Dining in Key West is a multi-cultural adventure for your tastebuds. As people from Cuba, the Bahamas and other locales settled in Key West long ago, there was a natural blending of flavors that formed the beginnings of new world cuisine. While you may find a few chains on the island, most of the restaurants here are small gems with talented chefs using fresh ingredients like hogfish, Florida lobster, Key West pink shrimp, Key lime, passion fruit, pineapple, avocado and mango.
For authentic Cuban cuisine, look no further than El Meson de Pepe off of Mallory Square where the mojitos are strong and the pork spiced to perfection. The upscale Hot Tin Roof at Ocean Key Resort turns up the heat a little bit more with a Pan-Latin menu and dishes like homemade chorizo and paella. For more Caribbean-inspired items, Blue Heaven in Bahama Village turns out an amazing jerk chicken–not to mention a world-famous Key lime pie. Some top restaurants in Key West are no more than shacks like BO’s Fish Wagon, which has one of the best fish sandwiches in town. At Half Shell Raw Bar, fresh seafood unloaded right there at the docks takes center stage. When you’re ready to cool things down, Duetto has the best gelato on the island made fresh each day. Here are just 10 of the fabulous restaurants that Key West has to offer near the cruise port. Be brave and try something new. You’ll be glad you did.