Our Local Experts' Top Selections for Outdoor Dining Venues in Key West, Florida

One of the great things about restaurants in the Florida Keys: outdoor patios are open year-round.  Dining outside adds to the tropical atmosphere and encourages patrons to linger over their meal, enjoy the scenery, or watch the traffic of people passing by. Worries seem to naturally melt away when you’re in no hurry to leave the restaurant. In Key West, there are plenty of options for outdoor dining, but some offer better views and service than others. From legendary breakfast spots like Blue Heaven, to casual bar and grills, we’ve weeded through the island’s eateries and honed down a list of our favorite outdoor venues. Interested in a romantic evening out? Try Louie’s Backyard, or head to the Sunset Key for on-the-sand dining at Latitudes. At the Southernmost Beach Café, don your bathing suit and hit the sand before or after your meal.

For fresh seafood and an old-world Key’s experience, visit Stock Island’s Hogfish Bar and Grill, or Schooner Wharf in the historic seaport. Long time favorites like Pepe’s and Michaels will have you canceling plans to return home, and if you prefer a strong cocktail and the bar scene, Kelly’s Caribbean and newbie The Smokin’ Tuna are serving up fun along with your meal.

Chef Michael Wilson and his wife Melanie add an island twist to Italian and American cuisine. Michaels' steaks are 100% prime beef, flown in from Allen Brothers of Chicago and the seafood selections change nightly. For a special treat, Michaels...  Read More

For a taste of a local hangout that is far removed from Old Town, follow the signs to the Hogfish Bar and Grill, located in Safe Harbor on Stock Island. This open-air, casual restaurant is a diamond-in-the-rough with a lunch menu chock-full of...  Read More

While many parts of Key West have seen modern changes, Schooner Wharf maintains that "old Key West" atmosphere - from the salvage wreckage decor, to the interesting characters that linger around the waterfront. It is also the home of the...  Read More

Sometimes, a high-quality meal takes a little more time work. For a romantic dining experience, take a ferry to a private island for some gorgeous views and exquisite cuisine. Latitudes on Sunset Key offers on-the-sand, white-table cloth dining...  Read More

Southernmost Beach Cafe
Photo courtesy of Latitudes

You don't have to be staying at the Southernmost Hotel to enjoy the ocean view and atmosphere at the Southernmost Beach Cafe. Stroll in from the sand and have a seat in this ultra-casual, open-air restaurant that offers a wide selection of...  Read More

Louie's Backyard is a gem that locals try hard to keep a secret. The cuisine and the outstanding views make for an exquisite dinner - if you can get a reservation - or an elegant lunch. The menu changes quarterly and highlights the fresh fish or...  Read More

In Key West, this restaurant needs little introduction. Enter a private courtyard to find roaming chickens, lounging cats soaking in the sun, and live music lingering in the air. Grab a seat outdoors under the shaded canopy or indoors in the...  Read More

From the outside, Pepe's doesn't look like much, and this restaurant doesn't claim to be anything it's not - which may be why it's been open for more than 100 years.The outdoor patio is the equivalent to an old friend's backyard. Breakfast...  Read More

Smokin' Tuna
Photo courtesy of Smokin' Tuna Saloon

Many of Duval Street's pubs are hole-in-the walls devoid of any natural light, but the Tuna is tucked away on Charles Street, leaving plenty of room for a sprawling outdoor area with a large performance stage and several outdoor tiki-style bars....  Read More


Meet Amber Nolan

Originally from upstate New York, this restless traveler has a knack for befriending interesting characters. You can usually find her just about anywhere that has a hammock. Amber's favorite...  More About Amber