The Oldest Restaurant In The World – Sobrino de Botin, Madrid

with 46 Comments
Sobrino de Botin, Madrid, Spain - The Oldest Restaurant In The World
Dating back to 1725, ‘Sobrino de Botin’ is the oldest working restaurant in the world

‘Sobrino de Botin’ is the oldest restaurant in the world. Located in the heart of Madrid, this restaurant is certified as the world’s oldest restaurant by the Guinness Book of Records. Botin is a typical Spanish four floors (including the cellar) restaurant, with a centuries old woodfire oven, dating back to 1725. The house specialties are cochinillo asado (succulent roast suckling pig with crispy skin) and cordero asado (roast lamb), cooked following old style Castilian recipes.

A short history of the oldest restaurant in the world

The oldest restaurant in the world was founded by a Frenchman in Calle Cuchilleros (knife makers street) and was originally called Casa Botin. Later, when the nephew inherited the place, he changed the name to ‘Botin’s Nephew’, which is exactly what the name in Spanish means.

Rumor has it that Goya himself worked as a dishwasher here for a while, before becoming a famous painter. The restaurant is mentioned in Hemingway’s ‘The Sun Also Rises’, as the famous American novelist was a regular here in his days in Madrid and even declared it to be his favorite. Also a local novelist, Benito Pérez Galdós, mentioned the restaurant in his book ‘Fortunata y Jacinta’.
The place is very touristy, but it’s also attended by locals (including the King himself!). However, since the experience of eating in the oldest restaurant in the world is one of a kind, nobody should miss it. ‘Sobrino de Botin’ is a restaurant-museum and one has to taste its charms with that in mind. 

Is this really the oldest restaurant in the world?

Though the Guinness Book lists ‘Sobrino de Botin’ as the oldest restaurant in the world that never closed nor changed location, other restaurants are claiming this title too. One of them is Stiftskeller St. Peter in Salzburg, Austria. First mentioned in a document dating back to 803, the locals claim that Mephistopheles and Faust met here. However, none of these other restaurants have the necessary papers to prove they are the oldest in the world.

You can also read about our personal experience eating in the oldest restaurant in the world.


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Hotel Meninas – Great location right in the city center and elegant rooms. We personally stayed here and loved it.

Spain Select Lope de Vega – Or stay in this gorgeous apartment just minutes from El Prado Museum. Great for families and groups of friends!


Sobrino de Botin, Madrid, Spain - The Oldest Restaurant In The World
‘Sobrino de Botin’ is the oldest restaurant in the world
Sobrino de Botin, Madrid, Spain - The Oldest Restaurant In The World
Suckling pigs at ‘Sobrino de Botin’ – the oldest restaurant in the world, Madrid by .duygu

46 Responses

  1. Anonymous
    | Reply

    I first visited Botin in 1982. Merely stumbled in with my wife on our first visit to Madrid. Knew nothing about it. Had suckling pig. Fantastic. Just completed our 2nd visit to Madrid, May 2016. Botin high on my list. It was just as good – fantastic, actually – as the first time. Re the oldest – who really cares. I thought Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese in London was older, but apparently the continuity, and documentation, are the answer to claiming the title. In any event, if you visit Madrid, don't miss it.

  2. Crissie
    | Reply

    Madrid is one of the most beautiful and fun cities in the world, viva Madrid!

  3. Anonymous
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    I miss Madrid soooo much! so full of life, great food, great people …. need to go back soon.

  4. catherine
    | Reply

    why did the Guinness Book of World Records recognizes Cafe Botin in Spain as the oldest eatery in the world and not the ma yu ching’s bucket chicken house?

    • Laura
      | Reply

      Hi Catherine,

      Sobrino de Botin is considered the oldest running restaurant in the world that never closed and never changed location and had the necessary papers to prove it. There might be older restaurants in the world, but if they don't have the means to prove it, the Guinness Book of World Records can't take them into consideration.

  5. mEtApHoRiK
    | Reply

    "Oldest restaurant in the world"? 1725? This is the 6th oldest restaurant in the world.

    1. Stiftskeller St. Peter (803) – Salzburg, Austria

    2. Zum Franziskaner (1421) – Stockholm, Sweden

    3. La Tour d’Argent (1500s) – Paris, France

    4. Die Letzte Instanz (1621) – Berlin, Germany

    5. A La Petite Chaise (1680) – Paris, France

    6. Botín Restaurant (1725) – Madrid, Spain

    7. Tavares Rico (1784) – Lisbon, Portugal

    8. Rules Restaurant (1798) – London, England

    9. Union Oyster House (1826) – Boston, United States

    10. Yar Restaurant (1826) – Moscow, Russia

    • Anonymous
      | Reply

      All of them have been closed several times in their history, some for long periods of time (some of them don't even have documents to prove they were open back then). It has to be open without a break to be considered the same restaurant, otherwise it's just a new restaurant with an old name. So… no, or else you'd have to consider other restaurants even older in Spain.

  6. Mia
    | Reply

    I didn't know an oldest restaurant in the world even existed! Love it!

  7. Shiene143
    | Reply

    It was an honor to drop by here and get a chance to know what is the oldest restaurant in the world. I am very much impressed with it. How I wish I could travel to Madrid so that I could visit this restaurant in person and also taste their delicious foods. Even if that restaurant is old, I can say that it looks very neat, organized and relaxing. Thanks.

  8. Anonymous
    | Reply

    As of what ive heard and learn, the guiness book of world record considered BOTIN as the oldest resto for some reasons and categories.. in which other "old resto" didnt have. first, they must prove that they have written evidence of stablished date. second is, it never closed (not even for one day), its door to the public, even in the times of WW1,WWII, CIVIL WAR in europe and spain., never changed its name, owned by the same family and relatives. etc., etc. some resto claimed they are the oldest ( maybe they are right), but they lack hard and written evidence. as of this said resto,they have every bit of documents on hand.

  9. Simon
    | Reply

    Fascinating. I didn't even know there was an oldest restaurant in the world! I wish I'd visited it when I was in Madrid. It's amazing to think that someone as talented as Goya worked as a dishwasher

    • Laura
      | Reply

      You know how they say, you have to start small 🙂

  10. Sandy
    | Reply

    Gosh, I never knew the oldest restaurant in the world is in Madrid. Must be an interesting place to dine!

  11. GRRRL TRAVELER
    | Reply

    I'm sad I missed this spot when I was in Madrid. I love the old brick cavern feel!

    • Laura
      | Reply

      Don't worry, it looks like Botin Restaurant it's going to stick around for a while longer 😉

  12. Wow, very eclectic place. I am a bit surprised that the oldest place is from the 1700s I would have thought there would be somewhere older than that. But who's complaining, it's nearly 300 years old!

  13. Unbelievable! I can't believe I missed this gem when I went to Madrid – for seven FULL days! Oh well, another excuse to come back and visit my friend Angel 😀

    • Laura
      | Reply

      Yay! That's a healthy attitude!

  14. lunaticg
    | Reply

    They must be a lots of history happening in the restaurant. Do all the decoration still the same from the early years?

  15. Joe
    | Reply

    This looks fantastic – hope to someday have the opportunity to dine there – It reminds me of the oldest restaurant in Santa Fe, NM El Farol – which is wonderful as well – yummy Tapas and perfect sangria!

  16. Dan
    | Reply

    I agree with hawksstock.Ma Yu Ching's Bucket Chicken House founded in 1153 in the city of Kaifeng, is the oldest. It has been in operation ever since. 859 YEARS!!!! Kaifeng, at this time, saw the birth of the world's first cuisine. Chinese cuisine. Looong before french and Italian cuisine.

  17. hawksstock
    | Reply

    this is the oldest I can find, several thousand years older, and continuous. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ma_Yu_Ching%27s_Bucket_Chicken_House

  18. Giselle
    | Reply

    Botin got in the Guinness Book because it is the oldest restaurant in the world that was never closed down. It has continuity.

  19. Anonymous
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    Sorry Madrid, but I work in a restaurant in Prague and it has been serving wine and food since it was build as a restaurant in 1543! It is restaurant U Malířů, but I doubt that we are the oldest! I heard of a place in CHina dating back some 1200 years. But in Europe u Malířů is the oldest for sure! Come and visit us, I will give you the service of your lifetime 🙂

  20. George
    | Reply

    This is amazing! I think I had lunch in here last year without even knowing it was the oldest restaurant in the world!

  21. Harriet Freeman
    | Reply

    Wow! I didn't know a restaurant in Madrid hosted the Guinness Record or being the oldest in the world! I think I should have lunch there… Anyone wants to come?

  22. Anonymous
    | Reply

    I think Guiness should reevaluate their world's oldest restaurant. There are far older restuarants in Austria, Russia, China, and Japan, dating as far back as 1000 AD, and are still operational today.

    This should be updated.

  23. Anonymous
    | Reply

    I highly doubt this is actually the world's oldest restaurant.

    THere are restaurants in the East far older than this.

    • Anonymous
      | Reply

      Certified. It's not enough to say "We've been open since XXXX", you have to prove it. Most (if not every single one) of those restaurants that claim being older, were out of service in several different periods of time, and have been open for the last few decades. It's very easy to pick and old recognized name for your new restaurant, or keep the name of a restaurant that was there 20 years ago. This restaurant has been operating since 1725, and they have documental proof.

    • Anonymous
      | Reply

      And at the same location since 1725. We were given a private tour of the kitchen and wine cellar. And there is no doubt that those rooms have been there since it's beginning. The dining rooms upstairs have had renovations through the years but for the most part it is intact.

  24. wanderingtrader
    | Reply

    This is soo cool def have to check that out when Im in the city!

  25. mbali
    | Reply

    Crazy! They are still open until now.

  26. MKL
    | Reply

    This must be a very unique experience. For me, something truly unforgettable was dining on top of Taipei 101 🙂

  27. edsan
    | Reply

    The restaurant seemed familiar. I've been to Madrid as part of the 15-man Philippine delegation to the Study Tour on the Development of Cooperative Integration in Spain sponsored by the AECID last April, 2009. If I remember right, we've passed by the restaurant in one of our walking trip around the heart of Madrid.

  28. Nancy
    | Reply

    Yummy! I've tried suckling pig in Madrid but not at Botin. I didn't know the oldest restaurant in the world was there 🙁

  29. Lorraine
    | Reply

    I always thought A La Petite Chaise from Paris was the oldest restaurant in the world. You surf, you learn!

  30. Madrid Travel Guide
    | Reply

    This is one of the best restaurants in Madrid. And as it is the oldest restaurant in the world, I think it should be the logical choice for everybody visiting Madrid.

    • Laura
      | Reply

      I totally agree. At least then you can brag about eating in the oldest restaurant in the world 🙂

  31. adsfarm.co.uk
    | Reply

    I would definitely like to have dinner in the world's oldest working restaurant… Madrid, here I come!

  32. George
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    A friend of mine ate here in the 1990s and loved it. I'm finally going to visit Madrid this summer and the oldest restaurant in the world is top of my list!

  33. Carmen
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    Botin is certainly a must go restaurant… Good service and good food, but as expected, you better book your table in advance. I wasn't sure what to expect from the oldest restaurant in the world, but I'm glad I spend one of my two evening in Madrid there. It's a priceless experience.

    • Laura
      | Reply

      It's the oldest restaurant in the world, of course booking in advance in needed. If it were't popular it wouldn't still be here 😉

  34. Wanda
    | Reply

    The suckling pig at Botin is absolutely delicious! The best ever! This is a world treasure and the staff was wonderful too.

    • Laura
      | Reply

      You are so right! We were very impressed with both the service and the food. When you think about it, having the title of the oldest restaurant in the world, it could have been a tourist trap but it's not!

  35. Terry
    | Reply

    I will never forget my one in a lifetime experience of dining in the world's oldest restaurant. I had gazpacho (the best one I've ever had) and of course, suckling pig, their specialty. Definitely worth it!

    • Laura
      | Reply

      Having a meal in the oldest restaurant in the world definitely is a once in a lifetime experience.

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