11 of the Oldest Restaurants in the World

They’re obviously doing something right!

It’s been said that restaurants are among the most likely businesses that can close down very quickly. But then again there are some restaurants that didn’t quite get the memo. Here are the restaurants that measure their existence in centuries instead of mere years.

Honke Owariya in Kyoto, Japan — established in 1465

This began as a small confectionery shop in 1465. Soon afterwards, the kneading, rolling, and cutting skills they perfected were also used to produce the tasty bowls of soba (Japanese buckwheat noodles). More than 5 centuries later, it’s still a hallowed landmark in Kyoto and foodies from all over the world still come to visit.

Zum Franziskaner in Stockholm — established in 1421

This is undoubtedly the oldest restaurant in Stockholm. It was established in 1421, which means it was already up and running for years when Joan of Arc began her adventures. It even predates the rule of the Incas in Peru! Today, you can still enjoy cozy and casual dining surrounded by authentic Art Nouveau fixtures.

St. Peter Stiftskeller in Salzburg, Austria — established in 803

By the time the first two entries on this list were established, St. Peter Stiftskeller in Salzburg, Austria had been around for 6 centuries! It’s the oldest restaurant in the whole of Europe, as the famous poet Alcuin in the year 803 wrote in a document that mentions the restaurant. That means it was established before Alfred the Great and around the time of Charlemagne’s coronation. It has served royalty and high-ranking clergy through the ages, and you can feel like the royalty when you dine here.

Biànyífāng in Beijing — established in 1416

Beijing has its own ancient restaurant that’s still famous even today, and that’s Biànyífāng. The roast duck has been served here for emperors for centuries, and that’s an experience you can still get. Nowadays, local residents and countless tourists still vie for a spot at this famous restaurant.

Zur Letzten Instanz in Berlin — established in 1621

This place has a rather muddled origin. Technically, the restaurant was established in 1641. But documents dated as early as 1561 contain mentions of this Berlin restaurant. Treats like the grilled pork knuckle have been enjoyed by historical figures from Napoleon to Angela Merkel.

White Horse Tavern in Newport, Rhode Island — established in 1673

This is pretty much the oldest tavern in America. It’s been serving beer and grub to soldiers and colonists for more than 350 years now. Just find the white horse symbol, since in those days the usual patrons couldn’t read!

Sobrino de Botín in Madrid — established in 1725

The place has been around for almost 300 years, and its renowned suckling pig will probably ensure that it’ll be around for a while longer. Back in 1935, that dish cost just 5¢! At least now it’s still affordable at about $15. The famous Spanish painter Francisco Goya worked as a dishwasher here in 1765. It’s a good thing he changed careers!

The Tour d’Argent in Paris — established in 1582

Legend has it that the dining fork made its first historical appearance in this very restaurant. What’s not in doubt is how its location offers diners a spectacular view of the Seine. It’s one of the reasons why Henry III and his lords celebrated here after their hunts.

Karim’s in Old Delhi — established in 1913

Haji Karimuddin went back to Old Delhi in 1913, after their family fled the city with their recipes when the last Mughal king was dethroned in 1857. He opened his Karim Hotel aiming to provide “royal food to the common man”, since aloo gosht and other dishes were the royal food of the Mughal.

Tavares Rico in Lisbon — established in 1784

Since it was established, it has offered elegant surroundings for patrons that a king would have appreciated. It remains the most common gathering spot for family and friends in the country.

Rules Restaurant in London — established in 1798

Over the centuries it has remained faithful to its goal of offering the best traditional food of the country at affordable prices. Notable personalities who have dined here include Charles Dickens and H.G. Wells, along with Charlie Chaplin and Clarke Gable.

With these places, the richness of the history of the place is part of the atmosphere, and no new restaurant can ever hope to provide that same vibe.

Category: General Food

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