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Excellent restaurants in Key West?

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Excellent restaurants in Key West?

I am looking for a couple of great restaurants to visit in Key West in July. My husband and I are visiting for a three day romantic getaway. We are adverse to crowds, atmosphere and the quality of food are important. We love seafood. Any suggestions?

Orlando, FL
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1. Re: Excellent restaurants in Key West?

For a start, try the 'Key West restaurant' links to the left in the 'Browse' sidebar.

Also you can go back through the Key West forum as there are lots of postings listing favorite restaurants while you await forthcoming replies.

New York
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2. Re: Excellent restaurants in Key West?

When you want to get a good meal in the Conch Republic at a good price, think fish. They do not have to ship it in from the mainland. They take it right off the boats. Shrimp and squid are, in my experience, the best things to get. Try to avoid the restaurants on Duval Street. We have generally been disappointed by the ones we have stopped in both in terms of price and quality of food. (An exception to this rule is 915 Duval Street, where we ate in March 2005. We would recommend it without hesitation). The restaurants over by the harbor (the Key West Bight, near Greene and Elizabeth) are a better bet, but some of them are pricey. Check out the Half-shell Raw Bar for good straight-forward cooking and down home by the sea ambiance. The Turtle Kraals and the Schooner Wharf Bar are also favorites. B.O.s Fish Wagon, which looks like a dilapidated shack on the corner of the harbor parking lot, is a local favorite for fresh fish for lunch, but I feel they are starting to unnecessarily jack up their prices. A little way down, on the other side of the road facing the harbor parking lot, is Pepe���������s, which is another good KW institution for tasty, reasonably priced food. If you start craving vast quantities of food, seek out Abbundonza for huge portions of well made pasta and other Italian food. This is on the south side of the island. Camilles, which is right next door is another local favorite, especially for Sunday Brunch. Another place to seek out is Blue Heaven. The dinner wait is usually pretty long so we go there for lunch. It is a kind of a funky place, with chickens running underfoot outside. They say that Hemingway use to referee boxing matches in the yard when the place was a bordello. Another place for a splurge: Cafe Sole. Finally, a real local place that has never disappointed us, either for value or taste, is the Deli. It is a humble luncheonette, but we have probably eaten there more than any other restaurant in KW.

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3. Re: Excellent restaurants in Key West?

thanks everyone, I posted before I went through the site. I will check it out.

Livonia, Michigan
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4. Re: Excellent restaurants in Key West?

Kelly's is a very good restaurant and their outdoor seating is very nice and kind of romantic.

arkansas
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5. Re: Excellent restaurants in Key West?

For a romantic atmosphere and good fish, Louie's Backyard is a great choice. We eat lunch there rather than dinner because it's VERY expensive and at noon you can get the same good food without the higher prices. They have a daily fish special that's usually wonderful.

I love Alice's on Duval for her yellowtail, which has always been great. It's definitely not romantic, but rather funky and very "Key West"...in my opinion a great choice.

Michael's is another good option: try their daily fish specials. If you're lucky enough to get a table outside near the fountain the atmosphere is really pleasant.

As far as being "adverse to crowds," bear in mind that where there's good food, there will also be crowds. All 3 of these restaurants fall within the upper price ranges for Key West.

There are lots of choices that are less expensive, notably the Half Shell Raw Bar. Frankly, you'll have a hard time finding fish that ISN'T good in Key West.

Charleston, South...
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6. Re: Excellent restaurants in Key West?

loved louie's backyard. it was very romantic. we asked for an outside table when we made our reservations. It was a little expensive. I think I made the reservation about 8 weeks in advance. Have fun

New Orleans...
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7. Re: Excellent restaurants in Key West?

Thanks to all the people who replied to this message....I had another question, also: I live in New Orleans, which is a tourist town and has tourist guidebooks, just like Key West. There is a restaurant here across the street from where I work called "Mother's" that is in all the tour books for some reason and people line up all the way down the street to eat there. It's totally ridiculous. All they have is greasy food and po-boy (sub) sandwiches that aren't very good - yet it's listed in EVERY single guidebook like it's some awesome place to have lunch!!!

My point is: I was wondering if there is anyplace like this in Key West - a restaurant that is always a big tourist draw and recommended by Frommer's and other (normally) reliable sources, but in actuality is disgusting and/or just not worth it?

Thanks!! I want to savor every bite while in KW and not end up someplace like Mother's! hahaha.....

Elgin, Illinois
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8. Re: Excellent restaurants in Key West?

I was there last week and as far as tourist spots, there are a few, at least in my opinion. On our first day there, we stopped at Sloppy Joes and also at Hog's Breath, to name a few. Stop in for one just to say you did. There are so many other great places to go. Some of our favorites were Schooner Wharf, Capt Tony's and Bagatelle. Also, there is a great wine bar call Grand Vin on the other end of Duval that we stopped in a few times. Great selection and great atmosphere.

For anyone looking for a romantic dinner, we had our wedding dinner at Louie's and were not disappointed. Just looking for good food, you have to go to Blue Heaven. It was unbelievable, but not very romantic...

Westwood, NJ
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9. Re: Excellent restaurants in Key West?

Hi All,

I'm about 3 weeks away from my first to KW as well, for my 25th anniversary... What about 'Hot Tin Roof" and "Rooftop Cafe"? No one ever mentions them in the same league as "Louie's, any reason? Which of those 3 is the better?

arkansas
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10. Re: Excellent restaurants in Key West?

supremecourt25 -

I would definitely categorize Sloppy Joe's as a tourist trap. We used to force ourselves to do at least one "tourist activity" every time we were in Key West, and a couple of years ago we decided to go to Sloppy Joe's and eat - yep, you guessed it - a sloppy Joe. That was one of the worst sandwiches I've ever had! But the music can be fun and so can the bar, so though I don't like the food, it can be nice to visit.

I hope you enjoy Key West as much as we've enjoyed New Orleans over the years...they're very much alike and if you go during the summer you'll find the weather is similar, too.

<Whew>

Topics4me -

I've eaten at the Hot Tin Roof twice and though I think it's a really beautiful restaurant, the food wasn't good either time.

We've been to the Rooftop Cafe a number of times over the years and it's been everything from very good to very bad. It changed hands a year or so ago (maybe 2 years, my memory is fading) but their food doesn't seem to have improved much since then.

I might add that on the subject of restaurants, it's nearly impossible to guess which will be reliably good and/or bad.

Invariably we'll show up in Key West and find that some restaurant we've tried in the past with disastrous results has all of a sudden turned wonderful and vice versa. In other words, don't always rely too heavily on recommendations like mine!