Best Restaurants in Marathon FL: A Local’s Guide

The Florida Keys are filled with delicious, fresh seafood and plenty of “mom and pop” restaurants. Marathon is located in the Middle Keys and is a great stop for those traveling down to Key West or on a Florida road trip. Marathon is much quieter than Key Largo and Islamorada in the Upper Keys and makes a perfect home base to visit other parts of the Keys as well. It is also a great spot for a family beach vacation. Our family has a second home in Marathon, and we visit often to enjoy the water, fish, and eat some of the best freshly caught fish. If you are looking for some of the best places to eat in Marathon FL, I will share some of my favorite spots and menu items. Here is my list of some of the best restaurants in Marathon FL.

Fl Keys Seven Mile Bridge
7 Mile Bridge in Marathon, FL

My Favorite Places to Eat in Marathon FL

Keys Fisheries

Keys Fisheries is hands down my vote for the best restaurant in Marathon! Aesthetically, this place is nothing to write home about; however, the food tells a different story. The vibe is typical Keys casual with seating right by the water, in a covered patio setting.

Their fish, shrimp, conch, lobster, and stone crabs are as fresh as fresh gets (in fact, they are a Whole Foods seafood supplier). They advertise often in the Lower Keys with giant billboards showcasing their famous lobster reuben and stone crabs (in season). Both items are worth the hype! Honestly, I have not had a bad meal here. My favorite menu item to order though is the fried hogfish. If you arrive later in the evening, they often run out (it’s that popular). If you like white fish, this is even better than a snapper or yellowtail. I also recommend ordering a stone crab soup, when available, and I love their fried conch appetizer too.

When you arrive at Keys Fisheries, you will order at a counter and they will ask you for a favorite movie or character as the pickup name. You will then take a seat at one of the many open air waterfront picnic tables. There are plenty of fans to keep you cool and it is always fun to watch the tarpon close to the dock (my kids’ favorite) and the boats coming in too. In addition, Keys Fisheries also has a retail market that you can grab fresh or frozen seafood and spices and then cook it back at your place. All in all, this is my pick for the best restaurant in Marathon FL.

Best Restaurants in Marathon, FL - Keys Fisheries
Best Restaurants in Marathon, FL – Keys Fisheries

Brutus Seafood

I recently discovered this little gem, and I’m thankful I checked out Yelp one afternoon. It makes a great stop for lunch when driving on a road trip to Key West or just staying in Marathon. The menu has all the basic seafood items and our group was very pleased with what we ordered. They have a fresh catch of the day and you can pretty much have it however you like with a side of french fries, coleslaw, potato salad or cold bean salad. I loved their fries! The conch sandwich was great, as was the gator tail, shrimp tacos, ad well as the fresh fried grouper and grilled snapper.

The indoor area is small (with maybe 5 or so tables), and the outdoor tiki area has ample seating and has fans blowing cool air. The one gripe I had with this place was just fixed. They used to only be open for lunch and now have expanded to open for dinner Thursday-Saturday. This means that I have more of an opportunity to visit. They also have a fish market where you can buy some of their fresh fish. This means that you could technically order it fresh and cook it for dinner or request take out. To me, it is one of the best restaurants in Marathon FL and one that I recommend to all visitors.

Places to Eat in Marathon FL - Brutus Seafood
Places to Eat in Marathon FL – Brutus Seafood

Lazy Days Marathon

Lazy Days is a local restaurant chain with 3 restaurants in the Florida Keys. This one in Marathon, another in Islamorada, and one in Key Largo. They are all among the best restaurants in the Keys. We have eaten Lazy Days South quite a few times, and have even done it from our boat. This is one of the unique things you are able to do down in the Florida Keys. There are a number of restaurants that have open space for boaters to dock and eat.

The restaurant is one of the best places to eat in Marathon FL due to its oceanfront dining and views. The menu has an ample selection of seafood, pasta, sandwiches, and desserts. One of my favorite dishes to order are the conch fritters and the peel and eat shrimp. Their fish is also very fresh (as expected in the Florida Keys). They are definitely one of the few Keys restaurants that have an extensive selection of menu items. Whether you dock your boat or sit looking at the Atlantic Ocean, Lazy Days Marathon is a top pick for best restaurant in Marathon FL.

best restaurants in Marathon Lazy Days
Patio of Lazy Days one of the best restaurants in Marathon

Burdines Waterfront Marina

Burdines is a very casual place that is off the beaten path and located in Boot Key Harbor. It is one of my favorite places to eat in Marathon FL because of its proximity to our house. We stop here often because it is right next to where we gas up the boat and get our shrimp for fishing. While we do often grab items on the go while our boat is docked, Burdines has a beautiful open-air rooftop area with a tiki hut. We have gone to eat here during the winter months, as eating outdoors in the summer is brutally hot.

Their fried fish is delicious and their tuna poke and sesame tuna salad are quite tasty. There is also a very unique dessert item that is surprisingly great – fried key lime pie. The inside was fluffy and not as tart as the usual key lime pies (which is why I liked it so much). They also only have beer/wine, which is fine, but sometimes I prefer a nice mixed drink looking out over the water.

best restaurants in marathon FL - Burdines
One of my favorite places to eat in Marathon FL – Burdines Waterfront

Sparky’s Landing

Sparky’s is a great place to eat in Marathon FL. It has a down-home vibe with an outdoor waterfront tiki area. Their menu ranges from pizza, wings, burgers, fish, and more. My husband enjoys eating here because the menu is not as seafood dominant as other Keys restaurants. I, on the other hand, love when a place is mostly seafood.

The pizza is actually great here! The fish tacos and calamari are also very good. They have some great drink specials and the wait staff is very attentive. I have neever had a bad meal here and as I write this, I am reminded I need to return.

Best restaurants in Marathon - Sparky's Landing
Sparky’s Landing – Best restaurants in Marathon

Sweet Savannah’s

The best ice cream in Marathon is here at Sweet Savannah’s! This place not only has adorable decor but a fantastic selection of ice cream, cones, cookies, cupcakes and more. While I know it is not technically considered a restaurant, I had to throw it in my best restaurants in Marathon review as it is our “go to” dessert spot.

Irie Island Eats

This small restaurant recently opened and both times we have eaten their food, we have all loved it. While it is not on the water, they do have a covered outdoor area with fans. Although in the summer, I would advise for takeout because it is very hot! The cuisine is a blend of Jamaican, Caribbean, and island flavors that mesh very well. We have ordered bowls, wraps, tacos, and salads and everything has been delicious. This is a hidden gem!

marathon restaurants

Florida Keys Road Trip

If you are planning a road trip down to the Florida Keys and happen to be driving by through Marathon, I hope you use these restaurant recommendations and enjoy your fresh seafood! Check out some other activities to do in the Florida Keys:

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Marathon Restaurants

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3 thoughts on “Best Restaurants in Marathon FL: A Local’s Guide”

  1. This is such a great blog! There are soooo many seafood restaurants in the Keys, so this will be super helpful in travel planning.

  2. Oh how I would love to be sitting at one of these restaurants enjoying the views today! Great post, I will save this for later for when we can all get back to traveling.

  3. We had a fantastic time on our trip to the Keys, and some eye-opening experiences around being introduced to conch fritters for the first time. How was I even living?? Marathon in particular was fantastic. Great post!

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