On the banks of the Salt River in Tempe, Arizona, tucked away on the north end of bustling Mill Avenue and just a short walk from Arizona State University, you'll find Monti's La Casa Vieja. One of the best-known and best-loved restaurants in the state, Monti's is where the charm of Old Arizona meets the superior service and amenities of an establishment that serves more than half a million diners annually.
Monti's La Casa Vieja welcomes diners to a unique setting that represents an important chapter of Arizona history. The restaurant occupies an adobe hacienda that was constructed in 1871 by Tempe founder Charles Trumbull Hayden. For decades, the building served as home to the Hayden family, which dubbed it La Casa Vieja (Spanish for "The Old House"). It's the birthplace of Carl Hayden, who the Arizona Republic has named "the most important person in Arizona history."
In 1954, local restaurateur Leonard F. Monti, Sr., purchased the historic Hayden home and opened the neighborhood steakhouse that he dubbed Monti's La Casa Vieja. For more than half a century, diners have made Monti's a local favorite, and visitors from all 50 states and dozens of foreign countries have come to experience first-hand a piece of Arizona history and enjoy the All-American cuisine.
Today, Monti's La Casa Vieja is the largest full-service restaurant in Arizona, with 14 dining rooms and five private banquet rooms. The acclaimed menu features generous portions of steaks, ribs and chops, as well as Monti's signature rosemary-scented Roman bread. Banquet and catering services are available.
A visit to La Casa Vieja is like a trip through Arizona's pre-statehood history. Dining rooms are filled with memorabilia of the frontier days. A walk through the building yields fascinating views of many stages of its architectural development, including the original latilla mud ceiling in the oldest section. This one-of-a-kind atmosphere provides the kind of unique dining experience that no chain or hotel restaurant could ever hope to match.
You might expect a building with such a strong connection to times gone by to be popular with visitors from the past, and in fact, numerous ghost sightings have been reported at Monti's through the years. A paranormal investigation conducted at the restaurant revealed "multiple impressions" of ghosts in various rooms. Don't be surprised if you see the image of a cowboy disappear before your eyes in the Mural Room. If you listen very carefully, you might even hear distant sounds of children's laughter in the Fountain Room.
It's a simple formula that Leonard Monti founded his restaurant on more than 50 years ago: Always give our guests outstanding meals at great prices. The torch has been passed to a new generation of the Monti family, but that dedication to providing our customers with superior value is as strong as ever. We hope you'll make Monti's La Casa Vieja part of your own family tradition.
For a complete timeline of Monti's La Casa Vieja, check out our History page.