The World’s Oldest Restaurants (Slideshow)
December 2, 2013
From Mexico to Switzerland, here are 9 long-standing joints around the world
Hiltl — Zurich (Established in 1898)
The world’s oldest continuously open vegetarian restaurant has been serving meatless meals since 1898. The casual dining facility, which offers more than 100 meat-free buffet menu options like puff pastry with a mushroom cream sauce, seats up to 500 diners, making it one of Switzerland’s largest restaurants.
Specialty: Colonial Curry (mushroom curry topped with fruit).
Hosteria de Santo Domingo del Sur — Mexico City (Established in 1860)
Rumor has it that this Mexican hot spot established in 1860 — known for its excellent service and period ambience — may be haunted. But talk of ghosts and goblins doesn’t keep tourists and locals from pouring in for classic Mexican fare and live chamber music.
Specialty: Chile en Nogada (stuffed chile in walnut sauce with pomegranate seeds).
Union Oyster House — Boston (Established in 1826)
The Union Oyster House, opened in 1826 and situated on the Freedom Trail in Boston, has been designated a National Historic Landmark, and is the oldest restaurant in continuous service in the United States and the oldest restaurant in Boston.
Specialty: Salty mollusks and clam "chowdah."
Rules Restaurant — London (Established in 1798)
London’s oldest restaurant has a star-studded past that includes a list of famous patrons like Charlie Chaplin, Laurence Olivier, and Charles Dickens, who all dined at this eatery that first opened its doors in 1798.
Specialty: Classic game, oysters, pies, and puddings.
Sobrino de Botín — Madrid (Established in 1725)
Legend has it that Ernest Hemingway was a frequent patron of Sobrino de Botín — he mentions the restaurant in the in the final two pages of his novel The Sun Also Rises — which opened its doors in 1725. Today, the restaurant still serves traditional Spanish food, and if you want to eat at the Hemingway Table, show up early or make a reservation (it only seats two people).
Specialty: Roast suckling pig.
A La Petite Chaise — Paris (Established in 1680)
The oldest restaurant in Paris is A La Petite Chaise, a classic French bistro founded in 1680 under the reign of Louis XIV, which offers traditional French cuisine like foie gras, escargots, and French onion soup.
Specialty: Roasted duck breast with apple and chestnuts.
Die Letzten Instanz — Berlin, Germany (Established in 1621)
The oldest restaurant in Berlin dates back to 1621, when a former servant of the Elector opened a gin mill. Today, the former watering hole is a full-fledged rustic eatery popular amongst tourists.
Specialty: Grilled pork knuckles.
La Tour d’Argent — Paris (Established in 1582)
It’s no surprise that the City of Light claims one of the oldest restaurants on the planet. Home to some of the most exquisite eateries in the world, Paris also hosts La Tour d’Argent, which professes to have been open since 1582, and is upheld as the standard of luxurious dining in France.
Specialty: Duck, especially the Caneton Tour d'Argent (pressed duck), which consists of various parts of the bird served in a sauce made of its blood and bone marrow, extracted by pressing the duck in a special "press device."
St. Peter Stiftskeller — Salzburg, Austria (Established in 803 A.D)
This historical restaurant in Salzburg, Austria, sits amid the ancient monastery walls of St. Peter's Archabbey. For more than 1,200 years — St. Peter Stiftskeller was founded in 803 A.D. — this upscale haunt has served both modern and traditional cuisine to everyone from former President Bill Clinton and Clint Eastwood to the Princess of Norway.
Specialty: Tafelspitz (boiled beef in broth served with horseradish).