Foodie’s Guide to Key West
One of the best ways to really know a destination is by the food you can get there, and Key West doesn’t disappoint. From fine cuisine served in the most upscale locations to authentic flavors from around the world, and local restaurants to rival those in any big city, if you like food and drink, you’ll love Key West.
For a true Key West seafood experience, don’t miss Eaton Street Seafood Market and Restaurant in Old Key West. You’ll marvel at the cases full of fish and shellfish, as well as the many house-made sauces and sides. Menu items are available to go or you can sit outside the restaurant and enjoy. Other popular dishes include the fried fish basket, grilled lobster tail, fresh shrimp and stone crab.
For a nice dinner, check out Little Pearl, also located in the city’s historic district. A small neighborhood restaurant, the menu features creative dishes like octopus lo mein and kombu cured diver scallops expertly paired with the perfect wine. And if you’re one of the many visitors to Key West who spends the day on a charter fishing boat and comes back to shore a winner, Dante’s will cook your catch. The menu is full of seafood favorites like diver scallops and crab-stuffed jumbo shrimp, along with steaks, pasta dishes, and salads. But if you bring your own fish, the chefs at Dante’s will prepare it to your liking, served family-style: blackened, grilled or fried.
The Freshest Seafood Restaurants
Pizza is popular all over the country, and it’s easy to see why. Grab a slice or a pie to feed yourself or a crew of friends and family for a quick meal. It’s great for lunch and dinner. (And even breakfast if you’re lucky enough to have leftovers!) Gusto, near Truman’s Little White House, has a cozy, tree-filled back patio if you’d like to make pizza night a date night. The restaurant serves wood-fired grilled pizza pies featuring caramelized onions, goat cheese, and spinach, as well as margherita toppings. Try the seafood pizza at Key Best Pizza, unforgettable because of the amazing white wine sauce that accompanies it. Dolce Salato Pizza and Gelato on Duval Street offers traditional pizzas and vegan pies, too, so everyone can enjoy.
The best-known pizza in Key West might be Duetto’s Pizza and Gelato. There are more than two dozen specialty pies on the menu, along with everyone’s stand-by, plain cheese. The crusts are hand-stretched, and you can enjoy your pizza on-site or via delivery. Hit the spot with a scoop of homemade gelato for dessert.
Key lime pie is the signature dessert of Key West, and while there are dozens of restaurants and cafes that dish it up, these are a few of the best. Kermit’s Key West Key Lime Shoppe bakes its pies all day long; try it by the slice or bring home a whole pie. Fulfill your key lime fix by choosing from a wide assortment of salsas, relishes, candies, chutneys, jellies, and more, for yourself or for thoughtful gifts for the folks back home. If you visit Kermit’s at the Elizabeth Street location, you can linger over your pie while being mesmerized by the koi pond on-site. Another great place for key lime pie is Blue Heaven. Sunday breakfast is the stand-out meal, and pie is available anytime. The restaurant is quirky and homey, and you’re sure to feel welcome as you dine on Betty’s banana bread or the Florida shrimp omelette. (But save room for the mile-high pie!)
Key Lime for Days
Most travelers probably wouldn’t describe Key West as their go-to place for Peruvian cuisine, but Incas Restaurant would like to change your mind. From the award-winning ceviche to fried fish, paella, beef dishes, and more, the restaurant offers something different in Key West, served by attentive and friendly staff who are happy to welcome especially those who’ve never had a Peruvian dish before. For the best tapas-style menu, check out Santiago’s Bodega. Choose from among yellowfin tuna ceviche, spicy lentil soup, shrimp and chorizo, and mini quesadillas for lunch or dinner. The reclaimed wood decor and stained glass windows provide a warm ambiance that makes guests feel right at home.
Book a dining experience with Key West Picnic Company and get a one-of-a-kind meal planned just for you. You’ll get everything you need for the perfect picnic with menu items selected from among the best of Key West, including blankets and pillows for relaxing and music to enjoy. One of your treats might even come from Peppers of Key West, a specialty shop dedicated to all things peppers, from sauces and jellies to dry spices, rubs, and marinades. Visit the shop for complimentary tastings and samples of pepper products in a wide variety of intensities, for yourself or gifts.
As a foodie, Key West offers a fun and exciting opportunity to explore an array of cuisine types and flavors. From the most casual al fresco dining to take out or white tablecloth sit down service, the restaurants in Key West provide not just amazing food that features local seafood and fresh ingredients but also the kind of laid back atmosphere that the city is known and well-loved for.