Top 7 Oldest Restaurants In The World

Restaurants, the vibrant nuclei of culinary artistry and conviviality, are more than mere establishments to satiate hunger; they are immersive theaters where flavors dance, aromas mesmerize, and conversations flow.

From humble family-run eateries to Michelin-starred temples of haute cuisine, restaurants span a spectrum as diverse as the cuisines they offer. However, the genesis of these ancient dining enclaves often dates back to eras when the world was vastly different, and the concept of a restaurant was yet to be defined.

Here we would like to share with you the top 7 oldest restaurants in the world that you can visit.

7. La Tour d’Argent (1582)

Credit: Wikimedia Commons via Rui Ornelas

La Tour d’Argent, a Parisian culinary icon, is known to be the oldest restaurant in France. Situated on the Left Bank of the Seine, this legendary establishment has adorned the Parisian skyline since the 16th century, tracing its origins back to 1582.

Renowned for its one Michelin star and captivating views of Notre Dame Cathedral, the restaurant has welcomed dignitaries, celebrities, and discerning diners from around the world.

Among its most celebrated offerings is the restaurant's signature dish, the pressed duck, which has become a hallmark of La Tour d’Argent's culinary legacy. It has been referenced in literary works such as Ernest Hemingway’s "A Moveable Feast" and has also inspired the restaurant depicted in Pixar’s 2007 film, "Ratatouille".

6. Honke Owariya (1465)

Credit: Flickr via City Foodsters

Honke Owariya, a revered establishment nestled in Kyoto, Japan, holds the prestigious title of being one of the oldest noodle restaurants in the world, tracing its origins back to 1465. Founded during the Muromachi period, Honke Owariya began as a purveyor of confectionery before evolving into a renowned soba noodle house.

The restaurant's legacy is deeply rooted in the artistry of soba—the traditional Japanese buckwheat noodles. Included among its signature dishes are the soba mochi and other specialties, such as chilled soba served with shiitake mushrooms, finely shredded omelet, shrimp tempura, nori, and Japanese leeks, all immersed in a broth crafted from pure Kyoto spring water.

Honke Owariya's unwavering dedication to preserving tradition while embracing innovation has solidified its position as a cherished restaurant in Kyoto.

5. Zum Franziskaner (1421)

Credit: Wikimedia Commons via Holger.Ellgaard

Zum Franziskaner, steeped in history and tradition, stands as a culinary landmark in Munich, Germany. With roots dating back to 1421, this restaurant is one of the oldest ones in Europe.

Originally established as a tavern by German monks during the era of King Erik of Pomerania they started selling food and drinks to the people. The restaurant's menu proudly showcases a repertoire of traditional dishes with a slight combination of German and Scandinavian cuisine.

Throughout its long history, Zum Franziskaner has remained a cherished destination, attracting locals and tourists around the world. Despite not being situated in its original structure, Zum Franziskaner has upheld its culinary traditions, serving the same food and beverages that it did nearly six centuries ago since its inception.

4. Ma Yu Ching’s Bucket Chicken House (1153)

Credit: The Chinese Quest

Ma Yu Ching’s Bucket Chicken House, a legendary dining establishment, has a storied history that traces its roots back to 1153 in Kaifeng, China. Founded during the Jin Dynasty, Ma Yu Ching’s Bucket Chicken House has captivated generations of diners with its exquisite culinary offerings and unique culinary legacy. 

The restaurant owes its name to its most famous dish, the "Bucket Chicken," a specialty that has garnered acclaim far and wide. This renowned dish was served in a wooden bucket and prepared using a secret blend of herbs and spices, resulting in succulent and flavorful chicken.

Guests immerse themselves in an atmosphere steeped in tradition, where savory dishes' aromas mingle with tales of ancient China. On top of that, UNESCO even recognized this restaurant as part of Henan Province's intangible cultural heritage in 2017.

3. The Old House 1147

Credit: Old House 1147 FB

Located in a rural setting about two miles south of Maesteg, The Old House began its journey as a pub during the 12th century, delighting visitors with traditional pies accompanied by peas and potatoes. 

As the name clearly states, this place was established back in 1147. Following an extensive renovation spanning several years, The Old House 1147 opened its doors in 2019, transforming into a sought-after wedding venue and restaurant.

Its menu has expanded to offer a diverse array of dishes, including modern creations like Welsh rarebit mac and cheese and Massaman curry while preserving the essence of tradition with timeless pies filled with beef, lamb, and chicken.

2. Wurstkuchl (1146)

Credit: Wikimedia Commons via Manuel Strehl

The Wurstkuchl, sometimes known as the sausage kitchen steeped in history and culinary tradition, stands as a venerable testament to the art of Bavarian gastronomy. Found aside the Danube River in Regensburg, Germany, this iconic eatery traces its roots back to 1146, making it one of the oldest restaurants in the world.

Its rustic facade and timber-framed architecture evoke a sense of nostalgia, transporting visitors back to a time when the aroma of sizzling sausages and the bustle of the marketplace filled the air.

When choosing to dine in at this restaurant, you have the opportunity to try their in-house pork sausages, cooked on a charcoal grill, complemented by sauerkraut sourced from their fermentation cellar on-site, and accompanied by mustard crafted from a longstanding and exclusive recipe.

1. St. Peter Stiftskulinarium (803 AD)

Nestled near the iconic Salzburg Cathedral, this venerable establishment boasts the distinction of being Europe's oldest restaurant and perhaps the whole world. Dating back to its founding in 803 AD, the St. Peter Stiftskulinarium has endured the passage of time, political upheavals, and cultural transformations, remaining an illustrious icon of Salzburg's gastronomic heritage.

Back then the restaurant served as a kitchen for Emperor Charlemagne and Bishop Arno of Salzburg. Despite undergoing numerous renovations, several of the initial dining chambers persist in their original state, hewn into the rock formations bordering the Abbey's original edifice. 

As of today, visitors have the opportunity to reserve a table within any of the 11 dining areas at St. Peter Stiftskulinarium, indulging in Wiener Schnitzel and selecting from the diverse array of wines the restaurant has to offer.


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