Everybody knows that Madrid is a city with centuries of history, but do you know it is home to the oldest restaurant in the world? And, although this may have come as a surprise to you, there really is a historical treasure of great world relevance in Madrid, as it is the only city in the world where you can enjoy the delicacies of a still active restaurant, with more years of history than any other.
Now that you know, we can imagine that when you visit Madrid, you will want to know what kind of meals they serve at this restaurant, enabling them to remain open for centuries and becoming a true emblem for the city. Well, this article by ShMadrid will share the details of this historic place, called Casa Botín.
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Enjoy the best cuisine at Madrid’s oldest restaurant
Casa Botín was founded in 1725, and it is the oldest restaurant in the world, according to the Guinness Book of World Records. Of course this also means it is one of the references of the best traditional cuisine in Madrid.
The prestigious Forbes magazine ranked it third on their list of 10 best classic restaurants in the world, thanks to the venue itself and two of its specialties, the delicious suckling pig and Castilian style roast lamb.
Almost every day large quantities of the best suckling pigs and the best lambs arrive at the restaurant, coming from the towns of Sepúlveda, Aranda de Duero and Riaza, which are considered the best regions for these products.
Both lamb and piglet are then, with a lot of TLC, slowly roasted in the old, oak wood fed oven, that has gotten accustomed to cooking this type of product over the many years. This oven has remained in operation since the restaurant first opened its doors, and it is operated under the watchful eye of master bakers and expert cooks, who have spent all their lives at Casa Botín.
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The restaurant has been open for about three centuries, without ever changing location. Nor has it ceased any of its activities for a single day, not even during the Civil War. This was something taken into account by the Guinness Book of World Records, when giving their recognition in 1987. It is truly amazing, that the restaurant has always been operational. Other older restaurants, in comparison, have stopped activities or changed location.
In 1930, Emilio Gonzalez and Amparo Martinez, who were the grandparents of the current owners, took over by renting the restaurant, and they managed to stay open every day during the Civil War. Because of this, it became the dining facility for militiamen, and that’s why they can still tell millions of anecdotes from one of the darkest periods in Spanish history.
You have to go back almost three hundred years for the beginning of the small inn at Calle de Cuchilleros number 17, and it is now being managed by the third generation of the González family. They say the painter Francisco de Goya worked as a dishwasher in this kitchen, and a few of the famous people who dined here are Ava Gardner, Woody Allen and Ernest Hemingway.
*Main photo by Mobilephotos@eidenstrom via Visualhunt
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