Restaurante Sobrino de Botin Madrid
The exterior of the restaurant. Photograph ©2014 by Brian Cohen.

I Dined at The Oldest Restaurant in the World For Lunch

I  never even would have given a thought as to what is the oldest restaurant in the world — but when I found out that I was in the same city as this restaurant, I just had to eat in it.

Restaurante Sobrino de Botin — or Restaurante Botin for short — has been in business since 1725 and is listed in the Guinness Book of World Records as the oldest restaurant in the world. It has been featured in literature – such as in the book The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway, who dined on suckling pig in the restaurant.

My place setting with the langostinos al ajillo — or prawns with garlic — and a bottle of cold water. Photograph ©2014 by Brian Cohen.
My place setting with the langostinos al ajillo — or prawns with garlic — and a bottle of cold water. Photograph ©2014 by Brian Cohen.

As I am not fond of eating most kinds of pork — and because I did not want to pay 44,45 Euro for the privilege even though the price included Andalusian gazpacho, ice cream, bread, and a choice of beverage — I did not opt for the suckling pig. Instead, I decided on garlic prawns.

To get to my seat in one of the dining rooms, the maître d directed me through part of the kitchen. That was a first for me.

My prawns with garlic came out so hot that it was sizzling — and it steamed the lens of my camera. Photograph ©2014 by Brian Cohen.
My prawns with garlic came out so hot that it was sizzling — and it steamed the lens of my camera. Photograph ©2014 by Brian Cohen.
Detail of the dishes. Photograph ©2014 by Brian Cohen.
Detail of the dishes. Photograph ©2014 by Brian Cohen.
The plate finally cooled down to the point where my camera lens did not steam any more — but do not be fooled, as the dish was still piping hot. Photograph ©2014 by Brian Cohen.
The plate finally cooled down to the point where my camera lens did not steam any more — but do not be fooled, as the dish was still piping hot. Photograph ©2014 by Brian Cohen.

The garlic prawns — six of them for 21,70 Euros; or approximately $4.54 per prawn without including the gratuity — came to my table literally sizzling hot where the liquid in the dish was bubbling furiously for several minutes. They were delicious. I especially liked the crunchy pieces of garlic with the prawns. I just wished that there were more of them on which to dine.

Restaurante Botin — which has several dining areas on three floors — is located on Calle de los Cuchilleros 17, Madrid, 28005 in Spain, which is just south of Plaza Mayor. Reservations are not necessary — at least for lunch — but they are recommended.

This is the view of the dining room in which I was seated — as viewed from my seat. Photograph ©2014 by Brian Cohen.
This is the view of the dining room in which I was seated — as viewed from my seat. Photograph ©2014 by Brian Cohen.
This is the wall on the left side of the table where I was seated. Photograph ©2014 by Brian Cohen.
This is the wall on the left side of the table where I was seated. Photograph ©2014 by Brian Cohen.
My seat is the one with the place setting in front of it — by the wall, second from the right. Photograph ©2014 by Brian Cohen.
My seat is the one with the place setting in front of it — by the wall, second from the right. Photograph ©2014 by Brian Cohen.
Detail of the ceiling. Photograph ©2014 by Brian Cohen.
Detail of the ceiling. Photograph ©2014 by Brian Cohen.
Detail of the wall to the left of my table. Photograph ©2014 by Brian Cohen.
Detail of the wall to the left of my table. Photograph ©2014 by Brian Cohen.
Another dining room in the restaurant. Photograph ©2014 by Brian Cohen.
Another dining room in the restaurant. Photograph ©2014 by Brian Cohen.
Another area of the restaurant. Photograph ©2014 by Brian Cohen.
Another area of the restaurant. Photograph ©2014 by Brian Cohen.
Another area of the restaurant. Photograph ©2014 by Brian Cohen.
Another area of the restaurant. Photograph ©2014 by Brian Cohen.
Another area of the restaurant. Photograph ©2014 by Brian Cohen.
Another area of the restaurant. Photograph ©2014 by Brian Cohen.
Another area of the restaurant. Photograph ©2014 by Brian Cohen.
Another area of the restaurant. Photograph ©2014 by Brian Cohen.
The menu in the window — with prices. Photograph ©2014 by Brian Cohen.
The menu in the window — with prices. Photograph ©2014 by Brian Cohen.
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