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Where to Sample Key West’s Best Flavors

When you visit Key West, Florida, you expect to come across some of the most enticing Cuban and Caribbean-inspired restaurants, cafes, and bars. Thankfully, that’s Key West’s specialty. Just a stone’s throw from Opal Key Resort & Marina, here’s where we recommend you sample the local flavors.

Opal Key Resort & Marina has plenty to offer: 178 guest rooms furnished with contemporary coastal décor, ambient ocean and pool views, and an idyllic pool located in the heart of Old Town Key West. Even though this tropical destination is home to not two but three waterfront restaurants and bars, the property serves as the ultimate launching point to explore the varied restaurants that call this 4.2-square-mile island home. From Cuban coffee to classy bars to adults-only desserts, we share the cant-miss Key West restaurants for the perfect island-wide food tour.

Bloody Marys at The Breakfast Club Too

Located just three miles from the hotel, The Breakfast Club Too not only has a full breakfast and brunch menu but is known for its creative and artistic infusion. The bar is designed to look like a giant treasure chest filled with liquor and is decorated with an old-school diver, eels, and a giant squid and octopus floating off in different directions. If you can take your eyes off the fantastic wall art, scan their Bloody Mary menu. They are known for serving up the best Bloodies in town and offer 12 different iterations, including a scotch version, an extra spicy version, a BBQ version, and the Monster Mary, which is served in a quart-sized mason jar. Pair your choice of drink with their Cubano Benedict, made with slow-roasted pork, Canadian bacon, and poached eggs on an English muffin topped with homemade dijon hollandaise. 

Cafe Con Leche at Cuban Coffee Queen

Since the first location opened almost a decade ago, Cuban Coffee Queen has become the Starbucks of Key West: You can’t walk down the street without bumping into someone with a cup of their traditional Cuban coffee drinks in hand. While on the island, trade in your oat milk latte for a cortadito, a double shot of Cuban espresso with cane sugar and steamed milk, a sweet Cuban caramel coffee, or a decadent Cuban Chocolate Mocha. Buyer beware: their coffee is strong – it will give you a lasting energy boost to power you through the rest of the day.

A Cubano at Latitudes

Between the cane back chairs and stylish leather armchairs, Latitudes at Sunset Key Cottages embodies the Key West that literary legend Ernest Hemingway loved. You can almost picture him sipping his signature whiskey soda on the patio. For lunch, try one of Latitude’s playful takes on a traditional dish, like the Cubano, which elevates the standard sandwich with turkey breast, pork belly, and mojo sauce instead of mustard.

Smoked Fish Dip at Sloppy Joe’s

If you start feeling peckish later in the day, make a quick stop at Sloppy Joe’s for a pint and one of their classic Florida apps like the smoked fish dip, a blend of smoked fish, cream cheese, and herbs that you scoop up with club crackers. The best part of this stop? No matter when you make it in, there is always live music keeping, even in the middle of the afternoon.

Island Gazpacho at Bistro 245

One of Key West’s more colorful outdoor dining destinations, Bistro 245’s vivid blue and green dining area looks out over the water and the marina just a few feet away. Evenings here always include a spectacular sunset over the water, though what’s for dinner is up to you. The menu boasts light dishes like the island gazpacho (a local favorite) and heartier meals like the truffle-crusted grouper. Don’t forget to ask your server about wine pairings; their wine list is two full pages.

Key Lime Pie at Better than Sex

No foodie tour of Key West is complete without a pitstop to Better than Sex. This adults-only eatery offers cheeky desserts (like the Italian Stallion, a layered espresso, amaretto, and shortbread cake) that are to die for in a setting that can only be described as over-the-top, campy romance. Don’t pass up their ​​Kinky-er Key West Cream Pie – an airy, whipped “tart lime cream cloud” infused with the iconic flavors of Key West stacked on top of flakey brown sugar and orange blossom shortbread cookie. Think chandeliers, candles, red silk, and velvet everywhere. We’ll take two.

Night Cap at The Roost

Hidden in an intimate space on Fleming Street in Old Town Key West, The Roost is a blue-walled gem of a boutique bar that, in addition to slinging classic cocktails, also sells the spirits that go in them (that’s right, it doubles as a package store!). Try The Great Cormorant, a refreshing take on the traditional champagne cocktail, mixing St. Germain, Prosecco, and club soda, or the bittersweet See You Next Tuesday, featuring Key West Gin, cucumber, lemon, and the Italian digestive Amaro Montenegro.

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