The Florida Keys culture is all about living the good life on the laid-back islands. People visit the Florida Keys from all over the work for its natural beauty as well as the watersports and activities such as coral reef diving, snorkeling, and boating.
If you're looking for a great meal while on vacation in the Florida Keys, it can be tough to know which restaurants are worth your time.
Every year, people return to the Florida Keys for its food. Between Key Lime Pies and fresh-caught fish with a Caribbean flair, you'll never want to leave.
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But it seems like every restaurant in the Keys is a “must try.” How can you tell which ones will actually satisfy your cravings?
We've got you covered. Our list of the best restaurants in the Florida Keys includes everything from seafood to barbecue, so you can find the perfect spot for any mood or occasion.
You'll be drooling after seeing this list of some of the best restaurants in the Florida Keys. So let's dive right in.
What food is the Florida Keys Known For?
The Florida Keys are especially well-known for their seafood. The waters around the Keys are teeming with lobster, shrimp, and fish, so it's no surprise that seafood is such a big part of the local cuisine.
If you love seafood, you'll definitely want to check out some of the best seafood restaurants in the Florida Keys. Some of our favorites include Hogfish Bar & Grill, Island Fish Company, and Mangrove Mike's.
But if seafood isn't your thing, don't worry – the Florida Keys have something for everyone. There are plenty of great barbecue restaurants in the area and Italian and Caribbean options.
If you have a sweet tooth, you will not be disappointed. You cannot go to the keys and try the world-famous Key Lime Pie.
Where do locals eat in the Florida Keys?
If you're looking for a taste of the real Florida Keys, you'll want to check out some of the local favorites. These restaurants are popular with both locals and visitors, and they offer a unique glimpse into the Keys' culture and cuisine.
Lorelei Restaurant & Cabana Bar
Located in Islamorada, Lorelei is a favorite among locals and visitors alike. Here you will find some of the best seafood in the Keys.
From Lorelie's outdoor dining patio, you'll feel tranquil and peaceful. Dine al fresco and enjoy some of the best sunsets in the keys.
The menu focuses on seafood with a twist, such as the bacon-wrapped shrimp appetizer. Be sure to try the world-famous fish sandwich and lime peppercorn snapper.
The location on the bay makes it the perfect spot to enjoy a cocktail while watching the sunset. On select nights they also have live music.
Hurricane Hole Restaurant
Located in Key West, Hurricane Hole is a favorite among locals looking for a casual and fun spot to spend the day. You can rent everything from jetskis to small boats right from the marina.
After a day on the water, settle in with a cocktail and live music and enjoy the laid-back Keywest vibe.
Best Places to Eat in Key West
There are so many great places to eat in Key West it's hard to know where to start. Here are some of our favorite spots in Key West.
Hogfish Bar And Grill
Hogfish is a well-known establishment in Key West, frequently regarded as one of the finest restaurants in the area. The panoramic waterfront vistas, outdoor dining, incredible seafood, and potent drinks make for an unbeatable combination. The cuisine incorporates a delicious blend of fresh fish and Mexican spices. Try the house specialty, fried hogfish served with Cuban Bread.
Bo's Fish Wagon
If you are looking for a good Fish Sandwich, then Bo's is the place to go.
Bo's Fish Wagon lives up to its name, and it's pretty much a shack that serves up some of the best food in the Keys.
What was once a food truck is not a restaurant serving up the best fish tacos and conch fritters on the island.
Bo's Fish Wagon is located at 801 Caroline Street. It is open daily from 11 am-9:30 pm. Bo's is cash only, so be sure to come prepared.
Better Then Sex
If you have a craving for sweets, you need to check out the dessert bar, Better Than Sex in Key West.
This dessert bar's moody, seductive atmosphere distinguishes it from other island eateries.
The menu is a wonderful mix of sweet and salty. House-made cocktails, chocolate chip breads, and sugar toasted buttery crumbles are just a few of the delectable options. The fun names given to all of these sweet snacks will make you smile.
The Thirsty Mermaid
With a wide range of oysters from all across America, the Thirsty Mermaid is an ideal destination for foodies who enjoy fresh seafood.
The menu offers plenty to explore with exciting combos such as lobster B.L.T. and caviar service!
The Thirsty Mermaid is also known for its wide craft beers and wine selection.
Best restaurants in Key Largo
There are many great restaurants in Key Largo, but a few of our favorites are here.
Known as one of Florida's best fish shacks, Alabama Jack's has been a Key Largo staple since the 1950s. This casual lunch destination is built over the water and serves up some great conch fritters that you'll want to sample!
If you're looking for a delicious seafood restaurant, look no further than Snappers. This old-school joint has been around since 1989 and serves up some fresh catches from the sea to enjoy indoors or take advantage of their outdoor deck when it's warm enough!
Every Sunday, they have an impressive brunch with live jazz music that will keep your ears delighted while sampling all types of foods on offer – try out these applewood smoked bacon wrapped scallops as starters before moving on to other favorites like the lobster tail.
They also have happy HourHour every day from 4pm-7pm.
The Fish House
The Fish House is a family-friendly restaurant that serves delicious cuisine. The Fish House provides a varied selection of fresh fish every day. Their famous yellowtail snapper, mahi-mahi, grouper, and Florida lobster and conch salad are just a few of the options available.
This is where you want to go to get some of the freshest fish in the keys.
The Fish House is located at 102341 Overseas Highway. It is open daily from 11:30am to 10pm.
Mrs. Mac's Kitchen
Mrs. Mac's Kitchen has been a local favorite since 1976, and it's easy to see why!
Take in the hundreds of license plates that adorn the walls, or enjoy one of four outside tables.
Mrs. Mac's has a wide range of menu options, and the most discerning palette will discover something to enjoy at Mrs. Mac's.
This eatery has received numerous accolades over the years, including the ‘People's Choice Award.' Try the local favorite homemade chili and “konk” chowder, but make sure you try the Key Lime Pie.
Mrs. Mac's Kitchen is located at 99366 Overseas Highway. It is open Monday-Saturday from 7am to 9pm, and it is closed on Sundays.
Best Restaurants in Marathon, FL
There are many great restaurants in Marathon, FL, but a few of our favorites are here.
The first spot on the list is Barnacle Barney's. This tiki bar and restaurant located behind a resort is a gem.
With hammocks, tiki torches, palm trees, and all the island ambiance you could want, this place is a must-visit.
You'll enjoy beautiful views of the Gulf of Mexico while dining dockside at Barnacle Barney's. Friday nights are great for a fresh fish fry or Barney's famous mahi-mahi, which comes in every season.
Barnacle Barney's is located at 1688 Overseas Highway. Barnacle Barney's is open most days from 8:30 am-9 pm. They open at 11 am on Mondays, and they stay open until 10 pm on Fridays and Saturdays.
Island Fish Company
The Island Fish Company is a classic waterside tiki bar meet seafood restaurant and one of the best restaurants in Marathon.
Grab a table outside and enjoy the fantastic ocean views while dining on fresh local fish or one of the many seafood dishes Island Fish Company offers.
Make sure to visit during Happy Hour, where you can enjoy frozen cocktails or a raw seafood dinner featuring favorites like crab claws, fish dip, and Caribbean specials.
Island Fish Company is located at 12648 Overseas Highway. Island Fish Company is open every day from 8am-10pm. Happy HourHour is available daily from 3pm-5pm.
Castaways Waterfront Restaurant
The oldest restaurant in Marathon has a special place for seafood and beer. The iconic Castaways is not just about food, and it's also an experience you won't want to miss!
With 52 taps of some really delicious brews as well as expertly prepared dishes such as conch fritters or snapper sandwiches on their menu–you'll be sure to leave satisfied with this Key West icon
Castaways is located at 1406 Ocean View Avenue. Castaways is open Thursday-Monday from 11am-10pm. It is closed on Tuesday and Wednesday.
Best Restaurants in Islamorada,
There are many great restaurants in Islamorada, FL, but a few of our favorites are here.
Hungry Tarpon Restaurant
You'll find the Hungry Tarpon on Robbie's Marina. Stop in to feed the hungry tarpon and then stay for a nice cold drink on the outdoor patio.
The location is not just about the food. You can find boat charters at Robbie's or spend some time touring the open-air market.
For those that want to get a jumpstart on their day, breakfast is served daily as early as 6:30 am
The lunch and dinner menus include a variety of seafood and signature dishes, such as fish tacos, cracked conch, and a lobster frittata. You can even have the chef prepare your catch after a day of fishing in Islamorada.
Hungry Tarpon is located at 77522 Overseas Highway. It is open every day from 6:30am-9pm.
M.E.A.T. Eatery And Taproom
If you are a fan of Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives, then you need to make sure to check out M.E.A.T. Eatery and Taproom.
The inside-out juicy lucy burger, Florida lobster rolls, wings, and pork rinds are among M.E.A.T.'s most popular dishes.
M.E.A.T. Eatery And Taproom is located at 88005 Overseas Highway. It is open every day from 11am-9pm. On Fridays and Saturdays, they are open until 10pm. Happy HourHour is available Monday-Friday from 3pm-6pm.
Best Restaurants on Big Pine Key
There are many great restaurants on Big Pine Key, FL, but a few of our favorites are here.
No Name Pub
Although this pub has no name, it has a reputation as big as life.
The No Name Pub is filled with cash, literally. Visitors will leave their impression on this renowned pub's interior with a dollar bill.
The food is standard pub fare, with big portions ideal for sharing. The seafood platters or B.B.Q. Pork sandwiches are two excellent options. It's all about the ambiance at this bait and tackle store turned pub.
No Name Pub is located at 30813 Watson Blvd. It is open every day from 11am-10pm.
The Best Restaurants on Cudjoe Key
There are many great restaurants on Cudjoe Key, FL, but here are some of our favorites.
This contemporary fish shack is dedicated to sustainability and setting an excellent example with eco-friendly accents and the use of corn products.
As one of the Keys most popular destinations for fresh local seafood, Square Grouper is a must-visit on Cudjoe Key.
There is also a wide range of delectable small plates, unique dishes, handcrafted sweets, and a changing variety of microbrews.
Square Grouper is located at 22658 Overseas Highway. Square Grouper is open for lunch Tuesday-Saturday from 11am-2:30pm and dinner 5pm-10pm. Square Grouper is closed on Sunday and Monday.
Best Restaurants on Duck Key
There are many great restaurants on Duck Key, FL, but here is our top pick.
Anglers & Ale
Housed inside the Hawks Cay Resort, Anglers & Ale offers panoramic water views and is perfect for visiting if you're looking for something a bit more upscale.
The Anglers & Ale restaurant serves various fish dishes, including broiled Florida lobster, grouper cheeks, and a hook and cook option. This is where you can have the Anglers & Ale chef prepare your catch of the day.
They also have an extensive beer selection with their own brew and a wide variety of craft cocktails.
Anglers & Ale is located at 540 Duck Key Drive. Anglers & Ale is open daily from 11:30am-10pm. They also have Happy Hour daily from 3:30pm-5:30pm.
Map of the Best Restaurants in the Florida Keys
Here is a map of all the restaurants mentioned.
The Best Florida Keys Restaurants
The Florida Keys is a destination paradise for seafood lovers. Enjoy the fresh catch at one of the many restaurants on the water or take in the casual, relaxed vibe at any dockside bars where locals gather on Friday and Saturday nights.
If you enjoy fish fresh from the sea in a unique setting, then you will love dining in the Florida Keys! The Florida Keys are a fantastic foodie destination for people who enjoy fresh and inventive tastes, no matter where you eat.