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It’s not every day that you can eat in the oldest restaurant in the world (as recognised by the Guinness Book of Records – established in 1725). The secret of its staying power is fine cochinillo asado (roast suckling pig) and cordero asado (roast lamb) cooked in wood-fired ovens. Eating in the vaulted cellar is a treat.
Yes, it's filled with tourists. And yes, staff are keen to keep things ticking over and there's little chance to linger. But the novelty value is high and the food excellent.
The restaurant has also appeared in many novels about Madrid, most notably Ernest Hemingway's The Sun Also Rises and Frederick Forsyth's Icon and The Cobra. Much of this history is told in 'The Botín Experience' tours run by Insider's Madrid, which include a six-course lunch or dinner.