Every year there’s some new food trend that seems to sweep the internet. Remember when cupcakes were all the rage? Rainbow grilled cheeses? How about the cronut? But some meals are bigger than the trends. And most of those long-lasting dishes can be found in a few of the oldest restaurants in the world. By Stacey Leasca
In a time when restaurants seem to come and go with the seasons, there are a few standout stars that have somehow stood the test of time. And we’re not talking a few decades — we’re talking a few centuries.
NetCredit, a financial services provider, waded into the historical waters and created a list of the oldest restaurants in more than 115 countries around the globe. To reach its conclusion, it simply used the qualification that a restaurant is “still serving today,” meaning it could have changed hands, names, or gone through renovations since its opening day. It then looked through records and historical data to formalise its list of the 10 oldest restaurants in the world.
Coming in at the number 10 spot is Gostilna Gastuž, a restaurant that has been serving food in Slovenia since 1467. According to NetCredit, it’s long been famous for mushroom soup and buckwheat porridge.
Honke Owariya in Japan landed at number nine on the list. It’s been doling out its famous soba made with mushrooms, egg, shrimp tempura, nori, leeks, and daikon since 1465.
The eighth-oldest restaurant on the list is Hotel Gasthof Löwen, located in Liechtenstein. It’s served happy patrons veal with vegetables since 1380. It’s closely followed by the seventh-oldest restaurant, The Sheep Heid Inn in Scotland, which has served steak and roasted mushrooms since 1360.
In 1345, the sixth-oldest restaurant, La Couronne in France, opened its doors to offer duck, roasts, and escargot. And in 1198, the fifth-oldest restaurant, The Brazen Head in Ireland, opened to serve bangers and mash.
In the fourth-oldest spot sits Ma Yu Ching’s Bucket Chicken House in China, which first served buckets of chicken in 1153. Just a few years earlier, in 1147, the third-oldest restaurant, The Old House in Wales, began feeding customers pies with chips and peas.
And, in 1146, the second-oldest restaurant, Wurstkuchl in Germany, cooked its sausages and sauerkraut. While these places all certainly have a rich (and tasty) history, none quite match the length of St Peter Stiftskulinarium in Austria, which opened way back in the year 803 and served tafelspitz (boiled beef with minced apple and horseradish). NetCredit put the restaurant’s age in perspective when it wrote that it served “both Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and Clint Eastwood.”
Looking to dine at the oldest restaurant in the United States? You can, by heading to Newport, Rhode Island, and making a reservation at The White Horse Tavern, which a pirate named William Mayes opened in 1673. Sure, it may not be as old as the others, but as someone who grew up just a few miles away from the restaurant, I can tell you it’s just as tasty. Check out the entire list of oldest restaurants, along with all the research that went into this unique project, here.
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