Welcome To Restaurante Botín, The Oldest Restaurant In The World

Restaurante Botín has been serving real and fictional customers for centuries.

Restaurante Botin
FACEBOOK Restaurante Botin

Restaurante Botín, founded in 1725, is the oldest restaurant in the world. Located in Madrid, it has been serving Spanish, royal, political and celebrity diners for almost 300 years. With several unique options to choose from on its menu, one may understand why the restaurant is esteemed by well-known patrons.

As it is also the setting for characters in works by Ernest Hemingway, Benito Pérez Galdós and Ramón Gómez de la Serna, among other writers, Restaurante Botín holds a significant place not only in history, but also in the fictional worlds of some of the leading writers of the 19th and 20th centuries.

While the restaurant itself was established in 1725, the building in which it is located dates back to at least 1590, when the owner applied for Privilege of Exemption from Lodgers, a tax paid by property owners who wished to refrain from hosting members of royal corteges.

After Jean Botín, a French cook, arrived in Madrid in the centuries after, one of his wife’s nephews opened the inn now known as Restaurante Botín. In the 20th century, the González family became the owner of the restaurant, which was small in size and scale, as it used only one of its three floors and had a staff of seven employees.

Although the family was unable to expand the business in the first half of the 20th century due to the Spanish Civil War, its sons, Antonio and José, became owners of the restaurant and assisted in turning it into what it is today. Currently, the business is run by the third generation of the family.

Roast Suckling Pig.
Roast Suckling Pig. FACEBOOK Restaurante Botin

Restaurante Botín’s menu consists of several region-specific options, including black sausage from Burgos, acorn-fed Iberian ham, Manchego cheese and Andalusian cold tomato soup. One can also order the roast suckling pig or baby lamb, which are cooked in the same wood oven that has been used since 1725.

Additionally, one can order the cream layer cake or Basque style cheesecake, along with sangria or alcohol from its noteworthy wine menu. One may purchase Arzuaga Gran Reserva, Sonatina or Viña Tuelda, along with Ruinart Brut if they wish to celebrate in a remarkable way. The restaurant’s menu consists of wine from over 15 locations in the country.

Novelists, dramatists and other authors have mentioned Restaurante Botín’s menu options in their works, as evidenced by Hemingway’s “The Sun Also Rises,” Gómez de la Serna’s greguerías and James A. Michener’s “Iberia.”

Baked Cantabrian hake. Restaurante Botin
Baked Cantabrian hake. FACEBOOK Restaurante Botin

In “The Sun Also Rises,” which details the experiences of American and British emigrants who travel from Paris to Pamplona, Hemingway writes, “We lunched upstairs at Botin’s. It is one of the best restaurants in the world. We had roast young suckling pig and drank rioja alta.”

Gómez de la Serna wrote in one of his greguerías,

“To Botín you go to celebrate your golden wedding, your silver wedding, your diamond wedding and even your fossil wedding,” and in “Iberia,” Michener writes, “… and I went to have lunch in an excellent restaurant at the end of Plaza Mayor, Botín, which dates back to 1725.”

Due to its storied past and unique menu, Restaurante Botín influenced some of the most notable writers of the last 200 years. For the same reasons, it continues to attract patrons from across the world.

Restaurante Botin
FACEBOOK Restaurante Botin

Ray Lewis

Content Editor Associate

Originally from New Jersey, Ray developed a passion for traveling through his adventures in Europe. He created unforgettable memories in Greece and Italy, but is looking to explore more countries in different parts of the world as well.

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