Hidden Foodie Favorites in the Florida Keys & Key West, fresh seafood is a must for just about every meal. With the abundance of fish and seafood in Keys waters, it’s no wonder the island chain’s indigenous cuisine relies on it. Keys restaurants range from gourmet hotspots to dockside seafood “shacks.” Trendy food trucks where guests can choose from a wide variety of options.
Many excellent restaurants along the historic Florida Keys Overseas Highway provide tasty temptations. But if diners venture into less-explored areas, the possibilities become virtually endless.
Fresh locally caught seafood is on the menu at this working waterfront eatery. Diners can enjoy stone crab claws (when in season of course), Florida lobster, shrimp, snapper and more. Whether it’s lightly grilled in a delicious sandwich or battered and fried on a platter, the freshness of Florida seafood comes through. Diners might even run into the fisherman who caught their meal.
Continuing south to Islamorada leads visitors to another local favorite: Bad Boy Burrito. Located off the highway, it’s a worthwhile excursion for people seeking authentic Mexican food combined with fresh local seafood.
The emporium has been featured on the Food Network’s “Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives.” As show host Guy Fieri can attest, a visit to Bad Boy is well worth it.
Hidden away on the Boot Key Harbor Waterway in Marathon stands the Chiki Tiki Bar & Grille at Burdines Waterfront. Locals who frequent the restaurant just call it “Burdines.” Its reasonable prices and delicious food make it a popular stop.
And while Key lime pie can be found on almost every menu, the Chiki Tiki’s version is fried! Rolled in a tortilla and then deep fried, this unexpected take on Key lime pie keeps locals and visitors alike coming back for more.
Lower Florida Keys Hidden Foodies Favorites
Journey further south into the Big Pine and Lower Keys region and discover an oasis tucked away just off the highway. Kiki’s Sandbar Bar & Grille is an easygoing beachfront eatery doling out pub grub and seafood favorites. Attractions include a patio, boat dock and beachside seating.
Rounding out the list of foodie favorites is Pepe’s Café in Key West. The oldest restaurant on the island (a Cuban fisherman opened the place in 1909). Pepe’s is worth a visit for the history alone — though it’s the food that keeps people coming back again and again.
With a range of options for even the most discerning diner, it’s easy to see why taking the road less traveled in the Florida Keys can lead to some truly outstanding culinary experiences.
Bon appétit! Or Buen provecho!
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