Viewers decide the nominees for greatest cafe in Key West


Blue Heaven is among the finalists in a reader’s poll of Key West’s very best dining places.

We questioned you to support us uncover the very best restaurant in Key West — a big check with in a tiny city brimming with prime-notch dining selections.

You answered in droves.

Thanks to anyone who took the time to aid us narrow this down. Listed here we current the major 16 eating options on the island, in accordance to reader submissions.

But now arrives the exciting element: We are heading to make these 16 dining establishments go head to head in a common vote until eventually voters finally decide on Essential West’s cuisine champ.

Just try to remember, this is a just-for-enjoyable readers poll. Individuals can vote as lots of instances as they want, but robots simply cannot (even though they will attempt). The grand prize is nothing but bragging legal rights, which is not seriously a negative prize at all.

The Sweet 16

Blue Heaven: This longtime spot in Bahama Village, a historic Black neighborhood in Vital West, is well-known for its seafood entrees, Sunday brunch and Key lime pie, which is piled significant with meringue. Out of doors seating contains a rooster or two and stray cat roaming the grounds.

Café Solé: Just a bit off the crushed path of Duval Avenue, this cozy location has you included in the French cuisine office. The menu is loaded with locally caught fish, which includes yellowtail snapper, mutton snapper and a Florida spiny lobster tail.

El Siboney: A Critical West traditional that opened in 1984, this Cuban restaurant has two areas — just one in Aged City and the newer place on Stock Island. Identified for its roast pork, “El Siboney steak,” and Cuban combine, it’s a regular beloved for locals, also.

Little Pearl: Chef John Ingelsby, who has labored in the Crucial West restaurant scene for far more than 20 many years, is govt chef and section proprietor of this very small area acknowledged for fine dining with tropical touches. The wine listing is serious.

Lola’s: This tiny bistro with superior-stop fare delivers two seatings per night so you want to call forward for a table. The altering menu features nearby fish. Convey your individual beverages — if you want anything at all other than water. Income only.

Louie’s Backyard: This oceanfront Victorian splendor has for many years been a measuring stick for other high-quality dining contenders. The key restaurant is related to the Afterdeck Bar, with fantastic views of the sunset, and the upstairs Cafe at Louie’s that serves tiny plates. Chef Doug Shook has been serving up dishes like Critical West pink shrimp and yellowtail snapper, for 30 yrs.

Mangia Mangia: The title claims it all. Homemade pasta and sauces prime the menu with other Italian-American dishes at this Southard Street location. Opt for the dining room or the outdoor patio.

Mangoes: It often feels like a bash at this open-air Duval Avenue eatery with a streetside bar. The menu consists of Caribbean flavors and appetizers selection from nachos to lobster mac and cheese.

Off the Hook: Housed by the historic seaport, this indoor/out of doors cafe has day-to-day dinner specials together with its coconut shrimp, lobster and shrimp mac and cheese and pizzas. Glimpse for satisfied hour-priced plates and drinks. And the menu has a pair items for your dog, such as a “bacon ice cube bone.”

Onlywood: This Italian eatery has two destinations: the pizzeria trattoria off Duval Road and the Onlywood Grill on Caroline Street. They have different menus. The Duval restaurant features an spectacular brick oven that reaches 1,000 levels to make their Neapolitan-model pizzas. They have a listing of particular pies, alongside with salads.

Pepe’s: Important West cafe historical past pretty much commences at Pepe’s, which opened in 1909 and offers that it is the oldest cafe in the Keys and the next-oldest in Florida. They provide breakfast, lunch and dinner daily. With its rustic, laid-again come to feel, this spot recalls the island’s previous days. Steaks and pork chops are evening meal favorites.

Santiago’s Bodega: Smaller plates are king at this Bahama Village hot location. On the chilly side, standouts are beef carpaccio and yellowfin tuna ceviche. The scorching menu has meatballs, beef tenderloin with blue cheese butter, a “petite rack” of lamb, and dates loaded with goat cheese and wrapped in prosciutto.

Sarabeth’s: This James Beard Award winner has an in depth brunch menu and meal entrees that incorporate a grilled “Cowboy steak,” mussels, yellowfin tuna and limited ribs. Found in an cute aged dwelling on a corner near to Duval Road, it gives American classics with island fashion.

7 Fish: For about 20 a long time, this seafood mainstay has served fresh new fish as signature dishes. The Thai Curry Snapper stands out together with the beloved staple meatloaf. Sushi is on the menu. The contemporary exterior and airy dining room are a much cry from its commence inside a very small setting up that is now Tiny Pearl.

Tavern N City: Situated proper off the lobby of the Critical West Marriott Beachside Resort, Tavern N City is where by the locals brave North Roosevelt Boulevard to discover Wagyu burgers and steaks in a contemporary dining room. The bar presents tapas and consume specials and live audio.

Viva Steakhouse: Viva costs by itself as the very first and only Argentinian steakhouse in Vital West. Proper on Duval Road within a fabled historic making, the menu includes grassfed beef, pasta dishes and seafood. The substantial outside patio enables you to men and women enjoy, love dwell music or hold a personal celebration.

This tale was initially printed May 24, 2022 6:00 AM.

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Profile Image of Gwen Filosa

Gwen Filosa covers Crucial West and the Decrease Florida Keys for and the Miami Herald and life in Crucial West. She was section of the staff members at the New Orleans Instances-Picayune that in 2005 received two Pulitzer Prizes for coverage of Hurricane Katrina. She graduated from Indiana University.

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