Oldest Restaurants in the World: A Comprehensive Guide and History

Delve into the rich history and culinary delights offered by some of the oldest restaurants in existence, where every dish serves a piece of timeless tradition.

Dive into a culinary journey through time as we explore the oldest restaurants in the world. From a 9th-century eatery in China to an 18th-century dining establishment in Paris, these restaurants have served meals for centuries, witnessing the rise and fall of empires, the evolution of cuisines, and changing dining trends.

Stay with us to discover the rich history, unique ambiance, and mouth-watering dishes that these enduring establishments offer. We promise to serve you a feast of interesting facts and tantalizing details about these age-old eateries.

Key takeaways:

  • St. Peter Stiftskulinarium in Austria: Medieval setting, world-renowned patrons, contemporary cuisine, incredible wine cellar, unique events.
  • Wurstkuchl in Germany: Historic sausage delights, unique historical context, picturesque location, adaptation to modern times, family tradition.
  • Union Oyster House in Boston, USA: Oldest continuously operating restaurant in America, native oyster pioneer, classic New England dishes, unchanged design.
  • Ma Yu Ching’s Bucket Chicken House in China: Ancient tradition, pressure-cooked chicken, appeal to Silk Road travelers, consistent quality, age-old recipe.
  • Restaurante Botín in Madrid, Spain: Guinness World Records’ oldest restaurant, traditional Spanish cuisine, esteemed clientele, historic building, dedication to quality and tradition.

St. Peter Stiftskulinarium: Gastronomic Heritage in Salzburg, Austria

Established in 803, St. Peter Stiftskulinarium is equally adored for its vibrant history and exquisite dining.

  • Medieval Klosterhof Setting: Preserving past grandeur, the restaurant’s location was once part of the monastery, evoking a sense of stepping back in time.
  • World-renowned Musicians: Over the centuries, luminaries like Christopher Columbus and Wolfgang Mozart have dined here.
  • Contemporary Culinary Genius: Helmed by chef Andreas Krebs, the kitchen churns out innovative dishes inspired by its rich past.
  • Incredible Wine Cellar: It offers an extensive range of wines, including rare Austrian varieties and internationally renowned brands.
  • Unique Events: The establishment frequently hosts Mozart dinner concerts, enhancing diners’ experience with culture and history.

Wurstkuchl: Historic Sausage Delights From Regensburg, Germany

Dating back to the 12th century, this eatery was initially established for the builders of the Regensburg Cathedral that still towers across the street, giving it a unique historical context.

The specialty: Regensburg sausages, a unique delicacy, grilled on an open charcoal grill.

Location: Its quaint setting by the town’s historic bridge, the Stone Bridge, adds charm, attracting locals and tourists alike.

Innovativeness: Despite the historic setting, the eatery has adapted to modern times by adding a beer garden.

Preservation: The business remains in the hands of the same family since the early 19th century, maintaining traditions and authenticity.

Recognition: It’s been recognized as Germany’s oldest public social bratwurst kitchen.

Union Oyster House: Boston’s Historic Seafood Hub

Established in 1826, the renowned establishment has held its ground for nearly two centuries, marking it as the oldest continuously operating restaurant in America. The venue is reputable for pioneering the serving of the native oyster, a hit among Boston’s early settlers.

The classic New England clam chowder and the succulent lobster, signature dishes of the eatery, continue to win accolades.

  • Notable patrons, including the American President John F. Kennedy.
  • Listed on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places in 2003.
  • Famous for its toothsome seafood dishes.
  • Unchanged design, reflecting Boston’s 19th Century architectural aesthetics.

Ma Yu Ching’s Bucket Chicken House: Kaifeng’s Oldest Edible Tradition, China

With a legacy dating back to 1153, Ma Yu Ching’s Bucket Chicken House has anchored itself firmly in culinary history. Here’s what you need to know about this staple of Kaifeng:

  • Established during the Jian Sheng era under the reign of Jin Dynasty Emperor Hailing Wang.
  • Primarily famous for its pressure-cooked, marinated chicken packed in porcelain jars or ‘buckets’, a feature lending the restaurant its unique name.
  • Not just a local favorite, but also a regular stopover for weary Silk Road travelers.
  • The restaurant’s enduring presence is a testament to its consistent quality and adaptation to change over nearly nine centuries.
  • Their secret lies in an age-old recipe, passed down generations, with satisfaction guaranteed in every bite.

Please remember that a visit to Ma Yu Ching’s Bucket Chicken House is more than a meal: it’s a chance to taste centuries-old culinary traditions still alive in Kaifeng.

Restaurante Botín: Culinary Excellence Spanning Centuries in Madrid, Spain

Credited as the oldest restaurant in the world by none other than the Guinness World Records, Restaurante Botín has been serving its delighted patrons since 1725. A must-visit gem nested in the heart of Madrid, it maintains an enticingly historic aura alongside its culinary ventures.

Known for its adherence to traditional Spanish cooking methods, the restaurant showcases the essence of Spain’s rich cultural and gastronomic panorama.

  • Continual operation since 1725 in the same location
  • Notable for traditional Spanish cuisine, specifically Roast Suckling Pig and Roast Lamb
  • Host to esteemed clientele including Ernest Hemingway and Graham Greene
  • Maintains four-story historic building, adorning antiques and original wooden furnitures
  • Dedicated to quality, tradition and sustainability in cooking methods and ingredients
  • Acknowledged by Guinness World Records in 1987

Honke Owariya: Tradition and Noodles Converge in Kyoto, Japan

Operating since 1465, initially as a confectionery shop, Honke Owariya has significantly grown to become one of Kyoto’s oldest noodle houses. It was patronized by the Imperial Palace, showcasing an unparalleled legacy in Japanese cuisine.

Here are some notable aspects explaining its iconic status:

  • Specialty in Soba: Emphasizing thin, buckwheat noodles with unique recipes – made from scratch, with traditional methods.
  • Royal Patronage: Endorsed by the Imperial Family of Japan, making it a place of historical dining significance.
  • Authentic Atmosphere: The restaurant setting is preserved in its traditional Japanese authenticity including low tables, tatami mats, and divider screens.
  • Culinary Evolution: Despite being renowned for its soba, the menu offers different types of dishes, indicating the evolution according to modern preferences.
  • High-Quality Ingredients: Sourced locally from Kyoto, playing a pivotal role in maintaining the familiar, consistent taste.

Rules Restaurant: Serving British History On a Plate in London, England

Founded in 1798, Rules Restaurant holds status as London’s oldest dining establishment open for service. Prominent figures from politics, literature, and the arts have dined within its historic walls, including Charles Dickens and H.G Wells, among others.

Key points:

  • Primarily offering classic British game cuisine reflecting its rich past.
  • Location: sits in the artistic heart of London, Covent Garden.
  • Holds an impressive collection of original artworks and caricatures.
  • Maintained its traditional British décor, providing an authentic atmosphere.
  • Famed for its vast selection of British game and traditional puddings.


Which is the oldest restaurant in the world?

The oldest restaurant in the world, according to the Guinness World Records, is Restaurante Botín in Madrid, Spain, which has been operative since 1725.

What is the oldest restaurant in the US?

The oldest restaurant in the United States is the White Horse Tavern, serving guests since 1673.

What's the second oldest restaurant?

The second oldest restaurant in the world is Wurstkuchl in Germany, which has been serving its renowned sausages and sauerkraut since 1146.

What is the oldest continuously open public restaurant in the world?

The oldest continuously open public restaurant in the world is Restaurante Sobrino de Botín, inaugurated in 1725 and located in Madrid, Spain.

Which is the oldest restaurant in Europe?

The oldest restaurant in Europe is Stiftskeller St. Peter, located in Salzburg, Austria, dating back to 803 AD.

What is the oldest surviving restaurant in Asia?

The oldest surviving restaurant in Asia is Ma Yu Ching's Bucket Chicken House in Kaifeng, China, established in 1153.

Who was the founder of the world's first restaurant?

The world's first restaurant was founded by Monsieur Boulanger in Paris, France in 1765.