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“Over-rated!” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Restaurant Botin

Restaurant Botin
Calle de los Cuchilleros 17, 28005 Madrid, Spain (Centro)
91 366 4217
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Ranked #342 of 7,173 Restaurants in Madrid
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Price range: $0 - $100
Cuisines: Spanish
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Local cuisine
Dining options: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, Dessert, Delivery, Late Night, Reservations
Neighborhood: Centro
Description: Botin is the oldest restaurant in the world according to the Guinness Book of Records. Located in the heart of Madrid, at the foot of the Arco de Cuchilleros and next to the Plaza Mayor, it was founded in 1725 and was a meeting place for Madrid's bohemian and literary set. Botin offers Madrid-style hospitality in a convivial and friendly setting, with traditional decor. The restaurant prides itself on using the finest ingredients accredited by the respective quality marks in order to offer guests traditional recipes that have been passed down from father to son over the years, cooked in a natural and artisan way. Its specialties include roast suckling pig and lamb cooked in traditional Castilian style in a wood-fired oven that has been in use since 1725. Botin treats all its diners the same - whether politician, famous artist or its neighbourhood regulars.
San Antonio, Texas
Top Contributor
188 reviews 188 reviews
120 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 69 cities Reviews in 69 cities
80 helpful votes 80 helpful votes
“Over-rated!”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed July 27, 2014

We heard nothing but rave words about this place from our tour guide.
what a disappointment.
the food was not all that good. the suckling pig was dry and tasteless. ( if you want perfect pig go to granada, at carmen san miguel for the best in spain.
this place is an icon but we have had much better experience for our money.
the service was the hight spot of this dinner.

  • Visited June 2014
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Food
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Wellington, New Zealand
Contributor
20 reviews 20 reviews
10 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
“overpriced and trading on reputation”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed July 27, 2014

We booked ahead through the hotel for a final night treat in Madrid. Like others we were ushered into the third floor modern area - no atmosphere and certainly no sense of service. We were asked for our order within two minutes and without a menu! After a quick browse, there was more pressure to order and no engagement at all. We had the chicken consume - 9.60 euro for one of the blandest soups I have eaten and 9.80 euro for the black pudding entree which was 8 large slices pan fried, no garnish, or anything added. The suckling pig and the lamb were huge servings, and at 24 euro a piece, we wish we had shared the pork which was at least tasty. The lamb was dry and tough and even though we commented, we may as well have said nothing as it was ignored and barely even acknowledged. We were out of the place in under an hour, and that is with two courses!

  • Visited June 2014
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Food
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Colorado Springs, Colorado
Senior Contributor
27 reviews 27 reviews
8 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
“Some History”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 26, 2014

Loved the service, history and setting. Not a fan of suckling pig, which is their specialty dish, but well worth a splurge to be in a place where the likes of both Heminway and Goya hung out (although Goya was reportedly a dishwasher here).

Visited July 2014
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West Palm Beach, Florida
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
“Historical restaurant with good food”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 26, 2014 via mobile

The atmosphere and history of this place is really breathtaking. The menus carry the history of the place which is worth reading about given the place has been operating since the 1700s.

We made same-day reservations late afternoon so we had a late dinner (10pm) which is typical for Spain and we did not mind. We were seated upstairs in a beautiful corner table and served promptly. All had Gazpacho with the suckling pig for dinner and the flan and coffee for dessert.

Gazpacho was nice but by far the best id had on this trip. The suckling pig was nice and juicy with a super crispy skin. The gravy was absolutely delicious. Potatoes that come with we're very average. The flan was phenomenal. Food here is good to very good but not 5 stars. Atmosphere was great though - several Spanish families and another two tables of Americans and all enjoyed the local live music they had come play for dinner. Prices were reasonable and came out to $140 euros for three, including two bottles of wine and still water.

Visited July 2014
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Melbourne, Australia
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
14 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
“Trading on reputation only - avoid”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed July 25, 2014

We were genuinely looking forward to our meal at Botin and made our reservation several days in advance. The first big issue we faced when we arrived is that we were taken to the decidely modern and unatmospheric third floor with all other English speaking tourists and frankly could have been in any mediocre dining room in the world. When we requested to have a table in the old part of the restaurant we were told it was full (despite us being the first reservation on the sheet) and that we should have asked to be seated in the 'old section' - who knew the 'oldest restaurant in the world' had a 'new' section? Frankly it appeared to us by their attitiude that we were put there because they considered us dumb English speaking tourists and they could get away with it. Then our meals arrived - my suckling pig was dry and decidedly average (particularly for the price), but the real issue was that my wife and daughter's 'lamb' was categorically not lamb. As Australians we have grown up eating and cooking lamb our entire lives and this was definitely some form of overcooked poultry unless Spanish lambs have somehow evolved wings over the past few centuries. When we complained they said they would get the manager but he never showed the courage to turn up and address the obvious issue that we had been served the wrong meals. All in all this was an expensive and hugely disappointing experience and this place is unlikely to survive another three years let alone another three hundred unless it lifts its game in the kitchen and starts treating its patrons with more respect.

  • Visited July 2014
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
    • 1 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
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