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44-Year-Old Cuban Restaurant in Silver Lake Could Be Closing [Update]

A LoopNet listing shows iconic bakery and restaurant space is available for rent

The pale purple facade of a Cuban bakery in Los Angeles.
Cafe Tropical, Silver Lake
Franklin M./Yelp
Mona Holmes is a reporter for Eater Los Angeles and a regular contributor to KCRW radio. She has covered restaurants, dining, and food culture since 2016. In 2022, the James Beard Foundation nominated her for a Jonathan Gold Local Voice Award.

Cafe Tropical, Silver Lake’s indomitable Cuban corner restaurant covered in a sea of purple, setup shop next to the Silverlake Lounge in 1975. It continues to crank out guava pasteles, Cubanos, medianoche sandwiches, and cafes con leche among the plants and colorful paper lanterns. But the end might be near for this iconic Los Angeles bakery and restaurant.

An Eater tipster shared a Loopnet listing showing Cafe Tropical’s building available for rent. Eater reached out to Cafe Tropical, but could not confirm the news. There’s a minimal social media presence for Cafe Tropical, it’s been keeping things old-school for decades.

Throughout its 44 year history, Cafe Tropical is the little cafe that could, staying the course during Silver Lake’s massive changes. Jonathan Gold even called out Cafe Tropical’s Cubanos as his favorite in the city. More recently, former chef and owner Donato Lopez passed away unexpectedly at the young age of 53 in 2016.

The LoopNet listing shows the corner of Sunset and Silverlake Boulevard as incredibly busy, with high volume of cars passing by Cafe Tropical and its neighbors. The impossibly busy Silverlake Ramen, Osen Izakaya, Wood Pizza, and the longstanding Silversun Liquor store are directly across the street. Eater will continue this coverage as information becomes available.

Cafe Tropical. 2900 Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles, CA

UPDATE, 01/26/18: Eater spoke with the listing broker about the future of Cafe Tropical. The owner is interested in selling the business as-is, or take on a managing partner.