The unexpected delight of our trip? That would be Islamorada! We loved it so much, I’m already dreaming of our return! It’s a new favorite for a lot of reasons, including the food. From breakfast delivered to our door to “cupcake sushi,” we enjoyed every bite!
Our first Islamorada food experience was lunch at Mangrove Mike’s. It’s located just around the corner from where we stayed, so it was the perfect spot to eat a little something before check-in time. The theme was definitely casual, and they serve breakfast all day, even alongside their lunch menu. Steve got Kim’s “famous” taco salad, which came in a taco shell, and I got the acai bowl and a bagel—my version of tropical comfort food!
This restaurant is ultra casual, with all outdoor seating and live music every night—but we also heard live music there during the day! They serve breakfast, lunch, and dinner, they’re located right on the bay, and they’re within easy walking distance of Casa Morada—which is definitely the place where you should stay!
The entire restaurant was self-seating. The area around the bar was open-air, but completely covered, so that filled up quickly on a sunny afternoon. Bring sunglasses, a hat, and wear sunscreen in case you have to sit in the uncovered section like we did!
I got the peppercorn-crusted tuna appetizer as my meal, and Steve got Lorelei’s “famous” fish sandwich with fries, and you know I couldn’t pass up their frozen key lime pie for dessert. It’s whipped, so it’s more like frozen whipped cream than a traditional custard base, and it came with whipped cream and mango sauce—yum!
This is a popular restaurant right on the beach. Two locals recommended it to us on our first afternoon on the island! They really do have a spectacular view of the ocean, as well as the Alligator Reef Lighthouse. Missed it on Islamorada? They also have a location in nearby Marathon.
Steve got the Key West salad, which featured coconut fried shrimp, fried mozzarella, peaches, grapes, and spinach. Mine was the Crab and Asparagus salad, which also included avocado and came on a bed of greens with a ginger dressing. The food was great, but the unexpected treat here was the side of banana bread. You get your own, personal-sized loaf, and it comes out warm! They sell it as a side, but I had it as my dessert!
Also fun: if you go fishing and bring them what you caught, they’ll cook it for you! More on that here: Lazy Days Will Cook Your Catch – Lazy Days Restaurant – Islamorada.
Having breakfast brought to your door at Casa Morada is like having a kiss from Heaven. You make your breakfast selections the night before, and at the time you select, some kind soul brings it to your back patio, much like a breakfast ferry might do. Their selection includes house-made pastries, fresh fruit, yogurt, granola, coffee, tea, etc.
We didn’t realize just how generous their portion sizes were when we ordered, however. We got WAY too much food the first day, but we weren’t about to complain! Everything was delicious, and we can’t wait to come back.
This place was so cute! Steve and I got take out from here on our trip, but it is definitely fun date night material. They also have unique sushi combinations, and fun desserts, too!
My dad had been bugging me to get hogfish while I was in the Keys, and while I’d seen it on several menus, there was always something else I wanted to try more. That is, until I saw the Macadamia Hogfish Roll on the menu at Kaiyo! It was macadamia nut-crusted hogfish (cooked, for anyone who needs to know!), rolled up with mango and topped with a sweet mango sauce. It was amazing!
I also got an Over the Rainbow Roll (mostly uncooked), which is a California Roll (crab, avocado, and cucumber inside) topped with shrimp, salmon, yellowtail, and tuna. Steve got the Mt. Fuji Roll, which was a California Roll topped with spicy, baked shrimp, crab, and scallops! Oh, and a side of Lobster and Crab Mac and Cheese! It was over the top, which is exactly what this anniversary trip was for!
Now on to dessert. Are you ready for this? They had Cupcake Sushi! There’s a place in Key West that makes these, and I’m shocked I didn’t find out about them for our trip there in January. We got an assortment of three: Yellow Vanilla, Chocolate Almond, and Key Lime!
This is the cutest spot for coffee, breakfast, or lunch! We planned to stop here for breakfast on our way out of Islamorada to Marathon on Sunday morning, but the line was so long, we decided we’d hit it up on the way back! There were far fewer people there on a Tuesday.
I got the iced Almond Joy, which features chocolate, almond, and coconut flavors, and it was way better than a regular almond joy. (I have a texture issue with coconut shavings!) Another island-y option is their Tropical Macchiato: coconut, vanilla, and caramel sauce. They also have muffins, key lime pie, savory pastries, scones, cookies, and sandwiches, wraps, salads, and more for breakfast and lunch!
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