Tuesday, April 22, 2014

A hidden delight in Santa Cruz

Right in the heart of the big city of Santa Cruz de Tenerife, but modestly tucked away in the old part of the city near the church Iglesia de la Concepcion and the museum of nature and humanity (Museo de la Naturaleza y el Hombre), there exists a quiet and hospitable refuge in all the hustle and bustle of the capital of Tenerife.  Since I first discovered it many years ago it has become one of my all-time favourite bars for a lunch break in the world. 
The clock, too, ticks differently here
The walls in the simple but atmospheric interior are covered in bric-a-brac and little pieces of wit and wisdom on scraps of paper left there by guests and by the owner. The display keeps changing constantly and includes posters and other interesting items waiting to be discovered. You'll always find something new and inspiring, so you'll end up philosophising, discussing, or just letting the mind drift.
Casa Nelson's host Felix
Felix the amicable host seems to be always quietly smiling to himself and serves you with excellent   Canarian open wines and perfectly composed snacks, light meals and tapas - again all sourced from producers he knows very well. The menu is unpretentious and the purity, flavours and quality of the food is excellent.
All in all a visit to the unique Casa Nelson is a  highly recommended experience which you won't forget. The motto of the house is 'ONG' which stands for 'Otro Nivel Gastronomico', i.e. 'a different gastronomic standard'. There are loads of restaurants and watering holes including an Irish bar just a stone's throw away, but these can be saved for later as Casa Nelson has only very short opening hours: From 12:30pm 'til  5pm(-ish). The place is very small and can fill rapidly at lunchtime but you can make a reservation by phoning 658984448. 
When I'm in Santa Cruz I always allow extra time for a visit to this very special establishment.
The counter at Bar Nelson

Map source:MMM

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