Do you love to eat out? Have a list of your favorite restaurants in your head and a fantasy list of ones you’d like to visit on your Pinterest as well? Americans and people around the world love going out to eat. Whether you’re hitting up a local seafood restaurant in Maine while on vacation, grabbing a bite to eat at your local diner or the best family diner in NY or grabbing a sandwich at the deli, or even enjoying some truffle macaroni and cheese at the local upscale restaurant, restaurants are popular!
They’re so popular, in fact, that the average American spends over two thousand dollars a year on food. So with so much of our money and current time spent eating out, what do we know about restaurants in the past? Read on to find out some interesting trivia and expand your knowledge of restaurants through the ages.
Restaurants are fairly old! Restaurants have been around pretty much as long as people have been. Street food has also long been a thing, happening in ancient Rome (bread and wine sold in the streets) and China, to name a few. Just like in the television show Game of Thrones (but perhaps less violent), there were many roadside inns in the Middle Ages you could sit down and eat family style meals and bread and soup at and even stay the night.
The concept of fine dining became popular in France thanks to the French revolution. The word restaurant is even French, describing the rich bouillon that was served at taverns and the like that meant restoring the spirits. However, restaurant evolved from there and eventually came to describe a place where you eat.
The aristocracy and their entire structure crumbled, so chefs who were highly skilled at cooking for royalty and powerful people suddenly found themselves without gainful employment. There were so many chefs in this position that they opened up their own restaurants and cooked the same way for the people. Fine dining became incredibly popular, and this phenomenon quickly spread to Great Britain and the states, where it persists to this day.
The oldest restaurant in America can be found in Boston. The Union Oyster House has been serving fresh oysters and other bites to eat since 1826. The world’s oldest restaurant can be found in Madrid, Spain. The Botin Restaurant has been open since the year 1725, but others have claimed the title too, such as Stockholm’s Zum Franziskaner which says it has been open since 1421.
The world’s largest restaurant can be found in Syria, of all places. This is where the famed Damascus Gate Restaurant resides. It is also known as Bawabet Dimashq Restaurant and has over six thousand seats in the building! As you can guess, there are quite a few people that can fit into this impressive space.
Restaurants are a part of native culture everywhere. No matter where you travel in the world, you can always find a great place to eat or ask the locals which restaurant is the best.
One thing’s for certain, you can never go wrong with a great place to eat with great food and a great atmosphere. Who knows, maybe you’ll be inspired to dig into options near you and try a new restaurant!