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Key West Dining

Key Lime Pie Hot Spots
Key West Dining
From Cuban eateries to conch fritters and Key lime pie, Key West is paradise for food lovers, with a dining scene serving up a diverse blend of flavors and fantastic seafood.
By Leeann Murphy, AFAR Local Expert
Photo courtesy of Bob Krist/Florida Keys News Bureau
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    Key Lime Pie Hot Spots
    Key Lime Pie Hot Spots
    First introduced to Florida by Spanish explorers, Key limes are the not-so-secret ingredient behind the state’s official dessert, the Key lime pie. Pie shops are scattered around Key West, but you can find the quintessential slice of sweet-tart pie topped with meringue at Blue Heaven in Bahama Village. Santiago's Bodega, known mostly for tasty tapas, also serves a creamy pie that will have you ordering seconds.
    Photo courtesy of Bob Krist/Florida Keys News Bureau
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    Island Bar-Hopping
    Island Bar-Hopping
    It doesn’t need to be nightfall for bars to get busy in Key West—there’s plenty of music and a festive ambiance throughout the day. The real action, however, gets going later in the evening when Duval Street transforms into a rowdy party. Start at Mallory Square and make your way down the street, stopping in bars to hear music and check out the scene. Don't miss the side streets, though, which often have their own special vibe. The Green Parrot on Whitehead Street is a local hangout worth a visit.
    Photo by Franz Marc Frei/age fotostock
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    Leisurely Brunch Spots
    Leisurely Brunch Spots
    Extended brunches fit nicely into the rhythms of Key West. You can find excellent brunch options at restaurants and hotels, both indoors and on shady patios. Blue Heaven serves a great brunch but gets packed on the weekends, so arrive early and sit outside to watch the roosters as you enjoy your meal. Other popular choices include Azur Restaurant, known for Key lime French toast.
    Photo by age fotostock
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    Dine in a Historic Home
    Dine in a Historic Home
    While Key West is known for its island vibe, its Old Town architecture also adds to the city’s charm. Gingerbread Victorian mansions and conch houses with tin roofs line narrow streets; many of them have been transformed into hotels, shops, and restaurants. The multitude of eateries housed in these mansions have wraparound balconies perfect for people-watching and enjoying the island atmosphere. The Porch and The Other Side are both spots for drinks if you want a chance to linger in a historic plantation house.
    Photo courtesy of Nine One Five
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    Eating Conch in the Conch Republic
    Eating Conch in the Conch Republic
    While some longtime residents in Key West refer to themselves as Conchs, the actual mollusks are enthusiastically eaten here in a variety of forms, including the popular spicy, tomato-based conch chowder and fried conch fritters. Much of the seafood in Key West is fresh from the area, but the once-common queen conch is no longer harvested in Key West. You can still find it on menus all around town, though, and it's prepared just right at Hogfish Bar and Grill or Half Shell Raw Bar.
    Photo courtesy of Conch Republic Seafood Company
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    Culinary & Culture Tours
    Culinary & Culture Tours
    It’s no surprise that foodies love Key West. From street stands to more elegant spots, and from brunch to a late bite after a night out, the city offers rich culinary options. Fresh seafood, French fare, traditional Southern recipes, and, of course, Key lime pie all play a role in the city’s heritage. Several tours explore the culinary and cocktail culture that thrives in this steamy climate, visiting restaurants, specialty shops, and bars. Decide whether you want to tour on foot or by trolley, or conduct your own tour, tasting and sipping your way through town at your leisure.
    Photo courtesy of Historic Tours of America