The Oldest Restaurant In The World Is Located In Madrid, Or In Salzburg?
When it comes to being a popular restaurant, there’s a few criteria one must meet. Is the décor inviting? What the prices are like compared to the portions of food? And what type of clientele go there? Being a restaurant that’s been around for a long time is probably what foodies consider most important.
There is only one restaurant that can call itself the “oldest restaurant in the world. That is Sobrino De Botin in Madrid, Spain.
Sobrino De Botin
Located deep in the heart of Spain’s capital city, Botin’s clame to fame is “world’s oldest restaurant.” If you are wondering, it is indeed verified by the Guinness Book of World Records. The restaurant is of Spanish architecture, complete with its own cellar and centuries old traditional wood oven that was made in 1725, if you can believe it.
Some Background on the Restaurant
Before it was ever called “Sobrino de Botin,” it was known as Casa Botin when it was first founded by a Frenchman. It got its current name because the founder decided his nephew was responsible enough to inherit the property thus the “Sobrino of Botin.”
While it may have been established in 1725, the cellar underneath the location has existed since 1590.
Rumor has it that romantic Spanish painter Francisco Goya worked here before he became formally known as an artist. Ernest Hemmingway also mentions the world-renowned restaurant in his literature.
Novelist Benito Perez Galdos also mentions the location in his works.
While the establishment is frequented by people from other countries, many locals choose to stop here for their lunch of evening meal.
The restaurant stays true to its traditional roots and had used the same recipes since it first started on Calle Cuchilleros (knifemakers street). More amazing than using its old recipes, is that the fire in the oven has been burning for nearly 300 years total.
Close-by Places to Stay At
There are a few apartments one can rent here or stay at the Hotel Meninas, located in the center of Madrid. Staying at the hotel grants you access to their nearby gym. Don’t worry about keeping up your neighbors either because each room is completely sound proof to provide everyone a quiet evening.
Need a car to take you somewhere specific? Hire one from the tour desk and if you lose your key coming back late, feel free to go to the 24-hour reception. If you’re more interested in taking in the history of a location, it is a great place to start your walk from.
You can visit the Oirente Square or Teatro Real 3 minutes away.
Really? The Oldest?
It is certainly an accomplishment for anything or anyone to appear in the Guinness Book of World Records. Sobrino de Botin earned its title because it has stayed open in one location since it was open.
But Stiftskeller St. Peter in Salzburg, Austria is also claiming the title of oldest restaurant in the world. There are papers rumored to mention the restaurant as far back as 803. If you ask a local about it, they might tell you that Faust and Mephistopheles had a meeting there.
Stiftskeller St. Peter
While it does not have the proper documentation to prove its age, it does not take away from the wonder of the establishment. According to records held by the restaurant, the ‘most recent’ rooms were built circa 1600.
The oldest dining rooms, of course, were carved from the stone face of cliff underneath a fortress. Certain records indicate the establishment is as much as 1200 years old. Over this long history many well-known faces and names are said to have stopped here in the past and the present.
In distant past, Stiftskeller opened its doors to the likes of Christopher Columbus, Johann Georg Faust, and even Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.
The English scholar Alcuin of York is said to have also served Emperor Charlemagne and Bishop Arno of Salzburg.
In more recent times, actor/producer Clint Eastwood and former President Bill Clinton have had a meal or two here.
Although they do not have a record like Sobrino de Botin, they make up for it with their appreciation of music with their weekly Mozart dinners. Both the patrons and employees will dress up in period-appropriate clothing such as lederhosen and dirndls.
What is your favorite type of restaurant food? Would you visit Sobrino de Botin or St. Peter Stifskeller if you ever had the chance?