Restaurant as a public venue emerged as a concept in 1765 when a soup seller in Paris started selling the soup on the streets. Adding along with food, the seller formulated a menu for the customers. The definition for a restaurant emerged in 1802, where it was a place to serve people superior food, with seating areas and waiters serving the dishes.
Different types of dining areas have been established since then, from fine dining to casual food servings. Restaurants are indeed one of the best public spaces used around the world. With innovation in architecture, newer styles of restaurants are built all around the world. But won’t you agree that the ambiance of a restaurant that is a century or two old is something special!
So, here are 20 one-of-their-kind oldest restaurants in the world:
1. St. Peter Stiftskulinarium in Salzburg, Austria, 803 CE | Oldest Restaurants
Starting from the oldest Restaurant in Europe, St. Peter Stifskulinarium stands erect inside St. Peter’s Abbey. The gourmet cuisine restaurant had served a lot of Austrian delicacies through its delectable history. The Heart-melting architecture of the space has always been one of the finest restaurants for the citizens.
Renovations through the timeline have altered the core architecture, yet the vaulted dining carved out from stone stands firm.
2. Union Oyster House in Boston, EST 1826
As we enter, the brown-textured-themed iconic Oyster House built in 1826 takes us back in time. A Nostalgic ambiance is generated by the wall of memories installed with old news clippings, photographs, and a booth dedicated to the well-known regulars.
The emphasis of Georgian Architecture can be seen from the windows and the cobblestone sidewalks. The authentic décor would with polished wooden interiors make you feel immersed in the past.
3. Sobrino de Botin. Madrid, Spain | Oldest Restaurants
The restaurant serving roasted meat with a 300-year-old stove is a famous spot among tourists. The architecture of the old restaurant is still intact since its establishment. With the four floors of serving, the ground floor used to be a wine cellar.
Now, the structure has wooden beams spanning across the structure, tiled flooring, and lined arched brick walls. The higher floors feature traditional Spanish décor.
4. White House Tavern, Newport
Constructed in 1652 as a Two-storey residence, the building was converted into a tavern in 1673. For almost 100 years, the tavern was used as a meeting place for Colony’s general assembly. Architectural elements highlighted in the structure are clapboard walls, gambrel roof, pediment doors, and fireplaces.
5. The Bright Star, Alabama | Oldest Restaurants
Established in 1907, the restaurant has been serving generations of customers its specialty Greek-style snapper and steak. It started as a small café with a horse-shaped bar, tiled flooring, mirrored and marbled walls. With its expansion in 1978 with the banquet, the restaurant became an important landmark for the city.
6. El Floridita, Havana
Reminiscent of the retro classical movies, the El Floridita bar with the pink façade is located at the corner of the street serving fish recipes and also a cocktail bar. Established in 1817, the bar showcases Cuban architecture with Baroque features. The place still preserves the older ambiance with the red coats of bartenders matching the elegant decoration preserved from the late ‘50s.
7. Leopold Café, Mumbai, India
Founded by the Iranis in 1871, the Leopold café carries on the Persian-style Irani cafés. Started as a cooking oil store, the café got renovated over time. Today, standing as a multi-cuisine restaurant, it showcases a mild tint of history. Photographs on the wall and wooden aesthetics create an overall aura of the past era.
8. Honke Owariya, Kyoto, Japan
Started off as a confectionery store in Kyoto, Honke Owariya perfectly relives the Japanese zen culture through its design and ambiance. The use of bamboo, stone, and landscape detail the architectural features following the zen philosophy of balance. The restaurant is a perfect example of maintaining traditions through architecture.
9. Café Brasilero, Montevideo
The 1877 established coffee shop is a small restaurant with colonial-themed interiors. The large windows on the front allow visitors to peek through and see the wooden aesthetics inside. The photographs and the ambient lighting add to the overall colonial effect. Surely, an ideal coffee place for meetings, dates, or for a passer-by to rest for a while.
10. La Tour d’Argent, Paris | Oldest Restaurants
Opened in 1582, this restaurant in Paris overlooks the skyline of Paris. Along the river Seine, the view it offers is magnificent: grey buildings, dark rooftops, and the emphasis on the red terracotta chimney protruding out of the roofs.
The Grandeur of the room is justified by the royal blue and gold carpet, chairs draped in heavy linen and royal blue velvet cushion adds a cinematic aura to the place.
11. Zum Franziskaner, Stockholm
One of the oldest restaurants in Stockholm, the restaurant serves traditional Swedish dishes attracting a lot of tourists. Smaller décor elements add to the wooden finish of the interiors. Emerged with the Swedish-german concept, the Beerhall is still intact with the Art nouveau interior signifying the old Architectural era.
12. A La Petite Chaise, Paris 1630
The restaurant takes its call from the transformation of a vintage French word “cheze” of Latin origin, casa, which means remote residence. The first creation of this construction dates from 1610 and turned a small patch called “the little Louvre” close to Grenelle. Between 1652 and 1680, the residence was raised.
The Iron gate outside the Restaurant is from the 16th century and a popular Attraction amongst the tourist. The Authentic French influence can be felt inside with the interior decors.
13. Fraunces Tavern, New York | Oldest Restaurants
Now known as the Fraunces Tavern, the building on the corner of Broad Street and Pearl Street has played many roles in the history of the city. It’s often hailed as one of the last vestiges of colonial architecture in the downtown area, but the current tavern bears little resemblance to the original structure.
As a tavern and public space, the building was a true center of colonial life. The “good cuisine and the excellent wines” made it a suitable meeting place for various societies, activists, and public events.
14. Griswold Inn, Essex
When you step into the Griswold Inn in Essex, you find a room full of strange things. An old nautical chart here, old signs there, low ceilings, and long-distance architectural details everywhere. The walls of the inn and taverns are covered with paintings, sketches, and ephemera that illustrate the history of horror as a meeting place and indeed the region of the river valley from 1776 onwards.
15. Rules Restaurant, London | Oldest Restaurants
Primarily opened as an Oyster bar in 1798, it continues to serve British cuisine. Efforts have been made to carefully preserve the original features of the main restaurant and cocktail bar. The walls are decorated with several sketches, oil paintings, and cartoons collected throughout their history. All the prominent architectural features like the segmental arches, pilasters with foliate caps, and entablature fascia preserve the traditional noble ambiance.
16. Britannia & Co, London
Britannia & Co has been serving Parsi cuisine since 1923 and is perhaps the most iconic Iranian coffee in Mumbai and one of the last of its kind. The restaurant is located in a large Renaissance–style building designed by Scottish architect George Wittet, who also designed the Gateway of India.
The theme of the restaurant completely merges with the Building style with the vintage ambiance.
17. The Brazen Head, Dublin
The Brazen Head is a pub in merchant’s Quay in Ireland. Dating back to 1918 through archaeological evidence, it is claimed to be the 5th oldest restaurant in the world. Brazen Head is home to the best of traditional Irish music. The seating area within the courtyard with Irish music and the food creates a majestic experience for the customers.
18. Old Man and Scythe, Bolton UK
Ye Olde Man & Scythe is a famous old-fashioned bar in England. With its first documentary mentioned back in the 13th century, this Bolton pub has gradually built a reputation for cool pints. The inn has a wooden structure and a slate roof.
The building, which houses a tavern and a shop, has a gallery with four windows with a gable at each end, which has sloping windows on each floor.
19. Al Brindisi, Ferrara, Italy
Al Brindisi dates back to 1435 and is recognized as the oldest wine bar in the world. Ferrara combines the solid architecture of Florence with the sensual melancholy of Venice, enhanced by the presence of the mists that surround it for most of the year.
The tavern is claimed to be visited by famous astronomers Galileo and Nicolaus Copernicus. Embracing the Italian culture, the bar proves to be an architectural heritage.
20. Kwality, Delhi 1940 | Oldest Restaurants
One of the oldest restaurants in Delhi, Kwality opened up at Connaught place in 1940. The velvet curtains, the wooden furniture with cushions, and the royal sense of architecture have retained the novelty of space through decades of serving. The restaurant serves Indian and Continental cuisine.
Recently shut for extensive renovations, it reopened this month—complete with green retro awnings and red velvet curtains to revive old-fashioned glamour in a brand new luster.