January 22, 2024
The allure of dining is not just in the flavors but also in the stories and histories that come with the eateries. Some restaurants have stood the test of time, offering meals for centuries. Let's embark on a journey to discover some of the oldest restaurants in the world, where dining is a brush with history.
1. Sobrino de Botín, Madrid, Spain - Founded in 1725
Holding the Guinness World Record for the oldest restaurant in the world, Sobrino de Botín has been serving traditional Spanish cuisine since 1725. Famous for its roast suckling pig and lamb, the eatery was also a favorite of the novelist Ernest Hemingway.
2. Stiftskeller St. Peter, Salzburg, Austria - Established in 803
Believed to be the oldest existing restaurant in Europe, Stiftskeller St. Peter traces its roots back to the year 803. Nestled within the walls of St. Peter's Abbey, this historic establishment offers a blend of Austrian culinary tradition and a unique medieval ambiance.
3. Zur Letzten Instanz, Berlin, Germany - Since 1621
A favorite among notable figures like Napoleon and Beethoven, Zur Letzten Instanz has been serving German fare since the 17th century. Its rustic charm and hearty dishes reflect the rich history of Berlin.
4. La Tour d'Argent, Paris, France - Circa 1582
La Tour d'Argent, overlooking the Seine and Notre-Dame, offers an exquisite French dining experience. Known for its pressed duck and extensive wine cellar, the restaurant's history dates back to the late 16th century.
5. The Old House, Llangynwyd, Wales - Established in 1147
One of the UK's oldest pubs, The Old House offers a cozy and historical setting. With its traditional Welsh cuisine and charming atmosphere, it provides a glimpse into medieval Britain.
6. Al Brindisi, Ferrara, Italy - Since 1435
Claimed to be the world's oldest wine bar, Al Brindisi has been serving patrons since the 15th century. Located in the heart of Ferrara, it offers a rich selection of wines and Italian dishes.
7. Ye Olde Trip to Jerusalem, Nottingham, England - Since 1189 AD
Built into the caves beneath Nottingham Castle, this historic pub claims to be England's oldest inn. With its fascinating history tied to the Crusades, it offers a unique setting to enjoy traditional English fare.
8. Honke Owariya, Kyoto, Japan - Founded in 1465
Originally a confectionery shop, Honke Owariya turned into a soba noodle restaurant over time. Its centuries-old recipes and tranquil Japanese garden make it a must-visit for those exploring Kyoto's culinary scene.
9. Gostilna Gastuž, Slovenia - Established in 1467
Located in the town of Šentjur, Gostilna Gastuž is Slovenia's oldest restaurant. It offers a mix of Slovenian tradition and modern gastronomy in a setting that’s steeped in history.
10. The White Hart, England - Since 1086
Recorded in the Domesday Book, The White Hart in Salisbury claims to be England’s oldest hotel. While its dining room is relatively newer, the establishment's medieval roots make it a historic destination for food lovers.
Dining in these ancient establishments is not just about the food; it's about experiencing living history. Each restaurant tells a story of culinary evolution, cultural shifts, and the endurance of tradition in an ever-changing world.