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Apr 23, 2007 01:52 PM

Where do the locals eat in Florida Keys?

I am going to the Florida Keys in May and would like to eat at some really great restaurants... any suggestions? Also best conch fritters and mojitos?

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  1. And just where in the Keys will you be going?

    7 Replies
    1. re: Suzie

      going to each Key probably... not destination in mind.

      1. re: missmojito

        Each Key??!! You realize there are dozens? Basically the Keys are broken into 3 parts - upper, middle and lower. This link might help you decide where you might enjoy spending your time.
        From there it wil be easier to help you with your original question.

        1. re: Suzie

          Well I'll actually be there for 3-4 weeks in that area and was wondering if there was a particular place to eat that " you cannot miss" , therefore I would make an effort/specail trip to go to that particular place... regardless of driving time or which Key. My intentions when I go there is not to stay on one Key( like most people probably) but to explore all or most. You can see all the keys in that time right.... I don't think it's that big?

          1. re: missmojito

            Well some people spend weeks/months a year in the Keys and still never get to see it all. It is that big and it is that diverse. There is lots to see, do and eat. The are over 120 miles long. On your way down a must stop is Alabama Jacks. It is on Card Sound Road. They close at dusk so get there for lunch. Its a very neat old place. Around Mile Marker 25 there is a placa called Fish Cutters. Get the any of the sandwiches. No Name Pub is also worth search out. Theres a start for ya. Have fun.

            1. re: Suzie

              I lived on an island of 200 miles long for 20 years, they are not that We're talking islands here not countries.

              1. re: missmojito

                They really are very diverse. It fools people all the time. The other problem is things change hands a lot. I lived down there for years and years and still get back there all the time and there are still places I haven't seen or found the time to get to. The fun part about the Keys is just laying back and doing whatever comes to mind but if you are looking to explore as much as you can, you will want some kind of game plan. Especially with all of the construction going on in the Upper Keys. That traffic can be a nightmare.

                Here is a link to another thread that has some good info in it.

        2. re: missmojito

          How about the breakfast in the Upper Keys and lunch in the Middle Keys?

      2. Miss Mojitio, I haven't been down in a couple years (headed down to Key West in May - can't wait!) but the last time I was in the middle keys my favorite places were Laura-Lei for the best Key Lime Pie, Uncles for amazing Tuna and the Green Turtle - the quality of places in the Middle Keys tends to change frequently - I also love the grouper sandwich at the World Wide Sportsman in Islamorada. Ziggys was great at one point but the last time I went it wasn't as special.

        In Key West from what I've read on these boards for low-key fare, BO Fish Wagon has the best grouper sandwiches, the Half Shell is like New England fish shack, Blue Heaven is quintesential Key West. For a bit more restaurant experience it sounds like 7 fishes, A&B Lobster House and the Back Deck (I think) are tops in the area. For Cuban I've read alot about El Siboney.

        5 Replies
        1. re: wingman

          Thanks for your straight forward answer ! I always like to know what people have enjoyed in certain places and if I'm in that area and see it I could stop in. I have heard about BO Fish Wagon from a couple of people.

          1. re: missmojito

            hopefully you'll be able to fill me in on where the best mojitos are in the keys!

              1. re: missmojito

                If you are into Mojitos, try the ones at the Conch Republic or Alonzo's. Yummy!

          2. re: wingman

            7 Fish in Key West is terrific, but reservations are absolutely required.

          3. In the Marathon key try Fish Tales Market and Eatery. It has changed hands since we first started going there but they have kept it relatively the same. It's on the Atlantic side just north of Vaca Cut next to Capt Hook Dive shop. I remember stopping in and this guy, the owner, was standing in tall white rubber boots cutting fish at a stainless steel table. The door behind him was open and the boats were unloading fish from the morning haul. They have great turn over so fish doesn't stay in the cases long. They have a small restaurant and one of the best yellow tail sandwiches around. We would eat there but also pick up fresh fish to take back to the condo and cook. I like to travel to the keys with a few kitchen essentials. The seafood is so fresh it's like a kid in a candy store for me. I can make a pretty good mojito as well. Have muddler will travel.

            2 Replies
            1. re: scubadoo97

              Last May we were staying in Marathon which is the farthest up we have stayed. We went to Fish Tales to "" Fish Out "" the saying for the last night in the Keys blow out. Got a lot of everything, very fresh and helpful advice

              Fish Tales Market & Eatery
              11711 Overseas Hwy, Marathon, FL 33050

              1. re: ianmac

                Glad you liked it. It's a tradition for us to pick up fish from Fish Tails and it stays a tradition if it stays good.

            2. My favorite place in the keys is in Islamorada. It is called Bentley's. Try the "dolphin in the weeds" or the oysters upside down. If you want all the seafood you can eat try Whale Harbor in Islamorada.

              3 Replies
              1. re: kimocorb

                Is Whale Harbor good again????? I must have been about 14 the first time I went and was a hefty 14 year old at that, god that place was amazing, but when I tried it again when I was 16 or 17 it wasn't as good as I remembered - That's about a dozen years ago so I'd love to know if it returned to its old glory - may be worth a drive up from Key West if it did.

                1. re: wingman

                  I guess it depends on what your definition of good is? Were the crab legs good "YES", so was the poached salmon and raw oysters. I would have to say some things were really worth going for and some things were just average. If you get to eat great seafood all the time I am not sure how impressed you would be. If you eat at a chain like red lobster you will think it is "awesome"

                  1. re: wingman

                    I would skip Whale Harbor. It has not returned to its former glory.

                2. Calypso-Upper Keys
                  Square Grouper-middle keys
                  Ricky's Blue Heaven-Lower Keys