According to The Guinness Book of World Records, Sobrino de Botin, located in Madrid, Spain, holds the title as the oldest continuously operating restaurant in the world. Its wood-fired oven has been alight since it was first kindled by French chef Jean Botin in 1725. With its sumptuous wine list and delectable food menu, Sobrino de Botin has consistently dazzled both tourists and Madrid locals for centuries.
The building that houses Sobrino de Botin stands four stories tall and dates back to 1590. In the early 20th century, writer Ernest Hemingway was a frequent patron. Hemingway often spent hours at the restaurant, typing out stories on its second floor. The kitchen staff would send up delicious treats for him throughout his stay. He even mentioned one of Sobrino de Botin’s most celebrated dishes—the roast suckling pig—in the final pages of his novel, *The Sun Also Rises*.
Remarkably, Sobrino de Botin’s menu has seen few changes over its 300-year history. Visitors can expect the same succulent roast baby lamb, filet of veal, and stewed partridge that their ancestors enjoyed. Local Madrileños argue that the restaurant’s centuries of culinary expertise work to its advantage. Loyal patrons assert that the establishment’s timeless menu never disappoints.
Almost every dish at Sobrino de Botin showcases meat or seafood. The restaurant offers some of the finest Iberico ham in Madrid—a product of pigs that dine on a special acorn-rich diet, imparting the meat with a rich, nuanced flavor and delicate texture. They also serve tripe, known as callos in Spain, which is made from the lining of a cow’s stomach and is considered a Spanish delicacy.
For vegans or vegetarians, Sobrino de Botin provides freshly-tossed salads and vegetarian sides like white asparagus with mayonnaise sauce. Regardless of one’s dietary preferences, a visit to Sobrino de Botin is highly recommended. Even if you’re not dining, consider stopping by for a glass of red wine paired with fresh fruit or a tempting slice of chocolate cake.
For those seeking Old World charm, classic cuisine, and impeccable service, a visit to Sobrino de Botin is indispensable. The restaurant’s grand stone interiors transport diners centuries back in time. Don’t miss the chance to dine at an establishment where the renowned Spanish painter Francisco Goya once worked as a dishwasher in the 19th century.