Touted as the oldest restaurant (per Guinness records) in the world, it is still called by its original name. Casa Botin. Founded by a French man by the name of Jean Botin in 1725 but has since been renamed Sobrino de Botin.
Sobrino means nephew in Spanish. Jean Botin's nephew inherited the restaurante and has maintained the old favorites in its menú : cochinillo asado (roast suckling pig), sopa de ajo (more than just a garlic soup!) and cordero asado (roast lamb).
The cellar is where you'd find Ernest Hemingway's "favorite corner". It is claimed that he wrote much of one of his novels here. In fact, the restaurant and its signature dish of cochinillo is mentioned in Hemingway's "The Sun Also Rises".
Another related story is that of the famous artist Francisco Goya working here either as a waiter or dishwasher before he became a painter. Who knows? Thing with really, really old places is that many stories and legends are weaved into it that it's hard to separate truth from fiction.
Casa Botin is just off Madrid's Plaza Mayor in Calle Cuchilleros, 17. Don't miss the cochinillo asado for its tender meat, crunchy skin and very flavorful. Buen provecho!
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