The Florida Keys Restaurants

Seafood rules in the Keys, which is full of chef-owned restaurants with not-too-fancy food. Many restaurants serve cuisine that reflects the proximity of the Bahamas and Caribbean (you’ll see the term "Floribbean" on many menus). Tropical fruits figure prominently—especially on the beverage side of the menu. Florida spiny lobster should be local and fresh from August to March, and stone crabs from mid-October to mid-May. And don't dare leave the islands without sampling conch, be it in a fritter or in ceviche. Keep an eye out for authentic key lime pie—yellow custard in a graham-cracker crust. If it's green, just say "no." Note: Particularly in Key West and particularly during spring break, the more affordable and casual restaurants can get loud and downright rowdy, with young visitors often more interested in drinking than eating. Live music contributes to the decibel levels. If you're more of the quiet, intimate-dining type, avoid such overly exuberant scenes by eating early or choosing a restaurant where the bar isn’t the main focus.

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  • 1. B.O.'s Fish Wagon

    $$ | Seafood

    What started out as a fish house on wheels appears to have broken down on the corner of Caroline and William streets and is today the cornerstone...Read More

  • 2. Buzzard's Roost Grill and Pub

    $$$ | Seafood

    The views are nice at this waterfront restaurant but the food is what gets your attention. Burgers, fish tacos, and seafood baskets are lunch...Read More

  • 3. Lazy Days South

    $$$ | Seafood

    Tucked into Marathon Marina a half mile north of the Seven Mile Bridge, this restaurant offers views just as spectacular as its highly lauded...Read More

  • 4. Alabama Jack's

    $ | Seafood

    Calories be damned—the conch fritters here are heaven on a plate. Don't expect the traditional, golf-ball-size spheres of dough; these are an...Read More

  • 5. Baby's Coffee

    $ | American

    The aroma of rich, roasting coffee beans arrests you at the door of "the Southernmost Coffee Roaster in America." Buy beans by the pound or...Read More

  • 6. Ballyhoo's

    $$$ | Seafood

    Occupying a 1930s Conch house with outdoor seating right alongside U.S. 1 under the sea grape trees, this local favorite is all about the fish...Read More

  • 7. Blue Heaven

    $$$ | Caribbean

    The outdoor dining area here is often referred to as "the quintessential Keys experience," and it's hard to argue. There's much to like about...Read More

  • 8. Chad's Deli & Bakery

    $ | American

    It's a deli! It's a bakery! It's a pasta place! It's also where the locals go. By day, Chad's serves monster sandwiches in pita wraps, rolls...Read More

  • 9. Coffee Plantation

    $ | Bakery

    Get your morning (or afternoon) buzz, and hook up to the Internet in the comfort of a homelike setting in a circa-1890 Conch house. Munch on...Read More

  • 10. Croissants de France

    $ | French

    Pop into the bakery for something sinfully sweet or spend some time people-watching at the sidewalk café next door. You can get breakfast or...Read More

  • 11. Deuce's Off the Hook Grill

    $$$ | American

    It's a tight fit with only six tables (and six counter seats), but if you don't mind sitting close to fellow diners, you will be rewarded with...Read More

  • 12. El Siboney

    $ | Cuban

    Dining at this family-style restaurant is like going to Mom's for Sunday dinner—if your mother is Cuban. The dining room is noisy, and the food...Read More

  • 13. Fish Tales Market and Eatery

    $ | Seafood

    This no-frills, roadside eatery has a loyal local following, an unfussy ambience, a couple of outside picnic tables, and friendly service. Signature...Read More

  • 14. Geiger Key Smokehouse Bar & Grill

    $$ | American

    There's a strong hint of the Old Keys at this ocean-side marina restaurant, where local fisherman stop for breakfast before heading out to catch...Read More

  • 15. Good Food Conspiracy

    $ | Vegetarian

    Like good wine, this small natural-foods eatery and market surrenders its pleasures a little at a time. Step inside to the aroma of brewing...Read More

  • 16. Green Turtle Inn

    $$$ | Upper Matecumbe Key | Seafood

    This circa-1947 landmark inn and its vintage neon sign is a slice of Florida Keys history. Period photographs decorate the wood-paneled walls...Read More

  • 17. Half Shell Raw Bar

    $$ | Seafood

    Smack-dab on the docks, this legendary institution gets its name from the oysters, clams, and peel-and-eat shrimp that are a departure point...Read More

  • 18. Harriette's Restaurant

    $ | American

    If you're looking for comfort food—like melt-in-your-mouth biscuits the size of a salad plate—try this refreshing throwback. Since the early...Read More

  • 19. Hogfish Bar & Grill

    $ | Seafood

    It's worth a drive to Stock Island, one of Florida's last surviving working waterfronts, just outside Key West, to indulge in the freshness...Read More

  • 20. Hungry Tarpon

    $$ | Lower Matecumbe Key | Seafood

    As part of the colorful, bustling Old Florida scene at Robbie's Marina, you know that the seafood here is fresh and top quality. The extensive...Read More

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