When visiting the Florida Keys and Key West, you must seek out a classic fish shack for at least one of your meals. It’s an experience you won’t forget. Most of these eateries like Hogfish Bar & Grill and Half Shell Raw Bar offer open-air dining on rustic picnic tables with waterside views. The large thatched tiki, Sunset Grille, even has a stellar sunset view in the shadow of the Seven Mile Bridge. Expect casual service, plastic silverware and a minimal dress code.
One of the most important features of these Old Florida Keys throwbacks--they serve the freshest seafood at great prices. Often this means a close relationship with the local fishermen. MA’s Fish Camp’s two founding owners were both former professional fishermen with strong ties down at the docks. At the Hungry Tarpon at Robbie’s Marina, you can even catch your meal on one of their fishing charters, and Keys Fisheries is truly boat-to-table dining.
BO’s Fish Wagon, tucked underneath a junker car, is the epitome of fish shack decor. While it may look as if their ceiling will collapse at any moment, their cracked conch sandwich is a delightful surprise. Some of these low-key spots like the Conch Shack and Garbo’s Grill aren’t even quite restaurants. They’re hidden gems with specialties such as conch fritters and fish tacos that will have you coming back for more.