Just yards from the spot where Las Palmas de Gran Canaria was founded and set in the courtyard of a 16th Century mansion, this beautiful plant-filled space is the perfect spot for a long, languid lunch or a romantic evening.
Casa Montesdeoca was built in the early 16th Century by a Jewish merchant and was one of the city's first significant buildings. Now, it's at the heart of old-town Vegueta and is the only restaurant in the city within a historical home.
Originally it was built as a mix of house and fortress, reflecting the fact that Jews were far from secure in Medieval Spain. Montesdeoca and his family lived upstairs with their servants and horses in the courtyard and downstairs area.
You can still see the original well, the lintels of the escape passages between the house and the chapel next door (where the original Montesdeoca is buried). There are even legends that there is a hidden access door to the city's catacombs somewhere in the house.
Just yards from the restaurant door are three palm trees that grow on the exact spot where Las Palmas was founded in 1472. The city, then just a wooden fort, was attacked by the island's original Canarii inhabitants just three days later. After a day-long battle, the Spanish cavalry scattered the attackers; it was at the battle for Las Palmas that the Spanish learned that their steel and horses could defeat any enemy in the New World. The rest is history.
The rest is history.
Classic atmosphere in old town Vegueta
As you walk into the courtyard, it's difficult to believe that the entire property was a wreck just 20 years ago. Lovingly restored with all its authentic features preserved, it has now come back to life.
Casa Montesdeoca is unique in Las Palmas because it's the only restaurant in Gran Canaria set in a genuine medieval courtyard with all of its original features. Its wooden balconies, tropical foliage, and cobbled floor create a timeless feel that you just can't duplicate with modern decoration.
The ambience and history at at Casa Montesdeoca is something you have to sit back and absorb.
The menu at Casa Montesdeoca changes every few months but always features a mix of classic dishes and surprising flavours. The boar ragout with a creme sauce of herbs, and potatoes was excellent, and we also loved the salmon in peach aspic with liquorice brittle. As for the white chocolate and pistachio tartlet ....
This is food to be savoured along with good wine and plenty of time between courses to let the full ambience of the place soak in. Don't come to Casa Montesdeoca expecting to be rushed off your table after an hour. Instead, see a meal here as an experience; a rare opportunity to relax, soak up flavour, and really connect with the history and ambience of old town Vegueta.
Why you have to try Casa Montesdeoca
The location is superb, the atmosphere unique, and the food delicious. Linger over your food and let Casa Montesdeoca remind you what a special meal is meant to be like. There really is nowhere else like it in Gran Canaria.