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Key West Recommendations?

We'll be in Key West for a couple of nights and would appreciate lunch and dinner recommendations. Love any kind of food at all, but would be particulary interested in Cuban for one night. Any recommendations for lunch (anywhere from Key Largo to Big Pine) on the drive down are appreciated, too. Thanks in advance.

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  1. There are several threads on this board with KW recommendations, so some searching will probably help.

    5 Brothers is good for Cuban lunch. It's basically a sandwich shop, but they have daily lunch specials and their ox tail is particularly good.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Nick

      I searched on Key West but didn't find anything much recent, which is why I posted. Thanks for the recommendation for 5 Bros...is that Key West or a different Key?

      1. re: Niki in Dayton

        5 Brothers is in KW. 915 is another good place to check out. Their chef also runs a great burrito joint on Simonton Street a few blocks away--Bad Boy Burrito.

    2. was just there memorial weekend..standouts are the usuals you will find on the boards---but i was introduced to a few new (or newer) ones..one of them is Cafe Sole... 1029 Southard St
      Key West, FL 33040
      (305) 294-0230

      and 915 Duval ---www.915duval.com
      a james beard contender where I had the most incredible whole yellowtail snapper for two with thai spices and chili garlic sauce. outstanding...

      1 Reply
      1. El Siboney is a casual Cuban joint.


        Have fun Juli

        1. Lunch: BO's Fish Wagon, Hogfish Bar n Grill ( Stock Island), Camille's (cx salad outta this world!), on the beach- Salute. Don;t rule out Dion's. I'm not kidding, if you don't have GREAT fried cx at home, we get ours at Dion's- 2 locations in KW. This is food from a gas station! We regularly get it and take it out on boat trips. The cx is fresh, never frozen and is unbelievably good when you get it fresh out of te fryer.

          Dinner: KW food scene is not superb. But, our outstanding spots are: Braza Lena (bettter Brazilian than anywhere!!), Ambrosia (sushi chef owns and regularly drives to Miami for the BEST stuff, ie toro), Cuban: either fine, ie el Meson de Pepe (huge menu, try the antojitos-YUM!) Joses on White St or El Siboney. 915 is also ok. Lots of folks like 7fish. Don't get sucked in to Duval St!!! I worked there, and the reason that mahi-mahi is the fish of the day every day is that it is the cheapest frozen fish imported from China and it has been the fish of the day at places like Margaritaville fo the last 20 years... btw, worst ritas and burgers you could possibly get in KW....

          1 Reply
            1. On a recent trip, my two favorite meals were at 915, mentioned below, and lunch at Santiago's Bodega. It's a tapas place. They have dinner two. I loved all the small plates: www.santiagosbodega.com

              1. We just returned; only had two days in the Keys due to family obligations. Stopped in at Keys Fishery in Marathon on the way down AND the way back (yes, it was that good!). Excellent hogfish sandwich, great peel and eat Key West pink shrimps. Their Key Lime pie was also good....I'm a traditionalist with KL pie and prefer graham cracker crust; they did it right!

                We loved Santiago's Bodega in Key West; fabulous food and good wine list. We didn't love Mangia Mangia; the wine list is nice but the food was not good. It's difficult to concieve of something that reeks of garlic being bland, but they managed to achieve exactly that. Not recommended.

                Camillia's was good for breakfast. Eggs Benedict with really good hollandaise, and the decor is interesting (look at the clothes on the Barbies in the window....first time I've seen S&M Barbie!)

                Thanks for your recommendations. It had been about 10 or 12 years since we'd been in the Keys, and we won't wait that long to return.

                1 Reply
                1. re: Niki in Dayton

                  Just returned from Key West. We ate at a number of places, and a few really stood out:

                  -1- Hogfish Grill. If you are ok with the industrial dockside setting (with more than one or two lonesome, stray dockside denizens lurking around restaurant ), the fish was as fresh as I've tasted in some time. My grouper tasted as though it came out of the water that day. (It did.) And the Jerk Chicken Wings were superb. No privacy though--we sat at a long shared table with a random group of people--including a federal judge and some friendly campers--but all in all, this was a great dinner and it felt like a true Key West experience.

                  -2- The Key Colony Inn (Key Colony Beach, around a half hour drive North of Key West, I think Marathon Key) had a super family lunch. Also incredibly fresh fish, great chowder, bread baked in house, and great service. Inexpensive for the care and quality of the food.

                  -3- Salute (Key West Beach) - I think owned by the same folks who own Blue Heaven, they have a great lunch by the sea, featuring seafood and salads. I found both the food and the very attentive service a notch or two better than Blue Heaven.

                  -4- Baby's Coffee - Worth stopping by on way out of town. Best coffee in KW. Classic place with a lot of attitude.

                  -5- Camille's - Nice family restaurant with a sincere, caring owner from Philly. Again, great value-to-quality ration. Try the tuna tartare to start. I hear breakfast is great there, too.

                  Finally, I always love Seven Fish--but getting a table there seemed impossible, so we didn't have the chance to eat there this time.