Key West is a small island city located in the Florida Keys. It is the southernmost city in the United States and is known for its laid-back atmosphere, beautiful beaches, and vibrant arts and culture scene.
Key West has a rich history and was once a major hub for the shipbuilding and sponging industries.
It is a popular tourist destination due to its vibrant nightlife, water sports, and fishing opportunities.
Food-wise, Italian food is a staple of Key West. Many amazing Italian restaurants in Key West serve up some of the best Italian food you can find anywhere.
These restaurants are fantastic, whether it’s a great atmosphere, great food, or both. But what makes them so good? We have come up with our top five best Italian restaurants in Key West based on quality and value for your money.
My Top Three Picks of the Best Italian Restaurants in Key West
|La Trattoria Restaurant
|New York Pasta Garden
|pasta with shrimp and scallops
9 Must-Try Italian Restaurants In Key West
524 Duval St., Key West, FL 33040, United States // +13052961075
LaTrattoria Old Town has been offering authentic Italian cuisine since 1983. 524 Duval Street is their original and main site in the center of Key West.
This bistro-style setting is one of the most intimate in the lower keys. All of their dinners are made to order with the freshest ingredients.
Yellowtail snapper, their signature dish, is fished locally daily and served fresh with garlic, capers, and tomatoes in a lemon white wine butter sauce—it’s to die for.
It was a treat to be served a carbonara ravioli as well as the grouper special with puff pastry. Both were perfectly cooked with tasty sauces.
Also, the wine list was extensive.
You can also head right behind the restaurant to Virgilio’s Martini Bar when your dinner is finished.
Virgilio’s has an extensive martini menu and live entertainment seven nights a week. This sultry speakeasy is located just off Duval Street and will undoubtedly fulfill your thirst for delicious libations.
In the center of Key West, Abbondanza Italian Restaurant is a popular eating destination. The restaurant is well-known for its genuine Italian cuisine and warm, inviting ambiance.
Abbondanza’s menu includes a variety of classic Italian foods such as antipasti, handmade pasta, and substantial entrees.
The restaurant also serves daily specials and a good wine list to accompany your meal.
Abbondanza is known for its friendly and pleasant ambiance, in addition to its superb food. The Italian restaurant’s dining area is warm and appealing, with rustic decor and comfy seats.
The staff is attentive and experienced and always eager to assist you in selecting the best food to suit your tastes.
The exterior is pleasant, but once inside, it’s as if you’ve left Key West behind and traveled to Italy. My table was beautiful, and my Italian server was kind, nice, efficient, and attentive.
I started with the zucchini fritti, then the lasagna, and for dessert, the heavenly cheesecake. Everything was amazing!
Some Italian restaurants simply reheat prepackaged items, but the lasagna was freshly cooked and delicious. Their marinara sauce was delicious.
Abbondanza Italian Restaurant is a must-try eating experience for visitors and locals alike.
Its delicious food and warm atmosphere make it ideal for an Italian dinner with friends and family.
Bruschetta Francesca is a well-known Italian restaurant in the heart of Key West. The restaurant is well-known for its delectable Italian cuisine and welcoming atmosphere.
I consider myself a good judge of Italian food, but Francesca’s blew me away!
The half-price appetizers were delightfully Italian and well-presented.
The food was exquisite. The classic bruschetta carpaccio rucola, the sublime Parmesan, the delicately prepared beef with arugula drizzled liberally with olive oil, and the eggplant Parmesan were outstanding.
We shared a whole plate of lobster ravioli, which were actually stuffed with amazing, fantastic lobster and a white sauce that complemented rather than drowned it all out.
The environment, service, décor, and food are all better than any other Italian restaurant I’ve been to. If you want a taste of the continent, you can’t go wrong with this Key West Italian restaurant!
1075 Duval St., Key West, FL 33040, United States // +13052921991
Big John, the owner, is originally from New York and brought his love of Italian food to our little island. He then combined it with his passion for tropical birds and opened the restaurant in 1989.
The generous portions and inventive cuisine rapidly established New York Pasta Garden as a local favorite, and they have maintained that legacy to this day.
The delicious fish and courteous service will keep you returning for more! They feature the island’s largest pour of house wine and an excellent wine list by the bottle.
They attempt to have something for every palate and are committed to making your visit memorable and pleasurable.
Our waiter was outstanding from the moment we arrived. He suggested the house wine because it was a reasonable price for a glass.
He also served us an artichoke starter, which was fantastic. Our dishes were enormous; my friend had lasagna, and I had the best pasta with shrimp and scallops in a sherry sauce I’d ever tasted.
Neither of us could complete the task. I wished we could return the leftovers to the hotel and eat them the next day. Another amazing Italian restaurant that is worth visiting!
Mangia Mangia is a welcoming Italian restaurant in the heart of Key West. The restaurant provides a lively environment with cuisine that includes antipasti and salads, homemade pasta, and seafood entrees.
Their antipasti menu is a terrific way to begin your dinner. Appetizers at the restaurant include fried calamari, bruschetta, and Caprese salad.
They are also well-known for their exquisite homemade pasta meals, prepared fresh every day with the finest ingredients. The lasagna, spaghetti carbonara, and fettuccine alfredo are my favorites.
Their pizzas are handcrafted from scratch with fresh, high-quality ingredients and baked to perfection in a wood-fired oven. Margherita pizza, pepperoni pizza, and vegetable pizza are all popular choices.
They also offer a variety of seafood meals that highlight the best of the local catch, and Key West is famed for its wonderful seafood. Try the scampi shrimp, salmon, or pan-seared red snapper.
Overall, Mangia Mangia is a great place to try a variety of delicious Italian food in Key West. Whether you’re a visitor to Key West or a local, this restaurant is a must-try dining destination.
615 Duval St., Key West, FL 33040, United States // +13052946565
Antonia’s, located on Duval Street, is well-known for its handmade pasta and fine dining. Antonia’s Restaurant in Key West features fresh Italian food, homemade pasta and sauces, and an award-winning wine list.
By night, the cozy dining area provides some of the island’s greatest regional Italian food in Key West. It’s not even just pasta!
Perfectly cooked fish, chicken, veal, and beef meals are highly praised. Their extensive wine list and knowledgeable wait staff contribute to the total enjoyment.
Their menu includes gnocchi with savory gorgonzola cheese sauce, linguine with clams, and linguine with clam sauce, as well as Antonia’s famous lasagna prepared with spinach pasta.
The wine list was great. I love Italian reds and chose a Chianti that was dry, earthy, robust, and excellent.
The menu was amazing. The service was great. I had a fantastic fish dish. One of my friends had fresh pasta, and the other had the same fresh pasta in a different sauce. It was really fresh and delicious pasta.
Also, save room for dessert; the restaurant serves a wonderful, balanced, not-too-sweet amaretto coconut cream pie. This is a must-see if you’re in Key West!
700 Front St., Key West, FL 33040, United States // +13053964040
Bel Mare Restaurant serves great Italian cuisine and is a must-see in Key West. Bel Mare has served travelers from Key West to the Caribbean for decades.
The Bel Mare is a modest yet charming restaurant in Key West’s historic district. It is popular with locals and visitors who enjoy eating in its charming dining area while soaking in the local ambiance.
There’s a reason this restaurant is always full, and it’s also a popular wedding venue. Who doesn’t love a beautiful wedding at sunset?
With frescoed walls, thick wood furnishings, and the coziness of flickering candlelight, Bel Mare offers the atmosphere of an ancient Italian house. The views from the restaurant are spectacular.
The Carne Crudo and Mushroom soup were our first orders, followed by veal bolognese and shrimp orecchiette for the main dishes.
Based on these two stops, we avoided eating our entire meals to save room for dessert.
It was a key lime cheesecake; what kind of culinary magic was this? Combined with blackberries and strawberries, the cheesecake had a key lime topping. Amazing!
Despite being a little pricey, the food was delicious. It’s one of the newest additions to Key West that you shouldn’t miss.
It was a great experience, and I plan on doing it again next time I’m in town.
613-1/2 Duval St., Key West, FL 33040, United States // +13057354412
Onlywood Pizzeria Trattoria is a no-brainer if you want pizza with a bottle of fine wine! This Key West pizza shop serves authentic Italian thin-crust pizza cooked over a wood fire.
Onlywood uses homemade mozzarella made with an old specific recipe on their pizzas, and their dough is made using a four-year-old starter.
It’s intriguing to discover that they utilize 100% Lavic materials from Napoli’s volcano Vesuvius to build their brick oven, which reaches temperatures of 1000 degrees, which is required for Neapolitan pizza style.
It is clear that these guys are committed to getting things right from the start. All of this makes it easy to understand why Neapolitan pizza is so popular on the island.
Try the Marinara pizza, which is created with San Marzano tomato sauce, garlic, oregano, and extra virgin olive oil.
Alternatively, request their Keste style, which consists of San Marzano tomato sauce with handmade mozzarella and is topped with Prosciutto di Parma, arugula, and shaved Parmesan cheese.
In addition to the beautiful pizza, they also make excellent spaghetti and lasagna. To round up the adventure, they have a dessert pizza option: Pizza Nutella, fresh from the oven, a pizza with Nutella spread.
It would be an understatement to say that you would be missing out if you did not visit this Key West pizzeria while on the island.
516 Fleming St., Key West, FL 33040, United States // +13059007035
In addition to traditional and innovative pizzas, this vintage Key West Italian restaurant serves pasta and homestyle main dishes. Clemente’s Wood-Fired Trolley Pizzeria is a charming establishment with both indoor and outdoor seating.
Scratch-made pizzas are baked with care and affection, topped with whole milk mozzarella, and sauced with handmade San Marzano DOP marinara or roasted garlic olive oil glaze.
Their fresh and authentic 12-inch brick oven pizzas with crispy, thin crust are baked to perfection at 900F temperatures.
There is an incredible Honey Bacon pizza with mozzarella, caramelized onions, hickory smoked bacon, and a garlic olive oil glaze.
They also have a Caesar Salad Pizza with romaine hearts tossed in creamy Caesar dressing, shaved romano pecorino, and garlic-seared crust.
If you prefer something other than meat, choose their Roasted Veggie, which includes caramelized onions, tri-colored peppers, mushrooms, summer squash, and zucchini.
Gluten-free versions are available for practically all pizza styles. These pizzas are 10 inches in diameter and quite yummy.
Try their sweets, such as their key lime cannolis, for the ideal finale to any dinner at Clemente’s Wood-Fired Trolley Pizzeria. A must-visit!
What makes a restaurant the best Italian restaurant in Key West?
Many elements influence a restaurant’s status as the top Italian restaurant in Key West.
These can include things like the food’s quality and authenticity, the restaurant’s setting and ambiance, the service and hospitality of the employees, and the whole eating experience.
What are some famous dishes at Italian restaurants in Key West?
Some popular dishes at Italian restaurants in Key West include homemade pasta dishes, pizzas, seafood dishes, and antipasti.
Key West is known for its fresh and delicious seafood, and many Italian restaurants feature seafood dishes on their menus.
What should I expect when dining at an Italian restaurant in Key West?
When dining at an Italian restaurant in Key West, you can expect a relaxed and welcoming atmosphere, delicious Italian cuisine, and attentive and knowledgeable staff.
Many Italian restaurants in Key West have a cozy and rustic ambiance, and the staff is typically very hospitable and happy to help you choose the perfect dish to suit your tastes.
What are some good Italian restaurants in Key West for a special occasion?
Many excellent Italian restaurants in Key West are well-suited for special occasions. Some popular options include Abbondanza Italian Restaurant, La Trattoria, and Bel Mare Restaurant.
These restaurants offer a sophisticated atmosphere and delicious Italian cuisine, making them great for a romantic dinner or a special celebration.
Final Thoughts about the Best Italian Restaurants in Key West
Overall, there are many outstanding Italian restaurants in Key West to select from, and you can choose a dining experience that meets your likes and preferences.
Key West provides something for everyone, whether you want a simple restaurant or a fancy dining experience.
Would you like to visit other types of restaurants in Key West? Check out our other guides:
- 8 Must-Try Sushi Restaurants In Key West, FL
- 7 Must-Try Pizza Restaurants In Key West, Florida
- Best Brunch In Key West
- 14 Of The Best Restaurants In Key West Florida
- The Best Cuban Food in Key West, FL
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Igor Jovanovski is an aspiring digital nomad, travel blogger and graphic designer who really loves food. He also has a creative side, and he works as a freelance graphic designer in his spare time. He has traveled across Europe quite a few times since he was young and recently started his mission to visit every country in the world! Igor’s favorite thing about traveling is the way he gets to know new people, food, places and cultures.
This exciting experience helps him create his own stories and make memories that will last forever