Cuban to custom roast, these java joints start your day off right

Getting your caffeine fix in the Florida Keys means more than just strolling into a Starbucks and ordering up a venti Frappuccino. From Islamorada to Key West, walk-up windows at Cuban cafes and mom-and-pop shops that roast their own beans offer a sense of time and place that no chain store could ever duplicate. Institutions such as Sandy’s, Cuban Coffee Queen and Five Brothers honor the Cuban culture of Key West, offering up high-test brews with no fuss, no muss. Step up to the window and order a colada, an espresso-style shot to share, or a café con leche, a Latin latte with steamed milk. Coffee houses like Baby’s, Cafe Moka and Midway Cafe take pride in roasting their own blends with fun names like Hemingway's Hair of the Dog and Conch Republic Coffee. For the health- and earth-conscious individuals, Lush Bar and Help Yourself both serve up organic and Fair Trade roasts with specialty sweeteners and milks to meet all dietary needs. The Coffee Plantation and the Original Coffee and Tea House both provide a cool oasis to sit a spell, read the newspaper and catch up on the local gossip. Match one of these ten java joints to your mood, and start your day off right.



At the halfway point between Miami and Key West, the appropriately named Midway Cafe offers breakfast, lunch and a full coffee bar. This funky little spot in Islamorada offers a convenient fuel-stop on the way to Key West or a regular breakfast...  Read More



Near mile marker 15 just north of Key West, keep watch for the sign with a wide eye, reminiscent of a Santeria talisman. Baby's Coffee is a must-stop on the way in and out of Key West. They've been roasting and serving up some of the best brews...  Read More

Original Coffee and Tea House
Photo courtesy of Original Coffee and Tea House


A cool respite just off of Duval Street, this coffee and tea house is an inviting spot to sip and sit awhile with a friendly local vibe. Beat the heat with an iced coffee, latte, mocha or cappuccino, which won't get watered down thanks to the...  Read More

Help Yourself Cafe
Photo courtesy of Lacey Marie Scee


Tucked away on a side street in Old Town, Help Yourself is a colorful natural food market and cafe in a re-purposed gas station. If you like your coffee organic with a wide variety of of milks and sweeteners that meet any dietary need, this is...  Read More

Duval Street


Hidden at the back of Key West's Green Pineapple boutique on Duval Street, you'll find the organic cafe--date & thyme. A satellite of the larger store and cafe on Fleming Street, they offer coffee, fresh smoothies and juices bound to give...  Read More

Upper Keys
Cafe Moka
Photo courtesy of Cafe Moka


Looking for a pick-me-up on the road to Key West? Café Moka in Tavernier provides a touch of France with fresh quiche, pastries and coffee made with in-house roasted beans. The flavorful almond croissants get rave reviews and are often the...  Read More

Coffee Plantation
Photo courtesy of Coffee Plantation


This Caribbean-style coffee shop is a mix of coffee house, art gallery, real estate office and Internet café. Owners Theo and Diane Glorie have played host at this little spot in the historic seaport district since 2005. They've created a homey...  Read More



For over 26 years, locals have been lining up outside this grocery store's grab-and-go window for authentic Cuban coffee and sandwiches. Even tourists have gotten hip to this spot off the beaten path, the adventurous seek it out at the corner of...  Read More



Get your day started at Sandy's Café, a small Cuban restaurant at the end of the M& M Laundry building on White Street. Yes, you read right. It's at a laundromat. Let this be your introduction to the funky synergy of Key West. Step up to the...  Read More



Located in front of the harbor, this little outdoor stand is loved by locals and tourists alike. Their cafe con leche is not to be missed, and if you're feeling the heat, you can even get it iced with coffee ice cubes. Paired with delicious...  Read More


Meet Claudia Miller

Claudia Miller has been writing about South Florida for over 17 years--seven from Key Largo. A budding photographer, she can usually be found stalking a sunset. Despite being a tad...  More About Claudia