Dining Down Memory Lane: 20 Classic Restaurants from the 1990s We'll Never Forget

By Jack Ripley | April 17, 2024

Casa Bonita

For every McDonald's or Subway, there were a few restaurants that weren't quite as successful. Though some made a big splash when they first arrived, they fizzled out as times - and customer tastes – changed. Embark on a nostalgic journey through time as we reminisce about the beloved eateries that defined the dining scene of the '90s. If you can still remember when "Seinfeld" and "Friends" ruled Thursday nights and renting videos at Blockbuster was king, join us on a look back at the forgotten restaurants of the 1990s that we still miss.


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oklahoma history center

Mexican food was hot in the 1980s, but more diners preferred traditional sit-down restaurants to fast food. One of the big names that opened in this decade was Casa Bonita. Based out of Oklahoma City, Casa Bonita was different. In addition to an extensive menu of Mexican dishes, customers also enjoyed a live show. The Denver location was an iconic landmark where diners watched cliff divers as they ate.

COVID-19 restrictions led to Casa Bonita closing down, leaving local fans heartbroken. The heartbreak grew even more when the website went offline, and the owners announced it wouldn't reopen. Luckily for fans, Matt Parker and Trey Stone stepped up and bought the restaurant. The creators of "South Park" had memories of eating there. They even used it in several episodes of their show. While some of its locations remain closed, you can still enjoy the Colorado Casa Bonita.

Planet Hollywood

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Imagine seeing Madonna's iconic bustier or Rocky's boxing gloves just feet away from your table. Those of us who had the chance to dine in a Planet Hollywood location had this experience. Planet Hollywood was essentially what happens when you combine a Hollywood museum with a restaurant. Bruce Willis, Sylvester Stallone, and Arnold Schwarzenegger were among the early investors. They even showed up to unveil new locations and donated some of their costumes and film memorabilia.

Planet Hollywood was more than just a restaurant, though. Many people came just for the souvenirs, which they bought from the on-site stores. Just like the Hard Rock Café, Planet Hollywood offered shirts, jackets, glasses, and other souvenirs. Most featured the chain's blue planet logo on the front, along with the city's name. While there were dozens of Planet Hollywood locations in the '90s, the chain is down to just three today.