NY foodie needs ANY reco's for Key West
I'll be in Key West for three days in two weeks and would love reco's for all meals... i've never been and hear i need to each some conch (sp?) fritters. I love fried fish just like everyone but a tire can taste good fried...
There has to be awesome delicious seafood places and although i'm staying in the heart of the tourist side of the island, i'm willing to hail a cab for delicious food.
Breakfast suggestions are also welcome, as i hear that truely is the jewel of eating on Key West...
just got back from a weekend there last month. 7Fish is great, reservation recommended. Sarabeth's for a nice lunch and/or brunch. My Blue Heaven is classic Key West kitsch. Santiago's Bodega made for a good lunch, but do not do the sangria, only disappointing thing about meal. Also for a dessert restaurant try Better than Sex, classic desserts and some unique with loaded names for the desserts, such as "pop my cherry cheesecake". Enough said!
I just went to Key West in May and really liked a few places. All of them are in Old Town and an easy walk.
The hands down best meal I had was at El Siboney, a cuban restaurant. It's at 900 Catherine street. Very unassuming on the outside, but the food is the real deal. HUGE portions and good prices. El Meson de Pepe near Mallory Square charges twice as much for the same food (which is not as good). I had the lechon asado and it was fabulous! Perfectly roasted, tender pork. Also the fried plantains are the best I've ever had.
Nine One Five on Duval Street is probably one of the "foodiest" restaurants in Key West. It's a little tapas and a little fine dining. For an entree I had the sizzling whole Thai fish. This was incredible - sweet, spicy, whole Yellowtail Snapper, served on a bed of cabbage with jasmine rice. You'll be cleaning the bones, trust me. As far as the appetizers, my hubby and I really liked the Thai Beef Rolls, the 915 tapas platter (your typical jamon y queso) and a mushroom crostini that was on special. Also, do not pass up dessert at Nine One Five. If we were really impressed by dinner, then dessert completely floored us. The passionfruit sorbet is home made and had to be one of the best I've ever tasted. I also had the semi-frozen chocolate mousse, which was everything I long for in a mousse- dense, rich, and not too sweet.
As far as good seafood, you can't pass up Alonzo's Oyster Bar. The entire appetizer menu is 1/2 priced during happy hour from 4-6:30 PM. I really liked the beer marinated peel and eat shrimp, the clams in garlic/sherry broth, and the key lime garlic oysters. I found the mussels diablo a bit disappointing, mostly because the mussels were HUGE. OK, huge mussels is an odd complaint, but it really did seem like too much mussel.
Santiago's Bodega is usually a highly recommended place in Key West, but I felt it missed the mark. I'm more used to traditional Spanish-style tapas, so Santiago's menu didn't seem quite right to me. The Yellowtail ceviche was cut in huge chunks, so it was still really pink. Also, they only allow six crackers for a cheese plate?
With that said, their lamb patties and pork skewers were very tasty and well flavored. Santiago's is located in a sketchy neighborhood (bahama village), so cab it if you go.
If you like wine, Mangia Mangia has a fantastic wine list and unbelievable prices, but be sure to ask for the reserve list. The food isn't bad either.
I second El Siboney, great Cuban food, huge portions, and good prices.
Another place to try, especially for lunch is Blue Heaven, just be careful not to step on one of the chickens.
For breakfast, Blue Heaven is a must (if you don't mind roosters walking around the restaurant while you are eating). I was there twice during my vacation this past winter and had exceptional bannana bread as well as shimp eggs benedict with a key lime holondaise.
For a pre-dinner drink try the White Tarpon. They have an extensive wine selection as well as a speciality key lime martini that is delicious. Also, the atmosphere is very charming and avoids the general congestion of Duval.
For dinner I had many fine meals, but nothing that can compare to the breakfast at Blue Heavan. I promise you, Blue Heaven will deliver both a memorable experience as well as exceptional food.
I just got back from Key West last night...first time. Have to go to Alonzo's for happy hour 4 - 6:30. Awesome steamers. mussels and a killer Key Lime Martini.
IF you want a great burger or fish snadwich. try BOs seafood. Dumpy looking little p[lace on Caroline street but great food. Pepes for breakfast is good as well as Blue Heaven. Island Dog has good pub food.....but not many bad places to eat.
Blue Heaven is a must try for b-fast. The lobster and shrimp eggs benedict with key lime hollandaise are enough to make me fly down there just for b-fast. Also, the blueberry pancakes are delicious! I'd suggest eating outside so long as you don't mind a few Key West chickens pecking around your table :)
A great little spot for a drink is the White Tarpon, which is down by the warf. Excellent Key Lime martinis.