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A nut-topped brownie on a square plastic dish on a wooden table, a ribbon under the dish reads Palmer House A Hilton Hotel
Taste & Sip, Travel

Palmer House Chicago: Home of the Legendary Brownie

You’ve probably been eating Brownies all your life. These chewy, chocolate-y confections are a classic American dessert staple. But you may not know they originated at the historic Palmer House, A Hilton Hotel, in downtown Chicago.

It was Bertha Palmer, wife of hotelier Potter Palmer, who charged the hotel’s pastry chef to create something different and amazing for the 1893 Columbian Exposition in Chicago. As then-president of the Board of Lady Managers, she wanted a little sweet that wasn’t messy and could be packed in box lunches for people enjoying the fair. The result was the brownie!

Here’s another fun fact: The first written reference to “brownie” in America appears in the 1898 Sears Roebuck catalog, which was published in Chicago.

Though the recipe is well over a century old, Bertha’s legendary brownie is still served at the Palmer House, A Hilton Hotel, in Chicago today.

Find the exact recipe for the Palmer House Hilton Brownie and other delicious creations here:

Aerial view of a square nut-topped brownie on a small clear plate wrapped in plastic wrap and tied with black ribbon
Bertha’s Famous Brownie is still on the menu at the Palmer House Hilton in Chicago.

The Palmer House, A Hilton Hotel, is a member of  Historic Hotels of America.

Palmer House, A Hilton Hotel

17 W. Monroe St.

Chicago, IL 60603


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