When you tap into your creativity and stay true to your values and vision, you can create an impression that grabs guests’ attention and always keeps them coming back for more and more. And that’s the key to the walk of life in every profession. With this thought, let’s find out everything you need to know about the oldest restaurants in the world.
Oldest Restaurants In The World: An Overview
In today’s food-obsessed world, new restaurants appear overnight and disappear quickly, in contrast to the oldest restaurants in the world. According to an Ohio State University study on failed restaurants, 60% fail within the first year and 80% fail within the first five years.
Even after this rate of success, some of the world’s oldest surviving businesses happen to be restaurants, and some date back to the 9th century. In a time when restaurants are likely to come and go like the seasons, there are a few standout stars that have somehow stood the test of time. And not some months or decades; we’re talking a few centuries.
Let’s see the list of the oldest restaurants in the world based on some historical data with details of their signature dishes and other engaging stories about the establishment of the oldest restaurant in the world.
1. St. Peter Stiftskulinarium. Salzburg, Austria (Established in 803)
St. Peter Stiftskulinarium is believed to have been operating since before AD 803, which makes it the oldest inn in Central Europe and the oldest restaurant in the world. Located inside Peter’s Abbey, the establishment has been serving for over 1200 years.
While no one knows for certain when St. Peter’s first opened, the year 803 is usually cited because that is when the first mention of it appears in print in the work of the scholar and monk Albumin, a devout follower of Charlemagne.
St. Peter Stiftskulinarium is said to have served both Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and Christopher Columbus. According to the visitors, the specialty dish is tafelspitz, which is an Austrian dish comprising boiled beef with minced apple and horseradish.
2. The Old House. Wales, UK. (Established in 1147)
The Old House in Maesteg, a town in Wales, is a unique piece of Welsh history. The Old House, which dates back hundreds of years, has been restored to its former glory. The signature dish of the restaurant is the Old House pie. An individual house-made pie served with traditional peas and chips, with fillings that change every day. Add this one of the oldest restaurants in the world to your list if you’re planning to visit the UK.
3. The Sheep Heid Inn. Edinburgh, Scotland. (Established in 1360)
The Sheep Heid inn in Edinburgh dates back to 1360 and is located in the heart of the city. The pub’s signature and the awesome dish is its prime selection of steaks served with rustic chips, roasted mushroom confit tomato, and tasty parsley butter. Supplied right by British and Irish farms, the steak collection of the restaurant is aged for a minimum of 21 days to deliver the best possible flavor and texture.
4. Hotel Gasthof Löwen. Liechtenstein, Europe. (Established in 1380)
Hotel Gasthof löwen in the capital of Liechtenstein, Vaduz was founded in 1380. It has been serving happy patrons veal with vegetables since 1380. Among the restaurant’s food menu offering international and local cuisine, the sliced veal “Zurich style” with rosti and vegetables has been called the hotel’s special meals.
5. Bianyifang. Beijing, China. (Established in 1416)
Bianyifang is a Chinese restaurant in Beijing. It is well-known for its specialty, Peking Duck. Bianyifang Restaurant was established over 600 years ago. It is exclusive to the culinary tradition that started during the Ming Dynasty. It was started in a different, much smaller location but was expanded with virtuous perception in 1827.
6. Zum Franziskaner. Stockholm, Sweden. (Established in 1421)
Founded by German monks in 1421 in connection with King Erik of Pomerania, allowing the monks to charge for food and drink, Zum Franziskaner Restaurant is no longer in its original form. In fact, it has been rebuilt several times, with various incarnations serving as a sailor’s tavern and fine-dining food. Despite their exceptional services, the restaurant continues to serve the same beer selection (brewed by the monks, naturally).
7. Honke Owariya, Kyoto, Japan. (Established in 1465)
Honke Owariya began as a confectionery shop that relocated from Nagoya’s Owari region to Kyoto. Honke Owariya, one of the world’s oldest restaurants, first-served its famous soba rice cakes but eventually began making soba noodles around 1700, making it Kyoto’s oldest soba shop.
The restaurant has been in business for over 550 years and has perfected its recipes for sesame seeds, shrimp tempura, wasabi, nori, Japanese leeks, and grated daikon.
8. La Tour d’argent. Paris, France. (Established in 1582)
La tour d’argent is a high-end restaurant with one Michelin star that claims to have served King Henry IV. The restaurant once held one of the world’s highest honors, three Michelin stars. However, it lost one star in 1996 and another in 2006.
The restaurant has impressed Parisian diners since 1582, but it didn’t solidify its now-signature item, pressed duck, until 1919. Order that renowned dish with a combination of wine and treat yourself to one of the very famous and oldest restaurants in the world.
9. Zur letzten Instanz. Berlin, Germany. (Established in 1621)
Throughout its illustrious history, Zur Letzte Instanz has served everyone from Napoleon to Beethoven to Angela Merkel. It was first mentioned in print in 1561, but it wasn’t until 1621 that it was transformed into a tavern, which it still is today. The building, which was only a block away from the Berlin Wall during the Cold War, had to be rebuilt in 1963 after extensive damage from World War II was deemed irreparable.
10. White Horse Tavern. Newport, Rhode Island, USA. (Established in 1673)
The building that is home to the White Horse Tavern was built in 1652 and later sold to William Mayes in 1673. It quickly became a gathering place for the General Assembly, Criminal Court, and City Councils of the Colony. As a result, it is known as the “birthplace of businessman’s lunch.”
11. A la Petite Chaise. Paris, France (Established in 1680)
A la Petite Chaise, Paris’s second oldest restaurant, has been a meeting place for the social, political, and artistic elite since it opened in the late 17th century. The menu includes textbook-perfect renditions of French classics such as foie gras, escargot, and French onion soup.
12. Sobrino de Botin. Madrid, Spain (Established in 1725)
While lots of the restaurants on this list are much older, Sobrino de Botin‘s claim to fame is that the restaurant holds the name in the Guinness Book as the oldest restaurants in the world because it remains in its original building with the same interior from the 18th century.
To dine in the restaurant, which was originally named Casa Botin, was opened by a French cook named Jean Botin and his Austrian wife. The Botins never had children of their own, so they passed on the restaurant to Mrs. Botin’s nephew, and then it was renamed Sobrino de Botin. You should definitely try its legendary suckling pig and roasted lamb.
13. Fraunces Tavern. New York, USA. (Established in 1762)
In addition to being America’s oldest restaurant, New York City’s Fraunces boasts some pretty impressive and important connections with the country’s culture as well. George Washington took up residency in the building during the American Revolution, transforming it into his formal headquarters and eventually negotiating peace with the British inside it. On today’s date, it’s a whisky bar and restaurant at the southern tip of Manhattan.
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