Key Largo Restaurants and Islamorada Restaurants: A Local’s Guide

The Florida Keys are a perfect stop on any Florida roadtrip. The combination of fresh seafood places, scenic views, and fishing make it a perfect vacation destination. I grew up in Miami and traveled to the Keys countless times. My parents still have a second home there, and due to this, I’m quite familiar with the local spots. In fact, our family has eaten at many places in Key Largo, Islamorada, Marathon, and Key West. The best restaurants in Key Largo, for me, are those with fresh fish and a great vibe! This review will focus on my favorite Key Largo restaurants and Islamorada restaurants and why I think it deserves a stop when you’re in town.

Key Largo FL
Key Largo Restaurant Views

Key Largo Restaurants

Key Largo has some great seafood places! It is hard to go wrong when you are eating fresh fish in the Florida Keys. Many of the local Key Largo restaurants have fishermen deliver seafood daily, which makes this as fresh as you can get. Please note that eating a fresh catch is not cheap. If you want quality and freshness, you will pay about $20 a plate. The best restaurants in Key Largo will always have multiple options of whatever the fresh catch of the day is, and usually at market price.

Regardless of the location you choose, I advise that you check Google or Yelp for the operating hours because they are not open at all hours of the day. Whether you are on a couples trip or visiting Key Largo with kids, these are some great Key Largo restaurant ideas.

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Lazy Lobster

The Lazy Lobster is one of the restaurants owned by the Lazy Days restaurant group (they have a restaurant in Marathon and Islamorada), and all 3 of their restaurants are excellent! Their menu is extensive and they have a wide range of options (seafood, pasta, burgers and many other entrees). My usuals are the fresh catch sandwich, or the yellowtail or lobster sandwich. Their key lime pie is also very nice if you don’t like it very tart.

It is located right on US1, giving it easy access to road traffic. The one thing I will critique about this Key Largo restaurant is the lack of oceanfront dining; however, the decor is lively, the drinks are plentiful and the seafood is fresh! They even have live music on certain days of the week.

Key Largo restaurants - Lazy Lobster
Key Largo Restaurants – Lazy Lobster

Key Largo Fisheries

This is one of my favorite Key Largo restaurants. I absolutely love this place! It is a low key restaurant that also has a fish market attached. It is a little hidden, and not located right along the main highway. To get here, you must drive down some back streets, but it is no more than 5 minutes off of US-1. Once you arrive, a simple facade greets you, but do not be discouraged – the food inside will be worthwhile.

The restaurant is very casual, so plan on ordering from a window and sitting in open-air tables and picnic benches. Their seafood is as fresh as it comes! I have ordered many things off the menu and have never been disappointed: snapper, hogfish, grouper, and lionfish. They also have daily specials (which are also spot-on). They have cold, local beer and a nice view of the marina. Simple, fresh and delicious!

A word of advice – I do not recommend going mid-day in the summertime as it is blazing hot! Surprisingly, there is not an abundant amount of Key Largo restaurants on the water, and this is one of them that actually is waterfront. I highly recommend this hidden gem, but don’t tell too many people so that it doesn’t get crowded!

Key Largo Restaurants Fisheries 1
Key Largo Fisheries – My Favorite Key Largo Restaurant

Mrs. Mac’s Kitchen

We love Mrs. Mac’s Kitchen and Mrs. Mac’s Kitchen II (which is just down the street from the original location). I’m very happy they expanded because the wait time at the original restaurant was getting too long. Both places have similar menus, with slight differences. Honestly, I don’t have a preference as to which is better. Some of my favorite items have been the fresh fish filets, superfishwhich, alligator tenders, and “konk” chowder. Their cocktail list is great too.

The decor is classic “Keys style” – very mom and pop type with eclectic items everywhere. I love it here, and try to eat lunch or dinner here when we drive back up to Miami or down to where we stay in Marathon. I will say that I have never eaten breakfast at the original location, but if it’s anything like their lunch or dinner, I am in! Check out both of these restaurants in Key Largo for a delicious meal.

Key Largo Restaurants: Honorable Mentions

Gilbert’s Tiki Bar

Key Largo and Islamorada are home to some of the most delicious restaurants. As two of the most accessible Keys when traveling from mainland Florida, these restaurants are also fantastic places to devour fresh seafood. When driving through the Keys, Gilbert’s Tiki Bar and Resort on Key Largo should be on your bucket list. This large oceanfront eatery and bar is the perfect place to enjoy conch fritters or the local catch of the day. Wash it all down with a boozy tropical cocktail like a Strawberry Daquiri or Rumrunner.

With your drink in hand, the spacious outdoor dining area is perfect for taking in the sun while relaxing after a day of snorkeling in the waters of Key Largo. The evenings also welcome live music and local bands jamming on the sand. With the sales of many of their drinks going towards Breast Cancer Research, Gilbert’s is a restaurant you can feel good about visiting on your Florida Keys trip!

Contributed by: Laura from Adrift Aesthetic

Gilbert's Key Largo restaurant
Gilbert’s Tiki Bar – Key Largo restaurants

Sharkey’s

If you are an avid scuba diver and visit Key Largo for its great diving sites, you likely have heard of a popular hangout called Sharkey’s. You’ll find Sharkey’s along the canal near Key Largo Harbor. Sharkey’s is a popular hangout in the diving community and one of the best restaurants in Key Largo. This cozy, laid-back restaurant and bar is a great place for divers to gather and have dinner and drinks after a day under the water. 

Like most places in Key Largo, Sharkey’s offers the usual seafood fare, along with a good selection of beer and island-themed drinks. Try their beer batter and panko breaded crispy fried Mahi Mahi plate, as well as their pina colada!

Contributed by: Halef and Michael from The Round The World Guys

Key Largo Restaurants - Sharkey's
Key Largo Restaurants – Sharkey’s

Islamorada Restaurants

Islamorada has some great seafood options as well. If you’re not planning a stop at any of the Key Largo restaurants, then Islamorada is a perfect stop on your Florida Keys road trip. Islamorada and Key Largo are home to many hotels, activities, and diving spots. Due to his heavy tourism, there are restaurants abound.

Most tourists will stop at Islamorada Fish Company when they are visiting the Florida Keys; however, it is very touristy. There is always a long wait, and to be honest, the food is overpriced. You can get better service, better prices and better quality at other “local places”. Here are some of my favorite Islamorada restaurants.

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Hotels.com Destination Inspiration: Not sure where to go? You've come to the right place!

Lazy Days Islamorada

This is my favorite of the Lazy Days restaurants and Islamorada restaurants. To me, it is also the nicest. They have indoor and outdoor waterfront seating. You can choose a table on the sand or on the patio downstairs or balcony upstairs. Just like Lazy Lobster, they have an extensive menu of items (which is great for those non-seafood people). They also have a full bar and daily specials. I usually eat one of their specials (once they had lionfish) or some type of snapper (like hogfish).

My only complaint is that this place knows it has quality food and hikes up the prices. However, if you want beautiful oceanfront dining in the Florida Keys with fresh seafood, this place cannot be beaten!

Lazy Days Islamorada Restaurants
Lazy Days Islamorada

Bob’s Bunz

This little Islamorada bakery is a gem! It is also very easy to miss… but, don’t! I have only stopped in for breakfast, but have two items I would like to recommend. The first is clearly the cinnamon buns for which the place is named after. They are large, gooey and the frosting is decadent! I actually like them more than the Knaus Berry Farm buns down in Homestead.

My second pick is the mini key lime cookies. They are not in the display case, but on top of the counter in a white paper bag. They are not cheap ($10), but please buy them. You won’t regret it. This is one of the great little hidden restaurants in Islamorada that deserve a visit.

Islamorada Restaurants Bobs Bunz

Bayside Gourmet

I stumbled upon this Islamorada restaurant at the recommendation of my parents who are frequent Keys visitors. They often stop in for a quick dinner on their way down to their place in Marathon because of their fast service and quality food. This is another one of those places that are nondescript and easy to miss.

We stopped in for lunch and had a delicious grouper sandwich special. Since then, it has become one of my favorite Islamorada restaurants because of the quality of food and low-key vibe. They have a variety of deli sandwiches, pizza, and small appetizers. Everything I have ordered was tasty and fresh. It is a great stop for a quick bite in the Florida Keys!

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Morada Bay

This is one of those Islamorada restaurants that is very well known for its food, decor, and ambiance. Their Beach Cafe is exactly what it says… a restaurant on the beach (in the sand). This place epitomizes “upscale” Florida Keys. Their seafood is fresh, they have unique appetizers, craft cocktails, and delicious daily specials. This place hosts a full moon party and gets pretty full. I honestly love to eat here, yet my wallet does not! I definitely recommend this place but know you are going to pay for the killer views.

Islamorada Restaurants Morada Bay
Morada Bay sand area

Marker 88

This is another great seafood restaurant in Islamorada. It is actually my kids’ favorite because they have outdoor rocking benches as tables on the sand overlooking the water. We often stop here for lunch when the weather is nice and enjoy the delicious seafood and cold drinks.

This Islamorada restaurant is easy to find because it is just off of US-1 and is located on mile marker 88, with a giant sign. I love their fresh fish sandwiches, and their shrimp cocktail appetizer too! My husband says their steaks and burgers and pretty great too. If it gets too hot outside, they do have indoor seating with some nice views as well.

marker 88 Islamorada Restaurants
Outdoor seating at Marker 88

I hope you enjoyed reading my reviews on my favorite Key Largo restaurants and Islamorada restaurants. If you happen to be traveling down to the Middle Keys, please check out my favorite restaurants in Marathon too.

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15 thoughts on “Key Largo Restaurants and Islamorada Restaurants: A Local’s Guide”

  1. Nothing beats fresh seafood and all of the restaurants listed here serve them. It’s hard to choose which one to go, but I will pick Key Largo Fisheries if I only have one day to spend there. Bayside Gourmet will be my choice for Islamorada and make a quick stop at Bob’s Bunz for the mini key lime cookies. I’m pretty sure my son will go for its cinnamon bun.

      1. Bob Bunzs is a local Karaoke artist who travel’s the local circuit and is a unbelievable talented entertainer. I have a VRBO 1599024 at Ocean Pointe. You will be able to visit each one of these restaurants from my place if it’s available.

  2. Mrs Mac’s Kitchen is now on my list because I need to see/taste alligator tenders. I love that you put that dish in there so nonchalantly, like you can find it everywhere. Maybe I need to spend some time in Key Largo to understand.

  3. I used to live in Miami and went down to Key Largo a few times and remember really loving the relaxed atmosphere! Loved getting nostalgic while reading this article! Thanks for sharing 🙂

  4. It’s been a long time since I visited the Keys, so I want to go back soon! I’ll save your recommendations for when I get to go, the seafood sounds great!

  5. I spent a month in the Keys with our RV and tried out many of these spots plus a ton of fish markets for seafood and crab! Had a ton of great meals – excellent guide!

  6. This is perfect. I’ve been planning to get back down to the Keys and all that delicious seafood is on my list!

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