Julie United States 6 Comments

Many people travel to Key West for the beaches, sunsets, and nightlife, but Key West is also home to many great restaurants. In fact, one of the best things to do in Key West is eat. Key lime pie, conch fritters, Cuban food, coffee, fresh seafood, lobster rolls…the choices are endless. In this post, we cover 20 great restaurants in Key West, plus some of the best sunset spots to have a drink.

About the Restaurants on this List

I wrote this post after our fourth visit to Key West. Tim and I ate (and drank) way too much to gather the necessary information for this post…all in the name of research, of course. 🙂

Most of these restaurants we have been to, a few we have not. For over 10 years, I have family that makes an annual pilgrimage to Key West, so you will see some of their recommendations here too. And several of these restaurants are also recommended by the locals we talked to.

If you have been to Key West, we would also love to hear your favorite restaurants, and I am sure our readers will too. You can leave your recommendations in the comment section at the end of this post. Thanks!

I list 20 restaurants in Key West, which sounds like a lot, and it is. At the end of the list, I narrow it down to our eight favorite restaurants in Key West, followed by a few great spots to watch the sunset with a drink in your hand.

Have fun picking out your favorites!

Food to Try in Key West

Before we jump into where to eat in Key West, here is a quick list of what to eat in Key West.

Key Lime Pie. Key Lime Pie can be found in restaurants throughout Key West and the Florida Keys. We never had a “bad” piece of Key Lime pie, but our favorite slice is from the Blonde Giraffe, which is in Tavernier (in the Florida Keys), followed by Banana Café, in Key West.

Cuban Coffee and Cuban Food. Key West is just 90 miles from Cuba and there are a lot of Cuban influences in the food and drinks in Key West. Cuban coffee, rice and beans, Cuban sandwiches, mojitos…yum!

Conch Fritters or Cracked Conch. Conch, pronounced “konk,” are marine snails that live in the warm waters around Key West. The meat is served several different ways. In conch fritters, the meat is morselized, combined with bread and seasonings, and fried, similar to a hush puppy. Cracked conch are strips of the conch that are breaded and fried, similar to clam strips.

Spiny Lobster. Spiny lobster live in the shallow, warm waters around Key West. There is a chance you might see one of these guys while snorkeling, kayaking, or scuba diving (we saw one on our eco kayaking trip with Lazy Dog Adventures). They have a slightly different look and taste than Maine lobster.

Key West Pink Shrimp. Like conch and spiny lobster, the Key West pink shrimp live in the waters around Key West and they make it onto many of the menus in town.

Lobster Rolls. I was surprised at how many places in Key West serve lobster rolls made with Maine lobster. We have two recommended restaurants that are well known for their awesome lobster rolls.

Best Restaurants in Key West

Below is a list of 20 great restaurants in Key West. Many are first come, first serve and don’t take reservations. I provide the link to their websites, so you can check hours, pricing, and if you can make a reservation. For the location of these restaurants, they are all labeled on the map near the end of this guide.

1. Blue Heaven

Specialty: Brunch
Price: $$ – $$$
Location: 729 Thomas Street
Website: blueheavenkw.com

If you can only visit one restaurant in Key West, have brunch at Blue Heaven.

Blue Heaven

Dating back to 1992, Blue Heaven is one of the busiest, most popular restaurants in Key West, for good reason. The food is awesome, and the setting is unique.

Blue Heaven is al fresco dining, which means that you sit outside, under the cover of palm trees and tropical plants. Chickens and cats roam the property, trees grow up and over ancient, rusted ovens, and live music plays daily.

We have eaten here several times. There can be a long wait for brunch (up to 2 hours!!), but it is worth the wait. Blue Heaven is best known for their brunch, but they serve food all day long. You can make a dinner reservation, but brunch is first come, first serve.

2. Latitudes at Sunset Key

Specialty: Fine dining with sunset views
Price: $$$$
Location: Sunset Key
Website: www.sunsetkeycottages.com/key-west-restaurants/latitudes/

Latitudes is not just a great restaurant, it is also a Key West experience.

Located on Sunset Key, this fine dining restaurants serves gourmet food with one of the best sunset views in Key West.

This restaurant is racking up the awards. It’s on multiple Open Table lists, including 100 Most Romantic Restaurants in America and 100 Most Scenic Restaurants in America, as well as Food & Wine’s Most Romantic Restaurant in Every State.

Latitudes serves locally sourced fish and tropical fruit. They serve breakfast, lunch and dinner. For the best experience, plan on having dinner at sunset. We did a sunset dinner several years ago and it is one of our best dining experiences in Key West.

To get here, it is a 5-minute ferry ride from Key West, which is included with your reservation. If you want to dine at Latitudes, you will need to make a reservation far in advance, because they can be hard to get.

3. Santiago’s Bodega

Specialty: Tapas
Price: $$ – $$$
Location: 207 Petronia Street
Website: santiagosbodega.com

Best Restaurants in Key West

Santiagos Bodega

This is one of our favorite restaurants in Key West. Santiago’s Bodega is a tapas restaurant that also serves sangria, fine wines, and dessert.

Try the avocado and pear salad, goat cheese-filled and prosciutto wrapped shrimp, beef tenderloin, or the saganaki. The plates are small, so it is lots of fun coming as a group, ordering a bunch of things from the menu, and sampling different dishes.

Reservations can be made in advance on their website.

4. Cuban Coffee Queen

Specialty: Cuban coffee
Price: $
Location: Multiple locations
Website: cubancoffeequeen.com

“Drink more cuban coffee and do stupid things faster.”

Cuban Coffee Queen serves the best coffee in Key West. But this is more than just a coffee place. The food is great too.

I am a huge fan of the iced cafe con leche. Tim, who doesn’t drink coffee (no joke!) always goes for a smoothie. Cuban Coffee Queen also serves Cuban food for breakfast and lunch…rice and beans, breakfast and lunch sandwiches, and smoothies.

This is another popular spot and people start lining up before opening time…we know since we were in line bright and early at 6:45 am. Cuban Coffee Queen is my go-to spot for coffee while in Key West.

Cuban Coffee Queen

There are several locations. The original location (the photo above) is at the waterfront on 284 Margaret Street. Cuban Coffee Queen also is located at Clinton Square and downtown Key West at Southard and Duval.

5. Louie’s Backyard

Specialty: Great food and sunset views
Price: $$$$
Location: 700 Waddell Avenue, near the Southernmost Point
Website: louiesbackyard.com

This is a restaurant we have not personally been to yet, but it came highly recommended from locals we spoke to, as well as my family who visits Key West frequently.

Louie’s Backyard is a fine dining restaurant that boasts great views of the ocean. This is a wonderful spot to watch the sunset, either with a drink in your hand or while having dinner. There is indoor and outdoor seating over multiple levels.

If you want a great meal and sunset views, put Louie’s Backyard on your list. You’ll see us here on our next visit to Key West.

6. Amigos Tortilla Bar

Specialty: Square tacos
Price: $
Location: 425 Greene Street, near Sloppy Joe’s and Duval Street
Website: amigostortillabar.com

Amigos Restaurant

Amigos Tacos

Amigos Tortilla Bar is one of the Key West’s best cheap eats. We only ate here once but you will see us here again on a return visit to Key West.

Amigos is located on Greene Street, just a few steps from Sloppy Joe’s and the bars on Duval Street. This small restaurant serves burritos, burrito bowls, quesadillas, nachos, and their specialty, square tacos.

Tim and I split the platter of three tacos (chicken, beef, and chorizo potatoes) with rice and bean and it was fantastic!

Amigos Tortilla Bar is first come first serve and open from noon until 10 pm or 11 pm, depending on the day of the week.

7. La Grignote

Specialty: French bakery/brunch
Price: $$ – $$$
Location: 1211 Duval Street
Website: At the time that I am writing this, they do not have a website, but here is the link to their information on Trip Advisor.

La Grignote

Breakfast at La Grignote. The cover photo for this guide was also taken at La Grignote.

This is our favorite breakfast spot in Key West. The food is great, the restaurant is adorable and located in a quieter section of Duval Street, and it is easier to get a table here than Blue Heaven. And I think the food is better.

Dine on French toast, lobster benedict, almond croissants, or Quiche Lorraine. It might sound boring, but we love the yogurt with fresh fruit, granola, and honey. The La Grignote Key Lime tart is amazing and our second favorite Key Lime pie in Key West (Banana Café, which is right next door, is our favorite).

La Grignote is open for breakfast and lunch and they are first come first serve.

8. Conch Republic Seafood Company

Specialty: Cracked conch
Price: $$
Location: Historic Seaport
Website: conchrepublicseafood.com

Conch Fritters

Conch fritters and cracked conch

This very touristy restaurant is in Key West’s Historic Seaport. The restaurant gets mixed reviews, and I was hesitant to try it, but our tiki boat captain said that is one of the best spots in Key West to try conch fritters and cracked conch.

So, we gave it a try.

This large, busy restaurant lacks any real charm. Our waiter, who was great, told us that the Conch Republic is known for the cracked conch. So, we tried both.

They were good but nothing I would need to eat again. If you are looking to try conch fritters or cracked conch while in Key West, this is a good place to go for a quick bite, but I would go elsewhere for dinner.

9. Kermit’s Key West Key Lime Shoppe

Specialty: Chocolate covered Key Lime Pie on a stick
Price: $
Location: Corner of Greene and Elizabeth Street, near the Historic Seaport
Website: keylimeshop.com

Kermit Key Lime Shoppe best restaurants in Key West

This is another uber touristy spot. It’s located just a few steps from the Conch Republic Seafood Company, so once you get your fill of cracked conch or conch fritters, make your way across the street to this key lime colored restaurant.

Kermit’s sells key lime pie several different ways. They are famous for putting a slice on a stick and covering it in chocolate, but you can also get it naked or covered with whipped cream.

Their key lime pie is good, but it’s not our favorite.

10. Café Marquesa

Specialty: Fine dining
Price: $$$$
Location: 600 Fleming Street, Marquesa Hotel
Website: marquesa.com/cafe-marquesa

We had our best meal in Key West at Café Marquesa. This fine dining restaurant is one of Zagat’s highest rated restaurants in Key West.

From start to finish, the entire experience was impeccable. The staff is very attentive, the cocktails are the best we had in Key West (I loved the pomegranate gin martini!), and the food is wonderful.

The menu changes seasonally, but Tim had the crispy pork Osso-Bucco which was one of the best things we ate in all of 2021. My grilled Scottish salmon was also quite good.

Marquesa Food best restaurants in Key West

Pork Osso-Bucco

We ate at Café Marquesa for the first time on our most recent visit to Key West and this is a place I would love to visit again on a future visit.

11. Salute! On the Beach

Specialty: Italian food with Caribbean influences
Price: $$ – $$$
Location: Higgs Beach
Website: saluteonthebeach.com

Salute best restaurants in Key West

This is another restaurant we haven’t been to yet, but both my family and locals rave about this place.

Salute! is located right on Higgs Beach. It is run by the same folks who own Blue Heaven. On the menu is Italian food with a Caribbean twist. Our tiki boat captain says that you get the best mussels in Key West at this restaurant.

They are open for lunch and dinner, and they do take reservations.

12. Garbo’s Grill

Specialty: Korean BBQ taco
Price: $
Location: 409 Caroline Street
Website: garbosgrillkw.com

Garbos Grill Photo

Garbos Grill

For a cheap eat, this is one of the best restaurants in Key West.

This wonderful food truck is parked at Hanks Hair of the Dog Saloon. They serve tacos, burritos, and poke bowls with Korean and Caribbean flavors. We ate the Korean BBQ tacos, their specialty, and they were very good.

The food truck is located at the back of Hank’s saloon. Order your food, grab a table, and enjoy the live music at Hanks that runs all day. If you are thirsty, Hanks serves craft beer and cocktails. The music is great, and this is one of our new hang out spots in Key West.

13. DJ’s Clam Shack

Specialty: Lobster rolls
Price: $$ – $$$
Location: 629 Duval Street
Website: djsclamshack.com

DJs Clam Shack best restaurants in Key West

Lobster Roll best restaurants in Key West

DJ’s Clam Shack’s claim to fame is their appearance on Guy Fieri’s Diners Drive-Ins & Dives. Lobster rolls, made with Maine lobster, is their signature dish, but they also serve steamed middle neck clams, clam strips, conch fritters, and mahi mahi tacos.

Their lobster roll is fantastic…just as good as the lobster rolls that we had in Boston. The clam strips are pretty good too. I didn’t have the conch fritters here (there is only so much we can eat) but people rave about them on Trip Advisor, so if you wanted to try conch fritters without going to the Conch Republic, I have a hunch they’d be pretty good here.

DJ’s Clam Shack is open for lunch and dinner and they are first come first serve.

14. Eaton Street Seafood Market & Restaurant

Specialty: Lobster rolls
Price: $$ – $$$
Location: 801 Eaton Street
Website: kwseafood.com

We did not eat here but several locals said that Eaton Street is the best place in Key West for a lobster roll, so I couldn’t leave it off the list. This is also a great place to get stone crabs, Key West pink shrimp, Royal Red shrimp, Maine lobster tails, and New England clam chowder.

15. Banana Café

Specialty: Breakfast and brunch
Price: $$ – $$$
Location: 1215 Duval Street
Website: bananacafekw.com

Banana Cafe best restaurants in Key West

This French café is open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. It is located on Duval Street, right next door to La Grignote, another French café and fantastic brunch spot that I mentioned earlier.

We have been here twice, for breakfast and for Key Lime pie. Both are great and I have to say that Banana Café is our favorite place in Key West to get Key Lime pie. The pie is sooooo good and drizzled with a raspberry sauce that makes it even better.

If you are looking for a good breakfast, with options more than just eggs, bacon and potatoes, this restaurant (and La Grignote) is worth considering.

16. El Siboney

Specialty: Authentic Cuban cuisine
Price: $$ – $$$
Location: 900 Caroline Street
Website: elsiboneyrestaurant.com

If you want authentic Cuban food, El Siboney is one of the best restaurants in Key West.

This small, unassuming restaurant is located away from bustling Duval Street. From the touristy heart of Key West (Mallory Square, Sloppy Joes, and the Historic Seaport), it is a 20 to 30-minute walk to get here, or quick taxi or Uber ride.

It doesn’t look like much on the outside, but it’s the food that you are here for. The roast pork melts in your mouth and the garlic shrimp are delicious. The Cuban Mix sandwich and Ropa Vieja also get rave reviews. The food comes out fast and the portions are huge.

El Siboney best restaurants in Key West

If you are looking for an off-the-beaten-path dining experience, and want to try authentic Cuban food, put El Siboney on the top of your list. They are open daily for lunch and dinner and are first come first serve.

17. Caroline’s Café

Specialty: Fish and Caribbean food
Price: $$ – $$$
Location: 310 Duval Street
Website: carolinescafe.com

Caroline’s Café is located on Duval Street, just a few steps away from some of the most popular bars in Key West. It is always filled with people, whether it is lunchtime, midafternoon, or late at night.

On TripAdvisor, it gets great reviews, which is why we wanted to give it a try.

The food is good, but nothing stellar. They serve a lot of bar food and Caribbean food. On the menu, you’ll see things like conch fritters, shrimp po’boys, Cajun blackened chicken sandwiches, chicken wings, peel and eat shrimp, and the fisherman’s fresh catch. I had Caroline’s Famous Fish Sandwich, which was good. But in my opinion, there are many better restaurants to try in Key West first (like Amigos, which is just a few blocks away).

However, Caroline’s Café has an excellent location near the bars on Duval Street, so it can be a great spot for dinner as you go bar hopping.

18. Bagatelle

Specialty: Fish and steak
Price: $$ – $$$
Location: 115 Duval Street
Website: bagatellekeywest.com

Bagatelle best restaurants in Key West

Bagatelle Drinks best restaurants in Key West

We were here for happy hour, of which they have two. The breakfast hangover happy hour runs from 9 am to 11:30 am. The afternoon happy hour runs from 4 to 6 pm. We were here for the afternoon happy hour.

Bagatelle is in a historic building on Duval Street, not far from Mallory Square. This restaurant has more of an upscale look and feel than the other restaurants in this area. They serve fresh fish, steaks, and have an extensive wine list. The Key Lime martini is very good too!

My cousin Becky loves this place, particularly for happy hour. The cocktails are great, and the appetizers are discounted during happy hour.

Bagatelle makes a great brunch, lunch, and dinner spot. Reservations can be made in advance (a good idea, especially for dinner).

19. Two Friends Patio Restaurant

Specialty: Bloody Mary
Price: $$ – $$$
Location: 512 Front Street
Website: twofriends.com

Two Friends best restaurants in Key West

Two Friends Patio Restaurant has a long history in Key West. It dates back to 1886. First it was a saloon and then, in 1967, it became a restaurant. This was a hangout of Mel Fisher, the man who discovered the lost treasures of Atocha.

Two Friends is open seven days a week for breakfast, lunch and dinner and there is live music every day.

Their signature “dish” is the Bloody Mary, which they state is the best in Key West. We had breakfast here and this is a great spot, dining on their open patio, with a breeze in the air, and live music playing. Expect to wait in line, just not as long as you would have to wait at Blue Heaven.

20. Better than Sex – A Dessert Restaurant

Specialty: Dessert
Price: $$ – $$$
Location: 926 Simonton Street
Website: betterthansexdesserts.com

If you like the idea of eating decadent desserts in an intimate setting, consider this unique restaurant. It’s another one of those uniquely Key West experiences.

You will be seated in a semi-private booth and can order desserts with names like The Morning After, Italian Stallion, and Cookie Nookie Pie. Tim and I shared the Peanut Butter Perversion, and it was delicious.

The atmosphere of the restaurant is rather unique, and in some ways, it had the feeling like we were in a strip club. I think I’d take the kids elsewhere.

Best Restaurants in Key West: On a Map

How to Use This Map: Click the icons on the map to get more information about each restaurant. Click the star next to the title of the map to add this map to your Google Maps account. To view it on your phone or computer, open Google Maps, click the menu button, go to “Your Places,” click Maps, and you will see this map on your list.

Our Recommendations

Even with the long list of restaurants in Key West, 20 is a lot to choose from. Below are our 8 favorites and why we chose them.

Blue Heaven: An essential Key West restaurant experience, whether it is your first or your fifth visit

Amigos: Best tacos and best cheap eat in Key West

Latitudes: Another essential Key West experience. Make your reservations in advance!

Santiago’s Bodega: We had one of our best meals in Key West here. Lots of fun ordering lots of small plates and trying new foods.

La Grignote: Best breakfast in Key West (in our opinion)

El Siboney: The spot to try authentic Cuban food

Café Marquesa: We had our best meal in Key West here and we will be back again!

Cuban Coffee Queen: We love this place and visit multiple times every time we come to Key West.

Best Sunset Restaurants in Key West

If you want a drink or a meal with an epic view of the sunset, put these on your list:

  • Latitudes
  • Louie’s Backyard
  • Bistro 245

We did not eat at Bistro 245, but we checked it out. It is located next to Mallory Square so you will have spectacular views of the sunset from here. There are two levels of seating plus and outdoor patio. You can have drinks, appetizers, or dinner while you watch the sunset.


If you have any questions about the best restaurants in Key West, or if you want to share your favorite spots, let us know in the comment section below.

More Information about Key West & the Florida Keys:

BEST OF KEY WEST: 14 Best Things to Do in Key West
KEY WEST: Where to Stay in Key West: Best Hotels & Neighborhoods
TIKI BOAT: Cruising around Key West on a Floating Tiki Bar
FLORIDA KEYS ITINERARY: 7 – 10 Day Florida Keys Itinerary: Miami, Key West & the National Parks
FLORIDA KEYS: Florida Keys Road Trip: 25 Awesome Things to Do between Key Largo and Key West
EVERGLADES NP: One Perfect Day in the Everglades
DRY TORTUGAS: The Complete Guide to Dry Tortugas National Park

United States Travel Guide

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Comments 6

  1. Avatar for Bjorn
    Bjorn

    Two places that I think are must visits if in key west are Lola’s and Little Pearl. Lola’s is a reservation only 10 table restaurant that prepares a fresh menu every day based on what ingredients the chef has access to. Fun atmosphere and exceptional food. Cash only. Little Pearl is a sea food tasting menu with a set price that has some of the most creative and inventive dishes with a menu change every month. Truly exceptional food and service. Give them both a try if you’re in Key West!

    1. Avatar for Julie Post
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  2. Avatar for Terri
    Terri

    You jave to try Cafe Sole`! Absolutely some of the best food I’ve ever eaten. Start with the Devil’s on Horseback. You won’t regret it.

    1. Avatar for Julie Post
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  4. Avatar for Aaron Reed

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