Zoo Nachos: ZooTampa at Lowry Park

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It took me almost a month to start writing this review. I wasn’t sure I would. I didn’t have quality photos of the nachos and I still don’t know what was in them. But I ate them. I cleaned that little paper tray.

Last night, I decided that these nachos have a story worth telling.

Our local zoo runs a Zoo Boo evening thing in October. I don’t know anything about it. Maybe it’s multiple days, maybe not. We went on Saturday, 28 October 2023. My wife invited me and I went. She drove. The only decisions I made were to attend, and not to bail out when I found out we were going at night. Why would we go to a zoo in the dark?

This place was packed. I wanted to leave before we pulled into the over-capacity parking lot.

Four Hours of Frosty, Forest & Fae

We walked around the zoo for about four hours. I had a Wendy’s Frosty, which was obviously amazing. The animals were asleep. My wife had the time of her life. I can’t figure it out.

This gregarious wolf was wearing a lady’s nighty and loitering around Grandma’s forest cottage. Presumably, he had already devoured her and was waiting for Little Red Riding Hood. If his British accent was authentic, he was a long way from home:

IMG 3145

Fae fellowship was alive at Zoo Boo this year. This tall faerie was helping a normal-sized faerie fix her outfit:

Fae Fellowship


In the middle of wandering around this zoo in the dark for hours with no animals, my eldest daughter really wanted nachos. That’s my girl. Their wall-mounted food court nacho menu listed a serious selection of optional toppings. I cannot believe I don’t have a photograph of the menu. If we ever go back, I’ll take a photo of it and add it here. It’ll probably be taken in daylight, because I go to the zoo to see animals.

My daughter ordered the nachos with chicken. As for the laundry list of other toppings, she just said, “Everything.” Perfect.

The nachos were about fourteen bucks ($14), a totally acceptable price. The portions were generous, especially for this situation. This is the city zoo. The nachos and toppings were absolutely piled on. I got my money’s worth out of the zoo people. Nobody took advantage of us.

They also gave us a couple of above-average-looking, individually wrapped plastic forks. We didn’t open them so I brought them home. This was definitely a finger food situation.

The zoo nachos included two long, cold packets of sour cream and a plastic circle thing of guacamole. These looked good, but I never tried them. The paper tray was so packed with nachos and fresh toppings that it was obviously not a good idea to mix in the sour cream and guacamole while standing up, balancing the nachos with my left hand, and chasing my family around in the dark. I’m sorry to say that the sour cream and guac went unopened and are probably in a landfill now. Too many nachos is a nice problem to have, but I’m not happy about that waste.


Zoo Nachos Top Photo

There was nowhere to sit and 99% of the public areas were kept dark for the Halloween theme. We took these photos standing up in a rare, well-lit spot.

Zoo Nachos Side

Eating Conditions

95% of my eating was done in the dark. No bad surprises. No regrets. I even managed to get some others in my family to take a few bites. Everybody had good things to say.

The nachos had bacon on top. A lot. It worked.

There were multiple kinds of cheese. The classic cheese wasn’t melted. It didn’t matter.

The ingredients were fresh. The chicken was fine. No weird bites of anything.


Listen to me. These are zoo nachos. They shouldn’t sell nachos at the zoo, but they do. And you know what? They’re pretty good.

If you find yourself at ZooTampa, day or night, there is a credible nachos option. Go for it.

Location Details

ZooTampa at Lowry Park
1101 W. Sligh Ave
Tampa, Florida 33604