FIRST RESTAURANT IN THE WORLD
Botín Restaurant has kept the flame burning for the past 293 years … literally. Ever since the doors opened in 1725, the oven has been sizzling continuously, never to be extinguished. First opened as an inn, the landmark eatery was founded in 1725 by French cook Jean Botín and his wife.
It is the world’s oldest restaurant according to the Guinness Book of Records.Today, Botín is famed for its rustic Castilian cuisine, including succulent roast meats fired in an oven that’s close to 300 years old. According to deputy manager Luis Javier Sànchez Alvarez.
The recipes used today have been passed down from generation to generation, keeping the legacy of these traditional dishes alive. With the honor of being the oldest restaurant in the world, Alvarez hopes to keep the doors open for centuries to come.
When Did People Start Eating in Restaurants?
People have been eating outside of the home for millennia, buying a quick snack from a street vendor or taking a travel break at a roadside inn for a bowl of stew and a pint of mead.
In the West, most early versions of the modern restaurant came from France and a culinary revolution launched in 18th-century Paris. But one of the earliest examples of a true restaurant culture began 600 years earlier and halfway around the world.
A Taste of Nostalgia: 5 of India’s Most Famous Pre-Independence Eateries
1. Tunday Kababi, Lucknow:
Globally famous for its exquisite Galouti kebabs, kormas and biryanis, Lucknow’s Tunday Kababi is believed to be established in 1905 by Haji Murad Ali, the one-armed star cook of the Nawab of Lucknow. Tucked away in the narrow gullies in the old area of Lucknow, the eatery still uses the same age-old intricate blends of spices to make its sensational non-vegetarian gourmet preparations.
2. Indian Coffee House, Kolkata:
Tucked away amidst the dingy bylanes of College Street (Kolkata’s academic hub), Indian Coffee House has long been an intellectual hangout and meeting place for students (and ex-students) of the Presidency College and other institutions. Great personalities like Rabindranath Tagore, Amartya Sen, Manna Dey, Satyajit Ray, Ravi Shankar and several others frequented this place. Mutton cutlet and chicken kabirazi are the must haves on the still-very-cheap menu.
3. Britannia and Co, Mumbai
One of the Mumbai’s most loved restaurants, Britannia first opened its doors to British officers stationed in the Fort area in 1923. A cult restaurant, Britannia is where Mumbaikars head to when they are need for some seriously traditional Parsi fare. The place still retains its age-old charm and heritage furniture with the added bonus being the personal touch of the current owner, the immensely charming Boman Kohinoor, who hangs around making small talk and personally taking orders. Must-trys include their outstanding Mutton and Chicken Berry Pulav.
4. Leopold’s Cafe, Mumbai
Established in 1871, Leopold’s (popularly known as Leo’s) is one of Mumbai’s most iconic cafes and a must visit for anyone who visits the maximum city. A symbol of the old world charm of Bombay, Leopold’s also plays a central role in the 2003 novel by Gregory David Roberts, Shantaram. The restaurant is always abuzz with people indulging in scrumptious meals that include everything from burgers with beer to decadent desserts.
5. Dorabjee and Sons, Pune
A charming, old restaurant in Pune, Dorabjee and Sons was started by Dorabjee Sorabjee back in 1878. Initially a humble little tea stall, the eatery soon started serving traditional lunches that quickly became popular. A little restaurant with a simple exterior, Dorabjee and Sons uses time-tested recipes handed down through generations to create signature Parsi specialties such as Dhansak, Patrani Machchi and Salli Boti.