Viernes en el Tropical

El Tropical, located in Quito’s historical La Ronda neighborhood, features an old school jukebox, along with the elusive naranjilla drink. The naranjilla is fermented, and served in glass bottles for muy barato. It is bright yellow, and looks as though it could be melted mustard gas. This drink is supposedly found only in this bar, and cannot be purchased anywhere else in Ecuador. An old man with poor eyesight and a penchant for dirty handkerchiefs checks on the small vintage tables, making sure everyone is getting their fill. The crowd is usually mixed. Late night vagabonds, along with young musicians and artists frequent El Tropical. The draw for me is the incredible jukebox. The music of Celia Cruz, Marta Perez, along with dozens of Cuban singers and musicians waft from the old jukebox, filling the air with magic. El Tropical is a place that must be visited. It is charming and timeless.