Many of the dishes we enjoy today are the result of ancient recipes that have been passed down from generation to generation. But there are places in Spain where you can sit and enjoy traditional cuisine in the same places that have been serving food for almost 300 years. Sobrino de Botín in Madrid is considered the oldest restaurant in the world according to the Guinness Book of World Records.
In addition to being in continuous operation since the 18th century, the ovens have remained hot during the Spanish Civil War and during the COVID-19 pandemic. Moreover, the building that houses the Sobrino de Botín is even older, dating back to 1590. Currently, the restaurant is spread over four floors and can only be accessed through a wooden door. It has 70 employees and can accommodate up to 200 guests.
This famous inn was founded in 1725 by French chef Jean Botin under the name Casa Botin. He and his wife had no children, so the restaurant was passed on to one of his nephews in 1753. At that time, it was renamed Sobrino de Botín in honour of the new management, a name it has kept ever since. In the 20th century, the restaurant changed hands again when it was acquired by the Gonzalez family, who continue to operate it today.
In addition to its long history, Sobrino de Botín is also known for its delicious Castilian cuisine, especially its world-famous roasted suckling pig with potatoes and Spanish ham. Over the years of business, many historical events have taken place and many famous people have visited its doors. For example, Francisco de Goya worked in a kitchen before becoming a painter. In the 20th century, Ernest Hemingway frequented the restaurant and mentioned it in his book The Sun Also Rises (1926). Of course, the delicacy continues to fascinate the modern palate and botín, as it is known by the locals, has become a Madrid staple.