Restaurante Botin | Madrid

The oldest restaurant in the world is in Madrid…at least according to Guinness.

It’s incredible to think that any establishment has been around so long, especially one that is as unpredictable and recession-prone as in the restaurant business. We couldn’t pass up the chance to at least see a place that is supposedly the oldest restaurant in the world, especially if it’s within easy reach. Once we saw months ago that there was a tour of the place, followed by dinner, we went for it.

According to our guide, the Restaurante Botin is the oldest restaurant that has been continually operating since 1725, and has been owned by only two families. He brought us to see all four levels of the building it was in, and it really is amazing to think how it survived through the centuries. Apart from one trying period during the Spanish Revolution in the early 1900s when the Republicans took over, everything’s been peachy. The dinner that followed was insane as we were given five appetizers, the main dish of cochinillo that was the specialty of the house and what the restaurant’s famous for, capped off with five desserts! Along with a bottle of red, water, a bread basket, and coffee, it was an absolute food coma afterwards. I’m embarrassed to say I barely touched the cochinillo as I was starting to feel nauseous from all the food (the humongous lunch from earlier still had not settled apparently), and only got a few bites from several of the desserts. The whole experience left me feeling a bit sheepish from all the wasted food, and made me determined to come back in the future. After I’ve digested all the food in 20 years.

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