Key West boasts restaurants that combine culinary delights with breathtaking waterfront views, making every meal an experience to remember.
Each spot offers a unique ambiance, ensuring a diverse dining journey for every visitor.
From rustic docks to elegant beachside patios, Key West's waterfront dining scene is as diverse as its sunsets are mesmerizing.
So, if flavors with a view sound enticing, this guide is the perfect companion.
It's time to explore the island's best waterfront eateries that promise more than just a meal—they offer memories.
1. Sunset Pier
Located right at the historic Key West Harbor, Sunset Pier offers more than just a meal; it's an experience.
As the name suggests, dining during sunset here is nothing short of magical.
The colorful decor complements the equally vibrant dishes, from fresh seafood to zesty Caribbean flavors.
Add in the live music, and you have a perfect evening waiting to unfold.
Don't miss their signature seafood platter with stone crab claws, shrimp, ceviche and more.
Refreshing salads like the Tropical Jerk Shrimp feature fresh local ingredients. And save room for dessert - the award-winning key lime pie with cashew graham cracker crust is a must-try.
Watching the sunset over the water while enjoying Sunset Pier's tasty meals makes for an unforgettable Key West dining experience.
On the luxurious Sunset Key, a short ferry ride from Key West, you'll find Latitudes.
This upscale restaurant is known for its elegant dishes that showcase the rich bounty of the ocean.
Dine alfresco on their beachfront patios, with the soft lapping of waves in the background.
Their menu changes daily, ensuring the freshest ingredients for a top-notch dining experience.
Start your meal with their refreshing tuna poke featuring coconut rice and pickled carrots.
For an entree, the seared yellowtail snapper showcases fresh local fish paired with a zesty key lime sauce.
And don't miss dessert - the chocolate trio with rich ganache and Nutella is the perfect indulgence.
With its refined yet relaxed island vibe and creative seafood dishes, Latitudes offers a memorable fine dining experience with breathtaking ocean views.
3. Conch Republic Seafood Company
If you're seeking a more laid-back ambiance, Conch Republic is the place to be.
Overlooking the historic seaport, this restaurant offers generous portions of seafood favorites.
From conch fritters to fresh oysters, the taste of the sea is prominent in every bite.
It's a buzzing spot where tourists and locals gather for a good time.
Start off with their smoked fish dip, a creamy blend of fresh smoked fish and spices, served with crackers.
Move on to the Cracked Conch, tenderized conch lightly fried in an orange horseradish batter.
For mains, the local catch of the day is always a good bet. And save room for dessert like the Hot Pineapple Upside-Down Cake.
With its casual vibe and emphasis on local flavors, Conch Republic is a fun place to get your fill of Key West seafood.
4. Salute! on the Beach
Nestled right on Higgs Beach, Salute! offers a casual dining atmosphere with an Italian twist.
This spot is perfect for those who want to dig their toes into the sand enjoying a delicious meal.
Their menu boasts a range of Mediterranean-inspired dishes, from fresh seafood to delightful pasta.
The relaxed ambiance makes it an excellent choice for families and couples alike.
Start your meal with their signature grouper cakes featuring fresh local fish paired with a zesty chipotle shrimp aioli.
For an entree, try the herb-crusted filet mignon served with a bright gremolata sauce. And end on a sweet note with their homemade ice cream cookie sandwich.
With delectable food, toes-in-the-sand dining, and sweeping ocean views, Salute! encapsulates the Key West state of mind.
5. Schooner Wharf
A slice of old Key West, Schooner Wharf is brimming with history and character.
This open-air restaurant gives patrons a front-row seat to the bustling harbor and its tall ships.
With live music throughout the day, visitors can munch on classic grub while enjoying the salty sea breeze.
It's a favorite among sailors and landlubbers alike, ensuring a memorable experience.
Kick things off with their signature Key West conch fritters, featuring tender conch minced and fried in a crispy batter.
For mains, you can't go wrong with their "You hook 'em, we cook 'em" policy - bring your fresh catch, and they'll turn it into a delicious meal.
Cap it all off with a slice of their homemade Key lime pie, refreshingly tart and creamy.
Between the harbor views, live music, and casual fare, Schooner Wharf has the laidback, nautical spirit of the Keys.
6. The Stoned Crab
The name might be playful, but The Stoned Crab means serious business when it comes to seafood.
Located by the water's edge, this restaurant sources its catch from its own fleet of fishing boats.
The menu is an ode to the ocean, featuring everything from stone crab claws to lobster bisque.
The rustic and nautical decor and the shimmering water views make it a must-visit spot in Key West.
Start off with their steamed mussels swimming in a fragrant coconut milk and lime broth.
For the main event, try the half-baked Florida lobster overflowing with tender meat. Or go all out with their show-stopping whole stuffed lobster, crammed full of lump crabmeat.
Carnivores can dig into the 1-inch thick prime NY strip, perfectly charred and juicy.
Between the fresh seafood, prime cuts, and serene waterfront setting, The Stoned Crab is a top choice for savoring Key West's ocean bounty.
7. A&B Lobster House
Perched over the harbor, A&B Lobster House offers an upscale dining experience that captures the essence of Key West's maritime heritage.
With its elegant setting, diners can savor dishes like Maine lobster and Yellowtail snapper while gazing at the boats bobbing in the water.
The service here is impeccable, and the wine list complements the seafood-centric menu perfectly.
Start with their take on a classic - the "BLT" Iceberg Wedge, stacked with crispy pancetta and gorgonzola dressing.
For an entree, try the signature Oysters Rockefeller baked with spinach, bacon and hollandaise. Or indulge in the Maine Lobster & Escargot, with tender lobster and snails blanketed in a decadent garlic and clam cream sauce.
From start to finish, A&B Lobster House provides refined fare and attentive service against the backdrop of the beautiful harbor.
8. Half Shell Raw
A quintessential Key West experience, Half Shell Raw is as authentic as it gets.
Set in a historic seafood market, this restaurant offers a no-frills dining atmosphere right on the waterfront.
Patrons can enjoy a variety of fresh catches, from clams to shrimp, all while soaking in the harbor views.
The rustic setting and the buzz of conversations make it a favorite among visitors and locals.
Their extensive menu features oysters shucked to order, from traditional raw oysters to baked creations like Oysters Rockefeller.
Try the Raw Sampler with oysters, clams, and peel-and-eat shrimp. Seafood towers overflow with just-shucked mollusks and crab claws.
End your meal on a sweet note with classics like their bread pudding or Key lime pie. With its laidback charm and focus on fresh seafood, Half Shell Raw Bar is the best of Key West.
9. Dante's Restaurant
Dante's offers a different kind of waterfront dining—by a massive pool! This lively spot is perfect for those looking to combine a refreshing swim with delicious food.
@daleletstravel Greetings from Dante's Key West Pool Bar & Restaurant! Dante’s was our favorite hangout spot in Key West, FL on our recent day trip. We enjoyed some piña coladas and the pool! They had good music and a great location at the Historic Key West Bight. We cannot wait to go again. Looking for more places to visit in Key West, FL? Check out this week’s blog – link in bio 🔗 Follow for more travel adventures! #keywest #keywestflorida #florida #keyslife #traveltheworld #exploreeverything #adventurealways #travelblogger #travelwithme #viajando #explorando #greetings #dantes #dantespoolbarandrestaurant #roosters #chickens #pool #waterfall #marlin #fountain #piñacolada #relax #lounge #sunbathe #palmtrees #drinks #food #dalelike #dale #daleletstravel @danteskeywest ♬ Food for the Soul - it's murph
With a menu that boasts everything from fresh seafood salads to juicy burgers, there's something for everyone.
The atmosphere becomes even more vibrant with live music and spirited pool parties as the sun sets.
Indulge in their banana bread pudding, a comforting mix of custard and cinnamon-kissed bread. For a taste of the sea, try the crab-stuffed jumbo shrimp, plump with sweet meat.
Cracking into steamed stone crab claws is a quintessential Florida experience. And don't miss their daily cheesecake offerings like Key lime or chocolate.
As the sun sets, the atmosphere becomes even more vibrant with live music and spirited pool parties. For a one-of-a-kind dining experience, Dante's can't be beaten.
10. Hot Tin Roof
Named in homage to Tennessee Williams' play, Hot Tin Roof is the epitome of island sophistication.
Perched atop the Ocean Key Resort, it offers panoramic views of Sunset Pier and the surrounding waters.
The menu is a fusion of Cuban, Caribbean, and South Floridian flavors, ensuring every bite is a delightful surprise.
Begin your meal with the Coffee Dusted Cauliflower, featuring crispy florets doused in a serrano aioli.
For mains, the Whole Crispy Yellowtail Snapper is a showstopper, served crispy and doused in a cilantro dipping sauce.
Finish on a sweet note with the Meyer Lemon Creme Brulee, with its decadent brulee top and lemon curd.
From the elegant ambiance to the creative cuisine, Hot Tin Roof offers a refined Key West dining experience.
11. Alonzo's Oyster Bar
A haven for seafood lovers, Alonzo's boasts one of the largest selections of cold and warm water oysters in Key West.
Set right on the water, diners can relish their meal with views of boats sailing by. From clam chowder to lobster tacos, the menu is a tribute to the ocean's bounty.
Patrons can start with the Coconut Shrimp served with a sweet chili sauce or the Smoked Fish Dip paired with assorted crackers.
For the main course, the Seafood Towers offer a bountiful sampling of oysters, shrimp, and other fruits of the sea.
Those seeking a plant-based option can enjoy the Shrimp Flatbread made with garlic cream sauce, tomatoes, and basil.
With so many fresh seafood options, Alonzo's is a can't-miss for any visitor to Key West.
12. The Afterdeck at Louie's Backyard
While Louie’s Backyard is already a noted dining spot, The Afterdeck is its lesser-known gem.
Right on the water, this outdoor area offers an unparalleled dining experience with the waves practically at your feet.
It's a serene spot to enjoy tapas-style dishes, sipping on wine, and watching the world go by.
Diners can start with the Bahamian Conch Chowder served with a kick of bird pepper hot sauce or the Seared Bacon-Wrapped Scallops topped with a creamy ravigote.
For mains, entrees range from the Grilled Swordfish with fried risotto to the Grilled Double Lamb Chops paired with a madeira sauce.
And no meal is complete without one of Louie's Backyard's signature desserts like the decadent Flourless Chocolate Cake or refreshing Key Lime Pie.
The Afterdeck offers a one-of-a-kind waterside dining experience.
13. Bistro 245
Right on the edge of Key West's historic seaport, Bistro 245 offers diners an elegant waterfront experience.
Located at the Margaritaville Key West Resort & Marina, this restaurant seamlessly blends fine dining with the laid-back island vibe.
Guests can indulge in various dishes, from fresh seafood to gourmet burgers, all while soaking in views of the Gulf of Mexico.
Start with the refreshing Island Gazpacho or rich Onion Soup before moving on to the Lobster Quesadilla featuring mango salsa.
For mains, the menu showcases local seafood like the Truffle Crusted Grouper and Key West Yellowtail Snapper. Meat lovers can opt for the Surf & Turf with lobster and filet mignon or the Grilled Ribeye topped with blue cheese butter.
With its breathtaking setting and diverse menu, Bistro 245 is a quintessential Key West dining experience.
14. The Boat House
Hidden away from the tourist trails, The Boat House offers a tranquil dining setting right by the water.
Specializing in fresh catches and local ingredients, their dishes are a testament to Key West's rich marine bounty.
Guests can sit on the dock, letting the gentle waves set the mood, as they indulge in delicacies like crab-stuffed shrimp and grilled mahi-mahi.
Signature dishes include the Commodore Specialty Prime Rib slow-roasted to perfection and the Boathouse Fish and Chips featuring flaky Atlantic cod.
Save room for the decadent Boathouse Sticky Toffee Pudding served à la mode with ice cream.
With its serene waterside location, The Boat House provides an escape into Key West's natural beauty through both setting and sustenance.
15. Southernmost Beach Café
Perched on the sands of South Beach, Southernmost Beach Café offers panoramic ocean views that stretch as far as the eye can see.
The casual atmosphere is perfect for those who want to dine with their toes in the sand.
Their menu, which ranges from beachside tacos to fresh catch specials, is a culinary journey through the island's flavors.
Start with the fresh local Oysters or PINK Shrimp served chilled with cocktail sauce. For sharable small plates, the Grilled Octopus features a soy black pepper glaze while the Tuna Avocado combines fresh tuna and hass avocado.
Signature mains include the Surf-n-Turf with filet mignon and your choice of lobster, scallops or shrimp. Those craving land fare can dive into the Double Barrel Pork Chop.
The twinkling lights and tiki torches create a magical ambiance as the sun sets.
Savoring the Taste at Key West's Waterfront Restaurants
It's clear that Key West's waterfront restaurants offer more than just exquisite dishes; they provide a sensory experience unlike any other.
As the ocean's rhythm syncs with heartbeats and the sunset paints a masterpiece daily, these eateries stand as landmarks of unforgettable moments.
Each visit promises new memories, flavors, and horizons.
So, the next time you're in Key West, remember the magic isn't just in the views or the food but in the stories they create together.
Here's to more sunsets, savory bites, and the enchanting allure of the sea. Safe travels and happy dining!
Looking for the best cuisine in Key West? Here's what we recommend:
Keen to experience these culinary gems? Ensure a smooth trip with our guide: