Trivia Time: The Oldest Restaurant in the World Is…?

This is a quick and fun thing in Madrid that will appeal to chefs and foodies more than anyone else. Restaurante Botin, an unassuming restaurant behind Plaza Mayor, actually holds the Guinness Book of World Records for the oldest restaurant in the world. You’d never know from walking by. It looks a bit boring and breaks probably half of Gordon Ramsey’s “Kitchen Nightmares” rules with the busy windows, etc.

Restaurante Botin
Restaurante Botin

On a tip from James (yes, that guy again. I’m not kidding when i say he made our time in Madrid spectacular. Seriously, what are you waiting for? Book a tour with Madrid Food Tour already!) we made a point of stopping by. See, James may or may not have mentioned that if the restaurant is closed, you can ask nicely and the staff often let people in to see the oven.

The oven is an enormous old school, real brick oven. Not one of those ovens some chef constructed because it’s the Top Chef trend of the hour. This baby has been around, and you can tell.

This original brick oven can be found in bison. Yes, those are real pigs.
This original brick oven can be found in Botin. Yes, those are real pigs.

It’s located in the corner of a room on the main floor and juts out so it really takes up this entire space. Above the brick oven is the chimney flute with ceramic detailing. It’s impressive to think this oven has been in use for literally hundreds of years.

People debate if this is the longest operating restaurant. From what i heard, it is. The devil is in the details – this restaurant has never closed or changed location. We didn’t stay to eat, as it was closed, but it was certainly worth the quick peak.

{Author’s note: my editor is sick with some bubonic plague. I decided it was more important to stick with my posting schedule than to wait for his revival. With that in mind, please excuse any horrible typos or grammatical errors. Hopefully he’ll be back on his feet soon!}

Author: Judi Kennedy

Wanderlust. A professional aunt, fitness enthusiast, dog owner and avid reader the rest of the time.

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