Grab a taste of the island life with Pollo Tropical, a restaurant chain that takes inspiration from the cuisine of the Caribbean. Like Bahama Breeze, Pollo Tropical is heavily influenced by Florida and the Caribbean. It is headquartered in the former and passionate about the latter.
This is a US-brand through and through. But it has taken a step away from traditional American fare, as well as the Mexican influences that Americans adore. It offers something different, something fresh, and it aims to give locals and tourists in several states the taste of an island paradise.
Employees: 5,200 (2015)
Pollo Tropical History
Pollo Tropical, which translates to “Tropical Chicken”, is owned by a parent company that also owns Taco Cabana. The first restaurant to carry the Pollo Tropical name opened in Miami, Florida, in 1988. It aimed to capture a market that was increasingly leaning towards cuisine from the Caribbean and surrounding regions, with a focus on dishes that were inspired by Jamaica, Trinidad and Cuba.
They offer affordable dishes that appeal to a broad range of consumers, while also providing food that is authentic enough to be enjoyed by people of the Caribbean. Pollo Tropical is particularly popular with tourists in many of the Southern states. But it has also spread to countries across the Americas.
It employs over 5,000 people, owns over 160 locations and is headquartered in the Sunshine State.
Pollo Tropical Menu
There is no shortage of chicken dishes on the Pollo Tropical menu, and in many ways, it’s not too dissimilar to the Nando’s menu. However, the emphasis is on fruity, tropical dishes, with a little spice and a lot of flavor, as opposed to the full-force of spice delivered by Nando’s.
You can order your chicken in a number of ways, either in a Chicken Salad, a Chicken Wrap, or on a Chicken Platter.
It’s not just about chicken though. There are options for other meats, including pork. And there is also a selection of bean and pasta dishes. There is also a kid’s menu and a dessert menu, and you can order all kinds of fruity Caribbean drinks on the side.
Pollo Tropical Secret Menu
There isn’t a great deal of Pollo Tropical secret menu items to explore. As usual though, we have tried our best to compile some of these for you.
If you are a regular at this Caribbean chain restaurant, then be sure to check this out and see what’s hiding underneath the menu you thought you knew so well.
You may also want to checkout the Nando’s secret menu, if you’re into chicken that packs a flavorful punch. The Olive Garden secret menu and the Red Lobster secret menu also have plenty of options if low-cost casual dining is your thing.
Pollo Tropical Nutrition and Calories
Most of the Pollo Tropical menu items are very healthy. Chicken is a lean meat, packed with protein. There isn’t much fat on it and as long as you don’t deep-fry it KFC style, then it’s all good. A few of their sauces and their wrap/sandwich fillings are quite heavy on the oils and the sugar, and you should also watch your sodium. But thanks to our Pollo Tropical Nutrition Info guide, that’s easily done.
If you want even fewer calories and even less fat, there is also a “Lite Menu”. These dishes cost between $5 and $7 and are basically just low-fat and low-sugar versions of the main menu items. They include portions of chicken with salad, chicken wraps, chicken soup and more. You can also order low-sugar drinks and bottled water.
Pollo Tropical Menu Prices
The Pollo Tropical menu is very reasonably priced. You can get a wrap or a sandwich for a little over $3, which puts it in line with the likes of Subway and Taco Bell. You should expect to pay a little more than these two on the whole though, as this is casual dining, not fast food. As an example, there is no Dollar/Value Menu; drinks and sides typically cost between $2 and $4; and if you want to fill up on a big meal, you can expect to pay around $20 to $30, as opposed to the $10 you would pay at the aforementioned chains.
To see more Pollo Tropical menu prices, be sure to read our updated guide.
Pollo Tropical Locations
There are over 160 locations of Pollo Tropical. This is a relatively small number for a well known chain. But there is a reason for that, and that’s because Pollo Tropical own most of their restaurants and do not have a franchise operation. As a result, their growth is more in line with the likes of Bahama Breeze and Nando’s, as opposed to fast-growing chains like Jimmy John’s and Five Guys.
All Pollo Tropical locations in the United States can be found in the following states:
There are also locations in the following countries, where the Pollo Tropical menu is a little closer to the local cuisine:
- Costa Rica
- Dominican Republic
- Puerto Rico
- Trinidad and Tobago
The only locations that are not owned by the company are the ones that can be found in shopping malls and University Campuses. In this case there is usually an agreement that strips complete ownership from the brand.
Pollo Tropical Store Hours
Pollo Tropical store hours are generally consistent across the board. In the United States, most locations open at 10:30am and close at midnight. This is the case from Monday to Sunday, although those times may change during holidays.