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In Madrid, where time seems to stand still, a gastronomic treasure trove has captivated taste buds for nearly 300 years.

Sobrino de Botín, nestled in the heart of the Spanish capital, boasts a legacy that has earned it the coveted title of the world’s oldest restaurant, as recognized by the Guinness World Records.

Sobrino de Botín: Oldest restaurant

This culinary institution has survived the test of time and thrived through tumultuous eras, such as the Spanish Civil War and the unprecedented challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.

It resides within a building that, itself, is steeped in history, dating back to 1590. The restaurant now occupies four charming stories and remains an enigma to the uninitiated, accessible only through a single wooden door. With a workforce of 70 dedicated individuals, Sobrino de Botín can accommodate up to 200 patrons simultaneously.

Established in 1725 by the skilled hands of a French chef named Jean Botin, the restaurant initially bore Casa Botín. When Jean and his wife found themselves without heirs, the establishment passed into the capable hands of one of their nephews in 1753. This transition marked the change in name to Sobrino de Botín, honouring its new custodians, a name it has proudly retained ever since.

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In the 20th century, the González family assumed ownership of the Madrid restaurant, and their stewardship continues to this day.

Sobrino de Botín’s culinary prowess is renowned, particularly for its exquisite Castilian cuisine, featuring the world-famous roast suckling pigs served alongside perfectly roasted potatoes and delectable Spanish ham.

Famous customers

Throughout its storied history, Sobrino de Botín has been a silent witness to countless historical moments and has welcomed numerous luminaries through its time-worn doors. The iconic Spanish painter Francisco de Goya once honed his craft within its kitchen, a testament to the restaurant’s enduring influence.

In the 20th century, literary giant Ernest Hemingway was a frequent visitor, immortalizing Sobrino de Botín in his novel “The Sun Also Rises” (1926). This timeless culinary haven continues to captivate modern palates, solidifying its status as an integral part of Madrid’s cultural fabric, affectionately known as “Botín” by the locals.

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The photo above is from Unsplash

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