When you talk to people about Casa Bonita in Lakewood, CO there are usually mixed reviews. However, it is still something everyone spending time in Colorado wants to experience at least once. My nieces and nephews had heard of Casa Bonita from South Park but had no idea that it was real. When my niece and nephews were visiting us here in CO and found out it was a real place, we had to go. So after a day of playing at the Garden of the Gods in Colorado Springs, we stopped in for dinner on our way back.
My niece was immediately amazed at the building itself. I do have to say it is pretty interesting with its pink and white 85-foot tall stucco tower. Of course, we had to take pictures in front of it to share with her friends 🙂 While the outside is interesting when you walk in you feel like you’ve entered a fictional world. Some of that good, and some of that bad.
The first thing is that you have to wait in a long line (depending on the day and time) to order your food by number. Then we walked through a line that reminded us of a ride at Disneyland, lol We finally got our food and headed toward the tables. We hadn’t walked very far before we ran into another line. We had to stand in this line to be seated. This wouldn’t have been bad except for the fact that we were carrying heavy trays of food. It wasn’t so bad for us, but we did see several families with kids, that were having a lot of problems. Trying to hold onto trays, and little hands at the same time looked very difficult.
Anyway, we finally got seated and had fun looking around at all the fake palm trees, volcanic rock, and the huge 30-foot waterfall and pool in the center of the restaurant. This is what Casa Bonita is known for. We were up a level and didn’t have the best view, but we were able to see enough while we were eating. The food is not the greatest, but we knew this going in, so we just enjoyed the ambiance and the entertainment. This included live mariachis. That was really cool. However, I have to give them kudos for their sopapillas. They were, as my niece said, the bomb. They were really good and all we had to do was raise our little flag on the table and they brought us more. 🙂
After we finished we walked around and got a better view of the waterfall and waited for another show to start. Sometimes they have funny shows where people “accidentally” end up in the water. However, we caught one with divers doing tricks in the water. They were amazing and we were amazed at how they didn’t end up getting hurt. Besides the waterfall and the mariachis, they have puppet shows, flame jugglers, wishing well, Black Bart’s secret hideout, and an arcade filled with 80’s video games. My nephew is big into video games so he enjoyed checking this out.
Before I end this post I wanted to share a little history and information about Casa Bonita. This location was built in 1973, opened in 1974 and it is similar to the locations that were located in Tulsa, Ok (sadly they are closed now). On March 15, 2015, they were named a Lakewood Historical Society Landmark. The restaurant holds 1000 people at a time and they have been known to have roaming mariachis. We didn’t see any on that visit, but I have seen them on other visits. Not sure if they are still even doing this, but it was nice when they were.
Even though we were all adults, we had a great time exploring and being entertained for a couple of hours at Casa Bonita. We were lucky and it was too busy when we got there, but it was a WAY different story when we left. My best suggestion is to visit late in the afternoon or early evening during the week. Less waiting and you will probably get a table closer to the waterfall and pool to see the shows. Don’t worry though, if you don’t get a table close, the different shows run every 15 minutes and you can see it from other areas of the restaurant. Here is a link to their website with their menu, hours, and showtimes.
Casa Bonita Visitor Information
Sun – Thurs 11 AM – 9 PM
Fri – Sat 11 AM – 10 PM
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