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. Hideaway Café

    $$$ | American

    The name says it all. Tucked between Grassy Key and Marathon, it's easy to miss if you're mindlessly driving through the middle islands. When...Read More

  • 2. Key Largo Conch House

    $$ | American

    Tucked into the trees along the Overseas Highway, this Victorian-style home (family owned since 2004) and its true-to-the-Keys style of cooking...Read More

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