La Fonda & Mariachi Los Camperos
Stepping into the Spanish Churrigueresque-style building of La Fonda de Los Camperos is like entering another time and place entirely. The restaurant-theater was founded by Nati Cano and opened its doors in 1969 after Nati finished touring with his mariachi band. La Fonda’s establishment was a reaction to feelings of contempt Los Camperos had experienced from people in Texas during the tour. Nati wanted to establish a venue where mariachi could be enjoyed as an art form and connection to Mexican heritage alongside traditional Mexican cuisine.
When it was established, La Fonda was the first mariachi dinner-theater restaurant in the world. After serving the Los Angeles community with delicious food and mariachi music for 40 years, La Fonda closed for a ten year period before reopening in 2016 with renewed commitment to celebrating Mexican culture.
For many in the Mexican community of Los Angeles, mariachi at La Fonda de Los Camperos is a way to connect to their cultural traditions. Mariachi Los Camperos de Nati Cano hasis showcased unlike any other in-house restaurant band. Those who visit La Fonda are not there to experience mariachi as background music—the music is front and center, pronounced, and never toned down. By spending an evening at La Fonda, elders recreate their childhood memories and pass their pride for Mexican culture onto future generations.