system and has four new schools along with the Lincoln Land Community College Southern Region. We're also home to St. Francis Hospital, a 135-bed facility staffed by doctors and specialists from the surrounding areas. The emergency room is staffed around the clock. Today, Litchfield continues to grow and has new retail stores and restaurants along the western corridor.

Vintage Ariston Sign

Vintage Photograph of the Ariston Cafe

Stop In Today

Not quite hidden among all the new bustle of Litchfield, you'll find the Ariston Cafe. Here, nearly a century after first opening, we still proudly sell a range of favorites from American, Southern, Greek, and Italian cooking styles. From the classic hamburger to delicious steaks, and from simple spaghetti to Athenian classics, there's a lot to love about Ariston Cafe. Stop in today and see what earned our spot in the Route 66 Hall of Fame!


Testimonials

"If you find yourself traveling on I-55 between St. Louis and Chicago - Ariston is an excellent diner to take a break from the road to have lunch or dinner. We had the hamburgers and desserts, and they both very good." Kalyan P.

"The Ariston Cafe is more than an excellent place for lunch or dinner, it's an institution." Author Tom Snyder Founder & Director of the U.S. Route 66 Association