There’s so much to love about Key West – the weather, the beaches, the seafood and so much more. But let’s come back to that last one – seafood.
It’s only natural that if you’re going on vacation to a beautiful island by the sea you’ll want to eat some gorgeous fish, mussels, and squid. That’s where this guide comes in.
This is our curated list of top picks for seafood in Key West so that your trip will leave you with a full, satisfied stomach.
1.Conch Republic Seafood Company
631 Greene St, Key West, FL 33040
If you’re looking for high-quality, dock-to-dish dining, then say no more – the fish here is taken right from the restaurant’s boats to your table. As they say themselves, if you want fresher seafood, you’ll have to catch it yourself!
The St. Kitts Pasta (grilled shrimp over crab ravioli) is wonderful, as is their coriander crusted tuna. If you’re after something classically Caribbean, you can’t go wrong with the Caribbean spiced mahi-mahi.
Conch Republic also has great views over the water for you to admire as you eat.
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521 Fleming St, Key West, FL 33040-6824
The Thirsty Mermaid really does not play around when it comes to seafood.
The raw bar section could be a great restaurant by itself, serving up middleneck clams, ceviche, and even caviar! If you just can’t choose (and hey, who could blame you?), you can go for the Mermaid Platter or the Mermaid Royale Platter for a little of everything.
Not everyone is up for raw shellfish though, we get it. Never fear! For those who feel safer with fish, do not miss out on the togarashi spiced yellowfin tuna (perhaps after eating some delicious steamed littleneck clams first).
There are also some great draft beers available here, including several brewed locally in Key West! Try the one named ‘Iguana Bait’ for a great accompaniment to seafood.
3.Milagro Restaurant And Bar
1401 Simonton St, Key West, FL 33040-3116
Milagro isn’t actually a specialist seafood restaurant, but don’t let that put you off – the seafood here can hold its own against any other restaurant’s.
The pan-roasted Scottish salmon battles with the seared local yellowtail snapper for your stomach’s loyalty here, and it’s certainly no easy fight. Their small plate wood-grilled octopus makes your choice even harder (and even tastier!)
The simple but bright and tasteful decor means that any meal here is going to be a wonderfully relaxing experience. As a side note, their cocktails are a revelation, particularly their tropical sangria and the lavender and blueberry cosmopolitan.
4.Eaton Street Seafood Market & Restaurant
801 Eaton St, Key West, FL 33040-6920
The scene: Eaton Street Seafood Market & Restaurant. The Customer: you. Your stomach: satisfied but still craving more. That sounds like a pretty accurate summary of what your visit to this gem of a restaurant will be like.
Their lobster roll gets endless praise (and rightly so) but there are plenty of other tasty treats to explore as well. Two other greats are the conch ceviche and shrimp salad sandwich.
As the name suggests it’s also a market, so if you’re looking to buy some high-quality seafood to cook for yourself, you’ve found just the right place.
5.DJ’s Clam Shack
629 Duval St, Key West, FL 33040-6554
If you haven’t tried the Maine lobster roll from DJ’s Clam Shack then you haven’t lived. In fact, the only thing that can beat it is if you want to upgrade it to the overstuffed Maine lobster roll (go on, you’re on vacation!)
All kidding aside, it’s not just lobster that it’s worth coming here for. The famous conch fritters are so good or, if you’re interested in a little Asian fusion, the kung pao calamari will be right up your alley (traditional calamari is also available).
You can also be sure that the service here will be friendly and swift. What’s not to love?
6.The Flaming Buoy Filet Co.
424 Eaton Street, Key West, FL 33040-3263
This place has it all – great servers, great food, and a great atmosphere. It’s impossible to pick just one dish from their incredible lineup, but the bacon-wrapped scallops, grouper, and lobster thermidor are all highly recommended.
There’s also a bunch of cool artwork on the walls for you to look at as you dine. If you’re a Star Wars fan, you’ll also get a kick out of the knick-knacks from a galaxy far, far away.
It’s not a big place and can sometimes get pretty busy, so you might want to book ahead.
7.Half Shell Raw Bar
231 Margaret St, Key West, FL 33040-6639
This place has enough shellfish to satisfy even the hungriest bellies. The garlic oysters are a particular highlight. If you’d prefer something cooked then don’t worry because the Half Shell still has you covered.
The jumbo prawns stuffed with crabmeat and spices, broiled in garlic butter, white wine, and lemon juice are enough to convert anyone to a seafood lover. If you’d prefer to drop in for lunch, you’re going to be spoiled for choice between their range of poboys and the jumbo crab cake sandwich.
Also, don’t miss their happy hour from 4:30 – 6:30. It’s not just drinks, either: the regular food menu is also included in the happy hour policy.
The bottom line is that Key West really is a paradise for all lovers of seafood. In fact, it’s even worth choosing it as a destination just for the food – it really is that good.
Conch fritters, mahi-mahi, lobster rolls, scallops, and much, much more are all waiting for you in these incredible restaurants. It’s too difficult to pick just one as being the best, so the best thing to do is to try as many of them as you can during your stay.
Your friends and family back home might get tired of you making them jealous with stories and pictures of what you’ve eaten but trust us, you won’t care!
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