Today’s catch informs the Key West dining scene, with favorites like conch fritters, oysters on the half shell, grouper sandwiches, lobster ravioli and sushi. Beyond the obligatory seafood choices, you can pick up homemade pasta at La Trattoria, enjoy a perfect combination of wine and tapas at Santiago’s Bodega, munch on a lunch of burger and beer at a barstool down at the waterfront at one of the many indoor/outdoor joints, or take in live music and comfort food at one of the bar/restaurants along Duval Street.
While it’s not like Miami’s Little Havana, Key West certainly has a Cuban flair. For example, dine on roasted meats and sweet plantains at El Siboney Restaurant. And vegetarians needn’t worry about finding a place (mostly) free of meat, fish or fowl. Well-regarded vegetarian-friendly joints include Blue Heaven and The Cafe, A Mostly Vegetarian Place.
Address: 207 Petronia Street
Cuisine: European, Tapas
Word of Mouth: “We had some great meals in Key West … but this was the best. We went with some friends so we were able to sample many tapas … and I would recommend every one of them! Particularly outstanding were the ceviche, ribs and tenderloin with blue cheese. A friend made reservations for us and we were glad he did as they were turning people away at the door … on a Tuesday evening!” — VirginiaRick
Address: 201 Duval Street
Word of Mouth: “Old Key West establishment. Probably best known for being Hemingway’s go to spot for a beer and they play that up … HARD. That said, the beer is cold and the service is pretty good. The atmosphere is lively, even in the middle of the afternoon. It’s open air and the chickens wander in from off the street, so they’re probably not going to get a 100 health rating any time soon, but that’s not what you’re there for. Drink and have fun!!!!” — MasonOrion
The Cafe, A Mostly Vegetarian Place
Address: 509 Southard Street
Word of Mouth: “Excellent food. I’m not veggie, but if I could cook and prepare food like this at home, I could well be! We’re on holiday here for a week and have been three times! My wife is vegetarian and it’s interesting to watch her decide what to have; ordering takes so much longer because of the good variety of options. The salads and main courses are great.” — Graham F
Colombian Grace Restaurant
Address: 223 Petronia Street
Word of Mouth: “The restaurant is located in a house on Petronia street, in a laid back neighborhood. The interior is nice and comfortable — a very stress free environment. … I would particularly recommend the Yellowtail Snapper which is served grilled in a breading. I tried snapper a number of times in the Keys, and this was easily the best I had.. We have a 7-year-old who loved the Arepa Paisa, a kind of grilled cheese appetizer. The wines, mostly Chilean, were very reasonable, and we had a key lime mousse pie ice cream combination desert. The dishes tend to be Latin American but they will appeal to all tastes. This was easily the best meal we had in Key West.” — DanKo5
Better Than Sex: A Dessert Restaurant
Address: 411 Petronia Street
Word of Mouth: “While I’m not convinced it’s better than sex, the atmosphere, service and food were better than most restaurants. The restaurant is dimly lit, flashlights are used to view the menu and if you like chocolate the desserts are most incredible. Great place for a romantic dessert. … Definitely worth visiting when in Key West.” — Greg R
El Siboney Restaurant
Address: 900 Catherine Street
Word of Mouth: “Almost every time I go to Key West I have either dinner or lunch at this place. Food is delicious. My favorite appetizer or side order is the ‘tostones (banana green plantain)’. I don’t really have a favorite dish since everything I’ve tried has been delicious … from the fried fish (either snapper and/or grouper) to the most typical Cuban dishes (ropa vieja). Everything tasted yummy, yummy.” — Carlitico
Address: 729 Thomas Street
Word of Mouth: “Arrived at Blue Heaven & immediately fell in love with the eclectic atmosphere. Clearly this was the place to be by the simple fact that this place was packed & there was live music on a Tuesday at 11 a.m.! The Bloody Mary & Goose Hound cocktail hit the spot (very generous pours). I had the lobster omelette & hubby had eggs Benedict. Holy cow!!! I’m sure I disturbed nearby guests from all the moaning I was doing. This meal was by far, the best of any we had during our 1st stay in Key West.” — Jennimac25
For more Key West restaurants, click here.