Key West has some truly excellent restaurants and food lovers are in for a treat here. There are 311 restaurants in Key West and of all those I've picked my 6 favorites - please check them out, they are all really, really good. I update this regularly and after every visit to Key West. This was last updated in August 2013.
BEST RESTAURANT IN KEY WEST
2nd: Blue Heaven
3rd: A & B Lobster House
4th: The Cafe, A Mostly Vegetarian Place
5th: La Trattoria
Michaels, 532 Margaret Street
Wow the food is fantastic here. We had the best appetizer, the best steak and the best pudding I've ever had in Key West. Yep, there is no fancy view and it's a 10 minute walk from Duval Street but the starter alone is worth the walk!
Here for full report and review.
Blue Heaven, 729 Thomas Street
Not quite as good as Michaels for food, but if I only had 1 day in Key West and could only visit one restaurant, this would be it. It epitomises Key West quirky. But, don't get me wrong, the food is still excellent.
This place opened way back in 1991. When Key West was small and remote. It's an institution. It sums up what makes Key West different - mostly outdoors, live music, under the stars, chickens running free. Also great food. And music. And t shirts.
See my report on breakfast here. (When sun turned to torrential downpour, but the show went on!). And again here of another breakfast at Blue Heaven (with some videos so you can see the vibe).
Tips: If this is your first time to Key West and you are here for a short time, then forget the rest - go straight for this place. This is what being in Key West is all about. You must come here at least once. Arrive early and have a drink (or two) at the bar - great cocktails. Best time is Sunday lunch or brunch. Most of the year it gets rammed at Sunday breakfast, come early and expect lines of over an hour.
3rd: A & B Lobster House
Superb. Great food, great service, lobster, cocktails and by far the best view (from a dinner table) in all of Key West.
Full report and loads of pictures here.
4th: The Cafe, a Mostly Vegetarian place
This place is veggie but they do fish specials. It's a great vibe with an very friendly team - very Key West. Don't let the fact that this is veggie put you off - it's delicious.
I just wrote a post just on this place, with lots and lots of pictures and a video - check it out - is this the best veggie restaurant in the world?
Tips: best experienced for lunch or a quicker meal at evening time. This place is great for eating solo. If you are just 1 or 2 persons, eat at the bar.
5th: La Trattoria, Duval Street
Great food. Interesting, varied menu. Good for breakfast, lunch and dinner. The best host in Key West in David Case and the best service from his team. Choice of in or outside dining.
I still come here often and the service is the friendliest of all the places in this list.
This is how TripAdvisor ranked my top picks. All TripAdvisor rankings are as at today, 16 November 2010 and out of a total of 217 restaurants in Key West.
The Cafe - TripAdvisor #3
Roof Top Cafe #5
Blue Heaven #7
La Trattoria #27
Cafe Sole #66
Old Town Mexican #129
Biggest fall from grace in 2013:
After a series of great meals in March 2012, this place has gone downhill. Many of the staff that been there for years have left in droves. And the new servers just are not as good. Many of the old favorites are on the menu but the service is mega rushed and the food is not as good as it was. In January 2014, Antonia's was sold, so we shall return with interest to see if anything has changed.
On the plus side: It's Italian, with lots of good menu options, sexy dark dining room, great steak.
Here for my full review of Antonia's restaurant. (back when it was still very good and made the top of my rankings)
MY TIPS: This place is best experienced as a relaxed evening session. Make a reservation at peak season as they get full.
Do you agree with me? If so, or if not, please leave a comment (below) so everyone else can hear your view! Thanks.
Other Key West things you might like on my site....
Key West hotels - hints, tips and recommendations
Things to do in Key West - best of list, with lots of pictures and reviews
See my post on this blog Best vegetarian food in Key West for more info.