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 lobste
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—espec
Seafood rules in the Keys, which is full of chef-owned restaurants with not-too-fancy food. Many restaurants serve cuisi

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. Café Marquesa

    $$$ | European

    Chef Susan Ferry presents seven or more inspired entrées on her changing menu each night. Delicious dishes can include anything from yellowtail...Read More

  • 4. Chef Michael's

    $$$ | Upper Matecumbe Key | Seafood

    This local favorite—whose motto is "Peace. Love. Hogfish."—has been making big waves since its opening in 2011 with chef Michael Ledwith at...Read More

  • 5. 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

  • 6. Pierre's

    $$$$ | Upper Matecumbe Key | French

    One of the Keys' most elegant restaurants, Pierre's marries colonial style with modern food trends. Full of interesting architectural artifacts...Read More

  • 7. Santiago's Bodega

    $ | Spanish

    If you’ve ever wondered where chefs go for a great meal in the Lower Keys, this is their secret spot. Picky palates will be satisfied at this...Read More

  • 8. Square Grouper

    $$$ | Seafood

    In an unassuming warehouse-looking building right off U.S. 1, chef and owner Lynn Bell is creating seafood magic. Just ask the locals, who wait...Read More

  • 9. 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

  • 10. Alma

    $$$ | Latin American

    A refreshing escape from the Middle Keys' same-old menus, Alma serves expertly prepared Florida and Latin-Caribbean dishes in an elegant setting...Read More

  • 11. Ambrosia

    $$ | Japanese

    Ask any savvy local where to get the best sushi on the island and you'll undoubtedly be pointed to this bright and airy dining room with a modern...Read More

  • 12. Azur Restaurant

    $$$ | Eclectic

    Fuel up on the finest fare at this former gas station, now part of the Eden House complex. In a contemporary setting with indoor and outdoor...Read More

  • 13. 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

  • 14. 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

  • 15. Café Solé

    $$$ | French

    This little corner of France hides behind a high wall in a residential neighborhood. Inside, French training intertwines with local ingredients...Read More

  • 16. Camille's Restaurant

    $$$ | American

    Break out the stretchy pants because everything on the menu at this affordable hot spot not only sounds scrumptious, it is. Locals have tried...Read More

  • 17. 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

  • 18. Conch Republic Seafood Company

    $$$ | Seafood

    Because of its location where the fast ferry docks, Conch Republic does a brisk business. It's huge, open-air, and on the water, so the place...Read More

  • 19. Dante's Key West Restaurant and Pool Bar

    $$ | Seafood

    With the motto "Come be an aquaholic," Dante's is as unique as Key West itself. Sun loungers, tiki bars, and tables with umbrellas and chairs...Read More

  • 20. 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

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