The restaurant was founded by a Frenchman named Jean Botin and his wife in 1725. The original name of the establishment was Fonda Española. Fonda is an old Spanish word used to describe an establishment that offered food and lodging, but that didn’t offer the same luxuries as a proper hotel.
The restaurant’s famous wood-burning oven was added in 1868 after the restaurant underwent some remodeling. When the Botín’s finally passed away, the restaurant was inherited by their nephew, Cándido Remis, and the name of the establishment was changed to Sobrino de Botín, which literally means Botín’s nephew. Also in 1860, the establishment stopped offering to lodge becoming a full-on restaurant. In 1920 the restaurant opened a now-defunct outdoor restaurant in the famous Dehesa de la Villa park, slightly north of the city center.
At the beginning of the 20th century, the restaurant moved on to belong to the current owners, the Gonzalez family, who would go on to open a second location in Mexico which also features an exact replica of the original kiln found in Spain. One of the pieces of memorabilia that is hung on the walls of the restaurant currently is an official recognition of the Government of Spain of Botín being mentioned in the classic Spanish novel Fortunata y Jacinta, by Benito Pérez Galdós.
As we mentioned before, Botín serves Castilian and Madrid cuisine, but the real highlight are the roasted meats. In the center of Spain, restaurants that specialize in roasted meats are known as “asadores” and the stars of the show in this region are the roast suckling pig and roasted lamb, and at Botín it’s no different. Both of these dishes are superb and should be anyone’s main focus when ordering at Botín, but you can’t go wrong with anything purely Castilian on the menu: migas, Sopa Castellana, Sopa de Cuarto de hora or desserts like pestiños, bartolillos or flan.