Restaurants serving Lunch & Dinner

Its all about the food in the Keys. Seafood predominates, but you can get anything you want as there are hundreds of great places throughout the Keys.

Web Site Directories

There are good directories of KL restaurants on the web, This one indicates Mile-markers: Find Key Largo restaurants Official Tourism. This one also does: FloridaRambler.com and it includes many points of interest along the way. Of course, Trip Advisor describes over 100 between Tavernier and KL: Key Largo, FL Restaurants: See 106 restaurants with 13,447 reviews - TripAdvisor.

Our Favorite Spots
Part of the adventure is exploring and finding your favorite spots. Gail & Jerry rate some of the places on a 1 to 5 star scale, * as of 04/17. We'll move down the keys from the first mile marker (MM 106) as you come onto Key Largo. MM 1 is at the tip of Key West, so remember the mile markers go down as you travel the length of the Keys. We use Yelp on our cell phones as we travel around the Keys. Here we present our favorite dinner (and lunch) restaurants from the beginning of the Keys through Islamorada; i.e., north to south in the upper keys.

Buzzard's Roost Grill & PubMM 105.5
This wonderful spot is close to where you enter KL at MM 106.5 on the ocean side. The service and the food is great, this is pretty consistently our favorite restaurant in the Keys, thus we have to give it 5 stars*.Pasted Graphic 18



Jimmy Johnson's Big ChillMM 104
Great view, best seen in the daytime so see a review of this place under Breakfast and Lunch.

Sundowners

Great place to see the sunset from as its on the bay side looking West. MM 104.
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Puerto Vallarta Mexican Seafood
This hole-in-the wall right on the Overseas Highway at MM 102.5 heading north is one of our favorites. Not fancy but good food. Ah, but they've closed this location so we have to give it
0 stars* at this point.

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Hobo's Cafe–MM 101.7
Small and right on the OS Highway Hobo's has served locals since 1991, there is a diverse menu with reasonable prices. In addition to seafood, you'll find lamb burgers, escargot, flautas, steak and quesadillas. They serve booze, and are open Mon-Sun, 11:00–10:00 PM: Hobos Cafe. The only problem with this place is the plain Jane atmosphere (it's right on the highway no view, and not even any windows), but the food and service are typically great. Shown below, left to right, are the: Louisiana Style Shrimp & Scallops; Lamb Burger; Shrimp and Lobster Po Boy; Key Lime Pie.

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SnooksMM 99.9
Just across the Overseas Highway from Pilot House Marina, at MM 99.9, is Snooks on the bayside: Snooks Bayside Restaurant. It has a huge outdoor seating areas with a small bar with great views under the tiki roof which is just visible at the right of the photo below. Also pictured below, is the grand tiki bar with sort-of indoor seating. This place is known for its great for sunsets, with a ceremony where a visitor pulls the rope to sound a giant horn every evening at sunset. This place is an easy walk (.51 miles) from Calypso, on the bayside. Friends Art and Denise were perfectly served appetizers at the grand tiki bar (where they sat alone) which were timed to not overlap and allow a relaxed dining experience. They finished up splitting a great hamburger. Maybe the best thing is the sunset views as you're looking West as you are on the bayside. They gave it 4+ stars*.

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Here's some pictures of the outside Tiki bar and dining area:

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DiGiorgio's Key Largo CafeMM 99
At MM 99 and family owned since 1992, Italian food from the family's pasta in Cassino, Italy. They make pasta "your way" so you can custom design your own dinner. On the bay side almost directly opposite from Pilot House Marina which is on the ocean side of Key Largo. Nice quiet surroundings and within walking distance of the marina (0.5 miles) the hostess Jan does double-duty as the lunch-time hostess at the Pilot House's restaurant at Calpyso's marina. We enjoyed a full meal (soup or salad and nice garlic rolls are included) and give it a high 4 stars*.

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Bayside GrilleMM 99
Directly behind DiGiorgio's, sharing the same parking lot and owned by the same folks as DiGriorgio's, is the glassed-in Bayside Grille on the 2nd floor. We like the happy hour on the ground level floor right under the restaurant and directly on the water. This place is next door to Snooks although you can't easily walk from place-to-place. It is accessible from the Sunset Resort which is a slightly seedy motel complex. Here's a YouTube mini feature: Bayside grille mp4 - YouTube.Scroll down after you click on Bayseide's entertainment page to see the happy hour specials: here. They have bands and music.

Pilot House Tiki Bar and RestaurantMM 99 in our marina
So we come to our own indoor/outdoor restaurant and tiki bar right in our marina. We're on the ocean side, but not directly on the ocean since the Pilot House Restaurant is located on its own inner harbor. To come by boat you would travel from the ocean down a long narrow channel to the inner harbor and tie up right in front of the bar. Of course, it is easier to just walk from Calypso 150 feet to the restaurant/bar– so the convenience factor is huge. The menu is extensive with great happy hour specials and appetizers. The view is perfect for outdoor dining and the "glass bottom bar" has large glass sections in the floor with the water illuminated at night to see the fish swim under your feet, which is pretty cool.

There is a large air conditioned indoor dining room and bar for when the weather is not so perfect. It's priced competitively with the other restaurants listed, but the quality of the food is not quite as good. There can be over-served sailers (staff are pretty tolerate of the regulars) sitting at the bar and many folks smoke, so sit at a table a little way from the bar. The music can be loud, but it stops early (see comments elsewhere on this website about this) as this is a liveaboard marina so folks are working and need their rest, as do you when you come home to Calypso after a busy day. We always grab a drink and a bite here upon arriving and usually just before if we have time to kill after checkout (at 10:00AM) and our flight time. It's all about the view and the convenience, and nice marina staff so we give it:
3 stars*

Here's the view from our rooftop deck of the large restaurant complex (indoor, outside dining) with the covered bar in the section labeled "TIKI":
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Key Largo FisheriesMM 99 in our harbor
Key Largo Fisheries is just across our small inner harbor and serves as a fresh seafood market and open air cafe. You'll watch the fishing boats deliver fresh fish to the place from our roof top deck, and food you buy there is usually hours old. Walk over and enjoy lunch or dinner as they are open until 8. Can you see Calypso's roof-top deck cover with the angled supports just behind the sport fishing boat above the kid's head? This place gets 4+ stars* for what it is.

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SnappersMM 94.5
Love this place, it's less then 5 miles from the marina at MM 94.5 on the oceanside; check out the menu:
Snapper's Key Largo Restaurant and Tiki bar. This is right up among the top two or three of our favorite places. Service can be a bit slow, but always friendly. Fish is cooked perfectly, we had Hog fish her the first time and it was great! Have to give it 5 stars*.
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World Wide Pro Shops RestaurantMM 81.5
This used to be the flagship of the Bass River Pro Shops until the owner sold off the chain, but he kept this one on Islamorada since: 1.) it was the only one with a marina, and 2.) he lives on Islamorada and keeps his own fishing boat in the marina. In fact, there are dozens of shallow water bone fishing charter boats at the marina, where you cast (like fly fishing) for snook, tapon, bonefish, mahi mani, etc.

Inside the large store for great fashion wear, see the huge aquarium, buy fishing and camping gear and go aboard a copy of Hemingway's boat (the Pilar) inside the store made by the same boat maker–the original Pilar is sadly decaying in Cuba. Take the glass elevator up to the Zane Grey Lounge which over looks their marina and gorgeous mangrove surrounded harbor. Eat at the Islamorada Fish Company on site, or several other restaurants on the property or next door. The shopping is great for clothes as well as fishing gear, sunglasses, or fish pillows which we have several on our tugboat, Alto. In fact, when we're not cruising the Keys, we use the tugboat to travel between Pilot House and the docks at this place and just park.


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A favorite of ours is the Zane Grey Restaurant on the second floor of the main building. There is a lovely formal indoor bar and a great veranda to eat on. This became an affordable option when they converted the menu to the same one that all the other restaurants use in the complex. Runners deliver the food up the stairs and we can verify great fish served hot, and the views are incredible. You'll see boats anchored in the enclosed bay which is just next store to the Lorelei.

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Lorelei Restaurant and Cabana Bar
MM 78 or so
We skipped several great waterfront places on Tavernier to Islamorada, only because the Lorelei is a little unique. Its on its own point of land on the bayside. Sit on the sand, at the covered Bar or at the Tiki bar.

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Lazy Days
MM 79.8
This terrific spot is on the ocean side. Dine on the sand or upstairs in a large dining room. The place fills up during the season. We give it 5 stars*. There's another one on Marathon. They have lots of pasta under fresh fish and have their own special readings.
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Bud N' Mary's
MM 79.8
This is a fishing charter location with a snack bar that has limited hours. It's mentioned here as one of the best places to charter a larger boat for deeper, ocean fishing. They have less expensive, multi-party boats too. In the evening, we watch the giant tarpon and other fish come in to fee off the scraps as the fishermen clean their fish, its pretty amazing as they are huge. Bud N' Mary's rents two small, elderly houseboats which we stayed on while searching for our ideal marina. Not as comfortable at Calypso and pretty small one-bedroom affairs, what was amazing was watching the fish swim up to and under the boats in the evening. They have a few clean but plain-Jane motel rooms which are mostly used by fishermen planning to leave on early morning charters, but they do have more expensive accommodations that are unique.

Robbie's Hungry Tarpon RestaurantMM 77.5
From Bud N' Mary's if you travel south over a a long causeway you'll come to Lower Matecumbe Key, which is still part of Islamorada. As you cross the causeway look to your right (bayside) and see Ligumvitae Key which has several free public moorings north of it. You can pick up a mooring and stay for free, and dingy into places like the Lorelei. There is a public ferry to the Key for day visitors, as there is an old fort on it.

Just over the causeway, the first "joint" you see will be Robbie's fish shack etc. on the bayside, although the Key is so thin you' might as well also be on the oceanside. At Robbie's is the
Hungry Tarpon Restaurant which is pretty great and totally funky. There are little shops to wander about and fishing/snorkeling/diving charters, but the big draw is feeding the tarpon as you can buy scraps of food and walk out on walkway/docks to see the fish in action. It costs $1.00 to walk out on the dock (which is essentially the same as watching them clean their catch and feed the fish at Bud N' Mary's for free, but it can be spectacular:
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