Dining Down Memory Lane: 20 Classic Restaurants from the 1990s We'll Never Forget

By Jack Ripley | May 8, 2024

Roy Rogers

For every McDonald's or Subway, there were a few restaurants that weren't quite as successful. Though some made a big splash when they first arrived, they fizzled out as times - and customer tastes – changed. Embark on a nostalgic journey through time as we reminisce about the beloved eateries that defined the dining scene of the '90s. If you can still remember when "Seinfeld" and "Friends" ruled Thursday nights and renting videos at Blockbuster was king, join us on a look back at the forgotten restaurants of the 1990s that we still miss.


test article image

Roy Rogers is one of the only restaurants from the '90s that experienced success long before that decade. Named for the "King of the Cowboys," the chain launched in 1967 as RoBee's Roast Beef, an unfortunate name that only lasted for a few years. The owners partnered with Rogers to use his name and likeness in a chain of roast beef restaurants that would compete with Arby's.

The biggest thing most diners remember about Roy Rogers restaurants was its “fixings bag.” Once you ordered, you grabbed your sandwich and headed to the bar to add all the toppings you wanted. To keep up with the times, the chain slowly shifted its focus from buildings shaped like wagons to modern structures. Though you might think Roy Rogers is a thing of the past, there are still more than 40 locations in Maryland, Pennsylvania, and other states.

Planet Hollywood

test article image

Imagine seeing Madonna's iconic bustier or Rocky's boxing gloves just feet away from your table. Those of us who had the chance to dine in a Planet Hollywood location had this experience. Planet Hollywood was essentially what happens when you combine a Hollywood museum with a restaurant. Bruce Willis, Sylvester Stallone, and Arnold Schwarzenegger were among the early investors. They even showed up to unveil new locations and donated some of their costumes and film memorabilia.

Planet Hollywood was more than just a restaurant, though. Many people came just for the souvenirs, which they bought from the on-site stores. Just like the Hard Rock Café, Planet Hollywood offered shirts, jackets, glasses, and other souvenirs. Most featured the chain's blue planet logo on the front, along with the city's name. While there were dozens of Planet Hollywood locations in the '90s, the chain is down to just three today.