Key West has always been known for its laid back vibes, where time moves slow and the drinks are strong. But the southern-most island in the United States is also becoming known for its growing restaurant scene. No matter which direction you take, you’re bound to find tasty menus filled with fresh fish and seafood, burritos, and Cuban sandwiches. And some of the best restaurants in Key West can be found right in the heart of downtown – if you know where to look.
Luckily, Key West's famous beaches also factor into the food scene. Dine alfresco anywhere on the island for scenic ocean and gulf views; where you can even see a fresh catch being offloaded from boats and taken right into restaurants. While fried fish and conch fritters will always be an island staple, there’s a lot more to the Key West culinary scene than fried food and rum runners. Chefs across the island are using invasive species like lion fish to create scrumptious dishes that also help the fragile ecosystem.
To help you navigate the small but mighty island, we’ve rounded up our favorite restaurants in Key West that are worth leaving the bar on Duval Street for.
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