Restaurantes con solera: Casa Botín
The name does not come from the president of an important Spanish bank; this restaurant boasts, and rightfully so since it is certified with a Guinness plaque (the records one, not the beers), of being the oldest in the world. The date is subject to controversy since there are older restaurants in the world although if you google “oldest restaurant in the world” you will find Casa Botín in the top places. In any case, it is the oldest in Spain, opening its doors in 1725 during the reign of King Felipe V, the first king of the House of Bourbon in Spain. It rivals with Can Culleretes in barcelona, a restaurant that has offered Catalan gastronomic specialities since 1786.
In fact, it is called, as the plaque says at the entrance, Restaurante Sobrino de Botín, and it is just a stone’s throw from the Plaza Mayor, on the picturesque Calle de Cuchilleros. Its interior with four floors surprises the visitors with its intricate rooms. Its menu does not include over complicated dishes of fusion cuisine but rather traditional and simple cuisine, with juicy stews and starters such as asparagus or peppers, although they all have the special charm of the restaurant, filled with lovely corners and old-style waiters. However, do not expect a local crowd in there because it is full of Japanese and European tourists, tourists with a deep pocket since it is not particularly cheap; age has a price.
Far from stalling and living from the past, the oldest restaurant in Spain is showing signs of adapting to the changes, as its online reservations network shows, as well as its presence in the social networks and YouTube. Also, the business is open to expansion, exemplified with its restaurant in Toledo, where they serve every day in the Army Museum and have a fantastic terrace with a view over the river Tajo. The latest heirs of the restaurant also want to bring new dishes to the menu and have incorporated paellas made in true Valencian style, with water and vegetables brought especially from this region, an excellent example of how the different parts of Spain that come together in Madrid. Isn’t that fusion cuisine?
Enjoying lunch or dinner at Casa Botín is a unique experience for foodies staying in our hotel. From Hotel Victoria 4 we can walk to the Plaza Mayor in just a few minutes. You just have to cross the Puerta del Sol, from its birth in Plaza de Santo Domingo.