Where Insiders Eat in Key West

Key West is a food-lover’s paradise, with a unique island cuisine that offers regional specialties. A steady supply of tourists keeps many restaurants busy—but where do the locals eat? To discover where Key West flavor gets all the necessary thumbs ups, these are our recommendations on where insiders eat in Key West. 

Blue Heaven: Landmark establishment with a colorful atmosphere

Started by a writer and artist in the early 90s, Blue Heaven opened up on a property that used to sell illegal spirits, host cock fighting events, and have Friday night boxing matches refereed by Ernest Hemingway. Today, you can dine in its historic courtyard with roosters crowing all around. 

The history is certainly part of what makes Blue Heaven an insider favorite, but so is the cuisine from chef David Dorsty. Breakfast has locally-inspired benedicts with lime hollandaise and Key West pink shrimp. Lunch and dinner have more favorites like shrimp and grits and Florida Spiny lobster and the ocals say, the key lime pie here is one of the best. 

Blue Heaven. 729 Thomas St. 

El Siboney Restaurant: Traditional Cuban in a Friendly Setting

Key West is as close as you can get to Cuba without leaving the United States, so it makes sense that a top-rated Cuban restaurant is on this list. El Siboney will make you feel like you’ve hopped over to Havana and found a nice family to treat you to a traditional meal. The home-cooking-inspired menu, casual atmosphere, and housemade sangria all combine to make this a favorite. 

When you navigate the large menu at the Key West El Siboney, follow your heart. You can go local with a grilled pork chop and shrimp. The Cubano sandwich and the boliche—Cuban roast beef—are both to die for. This is also one of the top places on the island to grab a cup of Cuban coffee. 

El Siboney Restaurant. 900 Catherine St. 

Garbo’s Grill: Key West’s favorite food truck 

Garbo’s is a husband-and-wife run food truck that’s become a local favorite since opening in 2009. You can order tacos or burritos. We’re partial to the Yum Yum Shrimp, which comes with mango-ginger-habanero glazed shrimp. Or order the burgers and hot dogs. We recommend the Kogidog with homemade kimchi, sesame mayo, fried cheese, and veggies. 

Garbo’s Grill. 409 Caroline St. 

Discover More of Key West

Planning a foodie inspired getaway to the Florida Keys? Explore our local recommendations on The Parrot Press. And, after a long day of exploring, if going out seems like too much, don’t miss The Grove Kitchen & Bar, right here at Parrot Key Hotel & Villas. Our full-service restaurant serves classic island flavors and festive cuisine in an elegant tropical setting. Hope to see you soon!

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