Photo by Madison Simmons.
Tropic Lady, 2719 Race St, FW. 817-349-8034. 11am-10pm Sun, 11am-10pm Tue-Thu, 11am-midnight Fri-Sat.
Local art festoons the walls at Tropic Lady.
Photo by Madison Simmons.

With summer in full swing, it’s time to turn our minds to vacation. Luckily, an exotic getaway sits right in our backyard.

On Race Street in the space formerly occupied by Fuzzy’s Taco Shop, Tropic Lady harks to sunny beaches with bright food and tasty cocktails.

The place is the brainchild of the good folks behind a Near Southside institution. Owner of the Bearded Lady, Shannon Osbakken opened the chill Race Street spot with longtime friend Sarah Allen in April. A third friend and co-owner, Amanda Yunger, is the general manager.


Tropic Lady unfolded as a happy accident. The friends had been looking for a second location for Bearded Lady for almost a year when they went to tour the former Fuzzy’s.

“When we walked into this space, we just had …, ” Osbakken started.

“… a feeling,” Allen interjected from close by.

“And the vision,” Osbakken finished.

That vision? A place where they would all like to hang, a getaway in the middle of Fort Worth.

“It’s a big collaboration of very similar-minded people,” Allen said.

Race Street, Osbakken said, “reminds me of what [West] Magnolia [Avenue] was when [Bearded Lady] first opened.”

(From left to right) Amanda Yunger, Shannon Osbakken, and Sarah Allen opened Tropic Lady on Race Street in April.
Photo by Madison Simmons.

They held the grand opening on 4/20, one of several nods to the trio’s collective affinity for the greener things in life. The salad and wrap menu options are titled “Doobies or Bowls,” and THC seltzers are among the drink offerings.

My date and I rolled up on a weekday afternoon, seeking a snack and a respite from the mundane afternoon. If Bearded Lady is the tough, beer-drinking, burger-eating, been-around-the-block type, then Tropic Lady steps up as the whimsical, world-traveling, sometimes-vegan younger sister. Design influences include locales Osbakken has traveled to and loved, like L.A., Thailand, and Austin.

“I really feel like getting out of what’s local is inspiring,” Osbakken said.

The vibe is eclectic in the best possible ways. Checkerboard floors and a round bartop call to a ’50s-era Elvis sensibility. The light-pink walls and gold-shellacked air ducts scream high glam. An abundance of potted plants and Hawaiian prints lend a tropical air. The walls are (tastefully) filled with quirky art that kept me scanning the room, drinking it all in. Allen said she has spent hours obsessively scrolling Facebook marketplace and visiting thrift shops to find pieces for the restaurant. She also has donated treasures from her personal collection, including a set of Hawaiian glasses her grandmother bought in the 1960s.

A neon sign instructs customers to “order at the bar,” so my guest and I grabbed a menu and settled into a camel-colored booth. The vibrant style extends to the fare on offer. The menu feels like bar food went on vacation and then a health kick, with equal thought given to fried food and salads alike.

We started with the mango guacamole and bacon-wrapped grilled pineapple. The guac was sweet and savory, a thematic flavor combination throughout the menu, and brown sugar-candied bacon delightfully encased chunks of chile-seared fruit. The classic pork-and-pineapple combo brought to mind a luau.

I chose one of each taco: jerk chicken, plantain, and blackened shrimp. The tacos come filled with refried black beans, cilantro and pickled onions, a housemade slaw, and a sprinkling of pepitas. These flavors worked best with the shrimp option. The plantains, roasted until black on the outside, were a feat — rich and savory. They tasted nothing of meat while offering all the flavor. The chicken was the only miss. While it brought the promised spice of jerk seasoning, the shreds had completely dried out, perhaps a kitchen error specific to this visit.

Tropic Lady’s menu incorporates fresh and colorful fruits, vegetables, and sauces into traditionally heavy classics like hot dogs and burgers.
Photo by Madison Simmons.

My dining companion cannot see a hot dog on a menu without ordering it, so his decision was made for him. Again, pork and pineapple were called to the stand, as the grilled fruit topped the jalapeno-cheddar sausage, along with caramelized onions, fresh jalapenos, and horseradish mustard. The spicy, sweet, salty combination, with punches of acidity from the pineapple, created a sort of euphoric haze.

The drink menu is, understandably, heavy on tequila, with half of the offerings highlighting the agave spirit. The Tropic Like It’s Hot, with tequila, coconut milk, coconut puree, lime, and muddled jalapenos, was sweet and creamy enough to act as an indulgence but bright enough for me to believe I was sipping not on a cocktail but some sort of tonic. My only complaint? The drink poses a personal danger to me. I immediately wanted (but did not order) three more. The Dango Mango, a tequila-spiked mango puree with a chamoy swirl, tasted more like a slushie than a cocktail. Also pretty dangerous to me. And my date and I shared a Pink Lady — a floral margarita was something I didn’t know I needed. There’s also a list of drafts and bottles, and those who don’t imbibe will enjoy the extensive mocktail list and NA beverages on offer.

The food and drinks were very good and hit flavor notes not offered at many other Fort Worth locales. More than that, I loved the space. The team has created such a beautiful, fun environment, I see many more Tropic Lady staycations in my future.

Allen said, “It’s such a good feeling walking in here and thinking, ‘Man, we created this out of nothing.’ ”


Tropic Lady
Taco basket $14
Hot dog $11
Bacon-wrapped grilled pineapple $10
Mango guacamole $9
Pink Lady $9
Dango Mango $10
Tropic Like It’s Hot $10
A flair for color and design extends to the drink menu at Tropic Lady. The Dango Mango (left) and Tropic Like It’s Hot both feature tequila.
Photo by Madison Simmons.
The bacon-wrapped pineapple offers a perfectly salty-sweet bite at Tropic Lady.
Photo by Madison Simmons.
Tropic Lady’s mango guacamole and bacon-wrapped pineapple both rely on sweet-and-salty flavor combinations.
Photo by Madison Simmons.
At Tropic Lady a hot dog and fries get a fresh take thanks to the addition of fun, tropical flavors.
Photo by Madison Simmons.
A hibiscus margarita, the Pink Lady adds a refreshing floral note to the classic drink.
Photo by Madison Simmons.
Tropic Lady utilizes a counter service system.
Photo by Madison Simmons.
Globe lights above the round bartop at Tropic Lady add to the vintage feel of the space. The glasses on the top shelf were provided (as decoration only) by co-owner Sarah Allen, who inherited them from her grandmother.
Photo by Madison Simmons.
A topless woman on a motorcycle is one of countless eclectic decor pieces at the new Race Street spot.
Photo by Madison Simmons.