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Key West is part of an archipelago of idyllic islands in Florida set between the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico. A popular hotspot for tropical getaways, it’s ripe for outdoor adventure or simply relaxing the day away on soft sands with a salty sea breeze.
Key West is known for its laid-back feel, with a strong cultural focus on fun in the sun. Many of the best restaurants in Key West boast waterfront views and local specialties like the famous Key Lime Pie. Foodies are sure to fall in love with the cuisine scene of Key West.
It’s easy to feast away, finding deliciously eclectic eats that include everything from traditional fresh seafood dishes to contemporary, creative fine dining fares. Often the Caribbean and Cuban influences tend to make their way onto menus here, tons of great Caribbean cuisine in Key West. Here are the best restaurants in Key West!
1. Blue Heaven
Known for having adorable critters, like chickens and cats, that roam around the idyllic space, Blue Heaven is country chic al fresco fares at their finest. They’ve been around since 1992 and have gained quite a rave reputation among Florida foodies.
It’s set in the historic Bahama Village, and the space is covered in canopies of tropical foliage that are decked out with whimsy. There’s often live music to complete the charming ambiance. The menu features American, Caribbean, and vegetarian cuisine, and each plate is expertly crafted with care.
Breakfast and lunch are first come, first serve, but you may want to make a reservation if you’re hoping to go for dinner. The Caribbean BBQ Shrimp, Jamaican Jerk Chicken, and Island Plate are a few of the fan favorites. There’s a special Sunday breakfast menu, and it’s a lovely pick for a beautiful brunch in town. So if you are on the hunt for Sunday Brunch in Key West, make sure to check out Blue Heaven.
- Hours: 8 AM to 2:30 PM, 5 PM to 10 PM
- Address: 729 Thomas St.
2. Cafe Marquesa Key West
This cozy cafe spot is located inside the high-end Marquesa Hotel in Old Town Key West, and it focuses on creative New American eats. It’s a beloved institution in the area, it’s one of the local favorite restaurants, and tourists love it too.
Some of the menu items feature grilled meats, fresh local seafood, seasonal produce, freshly baked bread, and desserts made daily. Inventive interpretations of classic cuisines are their claim to fame, with delicious dishes such as the Butter Poached Lobster and Crispy Pork Osso Buco.
Be sure to save room for something sweet here as well. The presentation is always picture perfect. There’s also a cozy bar for enjoying a few beverages or light bites. They have an extensive selection of fine wines from all over the world, as well as creative cocktails. Cafe Marquesa is the ideal dining destination for a fancy night out on the town in Key West.
Cafe Marquesa has a rather small dining room, so it’s best to call ahead and make reservations.
- Hours: 5:30 PM to 10 PM
- Address: 600 Fleming St.
Related Article: Driving from Miami to Key West – Perfect Pit Stops & What to Expect
Bagatelle is set inside a historic building that was constructed way back in the 1800s. Today it’s home to some of the best food in Key West, a seafood-focused, and American Caribbean style menu. Everything is locally and sustainably sourced.
The space itself is architecturally stunning, with giant wrap-around porches for that ideal Floridian alfresco feasting. It’s a beautiful spot for brunch any day of the week, and they even offer two happy hours per day. One is the breakfast hangover happy hour from 9 to 11:30 AM, and the other is the afternoon slot from 4 to 6 PM, which offers $5 tasting plates and half off on cocktails.
A must-try is their signature dish, the Lobster Mac and Cheese, it is a favorite staple here. They also have a great selection of wine, with something to pair perfectly with any plate. This local restaurant is located right on the famous Duval Street, making it an easy restaurant to visit while exploring Key West or before hitting the Key West nightlife scene.
- Hours: 9 AM to 10 PM
- Address: 115 Duval St.
4. Matt’s Stock Island Kitchen
Matt’s Stock Island Kitchen is an airy eatery that features picturesque waterfront panoramas overlooking the marina. The views are even better outside if you ask us. We really enjoy their outdoor dining area. The decor is modern and minimal, and they focus on elevated coastal comfort foods. Each plate is thoughtful and created in a simple way that lets the amazing ingredients really speak for themselves.
As they say, what grows together goes together. For some of the freshest seafood in Key West, you can even bring your own fresh catch in for them to prepare after a day of angling out in the open Florida Keys seas. The Crab Beignets have become a famous bite here and are definitely a must-try on a menu full of stand-out dishes, like the Grouper Gnudi and Mussels and Clams Cioppino Style.
Reservations are required to get a table here. Whether you go for breakfast, dinner, or simply a few cocktails to enjoy the view, Matt’s is a great place for contemporary cuisine in Key West.
- Hours: Mon-Sat 8 AM to 11:30 AM, 6 PM to 9 PM, Sun 8 AM to 2 PM, 6 PM to 9 PM
- Address: 7001 Shrimp Rd.
5. El Meson De Pepe’s Restaurant & Bar
This Key West Cuban restaurant is a coveted icon within the community, drawing in crowds with a vibrant and rustic feel, live Salsa music, and authentic cuisine. They operate on a first-come, first serve basis only. It’s also family-owned and operated and has been around since 1985.
They’re dedicated to celebrating the flavors of the Cuban-Conch heritage. They’re located in Mallory Square, a spot known for its sunset parties, so it’s a great way to partake in the festivities here while enjoying some tapas and classic tropical cocktails from the charming patio bar.
The Completa de Caballo Grande is a great way to experience all the famous fares here, as it includes Ropa Vieja, Lechon Asado, and Picadillo Habanero. For chowing down on craveable and authentic Cuban food, El Meson is one of the best restaurants in Key West and one of the best places to get some authentic Cuban cuisine in Key West!
- Hours: 11 AM to 10 PM
- Address: 410 Wall St.
6. Conch Republic Seafood Restaurant
Fresh dock to dish dining at its finest, Conch Republic Seafood Restaurant is the go-to for fresh seafood straight out of the sea. Conch Republic has some of the best seafood in Key West! It was originally called Singleton Fish House, where hundreds of pounds of shrimp were processed every day, and some original elements from this time can even still be seen.
The scenic waterfront patio offers sweeping views out over the ocean. There’s a happy hour every day with some amazing two-for-one deals. Definitely one of the best happy hours in Key West. The mojitos are a specialty here, and the craft beer selection is one of the best around.
The fresh raw bar is a mollusk lover’s dream. They also serve up sandwiches, meat from the grill, Yellowfin Tuna, and the Caribbean Spiced Mahi Mahi is a real standout. One special touch is that scallops, lobster tail, or blue cheese can be added to any dish, making for an indulgent plate you’re sure to remember.
- Hours: 11:30 AM to 9:30 PM
- Address: 631 Greene St.
7. Garbo’s Grill
Garbo’s Grill is a tiny family-run food stand (similar to a food truck ) that packs in a lot of personality. They’re always cooking up inventive takes on tacos, burgers, and burritos. They also offer poke bowls and lobster rolls, so the rule here really is to expect the unexpected.
The Umamiburger and the Kogidog steal the show on this eclectic menu full of amazing meals to try. There’s often a line around the block, but don’t worry it’s totally worth any wait.
There are a few tables out front on the shaded brick patio, so you can sit down and really savor every mouthful. Garbo’s is truly a time-honored tradition for travelers and natives in Key West, as one of the coolest restaurants in Key West.
- Hours: 11 AM to 12 AM
- Address: 409 Caroline St.
8. Sunset Pier
Sunset Pier perfects the relaxed dockside environment that Key West is known for. It’s set inside the Ocean Key Resort & Spa, offering incredible waterfront vistas and live music. It’s a long, extended dock stretching out over the warm sea with brightly colored furnishings.
The culinary creations have a tropical flair, and the sunsets from here are truly unreal. There’s a surf shack and a tiki bar, ideal for indulging in the spectacular views, plus plenty of community events to check out on their calendar.
The frozen cocktails are just another enticement here that complements the great food, especially the Coconut Rum Punch Bucket. The Fish Tacos and Ceviche are both specialty dishes as well. It’s one of the most beautiful spaces to treat yourself to in Key West.
- Hours: 11:30 AM to 9 PM
- Address: 0 Duval St.
9. First Flight Island Restaurant & Brewery
First Flight is set inside an impressive historic structure of Key West, the birthplace of Pan American World Airways. It’s a laidback space with an aviation theme, perfect for grabbing a cold craft beer and some contemporary pub grub. If you are looking for one of the best restaurants in Key West serving up some good old American comfort food, this is it!
The back garden is covered in shady, swaying palms and string lights. Known as the southernmost microbrewery, the beers here are carefully crafted on-site. The cocktail selection is extensive as well, with an array of innovative choices like the Beer-A-Rita or Drunken Maverick.
They also happen to host one of the best happy hours in Key West, featuring well-priced pints, cocktails on tap, house wines, and snack specials. There are plenty of tempting shareable plates, like the Beef Brisket Mac and Cheese or Fried Ravioli. The mains include equally delectable offerings, such as fresh fish tacos.
- Hours: 11 AM to 10 PM
- Address: 301 Whitehead St.
Latitudes is a renowned fine dining restaurant in the area, known not only for its elevated cuisine but for its breathtaking vistas looking out over the Gulf of Mexico. It’s part of Sunset Key Cottages, serving up fresh and flavor-packed island eats.
To get to Latitudes, you have to take a ferry, but it’s easily the best place to watch the sunset in Key West. You’ll watch the sunset over the water while enjoying a mouthwatering meal. The menu is created with locally sourced ingredients based on what is in season, and each plate feels like a work of art.
Breakfast and lunch are casual, though dinner here does require a bit of dressing up (make sure to check the dress code). It offers a luxurious atmosphere, and the full bar has extensive beverages to choose from, including international wines and creative cocktails. Seared Sea Scallops here come highly recommended. There are vegetarian options on the menu.
Reservations are needed. We made our dinner reservations months in advance. This is one of the best places to eat in Key West hence why it’s always booked. This is our favorite place to go for a romantic date night in Key West.
- Hours: Sun-Thurs 7 AM to 2:15 PM and 5 PM to 10 PM, Fri-Sat 7 AM to 2:15 PM and 5 PM to 11 PM
- Address: 245 Front Street
- Menu & Reservations here
Kermits has hands down the best Key Lime Pie in Key West, which is quite an accomplishment in Key West. Kermit’s Frozen Key Lime Pie on a Stick is perfect for a fun and refreshing treat on a hot Florida day. Even the building is cute, a little key lime-colored cottage set on the stunning waterfront strip of Key West.
The cafe in the garden is such a sweet secret gem that offers super affordable sandwiches and wraps. It’s a great spot for lunch. Definitely try the Chicken Caesar wrap here. This is always my go-to lunch in Key West if I am looking for something light. It’s a great spot to relax in between checking out all the best things to do in Key West.
The cafe is also covered in plants and feels charmingly serene to spend some time in. Inside, you’ll find a veritable treasure trove of gourmet goodies that are locally crafted and contain key lime in some fashion, everything from candy, sauces, bath and body products, jams, specialty oils, and seasonings. If you’re looking for some Key West souvenirs to bring back home, this is a great spot to get something. Kermits is a very special place and a Key West must-visit when exploring the area.
- Hours: Cafe 7 AM to 3 PM, General Store 10 AM to 9:30 PM
- Address: 200 Elizabeth Street
- Kermit’s Cafe Menu
12. Eaton Street Seafood Market
This simple eatery offers fresh seafood in Key West. Crab cakes, shrimp salad, and an assortment of sandwiches are the main draws here. The fried fish and grilled lobster tail fresh daily are delicious as well.
They stock an array of locally caught seafood, including grouper, yellowtail snapper, Key West pink shrimp, and hogfish. You can even arrive and pick the catch which you wish to dine out on and it will be cooked right in front of you.
The cozy outdoor seating makes for a wonderful spot to enjoy all the seafood spoils of Key West. It’s one of the best seafood markets in Key West and, as such, serves up unparalleled dishes in the historic Old Town.
The building itself dates back to 1877, and today the display case is a stunning sight to behold. It’s generally a warm and casual environment full of knowledgeable folks to help you decide on the most delicious possible catch for you.
- Hours: 11 AM to 9 PM
- Address: 801 Eaton St.
13. Cuban Coffee Queen
Hands down, the best coffee in Key West is Cuban Coffee Queen! Cuban Coffee Queen is a lively counter-service space offering traditional Cuban fares. It’s a popular spot to go both for a delicious coffee or one of their tasty sandwiches.
You can even buy the beans to go, and it’s definitely worth taking some home with you. It’s a perfect place for breakfast or lunch. We think it is one of the best quick breakfasts in Key West. Try the Sunrise Special or Breakfast Burrito to start your day, or for an afternoon meal, dig into the Josi Marti or the Shipwreck Sandwich. It’s great for a quick bite or even a smoothie.
There are now three locations in Key West. It’s a small white shack that’s unassuming but with a colorful and funky flair. The original Cuban Coffee Queen is take-out only. There’s nowhere to really eat at the place, making it ideal for packing up a picnic to take to the beach or to settle under a nice shady palm tree. The downtown location has a dine-in option.
- Hours: 6:30 AM to 7 PM
- Address: 284 Margaret St.
14. Smoked BBQ
This relaxed dining spot is set inside of a vintage boat! Smoked BBQ embraces an old-school decor that’s matched only by the magnificent marina views and tasty grilled meats. They serve up classic Southern comfort cuisine that’s unparalleled in the area.
Glorious grub like the Bacon Hush Puppies, Pulled Pork Sandwiches, and the Baby Back Ribs grace the menu here. Specialty platters are the perfect way to enjoy an array of beautiful barbecue grub like the Award Winning Pulled Pork Plate or Burnt End Plate. It’s sure to cure any authentic smoked meat cravings.
Quality is the focus here, and there are no bells and whistles to distract from the simple and fresh fares cooked up in traditional fashions. The oceanfront vistas really make for a magnificent experience overall.
- Hours: 11 AM to 9 PM
- Address: 1801 N. Roosevelt Blvd.
15. Bo’s Fish Wagon
Bo’s is an offbeat eatery set inside a charming driftwood shack. If you’re looking to indulge in some fresh fares that are more off the beaten path, this is secretly one of the best restaurants in Key West.
Fried fish, conch fritters, and hot dogs fill the menu, and it’s actually the place to go for the perfect fish sandwich in Key West. It encompasses the no shirt, no shoes, no problem attitude of the Keys, especially with the Friday Night Jam Session. They offer both seawiches and landwiches that are highly regarded, as well as seafood platters like the Grilled or Fried Fish of the Day. Beer, wine, and other beverages are available as well. We highly suggest getting their fried Key West pink shrimp!
It’s a charmingly rustic atmosphere, full of lowkey kitschy wooden decor, plus it’s all alfresco street-front dining, which adds to the adorable feel. A bit divey but delightful is how Bo’s Fish Wagon is often described.
- Hours: 11 AM to 9:30 PM
- Address: 801 Caroline St.
What do you think are the best restaurants in Key West?
We are planning a trip back to Key West now and looking for new Key West restaurants to check out.
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