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Sep 24, 2009 11:01 AM

Dining in Key West

Will be coming down to Key West in a couple of weeks to do some diving. What are the best places to eat...or drink. Thanks for all your help.

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  1. A trip to Key West isn't complete if you don't dine at Michael's!

    I try to go at least one time per year just have a dinner there. Excellent food!

    3 Replies
    1. re: Tippi

      Thanks Tippi...would you recommend it for lunch or dinner? and any dress code we should know about?

      1. re: katidyd

        Dinner!!! No dress code. But I wouldn't go in shorts and flip flops.

        Save it for a special night during the trip. Save room for dessert!

      2. re: Tippi

        This was a great find. I had totally forgotten about this little restaurant on a quiet street in KW.
        My friend and i shared a meal of stone crabs and the 24 oz porterhouse that was cooked to perfection.

        Much, much, much better than Louis Backyard.
        If you're in the mood for prime aged beef, Michaels is the place.
        If your looking for a romantic spot, not filled with tourists, but more of locals, this is the place.

        highly recommended.
        perfect way to enjoy the island.

        Michael's Cafe
        2304 NE 62nd St, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33308

      3. My favorite is El Siboney. Real Cuban food, reasonable prices. Somewhat off the beaten path.

        6 Replies
        1. re: 1stmakearoux

          Sounds great - LOVE cuban food. We don't get it really authentic up here in's definitely on the list.

          1. re: katidyd

            Here are a few of my KW choices. I lived there for 4 years, but am now in West Palm.

            Alonzo’s Oyster Bar - on the water – great happy hour half price appetizers and discounted drinks

            Blue Heaven -
            Outdoor casual dining

            El Siboney -
            Inexpensive Cuban cuisine

            Nine one Five
            Eclectic tapas bar

            Excellent healthy cuisine

            Great breakfast with outside dining. Also good for lunch or dinner.

            Croissants de France
            Breakfast on Duval

            Good for breakfast, lunch or dinner. Diner type atmosphere, but food and service are good. On Simonton Street

            1. re: DiFlorida

              Wow - thanks so much. This should really help answer the question of where to eat. Great variety and I'm sure we'll enjoy them all.
              Thanks again for your help.

              1. re: DiFlorida

                That is a good selection (well picked), but I would personally add La Trattoria on Duval Street. I haven't tried Alonzo's Oyster Bar. We used to go upstairs to A&B Lobster House, but I've stopped going since they changed owners. I took the wife and a couple (friends of ours) right after the ownership changed. I spent $250 on dinner and the quality was terrible. The lobster bisque was awful. We complained about that (very politely) and were basically told "Oh well".

                There are a lot of expensive, inferior restaurants in Key Weird so I would definitly advise listening to peoples suggestions of places they have been or frequent. It has become way too touristy since I started going there (over 20 years ago). I still love it down there, and I would move down to the Lower Keys (Big Pine through Sugarloaf being my favorite area) if I could convince the wife to do it. I wouldn't want to live in Key West (or any further down than MM10), but I do love the Lower Keys.

                1. re: kempshark

                  The Chef stayed on well past the ownership change at A&B and his recipes didn't change. When he did finally leave he left his recipes. Give them another try. Maybe it was just an off night but they place wins local awards and local cooking contest throughout the year. The bisque is the exact same recipe.

                  1. re: Suzie

                    I think the Conch chowder at Alonzo's is the best in the world

          2. Don't forget the schooner wharf bar for drinks and great music.

            1. We stumbled onto this place last night after visiting with a friend on Catherine Street.
              Not only was it reasonably priced, a mom and pop joint, food made fresh to order, and very nice wait staff.
              I had the skirt steak and my friend ordered the frita vaca.
              Our food was delicious!
              And it was nice that it wasn't as overpriced as the rest of the restaurants on the island.

              i counted 5 tables inside and lots of places to tie your bike up outside.
              we sat at the counter because the place was filled with people.. all locals.

              i will definitely come back here the next time i come back to KW.
              highly recommended!

              3 Replies
              1. re: Shirley U. Jest

                Shirley, which place are you referring to? I didn't catch the name of the restaurant in your post. I'm always looking for places down there with good quality food.
                I just got back from four nights in Key West, and I think I'm more disappointed in the quality of the food down there each time I go. I used to look forward to eating out in KW, but anymore the vast majority of the restaurants are overpriced and low on quality. That always seems to happen when a place gets majorly touristy as KW has gotten in the last 30 years. A lot of the places seem to worry less about return customers and more worried about immediate profit margin.
                I still love the Lower Keys and visiting Key West, but I'm more likely to cook a lot more of my own food (especially fish I've caught) then I am to go out to eat anymore. I'm not a real old-timer when it comes to the Keys, but I have been visiting regularly (4-6 times a year) for the past 20 years.

                1. re: kempshark

                  I'm pretty sure she's talking about El Siboney.

                  1. re: carolinadawg

                    It does sounds like it from the description of the food, but El Siboney has a lot more than 5 tables inside... maybe if you didn't realize there was a large dining room in the back, you might think it only had 5 tables.

              2. El Siboney!!! Their Skirt steak is delicious. It may be Cuban but its not all beans and rice !! No view. Residential location. just excellent food....and very reasonable compared to anything else in Key West.

                900 Catherine St, Key West, FL 33040