Memorialized by frequent patron Ernest Hemingway in his famous book The Sun Also Rises, Madrid’s Restaurante Botín holds the Guinness World Record for the oldest restaurant.
Founded in 1725, this restaurant proudly wears its badge of honor plastered to the window right outside the main entrance.
I was able to some of my friends Botín when they visited me in Madrid in 2019.
“Casa Botín” changed its name to “Restaurante Sobrino de Botín” meaning “nephew of Botín” after Mrs. Botín died and her nephew took it over. Currently, the name remains even though it is currently owned by the González family.
The restaurant first opened as an inn. The landmark eatery was founded in 1725 by French cook Jean Botín and his wife. It remains recognized as the world’s oldest restaurant according to Guinness.
Famous for its rustic Castilian cuisine, their meats are roasted inside an oven that is nearly 300 years old. Between traditional whole-suckling pigs to the hugely popular Spanish wines, there’s a lot to try at the world’s oldest restaurant.
Many tourists visiting Madrid are curious about Botín because of its status as the world’s oldest continuously operated restaurant on the planet.
In addition to Ernest Hemingway, the eatery was visited by Spanish painter Francisco Goya, European royalty, and several notable Spanish politicians. Today, the restaurant is a must-visit attraction in Madrid popular among tourists and locals.
Forbes magazine recognized Botín as the 3rd place winner of the world’s top 10 classic restaurants to eat at.
Inside Botín, there are four floors all styled like a traditional Spanish tavern. You will find three dining rooms: the bodega (cellar), the Castilla room, and the Felipe IV room. If you are lucky, they sometimes have live Spanish music to add to the ambiance.
Typically, those who feast at the restaurant typically choose to enjoy one of their specialties such as roast suckling lamb known as cordero lechal or the famous roast suckling pig, cochinillo asado, which they have shipped in three to four times per week from Segovia!
These meats are then cooked in the 300-year-old, original wood-wired cast iron oven.
At the time of my visit, the roasted suckling pig was around 26 Euros. The roasted baby lamb was around 27 Euros.
Its skin is a rich shade of caramel, brittle under the weight of your fork and knife. The outside skin is crispy and the inside meat is like butter. People travel great distances to try the succulence of Spanish cochinillo from Segovia.
If you are thinking of visiting Madrid, I highly recommend you make a reservation here in advance to ensure you won’t miss out on the opportunity to dine at one of the city’s most famous restaurants. Don’t forget, dinner in Spain is much later in the day! You should expect to eat between 9 PM to 11 PM.
To visit the famous location in Spain, you will find this landmark at:
Calle Cuchilleros 17
Best of all, it is located close to Plaza Mayor so it is extremely simple to navigate to. It was surreal to eat such a traditional meal at a location that holds a world record.