The Florida Keys are a perfect stop on any Florida road trip. 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. It was great to be able to travel locally on the weekends and get away from the big city. 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,
Key Largo Restaurants: The Basics
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.
My Top 3 Key Largo Restaurants
The Lazy Lobster is one of the restaurants in Key Largo owned by the Lazy Days restaurant group (they have a restaurant in Marathon and Islamorada), and all 3 of their dining locations 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.
This is one of my favorite Key Largo restaurants because you get quality, a chill vibe and it is right on the water. 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!
Both Mrs. Mac’s Kitchen and Mrs. Mac’s Kitchen II (which is just down the street from the original location) are well known and popular Key Largo restaurants. 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
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
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
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.
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
While it is not one of the typical Islamorada restaurants on the list,
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.
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
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!
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 “
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.
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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