Breakfast/Lunch & sometimes Dinner


Restaurants at MM 100 and higher are South of the marina on the Overseas Hwy, while those at MM 100 and under are North of the marina, closer to the mainland. You can see from this partial list just how many restaurants (and a few joints) there are within a few miles of the Pilot House. Gail & Jerry rate some of the places on a 1 to 5 star scale, * as of 04/17.

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Harriett's Restaurant–MM 95.7
Not on the water, no view–just an inexpensive breakfast/brunch place with good reviews on Urban Spoon, Yelp, etc. Home made muffins, shredded beef burrito, Key Lime muffin, omelets, etc. No website.

Ballyhoo's Historic Seafood Grille–MM 97

Pappa John's Pizza–MM 98

Mrs. Mac's Kitchen–MM 99.4
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The "original" since 1976, it's open for dinner too, this very moderately priced American traditional and seafood place is always busy. Right on the Overseas Hwy it's just a minute from the marina at 99336 Overseas Hwy. Has beer and wine only, with a funky/casual ambiance. Closed Sundays, its open 7:00 to 9:30 PM. They finally got their website: Mrs. Mac's Kitchens working.

In 2012 Mrs. Mac's II opened up at 99020 Overseas Hwy–look for it in the median strip, or on the left side of the road. This place has an even more comprehensive menu with a full bar and strong, cheap drinks; e.g., draft IPA $3.50. The portions are huge and prices right. Restaurant II has more parking, so if the Original's tiny lot is full, just come back and stop at this one which has much more parking. Family friendly, for what it is (no views) with priced right delicious food in huge portions we have to give it
5 stars*! Tip, don't pay $4.99 for a slice of Key Lime pie, by the whole pie (8 slices) for $15 and the it home.



American Legion

Across the street from the marina is the American Legion, at 1 Seagate Blvd. Our houseboat is named after the long-standing restaurant in the marina called Calypso's, which closed in 2012. But, Calypso's Chef Todd now cooks at the Legion! Try his "Sea Horse Sandwich" (horseradish encrusted seared Ahi Tuna on a bun with fries for $10. Or, have a burger, or try the Serrano Pepper Chicken Pasta, both also $10. He still makes his famous She Crab Soup. Bring cash because that's all they accept. I don't know the hours so take a look at the placard, or stop in as its less than 50 feet from the marina–where the blue car at the right of the picture is parked. They also serve, probably, the cheapest drinks in the Keys. There's a nice screen porch on the back you can eat in, especially since they smoke inside the place. Downside is the smoking, but they do advertise a $2.50 chili dog.

American Legion

Dj's Diner at the end of Ocean Bay Drive
If you walk, bike or drive to the end of Ocean Bay Drive (the road the marina is on) you'll bump into DJ's. They have a variety like Gyros, cappuccino & wings. We like this place, and it opens early so you can grab a coffee-to-go on the way to the airport. Established in 1957, its open every day 7:00–9:00 PM except for Sunday when they close at 3:00 PM. Nice people–they fed me soup when I was sick for a week with the flu, and you can easily walk to it from Calypso. They even have a website: DJ's Diner.Pasted Graphic 8

Denny's Latin Cafe–MM 99.6

No website, no frills, no English spoken. Just real Cuban food served in a true joint in a strip mall. Inexpensive and as infancy as you can get. Here's a video that says it all: DENNY'S LATIN CAFE

Tower of Pizza–MM 100
This is a tough call. Prices are low, portions large and they throw in a small salad for free. Marinara, mushroom or meat sauce is tasty. Spaghetti & salad $9.95. Dinner for two is under $25 and you can do takeout and bring it back to Calypso. Its good, but all dishes (except spaghetti) have a thick layer of cheese on top for some reason, which we peel off and then enjoy the lasagna underneath, or whatever. The Tower is very close to the houseboat, which counts for a lot, but can only give it 3 stars*.

Waffle House–MM 100
It is what it is.

Coconuts Restaurant & Night Club–MM 100

Doc's Diner–MM 100.2
From Denny's, just a few hundred feed down the road, towards the mainland is another strip mall is Doc's Diner. Opened by an optometrist in 1975 its still owned by the same folks. Open 6:00 to 2:00 PM have a complete breakfast for $4.59 (eggs, hash browns or grits, with toast. Add meat for another dollar or two. Highly rated on Trip Advisor. Its just a strip mall, but you can get your eyes checked and have a great meal!
Docs

Arby's–MM 101
We actually like this place for a quick sandwich.

Cheng Garden Restaurant–MM 101

This place is in Tradewinds Plaza where the Publix Supermarket is. We can't recommend it having eaten there, sadly. In 2015 we rated it 1 star, but maybe things have changed…

Jimmy Johnson's Big Chill Restaurant–MM 104
We love the views, so enjoy this place in the daytime and thus it is here under lunch. Large Tiki bars outside and friendly waitstaff and a rather good lunch menu variety. Food for lunch is fine, skip the pizza if you're used to good stuff in New England. Jimmy Johnson, head coach of the Dallas Cowboys until 1994, kept his fancy center console boat, 5 Rings, at Pilot House. He won, I think, 2 Super Bowl rings and 3 college bowls rings in his career and named his boat 5 Rings and, of course, had to put five giant outboard motors on it! Still, he treated the PH staff like crap, being arrogant, so that may bias me in giving the Big Chill only 3 stars*.

More places within a few miles of the marina, many within walking distance.:

D'Hooker Sports Bar & Grill–MM 102
Rib Daddy's Steak & Seafood–MM 102
The Marlin Restaurant–MM 102
Paradise Pub–MM 102
Key Largo Conch House–MM 102
The Fish House Encore–MM 102.3
Num Thai Restaurant & Sushi Bar–MM 103

Sundowner–MM 104