10. Boondocks Grille & Draft House & Miniature Golf, Ramrod Key
Everyone has to play at least one round of mini-golf when vacationing in Florida. When you’re done, check out the playful menu at Boondocks, featuring fun items like crab-covered soft pretzels, seafood-stuffed mushrooms and crab-infused mac and cheese.
It’s not all about seafood in the Florida Keys. M.E.A.T. provides a break from aquatic-based cuisine with a massive roster of amazing burgers, house-smoked sausages and pulled pork. And there’s also The Home Wrecker: a 1/2 pound Wagyu beef hot dog. The menu certainly lives up to the restaurant’s name.
Part of the experience of being in Key West is taking it slow. There’s no better way to do that than taking your time to enjoy a fresh roasted cup of coffee while savoring unique, handmade donuts. Glazed Donuts uses its geography as inspiration for flavors, as key lime and pina colada donuts are often featured.
Sometimes when you have the freshest ingredients at your doorstep, the best way to prepare the food is with simplicity. At Keys Fisheries you can take in the view of the Keys Fisheries Marina, shop at the market and then watch the sunset while enjoying scallops, shrimp, stone crab, and lobster. If you get a hankering for fresh seafood when you get home check out the online store; they deliver conch, crab, and more.
Kaiyo is the place where the island life meets Asian influence. You’ll find fusion dishes like fried grouper cheeks served with kimchi dipping sauce or hogfish stuffed with crab meat prepared with sake butter and paired with jasmine rice. The entire menu is traditional, with playful, delicious nods to Asian cuisine.
Littered with license plates all over the wall, Mrs. Mac’s has people across the world talking about its key lime pie. The dessert even has garnered national attention, getting a nod from Cosmopolitan Magazine.
It would be a shame to come this close to Cuba without experiencing authentic Cuban food. The menu at El Siboney is complete with traditional items like oxtail with rice and plantains. This family-run eatery aims to end the embargo on home cooked Cuban meals.
You will undoubtedly hear about conch (pronounced ‘konk’) while you are in the Florida Keys. They come prepared in myriad ways and everyone will tell you their favorite style. But why leave it to guesswork? The Conch House has a sampler so you can try the conch ceviche, fritters and cracked conch.
Among the many obligatory must-do’s when in Florida is the raw bar experience. Sit down on one of the Half Shell Raw Bar’s picnic tables, lose yourself staring off at the ocean, and enjoy oysters, clams, and shrimp fresh of the boat.
The Florida Keys are an eccentric place, so the absolute must-see restaurant should reflect that nature. Blue Heaven’s ambiance is full of art, tropical trees and its unofficial mascots: chickens and cats roam the restaurant. The menu is Caribbean-inspired and features items such as jerk chicken and Red Stripe deglazed shrimp.
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