Tropicana Jamaican Eatery Closes in Shaw by U Street

by Prince Of Petworth January 26, 2012 at 10:30 am 30 Comments

Thanks to a reader for sending the heads up that Tropicana Eatery has closed at 725 Florida Ave NW (just east of 9th and U St, NW). They heard that “they had been operating without a license and had received notice from the health inspector.” I know they had been open for a while at that location so I’m not sure what caused the abrupt the closure. Anyone else hear anything? The space has been completely emptied out:

Their Website still lists the Florida Ave location and a few others as well. They have another location in DC listed at 1333 Rhode Island Avenue, NE. But if you’re looking for Jamaican nearby you can still get jerked at 928 U St, NW. Other recommendations for Jamaican food were given here.

After the jump are some sweet Tropicana Eatery signs.

  • Anonymous

    Authentic & Delicious! So sad to see them go, Get Jerked and the others are just a watered down replacement :(

  • Anonymous


    • Anonymous

      While I was the “Nooooo” above, I have to say that this lot does seem like a great development opportunity, however. No need for a parking lot fronting U St.

  • B’Dale Res

    Nothing like eating Goat from an unlicensed establishment… mmm…kosher…

    I did always want to try this place to see what it was about. Hopefully something takes it’s place that will be an improvement to the strip/hood.

    • Anonymous

      If you are in B’dale have you tried out Jam Dung? (I know hate that name, makes you think of poop but in Jamaica is is a cool name)

      • anon

        It’s actually Jam Doung. Not nearly as scatalogical, but slightly more genital.

        And their goat is fantastic. Jerk wings are also really, REALLY good. Truly a hidden gem.

      • Anonymous


  • b4life

    Sweet Mango Cafe at Georgia and New Hampshire is much better.

  • Jafakin

    The one at 1333 Rhode Island Avenue, NE is still open and is very tasty.

  • Bloomingdude

    I’m glad this place is gone. No restaurant should be operating w/o a health license. Plus, this corner is important in the revitalization of Florida Avenue, and the Tropicana always looked sketch and empty to me.

    • Anon X

      You’d probably say the same thing about Jam Duong, but its amazing.

      • Bloomin

        Jam Doung is really good. This Tropicana was disgusting. Saw a cockroach walking around in the box they kept on top of the counter to hold meat patties. Hadn’t been back since.

      • Bloomingdude

        No way. I love Jam Doung.

  • Anonymous

    There’s a Tropicana right on Georgia Avenue next to the Silver Spring MD/DC border… They def. had cleanliness issues at this location, the dust on the ceiling got to me, I couldn’t help imagining it falling into the food, one big problem with restaurants all around the shaw/petworth/Ga Ave area is the horrible cleanliness. a lot of places have not been renovated in years of operation, and with food businesses cleanliness is supreme.

    This is why I’m so big on getting more chain restaurants on GA Ave than mom&pop food spots because chain restaurants are generally cleaner.

    • 6thShaw

      Wow you’re kidding, right?
      “This is why I’m so big on getting more chain restaurants on GA Ave than mom&pop food spots because chain restaurants are generally cleaner.”

      Talk about generalizations.

      • Elza

        not boring > clean

        • Anonymous

          That’s why I specified GA Ave. in DC… When it comes to Georgia Avenue restaurants in DC, cleanliness HAS been an issue for the last 18 years I’ve lived in the area. A “Hole in the wall” restaurant in VA or Maryland is a completely different prospect. In DC on GA Ave. buildings present unique health code violations that go unchecked such as falling ceiling tiles, ancient galvanized pipes, old water heaters, dust, asbestos, lead paint, rats, improper refrigeration of meat, and countless other issues. If you have any doubt, check out the seafood shops near to Georgia & Columbia intersection, its a great place to get E Coli…

        • anon

          Not getting food poisoning > getting food poisoning.

  • Anonymous

    These pictures show the cleanest i’ve seen that place… it was quite a dirty one… with good servings of food though..

  • Anonymous

    this news just made my day!! Good riddance to their horrible food!

    • anonynonnyiliketopotty

      Yes! Horrible horrible food. Found a full sized roach in my stewed chicken once and was told by the employees that the roach came from my house…Firstly, I dont have roaches thanks, and what were they trying to say,that it crawled into the container and was swimming in the tasteless gravy and drowned there when I put it on my kitchen table. Horrid place and I am happy to see it go.

  • Tobin

    10 years ago this news would have saddened me, but the quality of their food has gone so far downhill that I’m actually excited to see them go. Hope something great comes along to make good use of the space!

  • Ryan

    This place is my favorite carryout place in D.C. I go there once a week and I’m really sad to see it go. I’ve never thought it seemed unclean. I looked up their latest health code reports and they haven’t had any major violations. I can’t speak to the veracity that they are currently operating without a license (very charming to anonymously accuse on the Internet someone of breaking the law without evidence, btw) but in the past they certainly have had their license.

    What I think is weird is that people say “gross, it’s so dirty, I would never go there.” But then how do you know it’s dirty?

    Also, the person who said it’s always empty is being a nincompoop. It’s a carryout restaurant. There’s no chairs or tables. That may be the reason why you don’t see people dining there. Whenever I go — and I’ve gone once a week for a year — there’s always been at least one other person in line.

    This place, in addition to being tasty as hell, had an awesome looking exterior and a friendly staff that gave some character to a corner that’s otherwise pretty depressing looking. Rest in Peace, Florida Ave. Tropicana. I’ll be visiting you soon.

    • Ryan

      Also, for the record, I’ve eaten there about 30 times and never once got food poisoning. I think that’s a pretty good track record.

      Here are the other locations: http://www.tropicanaeatery.com/

      • Anonymous

        Ryan, do you work for Tropicana?

      • Bloomingdude

        Not many people must have shared your love for the place.

        Given that it’s located in a very diverse area, it wasn’t just gentrifiers who avoided it.

        • Ryan

          I don’t work at Tropicana, but sometimes I wish I did. I could do some serious damage with an employee discount! Maybe I’ll see if the other locations are hiring.

          Also, for what it’s worth, it has lots of good reviews on Yelp. A lot of people really loved it. http://www.yelp.com/biz/tropicana-carryout-washington-2

  • Anonymous

    Rya, do you work for Tropicana?

  • I totally disagree with Anonymous. Tropicana is a very much watered-down version of Jamaican food. Get Jerked has got the most authentic jerk and Jamaican food. My family is from Jamaica (Westmoreland Parish) and we can’t get enough of Get Jerked. The only gaving grace Tropicana had going for them was that they gave you huge portions of food. But it wasn’t as authentic, spicy and well-prepared as home-cooked Jamaican food. I tried Get Jerked about a month ago and now it’s like I dream about their food in my sleep. Take it from a native, Get Jerked has very, very good Jamaican food.

  • brian

    are you all you haters idiots as well? i loved tropicana, and will miss it sorely in the neighborhood. i only went there once every month or two (for 10+ years), but always found the food good and reasonably priced, and the service nice. i understand that it’s wrong if it truly was operating with without a license, but not once did i feel like the food was disappointing or unclean. also, i cant believe people bother to post negativity without having even been there. btw, there’s a difference between operating without a license, and a health code violation.


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