Eating at the Beach

The Florida Keys — just a short, scenic drive from Miami yet a world away. This string of islands, each distinct in its unique atmosphere and offerings, provides the perfect respite from city life. Pick a Key and find the key to paradise, where shorts and flip flops are the required attire and unwinding, recharging and relaxing are a way of life. The drive to the Keys affords 360 degree views of the ocean and multiple dining options to fit every budget and palate.

Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. The Fish House

102341 Overseas Hwy
Key Largo, FL 33037
(305) 451-0650

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The first stop on any Keys road trip, the Fish House is close enough to the mainland that locals can get the Keys experience without going too far. The restaurant features local seafood including yellowtail snapper, mahi mahi, grouper, Florida lobster, and stone crabs. The family friendly atmosphere embraces the casual “Keys lifestyle.” And don’t miss the conch salad, which is a favorite on-the-go choice.

2. M.E.A.T. Eatery and Taproom

88005 Overseas Hwy
Islamorada, FL 33036
(305) 852-3833

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Counter service restaurant, M.E.A.T. Eatery And Taproom, is the brainchild of restaurateurs chef George Patti and sommelier Tom Smith. On the menu expect dishes like the Inside Out Juicy Lucy burger, smoked pulled pork, lobster rolls, and wings and pork rinds that were featured on Diners Drive-Ins and Dives, plus sodas, floats and desserts.

3. Lorelei Restaurant & Cabana Bar

81924 Overseas Hwy
Islamorada, FL
(305) 664-2692

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Rustic, outdoor, restaurant and bar, Lorelei hosts a daily sunset party complete with live music, casual fare and views of the sunset over the ocean. The place gets packed daily and offers seating on a first-come, first-served basis. Lorelei is great for families with young children, who will enjoy wading in the shallow water searching for hermit crabs while mom and dad throw back a few as the sun sinks below the horizon.

4. Pierre’s

81600 Overseas Hwy
Islamorada, FL
(305) 664-3225

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While casual, “toes in the sand,” restaurants abound in the Keys, Pierre’s sets the bar high for fine dining in the area. Top dishes include the rack of lamb, seared scallops, octopus tiradito, along with a must-try key lime tart. Downstairs, Pierre’s boasts a sexy lounge, the Green Flash Lounge, perfect for a nightcap and for late night dancing on Friday and Saturday nights.

5. Chef Michael’s

81671 Old Highway
Islamorada, FL
(305) 664-0640

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Home of the hogfish — it’s even on the sign — Chef Michael’s serves the largest variety of fish in Islamorada. The charming restaurant is packed from opening to closing daily but diners who plan ahead will be rewarded with Chef Michael’s creatively prepared Florida Keys cuisine. The hogfish tends to sell out quickly, but steaks are another popular choice along with its key lime pie.

6. Morada Bay Beach Cafe

81600 Overseas Hwy
Islamorada, FL
(305) 664-0604

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The Morada Bay Beach Café & Bar is a café set in the sand, right on the beach. The cafe is the carefree, casual sister restaurant to the upscale, adjacent Pierre’s. The Café’s menu combines Caribbean and American cuisines to create a menu with dishes like crab stuffed lobster and tuna tacos. And if the space looks familiar it’s because it has served as a filming location for the Netflix drama series, Bloodline, which has filmed throughout the upper Keys.

7. Lazy Days Restaurant

79867 Overseas Hwy
Islamorada, FL
(305) 664-5256

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Located in the heart of Islamorada, Lazy Days offers oceanfront dining in a laid back atmosphere. Situated right on the sand, Lazy Days invites guests to stay for a while, enjoying a wide variety of seafood dishes prepared Lazy Days style: Panko-crusted and drenched in key lime butter and garlic sauce. The menu also includes burgers, pastas, alligator bites, cracked conch and scads of other island favorites. The restaurant is located near Robbie’s, where guests can feed giant tarpon and near Bud and Mary’s Marina, ground zero for sport-fishing charters, Lazy Days is a solid spot to eat after nearby adventures.

8. Angler & Ale at Hawks Cay Resort

(888) 395-5539

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Housed inside the expansive Hawks Cay Resort, Angler & Ale offers panoramic water views along with a variety of dishes like broiled Florida lobster, grouper cheeks, whole roasted snapper and a “Hook N Cook” option, allowing guests to bring in their fresh catch and have a chef prepare and cook it. Angler & Ale also has an extensive beer selection with signature Angler’s Ale brew and enough cocktail options to keep guests in the Keys state of mind, seven days a week.

9. Keys Fisheries

3502 Gulfview Ave
Marathon, FL 33050
(305) 743-4353

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This casual island favorite is the front house for one of the coast’s largest fish exporters. Therefore, the food is literally “fresh off the boat.” Locals swarm here for no-frílls seafood creations. Those in the know head upstairs for $2 stone crabs during season along with an order of its much talked about Lobster Reuben.

Lobster Reuben line
Keys Fisheries/Facebook

10. Barracuda Grill

4290 Overseas Hwy
Marathon, FL
(305) 743-3314

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This cozy, family friendly restaurant filled with art and decor from local artists is a favorite among locals and Keys regulars. For more than a decade the restaurant has been a reliable destination for seafood like shrimp scampi, sweet and spicy snapper, and scallops large enough to share, plus entrees like seared duck and cooked-just-right racks of lamb. Unlike most Keys restaurants, reservations are strongly encouraged but take out options are also available.

11. Square Grouper Bar and Grill

22658 Overseas Hwy.
Cudjoe Key, FL
(305) 745-8880

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As addictive as the “square” after which it’s humorously named, Square Grouper is located 22 miles north of Key West, on Cudjoe Key. A destination unto itself, its menu offers a large selection of small plates like fried conch and buffalo shrimp, blue plate specials, sliders, salads, and desserts like its “magical” brownie and fondue.

12. The Thirsty Mermaid

521 Fleming St
Key West, FL
(305) 204-4828

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An oyster-lovers paradise, the Thirsty Mermaid features a broad selection of oysters from the east and west coasts, which rotate daily. Plus the menu includes interesting twists like caviar service, a lobster BLT, skirt steak, plus a thorough selection of wines and craft beers.

13. Blue Heaven

729 Thomas St
Key West, FL
(305) 296-8666

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To dine at Blue Heaven is to experience a meal in the backyard of a quirky Keys native. Eclectic accents are scattered throughout this century-old historic home with its signature bright blue shutters, shady trees, colorful umbrellas and a spattering of roosters, that wander the property freely, and are certainly a throwback to the old days. Breakfast is a popular choice and draws a large crowd waiting to dine on dishes like lobster Benedict, pancakes topped with items like bananas and pineapples, and its lobster and grits.

Famous key lime pie
Blue Heaven/Facebook

7. Lazy Days Restaurant

79867 Overseas Hwy
Islamorada, FL
(305) 664-5256

Visit Website

Located in the heart of Islamorada, Lazy Days offers oceanfront dining in a laid back atmosphere. Situated right on the sand, Lazy Days invites guests to stay for a while, enjoying a wide variety of seafood dishes prepared Lazy Days style: Panko-crusted and drenched in key lime butter and garlic sauce. The menu also includes burgers, pastas, alligator bites, cracked conch and scads of other island favorites. The restaurant is located near Robbie’s, where guests can feed giant tarpon and near Bud and Mary’s Marina, ground zero for sport-fishing charters, Lazy Days is a solid spot to eat after nearby adventures.

8. Angler & Ale at Hawks Cay Resort

(888) 395-5539

Visit Website

Housed inside the expansive Hawks Cay Resort, Angler & Ale offers panoramic water views along with a variety of dishes like broiled Florida lobster, grouper cheeks, whole roasted snapper and a “Hook N Cook” option, allowing guests to bring in their fresh catch and have a chef prepare and cook it. Angler & Ale also has an extensive beer selection with signature Angler’s Ale brew and enough cocktail options to keep guests in the Keys state of mind, seven days a week.

9. Keys Fisheries

3502 Gulfview Ave
Marathon, FL 33050
(305) 743-4353

Visit Website

This casual island favorite is the front house for one of the coast’s largest fish exporters. Therefore, the food is literally “fresh off the boat.” Locals swarm here for no-frílls seafood creations. Those in the know head upstairs for $2 stone crabs during season along with an order of its much talked about Lobster Reuben.

Lobster Reuben line
Keys Fisheries/Facebook

10. Barracuda Grill

4290 Overseas Hwy
Marathon, FL
(305) 743-3314

Visit Website

This cozy, family friendly restaurant filled with art and decor from local artists is a favorite among locals and Keys regulars. For more than a decade the restaurant has been a reliable destination for seafood like shrimp scampi, sweet and spicy snapper, and scallops large enough to share, plus entrees like seared duck and cooked-just-right racks of lamb. Unlike most Keys restaurants, reservations are strongly encouraged but take out options are also available.

11. Square Grouper Bar and Grill

22658 Overseas Hwy.
Cudjoe Key, FL
(305) 745-8880

Visit Website

As addictive as the “square” after which it’s humorously named, Square Grouper is located 22 miles north of Key West, on Cudjoe Key. A destination unto itself, its menu offers a large selection of small plates like fried conch and buffalo shrimp, blue plate specials, sliders, salads, and desserts like its “magical” brownie and fondue.

12. The Thirsty Mermaid

521 Fleming St
Key West, FL
(305) 204-4828

Visit Website

An oyster-lovers paradise, the Thirsty Mermaid features a broad selection of oysters from the east and west coasts, which rotate daily. Plus the menu includes interesting twists like caviar service, a lobster BLT, skirt steak, plus a thorough selection of wines and craft beers.

13. Blue Heaven

729 Thomas St
Key West, FL
(305) 296-8666

Visit Website

To dine at Blue Heaven is to experience a meal in the backyard of a quirky Keys native. Eclectic accents are scattered throughout this century-old historic home with its signature bright blue shutters, shady trees, colorful umbrellas and a spattering of roosters, that wander the property freely, and are certainly a throwback to the old days. Breakfast is a popular choice and draws a large crowd waiting to dine on dishes like lobster Benedict, pancakes topped with items like bananas and pineapples, and its lobster and grits.

Famous key lime pie
Blue Heaven/Facebook
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