I love island food. Comfort food like mashed potatoes, mac and cheese, and pot pies are great and all in cold places, but give me the island fare any day of the week! I’m all about the fresh fruits and veggies, seafood of every kind, and desserts that leave me feeling satisfied instead of over-indulged. Steve and I have visited several of the Florida Keys this year, and we’ve eaten some amazing food. So, to fuel your gastronomic wanderlust, I put together my list of the absolute best food to eat in the Florida Keys!
Sundowners, Key Largo
Our first meal on our anniversary trip to the Keys was special for a lot of reasons. We practically had the place to ourselves (because we eat at 4:30 like a little old couple); we got to meet some cats, pellicans, gigantic fish, and even a nurse shark; the view over the water was gorgeous, oh, and the food and service were amazing!
I was also determined to get some good conch (pronounced “conk”) on this trip. I had some amazing ceviche-style “crack conch” in the Bahamas on my college graduation trip, but I had never had anything comparable since. The cracked conch at Sundowners was a little different, but you know what? It was one of the best things I ate the whole trip! The batter was light and had some sweetness to it, the conch was well-cooked and not rubbery, and even the boom-boom sauce had just the right amount of spice. I’m craving more already!
Also good to know: What to Know Before You Visit the Florida Keys
Key Largo Conch House, Key Largo
So, we planned to have breakfast here on our way from Key Largo to Islamorada. Unfortunately they had a small kitchen emergency, and they were closed that day. I was super bummed because the Conch House omelette and key lime macadamia pancakes were calling my name.
Fortunately for us, that meant we had an excuse to get lunch here on our way back to Miami at the end of our trip. Why so fortunate? Because I got to eat alligator! Okay, fine, so it tasted like chicken and was fried, but it was alligator. I can’t get that in D.C.! I was pumped, and it was so good.
Read on: The Best Places to Eat in Key Largo
Almond Joy Latte
Midway Cafe, Islamorada
I don’t like Almond Joy candy bars. The texture of shredded coconut is vile to me. If you want to know what the texture reminds me of, please comment on this post and I will tell you. I hate it. But coconut flavor? I love it. Call me crazy, but tastebuds are weird like that.
So when I saw “Almond Joy Latte” on their coffee bar menu, I was willing to give it a go. It had no coconut flakes in it, so I figured it was a safe bet, plus the additional almond and chocolate flavor combo was right up my alley. Whoa, y’all! It was awesome. I’m a fan, and I think coffee lovers around the world will be, too!
Get caffeinated: The Best Coffee in the Florida Keys
Burdine’s Waterfront, Marathon
My husband is the burger eater in our family. He’s also more of a fan of shrimp than I am. And honestly, when I saw “shrimp burger” on the menu, I kind of glanced over it. That is, until I saw this description: “Lots of juicy minced shrimp with fresh veggies, herbs, spices, and eggs. The only breading is in the toasted bun!” Could it really be that shrimpy? Could they really bind it together like a “burger” without breadcrumbs or other fillers?
The answer is yes. It was shrimpy, it was hearty, it was delicious. Next time we’re in Marathon, I’m not wasting my time or nutrition on anything else. I’m getting another one of these shrimp burgers!
Keep eating: The Best Food in Marathon
Key Lime Pie
Moon Dog Bakery, Key West
I made it my mission in Key West to find the best key lime pie on the island. I found it. It was the last one I tried, I got it on a whim, and it was for breakfast. Because, why not? I was on vacation! Please excuse the rude feet in the background, and instead, focus on the thick, smooth, luscious meringue on top of the pie. Then take a good look at the creamy, custardy, sweet, tangy key lime base. And then just take my word for it that the cust was worth it, too. I can’t wait to get another one of these!
Even more: The Best Key Lime Pie in Key West
Seaside Cafe at the Mansion, Key West
Am I the only one who thought lobsters only lived in the chilly North Atlantic? It’s not true! Key West lobsters live in the Florida Keys, are smaller, and I’ve been told they’re a little sweeter, too. (I have not taste tested this… yet.) So on my last day on Key West in January, I had to make sure I got something with Key West lobster!
I could hardly contain myself when I tasted these lobster biscuits, because not only was the lobster to die for, it came on these sweet, fried, waffle biscuits! Mind: blown.
The best of the rest: The Best Food in Key West
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