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Hostal El Cañonazo

By Carl Wallace / Posted October 9, 2012

Communidad Morro-Cabana Casa 27

Habana del Este

Just across the harbour from Old Havana, you arrive near La Punta Fortress known as La Cabaña. At the initiative of Spain’s king, Felipe II, a historic structure protected Havana’s harbour against pirates beginning in the 16th century. Construction of La Cabaña began in 1763 by King Carlos III and later, the fortress played an important role in the 1959 Revolution.

To the east of the Fortress, you’ll find a small community – two streets with just 30 houses. One of these houses is a very special space; it’s the home of Hostal El Cañonazo, a three-guestroom casa particular featuring a charming backyard paladar restaurant with fine service and beautifully prepared Cuban cuisine.

Both the guest accommodation and the outdoor eating experience are the work of Abel Martínez who has lived in the home that houses them since he was four years old, and still lives there today. It’s an excellent place to visit for visitors who come to the visit Fortress, take in the stunning view of the city from across the water and catch the daily 9 o’clock ceremonial cannon firing to enjoy a fine meal in a lovely environment.

Abel was working in a Havana cafeteria when he envisioned his own place right in the home where he had grown up. Today it has 46 seats and a comprehensive menu that features an extensive range of seafood – fish, crab, shrimp lobster and octopus plus a number of chicken preparations and house specialty traditional ropa vieja

traditional ropa vieja served with care

(shredded flank steak in a delicious tomato sauce base). All are prepared in the Cuban tradition and served by a caring staff in a lush backyard with a main dining area and a more private two-table additional dining area behind it.

Hostal El Cañonazo is almost a secret garden, where you can stay for a visit to Havana or drop by for a memorable meal. Live chickens and a pair of peacocks as well as an antique cannon share the backyard creating a remarkable, secluded experience.

Carl Wallace

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