The World's Oldest Restaurants
Restaurants have been serving customers for hundreds of years, and some of them are still even serving locals and visitors today.
NetCredit reviewed restaurants around the world to find the oldest in almost every country for anyone who loves history (and food!) to add to their must-see lists.
We've featured the five oldest restaurants in every continent (except, of course, Antarctica). And based on the fact that they've stood the test of time, we can pretty much guarantee the food at one of these eateries will satisfy the tastebuds and then some.
5 Oldest Restaurants in Europe
The oldest restaurant in Europe still in operation opened in 803 A.D. But where is it exactly?
St. Peter Stifts Kulinarium
Specialty Dish: Tafelspitz (boiled beef with minced apple and horseradish)
The oldest restaurant in all of Europe (and the world) dates back to 803. Housed within St. Peter's Abbey, the first mention of St. Peter Stifts Kulinarium harkens back to Charlemagne. The restaurant features 11 different dining rooms that can accommodate 620 people indoors with another outdoor patio serving another 300.
Because Salzburg is the birthplace of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, the restaurant pays homage to the great composer with its Mozart dinner feast, complete with 18th-century stylings and music.
Specialty Dish: Charcoal-grilled sausages and sauerkraut
The oldest bratwurst restaurant in the world has sat beside the Stone Bridge on the Donaustrudel since the Middle Ages.
Using an open charcoal grill, pure pork ham homemade sausages are cooked and then served in sauerkraut fermented right in the basement of the Wurtskuchl in the heart of Bavaria.
The Old House
Specialty Dish: Old House Pie (individual pie served with chips and peas)
Although it closed for four years, Wales' oldest pub reopened in 2019 — 873 years after it first opened.
Completely renovated and restored, the Old House is an inn and restaurant offering lunch, dinner, weekend buffets and afternoon tea to its guests. The Pie Y Dydd (Old House Pie) changes daily and is a highlight of Welsh cuisine.
The Brazen Head
Specialty Dish: Irish stew
Ireland's oldest pub dates back to 1198 and is renowned to this day for its lively Irish Sessions and its traditional Irish dishes. Within steps of Christchurch Cathedral, visitors to the Brazen Head may also hear stories of Ireland's past with local storytellers presenting all of the exciting facts.
Select from traditional dishes like bangers and mash, fish and chips or its famous stews.
Specialty Dish: Duck a la Rouennaise (pressed duck)
First established as an inn in 1345, La Couronne is France's oldest continuously operating inn and restaurant.
So good is the restaurant's food that Julia Child decided to go to culinary school to learn the art of French cooking after dining here in 1948. Its signature duck dish must be ordered 48 hours in advance, and only a chef of the Ordre des Canardiers is worthy enough of cooking it.
5 Oldest Restaurants in Asia
The oldest restaurant in Asia still in operation opened in 1153. And where do you think it's located?
Ma Yu Ching's Bucket Chicken House
Specialty Dish: Bucket of chicken
Ma Yu Ching's Bucket Chicken House served up chicken in a bucket long before Colonel Sanders was serving up Kentucky Fried Chicken. Dating back to 1153, the restaurant descends from the Ma family who traded bucket, or roast, chicken in a sauce.
Ma Youren opened the first official physical location in 1864 and originally called it Ma Yuxing Roast Chicken Shop. But because of its long-standing heritage, it is touted as Asia's oldest restaurant.
Specialty Dish: Soba with shiitake mushrooms, shredded thin omelet, sesame seeds, shrimp tempura, wasabi, nori, Japanese leeks and grated daikon
Originally a confectionery shop, Honke Owariya evolved from its 1465 beginnings into a soba (noodles) restaurant. This is because, when the Chinese noodles were introduced in Japan, the demand for them was so great that the confectioners began kneading, rolling and cutting the noodles instead.
By the 1700s, Honke Owariya became the soba noodle provider to the Imperial Palace and remains one of Kyoto's most popular noodle houses.
Country: New Zealand
Specialty Dish: Seafood and New Zealand lamb
Russell, New Zealand
Although not as old as the restaurants of China and Japan, New Zealand's The Gables began serving diners in 1847. But it hasn't always been a restaurant.
When the current owners of The Gables, who purchased it in 1980, researched the building before restoring it, they learned it had been a brothel, shop, bakery and even a boys' home of the Salvation Army. As a landmark historical building, you'll find classic New Zealand dishes on the restaurant menu.
Tai Ping Koon
Country: Hong Kong
Specialty Dish: Roasted young pigeon
The Chui family first opened this restaurant more than 150 years ago and remain the family owners to this day.
Famous for its roast pigeon and for being the first restaurant in Guangzhou to incorporate Western-style ingredients like those in the Portuguese-style baked chicken, Tai Ping Koon now has four locations.
Cha Ca La Vong 14
Specialty Dish: Cha ca la vong
Creating a dish of the same name, Cha Ca La Vong is a dish of fish, ginger, dill, spring onion, peanut, turmeric and rice vermicelli created more than a century ago by the Doan family.
Since 1871, people have clamored to this intimate, unassuming restaurant for the dish so popular the street was renamed Cha Ca.
5 Oldest Restaurants in South America
The oldest restaurant in South America still in operation opened in 1816. Can you guess where?
La Puerta Falsa
Specialty Dish: Tamales
The oldest restaurant in the city of Bogota is renowned for its tamales. The original owners — the great, great, great grandparents of its current owners — didn't name their restaurant. Instead, they served up tamales from their home, across the street from a church with fake doors on its side.
Locals who began to covet the food began to call it La Puerta Falsa for its false door location. More than 200 years later, the tamales are still considered the best in the city.
Heladeria San Agustin
Specialty Dish: Ceviche
It may be a surprise to see one of the world's oldest restaurants is an ice cream shop. When San Agustin was founded, it served "salpicones" (shaved ice) along with paila ice cream and fruit juice.
By the 1930s, shrimp and shellfish were added to the menu, as the ice cream shop transformed into a restaurant renowned for its ceviche. It still serves both to this day.
Specialty Dish: Paellas
Buenos Aires, Argentina
A tradition in Buenos Aires since 1860, the classic El Imparcial was founded by a Spanish immigrant who brought along popular dishes from his country, including paella.
The paella continues to be a draw to this bustling restaurant.
Specialty Dish: Executive lunches
It may look tiny, but this cozy cafe has welcomed some of Uruguay's most prominent writers, artists and musicians.
A Bohemian hotspot, Cafe Brasilero is a Brazil-themed, Art Nouveau cafe that was closed for 20 years until it was preserved and reopened in 2010.
Specialty Dish: Pescado Mediterraneo
This prominent Santiago confectionery has been a fixture since 1879. After a period of decline, new owners restored Confiteria Torres in the early 2000s.
It's more than sweets, though, offering full lunch and dinner. Tradition is very-much upheld here, with some servers having worked here for more than 50 years.
5 Oldest Restaurants in Africa
The oldest restaurant in Africa still in operation opened in 1630. Hint: It's in a country that's close to Europe.
Specialty Dish: Lamb
A cafe with rooftop dining on its upper level and a rug-outfitted downstairs, El M'Rabet doubles as a hookah bar that dates back to the 17th century.
Specialty Dish: Falafel
Located in the Khan Al-Khalili Bazaar, you'll find another hookah lounge serving traditional Arabic dishes that date back more than 220 years.
El Fishawy first began serving coffee to friends of the restaurant in the alley following prayers at the nearby mosque. It grew so large it became a cafe and has been here since Napoleon invaded Egypt.
Pig and Whistle
Country: South Africa
Specialty Dish: Pot pies
Bathurst, South Africa
It has been more than 200 years since the Pig and Whistle first opened its doors in South Africa as a welcoming inn. The oldest continuously licensed pub in the country serves up traditional British pub fare.
Visitors know not to miss the signature pot pies!
Specialty Dish: Vegan buffet
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
Built at the turn of the 20th century, the Taitu Hotel is named for the Ethiopian Empress Taitu Betul who needed a place for foreign visitors to stay.
Just two stories, the hotel and its restaurant are Ethiopia's oldest and claimed to be haunted with the ghosts of its exotic past.
Specialty Dish: Moussaka
Chez Dimitri got its humble beginnings as a gas station in Morocco. Providing a stopping place meant providing something to eat in the days before fast food became a thing.
Now, the restaurant creeps upon its 100th birthday, and people drive from all over to sample its moussaka.
5 Oldest Restaurants in Middle East
The oldest restaurant in the Middle East still in operation opened in 1840. It's another one with European influence.
Specialty Dish: Lamb kebab
Turkey's oldest restaurant is a cozy little spot found in the center of the country.
It's the city's No. 1 restaurant and the second-best restaurant in the country, according to TripAdvisor reviews.
Specialty Dish: Meatballs
Another tiny cafe serving traditional dishes is Gol-E Rezaieh, a popular place for the Bohemians of Tehran. Journalists, writers, intellectuals and artists have often gathered here.
The restaurant adores Western artists with photos of movie stars and singers adorning the walls.
Auberge Restaurant and Bar
Specialty Dish: Fish
Since 1932, the same family that opened Auberge Restaurant still operates it today.
The menu of traditional Jordanian dishes have withstood the test of time and draws diners to the restaurant's cozy space.
Fouad Halawa Restaurant
Specialty Dish: Barbecue
Nearly as old as the restaurant that bears his name, Fouad Abu Halawa still operates the restaurant his family opened in 1936 — the oldest in Palestine.
Its West Bank location makes it difficult to visit, and the restaurant doesn't bustle as it once did in its pre-war days, but Halawa keeps the tradition alive.
Specialty Dish: Chicken schnitzel
Even before Israel became a country, Penguin was serving guests in Western Galilee.
A Zionist restaurant, the Oppenheimer family hired other immigrants and incorporated recipes from their countries, such as Romania and Hungary, as well as their own German specialties. It is still run by the same family that opened it in 1940.
5 Oldest Restaurants in North America
And that brings us to North America, where the oldest restaurant still in operation opened in 1673.
White Horse Tavern
Country: United States
Specialty Dish: Beef Wellington
Newport, Rhode Island
The oldest tavern in the United States is found in Newport, Rhode Island. Its interior still features a colonial decor and style, and the building is a National Historic Landmark.
The tavern was a meeting place for the General Assembly of the American Colonies before the Revolutionary War.
Specialty Dish: Cornish hen
Located within Old Town Montreal, this Auberge was the first to receive a liquor license in all of North America. Although it became a townhouse in 1914 — after 160 years serving the people — it was brought back to life in 1987.
Known for its fine dining as well as its history, L'Auberge Saint-Gabriel is one of the city's most popular restaurants.
Specialty Dish: Gran plato Hemingway
Originally named The Silver Pineapple (La Pina de Plata) when it opened in 1817, it was tourists who persuaded the owner to change the name of the Havana restaurant to El Floridita.
One such tourist was famed writer Ernest Hemingway who used to live nearby and came in for drinks. It is believed to be the place where the frozen daiquiri was invented.
Hosteria de Santo Domingo
Specialty Dish: Chiles en Nogada
Mexico City, Mexico
Receiving its name from the convent of Santo Domingo de Guzman in which it began serving food in 1860, the Hosteria has long remained a restaurant even after the convent closed.
The restaurant is renowned for its traditional Mexican food served up in the heart of Mexico City.
Specialty Dish: Shrimp
Panama City, Panama
Panama City welcomed the Coca-Cola bottling company in 1906, housing one of the first plants outside of the U.S. The cafe, open since 1875, took the name of the plant and mainly served its workers.
The cafe has a long place in history and is a World Heritage Site that still serves dishes and local coffee.