According to the Guinness Book of World Records the oldest restaurant in the world is Sobrino de Botin in Madrid. It has been operating continuously since 1725. Originally opened as Casa Botin by James Botin, it was inherited by his nephew Candido Remis and renamed to Sobrino de Botin (nephew of Botin). Located in the center of the capital of a European country it mentioned many times in Western Literature.
Botin is in the old part of Madrid next to Plaza Mayor which is now the touristy part of Madrid. Sobrino de Botin is not overcrowded by tourists; it actually seems to be mostly for locals. If it can be considered a tourist destination, it is because of the history of the restaurant and the fact that the tourism of Madrid has grown up around it.
Restaurants often live and die on the basis of what is trendy. Botin serves not trendy food. The menu is traditional, its specialties being roasted suckling pig and roasted lamb. It has basically been serving the same food since it became legal for establishments to serve food in Spain.
It is rumored that the famous Spanish painter Goya worked at a dishwasher in Botin before gaining fame in the arts. The history of the restaurant, however, is best seen in the many novels in which it has been mentioned. And many writers visited this place – it even has Hemingway’s table, at which anyone can has dinner.
If you are going to travel to Madrid, consider lunch or dinner at Botin. You can experience traditional food and an historic restaurant (later you may tell your friends about visiting the oldest restaurant in the world with pride).