Ernest Hemingway really ate at Botín, and he set a scene here at the end of The Sun Also Rises. The establishment has been trading on that publicity ever since, along with the ruling by the Guinness Book of World Records that it is the world’s oldest restaurant still in business (since 1725). It’s a charming tourist trap with good-tasting but pricey food. As you enter, peek into the kitchen to see racks of suckling pigs ready to go into the wood-fired oven. If your party is large enough to order a whole pig, it is brought to the table with great ceremony and then—bam!—smashed on top to break it into parts. The daily menu gets you garlic soup as a starter, a serving of roast suckling pig, a drink, and ice cream. But you can enjoy the authentic 18th-century atmosphere and eat as well on roast chicken for much less money. Roast lamb is another house specialty, but most diners opt for the pork.
- Frommer's Staff