The World’s Oldest Bars and Restaurants (That Are Still Open)

The World’s Oldest Bars and Restaurants (That Are Still Open)

The average lifespan of an independent restaurant in America is said to be somewhere between three and five years. Some last a lot longer than that, but longevity isn’t the same thing as eternal life. 

Unfortunately, many venerable eating places, in this country and abroad, have given up the ghost in recent years, and especially during the pandemic. For instance, these are the saddest restaurant closings of 2020.

That said, there are also restaurants — as well as bars, taverns, cafés, and the like — that claim histories dating back centuries. The oldest such establishment in the U.S. is probably the White Horse Tavern in Newport, Rhode Island, opened in 1673. That’s practically yesterday compared to certain places in Europe and Asia — some of which date back to the 12th or 13th centuries and even earlier. (Fascinated by antiquity? These are the 50 oldest things in the world.)

The tricky thing about identifying these venues as being among “the oldest” is defining terms. Does age refer to the building itself? To the point at which it started serving food and/or drink? Is continuity of ownership an issue? What about premises that have moved over the years or that were converted to other purposes, only returning to their original function in recent memory?

24/7 Tempo has assembled a list of 40 bars, cafés, and restaurants in the U.S., Asia, Europe, and the Middle East that have a fair claim to being among the world’s oldest. The selection is based on lists published on a wide range of travel, food, news, and lifestyle websites, including Travel & Leisure, Condé Nast Traveler, Fodor’s, Far and Wide, Time Out, Delish, Insider, The Daily Beast, and Robb Report. Information was verified on the establishments’ sites and from other sources where possible.

One restaurant — Sobrino de Botín in Madrid — has been operating as an eating place in the same location continuously since its beginnings almost 300 years ago. The others? Their history may be murkier, but while they may have opened and closed or changed identities over the centuries, all have a clear connection to their ancient pasts — even St. Peter Stiftskulinarium in Salzburg, Austria, an abbey inn turned restaurant that may date back as far as 803 A.D., where Christopher Columbus may once have dined.

Source: Photo by Shari S. via Yelp

> Located: London, England
> Established: 1798

Source: christophd / Flickr

> Located: Cairo, Egypt
> Established: 1797

Source: Courtesy of The Old Talbott Tavern

The Old Talbott Tavern
> Located: Bardstown, Kentucky, USA
> Established: 1779

Source: Photo by Mónica C. via Yelp

Café-Restaurante Martinho da Arcada
> Located: Lisbon, Portugal
> Established: 1778

Source: jmabel / Flickr

The Griswold Inn
> Located: Essex, Connecticut, USA
> Established: 1776

Source: eljambere / Flickr

Antico Caffè Greco
> Located: Rome, Italy
> Established: 1760

Source: Courtesy of The '76 House

The Old ’76 House
> Located: Tappan, New York, USA
> Established: 1755

Source: tynigh / Flickr

L’Auberge Saint-Gabriel
> Located: Montreal, Québec, Canada
> Established: 1754

Source: Martin Leitch / iStock Editorial via Getty Images

Sobrino de Botín
> Located: Madrid, Spain
> Established: 1725

Source: ullkika / Flickr

Den Gyldene Freden
> Located: Stockholm, Sweden
> Established: 1722

Source: eekim / Flickr

Det Lille Apotek
> Located: Copenhagen, Denmark
> Established: 1720

Source: sonofgroucho / Flickr

Caffè Florian
> Located: Venice, Italy
> Established: 1720

Source: Photo by Vivek T. via Yelp

McHugh’s Bar
> Located: Belfast, Northern Ireland
> Established: 1711

Source: sergemelki / Flickr

Café le Procope
> Located: Paris, France
> Established: 1686

Source: Photo by Gerry S. via Yelp

À la Petite Chaise
> Located: Paris, France
> Established: 1680

Source: edenpictures / Flickr

White Horse Tavern
> Located: Newport, Rhode Island, USA
> Established: 1673

Source: brostad / Flickr

Zur Letzten Instanz
> Located: Berlin, Germany
> Established: 1621

Source: anouchka / iStock Unreleased via Getty Images

Bar de l’Entracte
> Located: Paris, France
> Established: 1614

Source: Photo by Jessica S. via Yelp

Staatliches Hofbräuhaus
> Located: Munich, Germany
> Established: 1589

Source: nienfanhsun / Flickr

La Tour d’Argent
> Located: Paris, France
> Established: 1582

Source: Photo by Yinlan S. via Yelp

U Malířů
> Located: Prague, Czechia
> Established: 1543

Source: Courtesy of Butoiul de Aur

Butoiul de Aur
> Located: Sibiu, Romania
> Established: 1542

Source: Photo by Sofia C. via Yelp

Al Brindisi
> Located: Ferrara, Italy
> Established: 1535

Source: Photo by Caitlin O. via Yelp

La Campana
> Located: Rome, Italy
> Established: 1518

Source: hell28k / Flickr

Café Vlissinghe
> Located: Bruges, Belgium
> Established: 1515

Source: Courtesy of Gostilna Gastuž

Gostilna Gastuž
> Located: Loče, Slovenia
> Established: 1467

Source: Photo by John A. via Yelp

Osteria del Sole
> Located: Bologna, Italy
> Established: 1465

Source: hslo / Flickr

Honke Owariya
> Located: Kyoto, Japan
> Established: 1465

Source: pousseurdecailloux / Flickr

Zum Franziskaner
> Located: Stockholm, Sweden
> Established: 1421

Source: Courtesy of Hotel Gasthof Löwen

Hotel Gasthof Löwen
> Located: Vaduz, Liechtenstein
> Established: 1380

Source: theedinburghblog / Flickr

The Sheep Heid Inn
> Located: Edinburgh, Scotland
> Established: 1360

Source: Courtesy of La Couronne

La Couronne
> Located: Rouen, France
> Established: 1354

Source: Courtesy of Brauhaus Sion

Brauhaus Sion
> Located: Cologne, Germany
> Established: 1318

Source: klearchos / Flickr

Piwnica Świdnicka
> Located: Wrocław, Poland
> Established: 1273

Source: txapulin / Flickr

The Brazen Head
> Located: Dublin, Ireland
> Established: 1198

Source: Courtesy of Wanna Fact PH

Yùxīng Tǒngzi Jī
> Located: Kaifeng (Henan), China
> Established: 1153

Source: Courtesy of The Old House 1147

The Old House
> Located: Maesteg, Wales
> Established: 1147

Source: wm_archiv / Flickr

> Located: Regensburg, Germany
> Established: 1146

Source: Photo by Greg A. via Yelp

Sean’s Bar
> Located: Athlone, Ireland
> Established: 900

Source: Photo by Qype User via Yelp

St. Peter Stiftskulinarium
> Located: Salzburg, Austria
> Established: 803

To top