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Restaurant Botin, Madrid

Says it's the oldest restaurant in the world so naturally I'm intrigued.
We are in Madrid next week and best we could get was a 10PM table.
IS it worth it? Suggestions?

Posted by
4886 posts

10 PM is not late in Madrid, it's practically prime time! I liked it fine, for the suckling pig and the Hemmingway connection.

Posted by
5281 posts

It is certainly old in appearance, just getting to your table can take you through a labyrinth, and in our case through the kitchen.

Oldest restaurant is debatable, contingent on a number of conditions, but it is certainly atmospheric, the staff professional, maybe caters more to the tourists than locals, but given the press it gets, that is to be expected.

We did enjoy the food very much, the suckling pig was very good, better than other places? Can't say, but still good.

If you want more info, Google "Travel Channel Botin Madrid" both Anthony Bourdain and Andrew Zimmern have done shows featuring the place, so they take it as serious food as opposed to tourist show.

Posted by
6579 posts

You are lucky to get a 10:00pm reservation. Locals picked us up to dine there at 20:39 and acted like that was a little early for them. Enjoy!

Posted by
4524 posts

I've eaten there and it is good food. Not the best but you'll get a good overview of traditional roasted meats from Spain. Great atmosphere and character.

As noted, 10:00 is considered prime time dining in Spain. Most Americans are not used to such late dining. That can be very difficult on your first few days in Europe, but if you condition yourself, it doesn't seem so bad. Eat a late lunch (noon is also considered early for lunch) and have a late afternoon snack or early evening tapas.

If such late dining is not for you, another classic is Casa Mingo. It's open all day so it's perfect for an early dinner. Their specialty is roast chicken. Be sure to get a bottle of cider to go with it. No reservations; it's a big place with lots of tables.

Posted by
18853 posts

Lunch in Spain is basically 2 PM - 4 PM, at least in the summer. I can't hack the late dinner hours, so I ate my main meal at lunch most days and got tapas for "dinner" sometime between 7 PM (which is early, I think) and 9 PM or so. Mid-day tapas spreads usually appear around noon, which can work for people who prefer the light meal at lunch time.

I found the San Miguel market a life-saver during my visit to Madrid. Tapas at any time!

Perhaps everything will be happening just a bit earlier in December?

Posted by
1160 posts

Well, the last time I dined at Botin, a photo of the then Queen of Spain entertaining Hillary Clinton there looked over me from the wall... there is a legend the young Goya washed dishes there to earn his living through his studies.