Florida Keys Restaurants
Dining in the Florida Keys is an exciting adventure, much like fishing. You never know what you’re going to encounter on the menu in terms of divine culinary creations made from the freshest ingredients. Eating out is almost a guaranteed win as far as loction and ambiance go, since you will almost certainly have superb ambiance, what with sunset views, ocean views, tropical gardens and open-air restaurant courtyards. Everything tastes better al fresco! In Key West, you can dine al fresco in the midst of all the buzz of activity of Duval Street. Restaurants put their tables right on the sidewalk, or on elevated courtyards above the sidewalk and street, so you can watch everything on the street.
From roadside pit stops offering Cuban sandwiches or homemade potato chips to super-casual tiki-hut decorated island specialties offering tasty conch fritters to elegant, Zagat-reviewed culinary establishments, it’s an adventure to try all the different sorts of restaurants and sandwich joints throughout the Florida Keys. With that said, and the superb quality of most Keys restaurants in mind, also bear in mind that vacationers should beware: every so often, a tourist-trap restaurant on Highway One offers disappointing results for the casual diner stopping by for a quick meal. Perhaps it’s best to travel with a recommended list of the best restaurants on each Key, or a guidebook for the entire Florida Keys. In Key West, you’re most likely to suceeed venturing out uninformed. That’s because Key West has more restaurants per square foot than any other island in the Florida Keys, and most of them are simply divine.
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Waitstaff in the Florida Keys aren’t known for top service, but they will usually be friendly. What they lack in speediness they more than make up for in friendly service. Besides, this is the Keys, so island culture prevails and things run a little slower down here, that’s why you came, right?
From Key Largo to Key West, you’ll see Key Lime Pie on just about every menu worth its salt. The taste of Key Lime Pie varies from place to place, as each restaurant has its own recipe, so you might need to try several different places to find the best slice!
Another Florida Keys specialty cuisine is Key West shrimp. The shrimping industry is alive and well still in Key West, and local restaurants serve it up any way you like. The Historic Seaport has many good raw bar restaurants. Throughout the Florida Keys you’re apt to find conch fritters on the menu, and generally most people find these breaded dumplings delicious. The other major dish made with conch is ceviche, which is raw conch seasoned with lime juice and onions. Some like it, and some would rather have the fritters. Another Keys specialty is the seared Tuna, which is served either as an appetizer or as a meal. It’s fresh Tuna served just slightly seared on the edges, and pink on the inside, usually dipped in a soy-based sauce and coated in sesame seeds or peppercorns. Unbeatable!
Restaurants come and go in the Florida Keys, and especially in Key West, but there are some long-time staples that have been around for years and whose food is consistently delicious. Here’s a sampling of restaurants across the Keys.