(Christian Fiero)

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With several Facebook groups dedicated to a love for Casa Fiesta and even more pages mentioning the restaurant as a favorite, it may not be a surprise that Casa Fiesta won best local restaurant in the Progress Best of Richmond poll.Casa Fiesta (better known to patrons as Casa) was built in Richmond in 2000, about 8 years ago, said Gabriel Hidalgo, a manager at the popular establishment.

Unlike many Mexican restaurants, Casa isn’t a chain and is independently owned by Alfredo Gomez. Gomez also opened Casa’s sister restaurant, Casa Café on Professional Drive off of the bypass.

Casa Fiesta has between 25 and 30 workers who serve a big Eastern demographic, Hidalgo said.

“We just try to give the best to our customers,” he said. Trying to be the best includes giving them the best food and happy hours to keep people coming back, he said.

For many students, a trip to Casa is a pretty regular thing. So if you had the money, exactly how many times would you go to Casa to enjoy some of the apparent best Mexican cuisine in Richmond?

“I would go probably three times a week,” said Kristy Hopf, a junior forensic science major from Birdseye, Ind.

Hopf said the meal she goes for is the chicken chimichanga, with a side of rice.

“And you can’t go wrong with the cheese,” she said.

But the food isn’t the only thing that keeps bringing students back to Casa Fiesta.

“It’s cheap, really good food and really good service,” said Bridget Mustard, a

junior pre-med major from Cincinnati.

“And they’re all really nice,” added Hopf.

Whether it’s for the chicken chimichanga or the queso, stop by Casa Fiesta to see firsthand what keeps bringing students back.