Nestled in the heart of Madrid, a 300-year-old restaurant attracts tens of thousands of guests for its two famous dishes: roast suckling pig (cochinillo) and roast baby lamb (cordero lechal).
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Sobrino de Botin – the oldest running restaurant in Spain and in the world as listed in the Guinness Book of Records – is situated on Calle de Cuchilleros in Madrid, Spain. First opened as an inn, the landmark eatery was founded in 1725 by French cook Jean Botín and his wife. Botín is famed for its rustic Castilian cuisine, including succulent roast meat fired in an oven that’s close to 300 years old.
The restaurant’s name was changed from Casa Botín to Sobrino de Botín (“nephew of Botín”) when Mrs. Botín died and her nephew took over. It is now owned by the González family. Botín has four floors and the air of a traditional Spanish tavern. There are three dining rooms: the bodega (the wine cellar), the Castilla room, and the Felipe IV room.
The most famous dishes here are the cochinillo asado (roast suckling pig) and the cordero asado (roast baby lamb).These two specialities have had a long history of about 300 years. The restaurant receives suckling pigs from Segovia and lambs from Sepúlveda three to four times per week.
Both the lambs and pigs are roasted in the nearly 300-year-old original wood-fired oven made of cast iron.
The roast suckling pig mostly meet my high expectations. The meat is tender and moist, and the skin is delightfully salty and crispy. Crispy skin on the outside, tender meat on the inside, the suckling pig is served with a side of roast potatoes.
Hemingway was a glutton for Botín’s sucking pig, so much so that he immortalized it in “The Sun Also Rises.” From the book: “We lunched upstairs at Botín’s. It is one of the best restaurants in the world. We had roast young suckling pig and drank rioja alta.”
If you’re lucky, your meal will come with a side of live Spanish music.
Here’s a look at the full menu.
Today, the restaurant is a must-visit attraction for visitors to Madrid, but even so, many locals still go to feast on the restaurant’s specialties. Just under 300 years old, the oven of Sobrino de Botín still churns out delicious food, so delicious that the restaurant, decorated with traditional Spanish artwork has attracted quite the clientele over the years.
Sobrino de botin Madrid prices
It’s not every day that you can eat in the oldest restaurant in the world (the Guinness Book of Records has recognised it as the oldest – established in 1725). The secret of its staying power is fine cochinillo asado (roast suckling pig; €25) and cordero asado (roast lamb; €25) cooked in wood-fired ovens. Eating in the vaulted cellar is a treat.
The restaurant has also appeared in many novels about Madrid, most notably Hemingway’s The Sun Also Rises and Frederick Forsyth’s Icon and The Cobra. Much of this history is told in tours run by Insider’s Madrid. The tours (€75) run for 45 minutes from 12.15pm and 7pm, and include a six-course lunch or dinner and a small ceramic gift.
Sobrino de Botin menu prices
Starter. € 21.55. Melon with ham. € 19.15. Smoked salmon. € 16.95. A quarter of an hour soup (fish)
Main course. € 23.45. Roast pig. € 25.30. Sirloin Booty. € 22.95. Clam Booty.
Dessert. Booze cream cake. Bartolillos of Madrid. Ice cream biscuit with figs and nuts.
- Address: Calle de los Cuchilleros 17, 28005 Madrid, Spain
- Opening hours: 1:00 pm – 4:00 pm, 8:00 pm – 12:00 am
- Tel: +34 91 366 42 17
- Website: www.botin.es
- Facebook: www.facebook.com/RestauranteBotin