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These 8 Restaurants Are Almost As Old As Time

After covering the world’s oldest cities and hotels, it’s time to find out which restaurants have been around the longest. From Austria to Japan and the US, these establishments have continued serving their signature dishes as the world went through more than one drastic change. Many restaurants come and go, but these 8 managed to survive and flourish for centuries. 

1. St. Peter Stiftskulinarium in Salzburg, Austria, 803 CE

oldest restaurants in the world St. Peter Stiftskulinarium in Salzburg
Image Source: Winnie W. / Yelp (left), Twitter (right)

This restaurant, located in St. Peter’s Abbey is believed to be the oldest existing restaurant in the world. After all, it has been serving traditional Austrian dishes for over 1,200 years! 

Although the building has gone through many renovations, some of the original dining rooms still stand as they were carved into the stone of the Abbey’s original structure. A hallmark of this establishment is the Daily Mozart Concert, performed every evening by six musicians and two singers wearing period costumes. Interestingly, Mozart himself is said to have been served at St. Peter Stiftskulinarium.

2. The Old House in Maesteg, Wales, 1147

oldest restaurants in the world The Old House in Maesteg,

This pub and restaurant can be found in the Welsh medieval village of Llangynwyd and is likely the country’s oldest pub. It was founded in the 1100s and there is long-standing discussion weather it was built after the Skirrid Inn in Abergavenny, which is believed to be slightly older, however, there is no official confirmation of that.

The restaurant's signature dish is the Old House Pie, an individually made pie served with traditional chips and peas, with fillings that change by the day. Among the famous guests of The Old House are Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor.

3. Piwnica Świdnicka in Wroclaw, Poland, 1273

oldest restaurants in the world Piwnica Świdnicka in Wroclaw

This 700-year-old restaurant is located in the basement of Wroclaw's City Hall. It is the second oldest restaurant in Europe (following Austria’s St. Peter Stiftskulinarium). Piwnica Świdnicka translates into Świdnica Cellar, the name comes from the nearby town of Swidnica, from which beer was delivered to the restaurant in the Middle Ages.

Visitors can enjoy traditional Polish pierogi, alongside some cold beer from the Swidnica brewery. 

Related: 35 Restaurants with Spectacular Views

4. The Sheep Heid Inn in Edinburgh, Scotland, 1360

oldest restaurants in the world The Sheep Heid Inn in Edinburgh, Scotland, 1360

Image source: April D. / Yelp (left), The Sheep Heid Inn / Facebook (right)

The Sheep Heid Inn is famous for being the oldest surviving pub and restaurant in Scotland, dating back to 1360. During the medieval period, sheep were reared in the nearby Holyrood Park and then brought to Duddingston (back then it was a village east of Edinburgh but now it is a part of the city) for slaughter. It is believed that many of the residents of Duddingston became experts at using the head of the sheep in many different dishes and this is where the inn got its name. 

The pub’s signature dish is its selection of steaks served with rustic chips.

5. Zum Franziskaner in Stockholm, Sweden, 1421

oldest restaurants in the world Zum Franziskaner in Stockholm

Zum Franziskaner, Stockholm’s oldest restaurant was founded by German monks in 1421. Therefore, the food served at the restaurant combines the German roots of the founders with the flavors of the local Scandinavian cuisine. 

Although the name and the menu have largely remained the same for 600 years, the restaurant isn’t located in its original building. It had moved numerous times, serving as a sailors’ tavern and fine-dining restaurant in its various incarnations. The current building dates back to 1906. 

6. Honke Owariya in Kyoto, Japan, 1465

oldest restaurants in the world Honke Owariya in Kyoto, Japan

Honke Owariya started out in 1465 as a confectionary shop that relocated to Kyoto from the Owari region when the owners were summoned by the Emperor. Initially, the shop offered soba rice cakes but eventually began making soba noodles around 1700. 

Being the oldest soba shop in Japan, Honke Owariya certainly had time to perfect their recipe. It’s not uncommon to arrive and find a line at the door, and even the current Japanese Royal Family are known to be fans. 

7. La Tour d’Argent in Paris, France, 1582

oldest restaurants in the world La Tour d’Argent in Paris, France
Image source: Wikimedia Commons (left), Delicious (right)

This high-end Parisian restaurant once boasted attaining one of the world’s highest achievements - three Michelin stars. Although it lost one star in 1996 and the second one in 2006, La Tour d’Argent still has one Michelin star and is considered one of the city’s top establishments. Oh, and they also claim to have served King Henry IV.

While there are no official records that King Henry IV visited the restaurants, there are definitely other famous guests in the repertoire, such as Franklin D. Roosevelt, Marlene Dietrich, and Charlie Chaplin. La Tour d’Argent was also mentioned in Hemingway’s novel 'A Moveable Feast' and inspired the restaurant in the 2007 Pixar movie 'Ratatouille'.

8. White Horse Tavern in Rhode Island, USA, 1673

oldest restaurants in the world White Horse Tavern in Rhode Island, USA

The White Horse Tavern is believed to be the oldest restaurant in the US. The building in which it resides was built in 1652, and then expanded and turned into a restaurant in 1673. However, the purpose of that building switched several times throughout history. 

Because it’s so large it had been used as a courthouse, a city hall, and the meeting place of the Rhode Island General Assembly. At one point it was even used to quarter both British and American soldiers during the Revolutionary War. After several years of neglect, the building was finally restored in 1954 and the restaurant was re-opened as the White Horse Tavern in 1957.

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