There’s a lot of uncertainty in the world right now, but one thing is absolutely clear: nobody’s taking any culinary vacations right now unless they involve cooking over a campfire or in the kitchen of an isolated Airbnb rental. Some of those meals are probably excellent, but they don’t compare to dining in the world’s most celebrated restaurants. Now everyone will have to do what I usually do: take an imaginary vacation.
NetCredit has decided to help us all out by creating a map of the world’s oldest restaurants and their specialties. This doesn’t mean oldest across the board, it just means the oldest in each country (or, more specifically, each country for which the mapmakers could find data). The oldest restaurant in the United States is the White Horse Tavern in Newport, Rhode Island, which specializes in Beef Wellington, a dish that did not even exist when it was founded in 1673. NetCredit has also compiled a spreadsheet of its sources and information about the oldest restaurants, including addresses and websites.
The location of the world’s oldest restaurant may surprise you. A hint: it’s not in France, even though that’s where the word “restaurant” itself originated. Examine, imagine, and enjoy.
(If your eyes are tired from staring at screens all day, there’s an enlarged version of the maps here.)