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Key West Restaurants: 365 reviews and 399 photos

Since 1948, Duffy's Steak and Lobster House - Key West

Since 1948, Duffy's Steak and Lobster House

Duffy's Steak and Lobster House: Duffy's...dependable seafood & air-conditioning Duffy's Steak and Lobster House Review

Duffy's Steak and Lobster House slogan is "affordable dining in the heart of paradise". This place has been in business, off and on, since 1948. In fact, numerous photos of Harry Truman taken in Key West have Duffy's Tavern (as it was once called) in the background.

Duffy's had a couple of things going for it, at least in our minds. First, it was very close to our cottage, which meant a short walk and no parking hassle. And second, the prices were moderate in a town where that's not always the case. And third, there was none of this veranda dining or ceiling fans in the tropics crap. Nosireee..Duffy's was air-conditioned. Yes.

The food at Duffy's was very good. Unpretentious and simple. This isn't a place to find world cuisine, but it is the sort of joint where the seafood is fresh, the meat is tender and....the service is friendly. Also, Duffy's is the sort of place that caters a bit more to the quiet side of Key West visitors. Bottom line, it's a place to eat, and they don't make their cash on their bar service, unlike many other restaurants.

Simple, well-done and friendly. That goes a long way to explain how this place has been in business for almost 60 years.

Favorite Dish: We basically did the seafood...shrimp, scallops and such. Bonnie had a fish dish, can't remember exactly which one. All meals were freshly prepared, hot and tasty. Good tartar sauce, and amenities, such as cole slaw, baked potatoes and such.

Oh, and if you're tapped out on Key Lime Pie, Duffy's has VERY good cheesecake for dessert. The slices are huge.

I am told by others in the area that Duffy's has VERY good steaks and that their prime rib is really a house treasure. I guess we just weren't in a beef mood that night, but if I'm ever in the area again, I may have to try the turf instead of the surf.

Another nice featue at Duffy's is that they offer two (and sometimes three) different sizes of each meal. So, you can basically get exactly what it is you'd want, and in exactly the right amount.

Address: 1007 Simonton Street, Key West 33040

Price Comparison: less expensive than average

Directions: Truman into Key West, and turn right on Simonton. (Simonton is one block before Duval Street). Duffy's is about two blocks from the Truman/Simonton intersectoin, on the right.

Phone: 305.296.4900

Price: US$11-20

Rating: 4

Theme: Local

Review Helpfulness: 4.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Updated Aug 7, 2006
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Hog's Breath is better than no breath, as they say - Key West

Hog's Breath is better than no breath, as they say

Hog's Breath: Surprise! another place to get hammered Hog's Breath Review

If you're looking to gave a bite to eat AND get an early start on tomorrow's hangover, there are no shortage of pubs in Key West that can meet both needs. The Hog's Breath is just one example.

Most feature standard fare...burgers, sausage dogs, grilled chicken and sometimes pizza and Italian staples. In addition you can usually find a decent rendition of local items such as shrimp pocket sandwiches, conch fritters and maybe even mahi mahi sandwiches, etc. And for the most part, it's all good.

It may not be much for atmosphere, but IS really a bar. They're just feeding you so that you keep drinking at their stool, so to speak.

Again, lots of such places in Key West. Find someplace that's got room for you and your party. And if you have any brains, look for a decent air conditioning situation, too. <g>

Favorite Dish: Oh, you gotta go with the hot conch fritters, lime dipping sauce and cold beer. My brand of the moment is Corona.

Address: 400 Front Street, Key West, FL

Price Comparison: about average

Directions: Corner Duval and Front

Phone: 305-292-2032

Price: US$11-20

Rating: 3

Theme: Pub/Brewery


Review Helpfulness: 4.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Updated Aug 6, 2006
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Cool off at Flamingo Crossing - Key West

Cool off at Flamingo Crossing

Flamingo Crossing Homemade Ice Cream: Ice cream, Ice cream..... Flamingo Crossing Homemade Ice Cream Review

On a hot afternoon strolling Duval Street, comes a time that one needs some refreshment. And if one is in a party of all adults, there are no shortage of little watering holes that can fill you need for cooling off. But, what if you have a younger family member in tow? Well then, forget about that beer boy and find some ice cream. And for ice cream in old Key West, you can't do much better than the Flamingo Crossing Ice Cream stand.

Apparently, Flamingo has been getting more and more positive comments and remarks in the local media, and part of the reason has to be that their treats are 100% homemade, made right on the premises. Rich and creamy and covered with all sorts of flavors, Flamingo Crossing hits the spot when someone screams ice cream.

Among the many flavors are
Sour Sop (not sure what this is, but it's highly recommended locally)
Cuban Coffee
Rum Runner, flavored with real rum
Key Lime (of course!)
Passion Fruit
English Custard
French Chocolate
Tahitian Vanilla
Raspberry Capuccino

Favorite Dish: Can you guess? <g>

Get one of those terrific waffle cones, also homemade. I had a tropical combo of banana and coconut. Very good.

One note, I'd eat some of it in the store before venturing out onto the sweltering sidewalks. This delicately crafted ice cream doesn't withstand the local heat well before returning to a more temperate state of matter, ie melted.

Note, the Flamingo Crossing is open daily until 11:00 pm. I think it opens whenever the worker bees crawl out of bed and open up shop. 'Tis common in Key West.

Address: 1107 Duval Street

Price Comparison: least expensive

Directions: Truman into Duval Street and turn left. Go a couple of blocks and look on the left.

Phone: 305.296.6124

Price: less than US$10

Rating: 4

Theme: Ice Cream

Review Helpfulness: 4.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Updated Aug 6, 2006
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Lobster for breakfast?  Welcome to Key West. - Key West

Lobster for breakfast? Welcome to Key West.

Red Fish, Blue Fish: How about a lobster omelette for breakfast? Red Fish, Blue Fish Review

When we were in Key West, Red Fish Blue Fish had just opened, maybe five days earlier. They were still working out the kinks a little, with regard to running the restaurant itself.

That being said, RFBF had an interesting and varied menu, with a lot of interesting twists on preparation, especially for their seafood dishes.

The thing that struck my mind was the ultimate lobster omelette that they featured for late breakfast eaters. A lobster omelette might be JUST the thing to get you rolling early in the morning...or at least early by Key West standards, say 10:45 am. Maybe add a pot of good coffee.

Favorite Dish: Hey, we just did some afternoon appetizer sampling and it was all fine and dandy. Boiled shrimp, crabcakes...the standards.

Again, I might have to try the lobster omelette some morning. They mentioned something about it being seasoned with champagne in some form or fashion. Sounds like a step above an Egg McMuffin or Denny's Grand Slam, doesn't it?

Address: 407 Front Street, Key West 33040

Price Comparison: more expensive than average

Directions: Go to Mallory Square, and RFBF is right there.

Price: US$21-30

Rating: 4

Theme: Seafood

Review Helpfulness: 4.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Updated Aug 6, 2006
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Is it a Jimmy Buffett spy microphone? - Key West

Is it a Jimmy Buffett spy microphone?

Cheeseburger Key West (or Cheeseburger's): Screw you, Jimmy Buffett CLOSED - Cheese Burger Review

I bet you're wondering what the anti-Buffett title for this tip means. Don't get me wrong, I have lots of Jimmy Buffett CDs and my wife has even seen him in concert...back in her college days. I learned, however, a little something about Buffett's greed when I requested that the bar singer do "Banana Republics", one of my favorite JB songs.

You see, this restaurant is called "Cheeseburger Key West" or just "Cheeseburger's" and apparently Mr. Buffett and his greedy lawyers think JB owns the word cheeseburger in Key West. And although it was decided that he did not, the mere mention of Buffett in this restaurant was something he was not prepared to tolerate, especially since an outlet of his kitschy JIMMY BUFFETT'S MARGARITAVILLE CAFE is located in Key West. So...musicians playing in the court of Cheeseburger's are barred, by agreement, from playing any Jimmy Buffett songs, lest the customer be "confused". I'm not confused, Mr. Parrot-Head. I know greed when I see it. Rant over. :)

Cheeseburger's is a wonderful little bar and restaurant on the north end of Duval Street. They make excellent burgers and sandwiches, and also feature many seafood items on the menu. Yes, they have conch fritters and Key Lime Pie. And, you can probably ask for songs about said foods as Buffett doesn't feel he owns those words. A lot of the burgers and such have a nice tropical flair, as you'll see below in my "favorite dish" section.

Cheeseburger's also makes some really kick-butt island specialty drinks, heavy on rum and coconut/pineapple, etc. And if you make friends with the bar singer and the manager, they'll load your drink up at no extra charge, unofficially of course. You know me, folks...I made friends.

Favorite Dish: I had an island burger which featured a "huge hunk of meat" as some song whose title eludes me describes. I skipped the Heinz 57 and the cold draft beer. But I did have some nice seasoned fries and added bacon, avocado and fresh pineapple to my burger. And, there was the matter of about three "specialty drinks" to deal with, too.

Last and not least, Cheeseburger's had perhaps THE friendliest service we encountered in what was already a very friendly town.

Address: 719 Duval Street

Price Comparison: about average

Directions: Truman into Key West and then right on Duval. Cheeseburger's is on the right, near the end of Duval Street near Mallory Square.

Price: US$11-20

Rating: 5

Theme: Local

Review Helpfulness: 4.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Updated Aug 6, 2006
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One of many Blonde Giraffes, Key West - Key West

One of many Blonde Giraffes, Key West

The Blonde Giraffe: Some of the best Key Lime Pie Blond Giraffe Review

EVERYWHERE in Key West serves Key Lime Pie. You could probably buy a slice at a funeral home. And most are quite good, as these folks are serious about their KLP. It is, after all, the official state pie of Florida, thanks to our hard-working state legislature. <sarcasm>

But, if you want the democratically selected "best of the best", visit one of the many BLONDE GIRAFFE outlets in Key West. For 5+ years running, BG has been named Key West's best Key Lime Pie. I know, I know, they might have stuffed the ballot boxes. But after a few days in Key West, it's hard to believe that these laid-back Conch Republicans would waste their time trying to influence a pie election.

There are literally more Blonde Giraffe outlets in Key West than there are McDonalds and Burger Kings combined. So, you won't have any problem finding one.

Favorite Dish: Key Lime Pie

You can buy it by the slice or by the whole pie, and you get your choice of toppings...either merengue or whipped cream.

BTW, I'd hoped to ship a pie home for my dad. It seems that these days, ANYTHING can be shipped. But not Blonde Giraffe Key Lime Pies. They're meant to be enjoyed fresh, and letting them warm up again after they've been refrigerated just doesn't work. So eat it here, folks and then tell the friends and neighbors back home what they've missed.


Price Comparison: least expensive

Directions: Just walk about three blocks in any direction, you'll find a Blonde Giraffe store.

Price: less than US$10

Rating: 4

Theme: Local

Review Helpfulness: 4.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Updated Aug 6, 2006
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The Upper Crust Pizzeria - Key West

The Upper Crust Pizzeria

The Upper Crust Pizzeria: Some of the best pizza ever CLOSED - Upper Crust Pizzeria Review

This was excellent pizza. I personally believe that the secret was the Neopolitan style crust, and the excellent blend of ingredients. In addition to pizza, they also serve salads and calzones. I see by my pamphlet that they also deliver, something I wish I'd known. :)

They have a huge selection of toppings for their pizzas, including:

baby clams
baby shrimp
bacon and canadian bacon
grilled chicken
italian sausage

buffalo mozarella

And if you are or are buying dinner for a beloved vegetarian, check out the veggie offerings:
jalapeno peppers
black olives
sliced onions
sliced peppers
fresh basil
fresh garlic
roasted red peppers
diced tomatoes
sliced tomatoes
portabello mushrooms
sun-dried tomatoes

Favorite Dish: Well, it's the pizza. We had a "Truman", which was a perfect combo of hamburger, sliced pepperoni and sausage. We had the LARGE, which is $18.95. A SMALL, which WOULD have been enough for three, is $14.95.

Among other interesting speciality pizzas:

The Whitehead - portabello mushrooms, sundried tomatoes and freshly chopped garlic

The slightly pesto - white pizza splashed with pesto, fresh garlic and fresh diced tomatoes

The Roosevelt - fresh buffalo mozarella, fresh basil leaves, sliced tomatoes and fresh garlic

The Uncommon - bacon, fresh pineapple, and jalapenos.

Address: 611 Duval Street

Price Comparison: less expensive than average

Directions: About two blocks north of the Duval-Olivia Street intersection, on the right heading north.

Other Contact: fax 305-293-8990

Phone: 305-293-8890

Price: less than US$10

Rating: 5

Theme: Pizza


Review Helpfulness: 4.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Updated Aug 5, 2006
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