Welcome to Key West, the southernmost point of the continental United States! This tropical paradise is located at the end of the Florida Keys, a chain of islands that stretches over 100 miles off the southern coast of Florida.
With its crystal-clear waters, powdery white sand beaches, and vibrant coral reefs, Key West is a popular destination for tourists and locals alike.
Visitors and locals alike are often on the hunt for the best restaurants to experience the best lunch in Key West in the area to enjoy a delicious lunch.
From fresh seafood to sandwiches and salads, the options in Key West restaurants are endless. With so many great choices, it can be hard to decide where to go.
That’s why we’ve put together this guide to help you find the best restaurants for lunch in Key West.
From casual eateries to upscale dining experiences, we’ve rounded up the top lunch spots in the area.
Whether you’re looking for a quick bite on the go or a leisurely meal with friends and family, there’s something for everyone on this list.
So, read on to discover the best restaurants for lunch in Key West and make your next meal one to remember.
Table of Contents
My Top 3 Picks for the Best Lunch in Key West
|Restaurant||Top Pick||Our Rating|
|El Siboney Restaurant||Teriyaki Chicken||5/5|
|Kaya Island Eats||Jerk Chicken||4.5/5|
|The Lobster Shack Key West||Lobster Roll||4/5|
The Best Lunch In Key West
832 Caroline St., Key West, FL 33040, United States // +13052948744
Harpoon Harry’s is an excellent place to eat lunch in Key West. Many visitors come because they believe it is the best part of Key West, and they are correct.
Ask anyone who has dined at Harpoon Harry’s; everything about it is amazing.
This restaurant has been open for a long time and is located on lower Caroline Street. From the outside, the restaurant appears little and quaint, but inside it can feel like you’re in an old wonderful wooden cabin.
This restaurant is popular among locals since it provides delicious fish. Inside, the personnel are also fairly nice, which contributes to the cheerful mood.
It’s a weird little restaurant that goes all the way back back to 1950s and 1960s diners. We had a fantastic waitress and saw that the entire service team was running around trying to keep up with the orders.
We ate sandwiches that were both tasty and filling. The open-faced steak sandwich was the special of the day, and I had the Reuben.
I liked that it was located in a downtown kind of district near parking rather than right on the coast. Don’t pass this place up; it’s fantastic!!
7305, 207 Petronia St. #101, Key West, FL 33040, United States // +13052967691
A colorful stroll through Bahama Village leads to this bright and charming lunch restaurant in Key West hidden behind stunning greenery.
Their delectable Spanish tapas are the ideal size for a simple lunch, and the indoor seating offers welcome relief from the midday sun.
This restaurant is extremely popular at night, and reservations are required. Lunchtime moves at a slower pace, and you should be able to saunter in on your own time.
The menu is filled with a variety of mouth-watering Spanish and Latin American dishes, including paella, empanadas, and ceviche.
The flavors are out of this world, and the quantities are ample. The staff is also extremely nice and helpful, going out of their way to ensure that you have a memorable eating experience.
Tapas can mean uncomfortably little plates at certain restaurants, but the quantities at Santiago’s are ample.
I highly recommend trying their Saganaki—halloumi cheese dusted with oregano and flambeed with brandy.
Fresh Yellowfin Ceviche, marinated in fiery citrus juice and served with fresh avocado, mango, and cilantro, is another dish you should try.
The homemade bread pudding with caramel bourbon sauce just feels right at the end of the meal.
Overall, Santiago’s Bodega is a must-visit spot for anyone in Key West looking for great food and a warm, welcoming atmosphere. I highly recommend it!
Blue Heaven is one of the most incredible lunch places in Key West to try Cuban cuisine. They are just two blocks away from the Key West Lighthouse in the middle of downtown Key West.
They are easy to notice at night because of the rainbow lights illuminating the facade.
Blue Heaven is an al fresco dining establishment, which means you sit outside beneath the shade of palm trees and exotic flora.
Chickens and cats wander the grounds, trees grow up and over ancient, rusting ovens, and live music is performed daily.
The menu at Blue Heaven is quite extensive, with a variety of seafood, meats, and vegetarian options.
The dishes were all very flavorful and expertly prepared. We ordered grilled snapper and shrimp and grits. They were delicious!
Their key lime pie is also a must-try; it’s creamy, tart, and the perfect way to finish a meal.
The staff at Blue Heaven is friendly and attentive; they make sure you have a great time and are well taken care of. The restaurant is a bit busy during peak hours, but it’s worth the wait.
Overall, I strongly recommend Blue Heaven to anyone looking for a pleasant and tasty eating experience in Key West. The environment is upbeat and enjoyable, the cuisine is wonderful, and the staff is welcoming.
Moondog is a welcoming bakery cafe located near the famous Hemingway House that serves inventive meals and pleasant libations.
Dine in at Moondog for a fun and fashionable lunch in downtown Key West.
With its rattan lighting and colorful mural, the interior is cleverly constructed to look like a modern, stylish beach cafe. Even the bright seats in the alfresco area add to the atmosphere.
Moondog Cafe’s food is really wonderful. I had the opportunity to try several of their meals, and each one was better than the last.
My friend loved his Moondog Burger, while I enjoyed The John Wayne burger. The medium-rare burgers were cooked to perfection.
But it was the excellent customer service that truly stuck out to me. The staff was friendly and helpful, going above and beyond to ensure that my stay was pleasant.
They were happy to answer any questions I had about the menu and even made a special recommendation for me to try.
I can’t wait to return and sample more of their wonderful fare while also taking in the warm and welcoming ambiance. Moondog Cafe is unquestionably a must-see for lunch in Key West.
900 Catherine St., Key West, FL 33040, United States // +13052964184
Sometimes the best food comes from the most basic, no-frills venues, and El Siboney is no exception.
You might walk right past the brick building because it blends in with the nearby residential dwellings.
This Key West restaurant in the heart of Old Town offers a casual vibe, but try their ropa vieja and tell us it isn’t some of the best you’ve had outside of Havana! Their roasted pork is also highly recommended.
El Siboney delivers some of the best Cuban food in Key West. They’ve been in business since 1984.
My friend ordered the shrimp with garlic butter and the same sides as me, while I had the teriyaki chicken with French fries.
Our dinners were really fantastic! The chicken was so tender, and it was so tasty. My friend and I both also enjoyed the plantains as a side.
You should definitely try this Key West lunch restaurant if you haven’t already.
1211 Duval St., Key West, FL 33040, United States // +13059165445
Want a lunch with a Parisian flair? La Grignote is the only place to go!
This Key West lunch favorite makes everything from scratch; they bake their own bread and croissants daily and produce various pastries throughout the week, including Danishes, cookies, and more.
A visit to La Grignote will be memorable for weeks to come, only for the fresh pastries.
We walked the entire length of Duval Street to get to La Grignote for lunch after a few hours of exploring. I really recommend it.
I had a French variation of a Cuban Sandwich while my friend enjoyed a homemade chicken pot pie. We also split a pastry, the most incredible carrot cake I’ve ever had, which we both enjoyed.
The setting is ideal for eating a delicious comfort meal in the morning, complete with a charming outside and a cozy interior. An amazing spot worth visiting!
The Lobster Shack is a seafood lover’s paradise! The delightful smells of fresh seafood greeted me, and the sound of the ocean in the background the instant I went in.
The atmosphere is casual and laid-back, perfect for a relaxing meal with friends or family.
The menu at The Lobster Shack is absolutely mouth-watering. I had the opportunity to try their famous lobster roll for lunch in Key West, and it was delicious.
The lobster was perfectly cooked, and the roll was buttered and toasted to perfection. I also tried the crab cakes, and they were just as delicious. They were crispy on the outside and filled with juicy crab meat on the inside.
I can’t wait to go back and try more of their delicious seafood and enjoy the relaxed atmosphere. The Lobster Shack is the best lunch in Key West for seafood lovers.
628 Duval St. Rear, Key West, FL 33040, United States // +13053950213
You are immediately transported to a tropical paradise as soon as you step inside this place. The environment is bright and positive, ideal for the best lunch in Key West with friends.
The menu at Kaya Island Eats is absolutely delicious. The flavors were bold and authentic, a true representation of Caribbean cuisine.
I highly recommend the jerk chicken; it was perfectly seasoned and cooked to a mouth-watering tenderness. The plantains were also a great side dish; they were crispy and sweet.
My friend ordered the blackened Killer Fish Tacos, which were delicious. He couldn’t close the tacos because they were so full of Mahi. Amazing!
We finished the meal by sharing a slice of key lime pie. This pie is prepared in-house and has a custard flavor to it; it’s pretty good.
But it was the outstanding customer service that truly stuck out to me. The staff was polite and helpful, and they went above and beyond to make my stay enjoyable.
I can’t wait to return and try more of their wonderful food while also enjoying the colorful ambiance. Kaya Island Eats offers the best lunch in Key West for a memorable eating experience.
1400 Duval St., Key West, FL 33040, United States // +13053408167
This is my favorite option for the best lunch in Key West. The food is excellent. They have the finest conch fritters and coconut shrimp on the island.
I have to say that even under challenging conditions, their staff shines. I was amazed!
The atmosphere was upscale and sophisticated, making it perfect for a special occasion or a delicious lunch on the island.
We had the Conch Fritters, which were some of the greatest we’d ever had. They were fried to just the correct crispiness on the exterior and not doughy on the inside (like some I’ve had); it appears like they were flattened a touch before frying, so the inside was more thoroughly cooked.
The Key Lime Pie with the Pina Colada topping was very delicious. It wasn’t overly lime-y, just right, and the consistency was more like a cheesecake than a runny pie, as key lime can sometimes be.
I can’t wait to return and enjoy more of their delicious food while admiring the magnificent ocean views and classy setting.
I highly recommend Seaside Cafe at the Mansion in Key West for anyone looking for an upscale and unforgettable dining experience.
What type of food is most popular in Key West?
Key West is known for its seafood, specifically fresh fish and shellfish such as shrimp, conch, and stone crab.
Many restaurants in the area feature these local seafood staples on their menus.
Additionally, the Caribbean influence on Key West’s cuisine is also a popular choice, with dishes like jerk chicken and conch fritters being prevalent in the area.
Are there any vegetarian or vegan options in Key West?
Yes, there are vegetarian and vegan options available in Key West. Many restaurants offer vegetarian or vegan versions of their dishes, and there are also several vegan-only eateries and food trucks in the area.
Are there any food festivals or events in Key West?
Yes, there are several food festivals and events in Key West throughout the year, such as the annual Key West Food and Wine Festival, the Key West Seafood Festival, and the Fantasy Fest Street Fair, which features food vendors serving a variety of dishes.
Are there any must-try dishes in Key West?
Some must-try dishes in Key West include
- Key Lime pie, a classic dessert made with the small, tart Key Lime fruit.
- Conch fritters, a popular seafood dish made with deep-fried balls of ground conch meat and vegetables.
- Stone crab, a seasonal delicacy caught in the waters surrounding Key West.
- Paella, a traditional Spanish dish made with saffron-infused rice, seafood, and other meats or vegetables.
Conclusion: Best Lunch in Key West
In conclusion, Key West, Florida, is a food lover’s paradise! With its unique blend of Caribbean, Cuban, and American flavors, you’re sure to find a restaurant that will tantalize your taste buds.
From fresh seafood to traditional Key West lunch fare, there’s something for everyone to enjoy.
Whether you’re looking for a romantic evening out or a casual meal with friends and family, the restaurants in Key West are sure to impress.
No matter what kind of food you’re in the mood for, you’re sure to find the best lunch in Key West that will leave you with an unforgettable experience.
So, if you’re planning a trip to Key West, be sure to include some of these amazing restaurants on your itinerary. You won’t be disappointed!
Visiting other destinations in Florida? Check out our other guides:
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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