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. 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 Restaurants

Key Largo has some great seafood places! It is hard to go wrong when you are eating fresh fish in the Florida Keys. Whether you are on a couples trip or visiting Key Largo with kids, these are some great Key Largo restaurant ideas.

1. Lazy Lobster

This place is 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

2. 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 are 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

3. 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.

Islamorada Restaurants

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.

Shady Rays

1. 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 beat!

Lazy Days Islamorada Restaurants

2. 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

3. 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!

Florida Keys book

4. 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

5. 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

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.

Florida Keys book

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2 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.

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