First-time visitors to Key West arrive with certain expectations about what’s on the menu at restaurants, literally. While there’s certainly an abundance of seafood, frozen cocktails, and Key lime pie as far as your oversized sunnies will allow you to see, the city’s food scene is now a far more inventive one. The culinary renaissance that took over Miami several years ago has migrated to this southernmost city, where the unique cuisine draws on Caribbean and Cuban influences with a large emphasis on locally sourced ingredients.
While most restaurants are seafood-heavy (we’ve got nothing against a perfectly prepared plate of fresh hogfish, grouper, spiny lobster, or Key West pink shrimp) there are also plenty of new establishments that are serving up everything from tropical fruit-filled artisanal doughnuts to plates of tender pulled pork topped with Southern-style slaw. Of course, you can’t leave without trying a Cuban coffee, or a slice of that famous Key lime pie. So that you don’t miss any of it, from the classics to the surprises, we’ve compiled our editors’ picks of the best restaurants in Key West.