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. Calusa

    $$$ | Caribbean

    Nestled on the third floor of the main building of Baker's Cay Resort, this waterfront spot offers panoramic views of the gulf and a creative...Read More

  • 2. Chef Michael's

    $$$$ | Upper Matecumbe Key | Seafood

    This local favorite–-whose motto is "Peace. Love. Hogfish"–-has been making big waves since 2011 with chef Michael Ledwith at the helm. Seafood...Read More

  • 3. Il Postino

    $$ | Italian

    A bright and airy Italian trattoria located inside the upscale Isla Bella Resort, this spot features a lovely indoor dining room, but it's the...Read More

  • 4. Latitudes

    $$$ | Old Town | Eclectic

    It doesn't get more magical than this. Take the short boat ride to lovely Sunset Key for lunch or dinner on the beach where the million-dollar...Read More

  • 5. 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

  • 6. Azur Restaurant

    $$$ | Old Town | Eclectic

    In a contemporary setting with indoor and outdoor seating, welcoming staff serve original, eclectic dishes that stand out from those at the...Read More

  • 7. Key Colony Inn

    $$ | Italian

    The inviting aroma of an Italian kitchen pervades this family-owned favorite known for its Sunday brunch, served November through April. For...Read More

  • 8. Louie's Backyard

    $$$$ | Eclectic

    Feast your eyes on a steal-your-breath-away view and beautifully presented dishes prepared by executive chef Doug Shook. Once you get over sticker...Read More

  • 9. Tavern N Town

    $$$ | Eclectic

    This handsome and warm restaurant has an open kitchen that adds lovely aromas from the wood-fired oven. The dinner menu offers a variety of...Read More

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