by Taetske | 12:03 pm
(Last Updated On: August 19, 2020)

The Oldest Restaurant in the World according to the Guinness Book of Records

 

Entrance of the restaurant

Michael in front of the restaurant

 

When I heard about the oldest Restaurant in the world and that it is in Madrid I knew I had to go there the next time I would visit the capital of Spain. You now might think what does a post on a restaurant do on a health site, but as I have been writing quite a bit about food and the effects it has on our body, I had to investigate this. I was not disappointed as the food is good and made with honest ingredients, like in old times.

 

A must have guide

When going on a holiday, be it only for a few days it is a good idea to read about the place you plan to visit. Especially in the case, like visiting the big city of Madrid. It has so much to offer, it would be a shame to miss out on the things you are interested in.

Lonely Planet Madrid gives you a view on what to see, what to skip, and the hidden discoveries you might make. This guide has coloured maps and many images. It tells you how to get to places of interest. Where to sleep, eat, and shop spending little or a lot. Not to forget information on history, art, cinema, music, dance, cuisine, and more. Do not go to Madrid without this helpful guide.

 

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The history of Restaurant Botin

Restaurante Botin was founded in 1725 and from that time onwards the fire in the oven which was used for roasting never went out.  300 years ago it started off being a small inn where the muleteers and traders came to eat and rest. Its situation was close to the Plaza Mayor–Main Square in which the surrounding streets had a multitude of handicraft workshops and most of the other shops of old Madrid were assembled.

At the end of the 16th century, in the street called “Cuchilleros” meaning Cutler, it got its name from the many workshops being there, was a small one-floor house with a cellar. This house, at the back of it, overlooked the walls of Madrid. It did not take long for this small house to be displaced by a new building, the one which still exists until today.

In 1590, against a payment of 150 Ducats, a license was obtained to have so-called living-in guests. This can be proven in the first one of a long list of title deed documents which show that from these historic times onwards it was being in function as a restaurant or inn.

It is assumed that the cellar which is now used as part of the restaurant may be the original one which was used as a foundation for the new building.

In 1725, the ground floor was restored, and the arches were closed. In the past the oven was the main part of a house, it was used for roasting meats. The wood of the evergreen oak being used for this process giving the meat a special taste.

Around 1860, the quest rooms converted into flats and the ground floor redecorated served as a confectioner’s shop. Still, the already famous roasted meat dishes continued being served.

 

the street to the restaurant

The street to the restaurant

 

Madrid, Capital of Spain

We arrived in Madrid during a heatwave. It was well over 40 C, at least 10 C warmer than on the Costa del Sol where I live. Quite sometime before our trip we had made a reservation. Just as well as the restaurant was fully booked, but due to a cancellation we got squeezed in at 21.30.

The street is really unusual, it slopes down and is winding. When you look up at the tall buildings, they seem to undulate. It gave a strange impression, I must say. This photo was taken before our visit to the restaurant, so it was not the wine. We started making a photo of the facade and then were led in by doorkeepers.

 

Ham slicing in the restaurant

Ham slicing in the restaurant

 

Ham slicing is an Art

In the entrance got a nice picture of an employee cutting thin slices of ham. In the background you can see those beautiful old tiles. Ham slicing is taken very seriously in Spain. There are famous competitions on who makes the best and thinnest cuts. Winning such competition means prestige for the person.

 

steep entrance to the wine cellar

Steep entrance to the wine cellar

 

Our Dinner with a view on the Wine-cellar

The whole place was packed with people, it was quite lively and one could hear a lot of different languages. Many rooms and tight passages, I must say I admire the waiters who managed to bring the food without spilling.

We were seated in the cellar, the oldest part. High vaulted ceilings and walls, all made of small stones with a perfect view of a narrow and steep staircase leading to the wine cellar.

We started with the famous cold summer soup Gazpacho, which was very good, the best thing to eat on a hot evening. In the summer, I make it often here at home. You can find a great gazpacho recipe here.  A nice house wine together with a roasted lamb leg, the meat was very tasty and juicy, really nice. We did not have dessert as the meal was filling enough.

 

Gazpacho, such a healthy cold soup

Gazpacho, such healthy cold soup.

 

Conclusion

Indeed, a very nice experience because of the atmosphere of these 300-year-old walls who seemed to be telling some exciting stories from the past, but perhaps it was the heat and the wine, who knows.

 

Dinner in the oldest restaurant in the world

We are having dinner at the oldest restaurant in the world

 

Sitting in Restaurante Botin, we had a good time in this interesting place. It was already late when we left, but the city was far away from being asleep. Locals were mingling with foreign visitors and even if it was close to midnight little children were still playing in the street.

 

Before you leave, you might care to visit my page Recommendations. It is a collection of things I find interesting.

 

Source: Restaurant Botin and My Life

Photo Source: Private Photos

 

Every year we hope to make a trip to the sweetest town in Spain. Estepa is dedicating quite a big part of the year to making the elaborate Christmas sweets. Perhaps you like to read about this very sweet trip.

Would You Like To See Rome Made Of Chocolate?

Comments

Yashmin

Dear Taetske ,

Sounds really interesting. Will keep that in mind , when I go to Madrid next.
Lovely photos. Thank you for sharing you lovely experience in Madrid.

Jun 29.2017 | 03:14 pm

    Taetske

    Good afternoon Yasmin,

    Thank you for visiting my website. Yes, this visit to the oldest Restaurant in the world was a real nice experience. It is worth a visit I can assure you.

    Regards, Taetske

    Jun 29.2017 | 04:01 pm

Johann H Ragnarsson

I have only been once in Madrid, want to go there again, but as I was in January, I would like to be there in the summer time too.
I didn´t know about this restaurant which is sad because I like old restaurants with histories and traditions a lot. Was even close to Plaza Mayor.
So I will put this place on my bucket list!

Jul 10.2017 | 02:08 am

    Taetske

    Good Morning Johann,

    Madrid is a lovely city to start with. We went to Madrid because of My Dutch passport renewal. Just during our trip of 4 days we got in the heatwave of 40 C, I can tell you it was really sticky. May or September are in general cooler months. If you plan to visit this restaurant take care to make a reservation well in advance as they are normally fully booked. It for sure is worth a visit.
    Thank you for visiting my website.

    Regards, Taetske

    Jul 10.2017 | 06:15 am

Thanks for sharing this, Linda

Taetske, What a delightful and intriguing sounding place, especially to have dinner in the cellar. If only those walls could talk.

Nov 07.2017 | 01:35 pm

    Taetske

    Good afternoon Linda,

    Thank you for visiting my website. This visit to the oldest restaurant was really special. Michael and I we both enjoyed it. You are right if only those walls could talk. Many exciting stories I am sure. Imagine during 3 centuries how many people were eating there. We might know them because of the history books. I hope you will visit again.

    Regards, Taetske

    Nov 07.2017 | 02:17 pm

Patsy

Hello Taetske,
Thank you for sharing this wonderful occasion. I would have never known this place existed it’s amazing. The history, the renovations and how they keep up with original traditions makes it so special. Your photos are very nice showing what it’s like in this place. Having dinner in the cellar actually sounds romantic and looks beautiful in the last photo. This place would be great for a trip sometime, historic backgrounds have always been of interest to me. I have never had a bucket list but think I will start with visiting Spain being right at the top of it!

Patsy

Nov 07.2017 | 05:30 pm

    Taetske

    Good afternoon Patsy,

    I think Spain is well worth a visit, so many unusual places to visit. This country has a very old history and still, nowadays you will find many examples of those past times. Lovely old towns in beautiful surroundings, I think there is something to suit all tastes.
    This dinner in the oldest restaurant in the world was a very special experience, the food was good but it was the atmosphere which impacted me most. Thank you for visiting my website and you never know we might meet one day in Spain,

    Regards, Taetske

    Nov 07.2017 | 05:50 pm

phranell86

This is a very interesting read. I have heard a lot of Spanish Gazpacho recipe and would really want to give it a try since I’m not planning a trip to Madrid any time soon. It is remarkable that a restaurant founded over 300 years ago is still in existence. It must have something to do with their excellent customer service as well as their delicious dishes. Thanks for sharing your experience, made interesting with the accompanying photos. I’m sure you had a really awesome time. Spain is on my list of top 10 places to visit before I turn 40, and the Restaurante Botin is a must-visit place for me.

Mar 06.2019 | 09:14 pm

    Taetske

    Good Morning Phranell,

    Thank you for your comment on my website. I hope you downloaded your free PDF?

    Spain is a lovely country full of history, gorgeous nature, mountains and beaches. There is something for all tastes and I am sure you will not be bored coming on holiday.

    Madrid is a great city but I like to visit but not to live there. I prefer my farm in the south of Spain, here it is a lot quieter and the air is better.

    Regards, Taetske

    Mar 07.2019 | 07:16 am

Sylvia

Hello Taetske,

This is a wonderful review of the oldest restaurant in the world. I am originally from Europe, Germany, and I know the old parts of any city/town are so beautiful and with so much character, you can’t find this here in North America only in Europe.

Even though I haven’t been to Spain yet, I certainly would love to visit it someday and Madrid is one of the first stops I will go to. I also love good food and love to try out new things and new places and this restaurant is certainly on my list to be experienced.

Thank you for all the great pictures and history, so appreciated. 🙂

Namaste

Sylvia

Mar 06.2019 | 09:31 pm

    Taetske

    Good Morning Sylvia,

    Thank you for visiting my website and leaving a comment. I hope you downloaded your free PDF?

    I have been 3 times to the U.S. In 2016 I traveled for 3 weeks, 3000km and 5 States so I saw a lot and enjoyed it. 

    I know Europe quite well and yes there is this difference, difficult to explain. This coziness from old times you do not have in the U.S.

    The restaurant Botin is original but to be fair there are many places where the food is better and also cheaper. But to visit it during a trip to Madrid is nice as, after all, it is the oldest restaurant in the world.

    Regards, Taetske

    Mar 07.2019 | 07:11 am

Akshay

Hi Taetske, it was an awesome experience in knowing about the world’s oldest restaurant! I was so immersed in reading this content as if I am experiencing all this in real. You must have enjoyed it a lot.

Who doesn’t love a restaurant? Everyone loves it. So this post is a must for everyone to read. And, of course, I’ve to plan to visit this place to have the actual experience, which I can’t wait 🙂

Thanks a lot for sharing this lovely post.

Dec 27.2019 | 07:51 am

    Taetske

    Good afternoon Akshay,

    Thank you for stopping by and for leaving a comment. I hope you downloaded your free PDF? Tulip widget.

    Nice to hear you enjoyed this post. Restaurant Botin is really special because of its age. The atmosphere is better than the food which is understandable. But the food is pretty good too.

    If you should ever come to the south of Spain do not hesitate and contact me. I love to meet the visitors to my website.

    Regards, Taetske

    Dec 27.2019 | 02:41 pm

vesna7777

I’ve enjoyed every word in this post 🙂 Such an interesting topic you choose. It’s easy to visualize this place with its old-time vibe, based on your description.

Madrid is among the top 10 cities I would like to visit within the next few years, as well as Barcelona and Seville. Thank you for sharing this lovely post (I am also hungry after reading it :-D)
Cheers!

Dec 27.2019 | 08:08 am

    Taetske

    Good afternoon Vesna,

    If you make it to the south of Spain come and say hello. Spain is a great country with so many great places to see.

    This restaurant is well worth a visit if those walls could talk we would get to hear amazing stories.

    Thank you for leaving a comment on my website. I hope you downloaded your free PDF? Tulip widget.

    Regards, Taetske

    Dec 27.2019 | 02:48 pm

Mike Adkins

Hi Taetske, I loved reading your post about this fabulous old restaurant. Lovely restaurants are always good, but when they are twinned with great history they make for a wonderful lasting memory. The restaurant looks amazing and if the walls could talk, there would be some great stories to listen to.

Spanish food is lovely, I don’t eat farmed meat anymore but I love Spanish seafood and soups and really enjoy wild game, one of my most memorable Spanish dishes was wild rabbit cooked hunters style in Almonds and cloves. It was sensational.

To see your images of your trip makes me long for the lovely warm weather of Spain, I used to work for a company that had a factory in Mercia, when we visited every couple of years we always sat down at the restaurant tables at least 21.00 hours due to the heat, there was something really enjoyable and very different (compared to the UK) about eating and drinking so late – love it!

Thanks again for the uplifting post  – Mike

Aug 19.2020 | 03:12 pm

    Taetske

    Good morning, Mike,

    Nice to hear you liked my post. Not too far away from where I live, is an old roadside restaurant where they serve a similar dish you describe. Wild rabbit with herbs. It is quite a while ago I visited, but I remember the taste very well.

    I have been living in Spain since 1975, and here in the south on my little farm since 1981. To visit a big city like Madrid is an event, a real change from normal life. Also here in my village which is not far from Malaga people are out on the street till late at night. Eating ice cream on the street at midnight is not unusual. Now, because of Covid-19 all nightlife has shut down.

    Thank you for your comment on my website. I hope you downloaded your free PDF? Tulip widget.

    Regards, Taetske

    Aug 20.2020 | 06:48 am

Miselis

I have friends in Madrid, and I’ve never heard of Botin Restaurant. I love History; of any kind. So it was very interesting reading your article.

It is normal to stay late eating and talking in Spain. No surprise the children were still on the street. 

I will absolutely go to  Botin with my friends. Thanks for this fascinating facts about the restaurant.

Aug 19.2020 | 03:27 pm

    Taetske

    Good morning,Miselis,

    Thank you for stopping by and for your comment. I hope you downloaded your free PDF? Tulip widget.

    Make a reservation well in advance as they are always fully booked. At the moment with Covid-19 there might be restrictions, of course. Spanish life is quite different from Nordic countries, but over the years I have adapted very well. I am really happy living in Spain.

    Regards, Taetske 

    Aug 20.2020 | 06:55 am

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