Update- Casa Bonita closed during the pandemic and was sold to South Park creators Matt Stone and Trey Parker. They are currently revamping the restaurant and scheduled to reopen in late 2022.
It’s the infamous pink hacienda on Colfax Ave, “The World’s Most Exciting Restaurant” and to my knowledge Casa Bonita is the weirdest Mexican themed restaurant in the world.
Casa Bonita was built in 1974 and is 52,000 square feet with a capacity for over 1000 guests. It’s insane when you think about it. It is a “Mexican Disneyland”, the fountain in front was imported from Mexico and the different rooms have features that represent parts of the country. The live shows start at 11:15am and run every 15 minutes until 10:00pm. They have a gorilla act, cliff divers, pirates, puppet shows and mariachi.
They do not have a cover or admission fee but you have to purchase a dinner. Don’t focus on the food. It’s not supposed to be the best Mexican food you’ve ever eaten, it’s more like buffet quality. I do like the “All You Can Eat” Deluxe Chicken Platter. The Taco Salad is popular. The Sopapillas come with every meal and they are served with sweet honey from a company in Boulder, CO. But again, don’t focus on the food!
I am fortunate to have been given a tour from a friend, Andrew Novick . Andrew is a Denver creative, an eccentric, photographer, event host and so much more but most importantly he has just passed his 300th visit to Casa Bonita. He’s a Denver native and has been going since he was a kid. I had to pick Andrew’s brain about secret stuff he might know about Casa Bonita. “There was a burlesque show called The Speakeasy Showcase in the Magic Showroom put on by local performers. No photographs, no social media and you needed a password to get in on the event night. The GM found out and was not happy.”
It’s a fun place, I highly suggest visiting if you are young at heart and appreciate novelty, kitsch, roadside attractions and nostalgia. They don’t change anything but I feel like each of my visits has been a little different. It’s located on our infamous Colfax Ave just west of Denver.
Halloween at Casa Bonita is probably the best and my favorite!
South Park Season 7 Episode 11 features Casa Bonita.
Viva Casa Bonita!