The world’s oldest fast food restaurant has reopened after 2000 years

An ancient fast food restaurant in Pompeii is open to the public 2000 years after the volcanic eruption destroyed the city.

Two thousand years ago if you were feeling peckish, you would pick up hot food or drinks from the ‘thermopolium’.

Last year diggers discovered the thermopolium under tonnes of volcanic ash in the Pompeii archaeological park.

Archaeologists carefully unearthed a colourful multi-sided counter with wide holes in the top.

These deep holes in the countertop held dishes for hot food, not unlike hot dishes nestled in buffet countertops today.

The Thermopolium of Regio V – the snack bar of Pompeii – has a wonderful image of a Nereid riding a sea-horse. More pictures of mallards and roosters brighten the walls and the countertop.

pompeii fast food restaurant
The Pompeii fast food restaurant doesn’t look all that different to a modern day buffet © @DebbyDonnelly Twitter

The well-preserved counter shows some of the animals that would have been on the take-away menu. These include snails, duck, pig, goat and fish.

Archaeologists also found a jar filled with crushed fava beans, which was used to modify the taste of wine.

Following the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 AD, ash and lava completely covered the Roman city. The volcanic eruption perfectly preserved the remains.

It is the first time diggers have completely unearthed a hot-food-drink eatery according to Massimo Osanna, Pompeii Archaeological Park’s longtime chief.

Pompeii’s Thermopolium opened to visitors this month but unlike the original snack counter, it’s not serving food, just a slice of history.

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