Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Florida >
May 28, 2011 06:37 AM

Key West (or Lower Keys) Early June

I'll be down in KW in early June. I go there quite often, but haven't been down since last Thanksgiving. I try to keep up on any new restaurants and am fairly sure I haven't missed anything, but if you have any suggestions of new places....let them fly.

I'm already planning on trying a few places (some new) that I haven't tried yet. One is Garbo's Grill....she wasn't open when I stopped by on my last trip. I'll hit the normal Sandy's Cafe, Cuban Coffee Queen, El Siboney's (to see if it is still good), and maybe some places such as Ambrosia, La Trattoria (old favorite for about 15 years). Is the Southernmost Deli got decent sandwiches and stuff? Just asking because it is around the corner from where I'm staying and I've never stayed on the south side of the island. Might also stop at Bad Boy Burrito just to try it out.

I know all the old standards (i.e. Blue Heaven, Pepe's, 915 Duval, Camille's, Sarabeths, Columbian Grace, etc.) so I'm looking for new places or out of the way places I might have somehow missed over the years. I'm also considering trying Santiago's Bodega. I've heard many good things about the place, but somehow I've never made it there.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. I'll be visiting KW for the first time in early June also, staying for 2 nights. What 2 or 3 places would you recommend for someone who has never been (even from your list above)? We'll be staying right off Duval Street. Also, any place you'd recommend in Key Largo?
    Sorry this isn't a direct answer to your post.

    5 Replies
    1. re: meljohns

      Are you looking for more formal (I don't mean dress) meals or just places to grab a quick bite? I don't do too many what I would call fancy dinners all though there are many places to do so. For a place to grab a quick bite and what I would consider a more laid back Keys experience, I would grab sandwiches from Sandy's Cafe or Cuban Coffee Queen.........Pepe's is a Key West tradition, but I think it has really gone downhill. I haven't tried it myself, but Garbo's Grill (just a food cart over on Greene Street) seems to be highly recommended and I plan on stopping by while I'm there. Santiago's Bodega is also always recommended, but somehow I have never made it by there to try.

      A&B Lobster House used to be awesome, but was very disappointing last time I went there. It has been a while and I was told that I must have had an isolated bad experience, but it is so pricey (last time was $240 for two couples and that was over five years ago) that I hesitate to chance it again.

      I personally like La Trattoria (a little pricey and on Duval), El Siboney (more reasonably priced), Sandy's Cafe, Cuban Coffee Queen, the Conch Shop for some fritters, and a sausage sandwich from the cart next to the Bull at night. As you can see though, I tend to eat simple, good food. I'm not really looking for a fancy meal out when I go to Key Weird. I like to kick back in shorts, tank-top, and filp-flops.....have a beer, sandwich or something similiar and relax.....You won't see me too much at Sloppy Joes, Hogs Breath, etc....maybe sometimes at Capt. Tony's and kicking back at the Green Parrot. I used to hang at Irish Kevins a lot until Kevin sold the place. He was a blast.

      If you like microbrews or craft beers stop by The Porch in the Porter House at 429 Caroline Street (first wooden door to your left once inside). Great selection of beers and prices comparable to what I pay at home.

      Some places such as Blue Heaven are worth stopping by just to see the place.....used to be good, but has turned into such a tourist place that I consider it to be pricey, pretentious and overrated. Many places down there are in this category to me now. It is difficult to find a traditional Key West experience.....if you can, find the places the locals go and you'll come as close as possible to this.

      La Trattoria Restaurant
      524 Duval St, Key West, FL 33040

      Sloppy Joe's Bar
      201 Duval St, Key West, FL 33040

      Green Parrot Bar
      601 Whitehead St, Key West, FL 33040

      900 Catherine St, Key West, FL 33040

      Irish Kevin's
      211 Duval St Ste C, Key West, FL 33040

      Lobster House
      716 N US Highway 1, Tequesta, FL 33469

      1. re: kempshark

        Thanks, all of that is SO helpful. We're not looking for anything too fancy or touristy- we'll be spending one night in SOBE which I'm sure will provide an overpriced dinner option, haha. The places you recommend look great! We'll be on a fishing boat one day so I'll ask the captain what he likes also.
        Have a great trip!

        1. re: meljohns

          We like A & B Lobster House for happy hour - both drinks and 1/2 price oyster specials, or lunch in the AC when it's too darn hot to be outside. 915 on Duval is the most civilized place for an drink in the early evening or a light meal on the patio. And don't miss Sarabeths for breakfast.

          530 Simonton St, Key West, FL 33040

            1. re: meljohns

              We had dinner at 915 last night; very good. Both of us had the scallops, which were really well cooked. They have all their wine bottles half price so we got a great deal on a nice bottle of wine. Liked the whole dinner a lot, and the patio was lovely.