The Florida Keys offer miles of tropical paradise stretching from Key Largo to Key West. The Daily Meal rounded up some of the most interesting and unique places to eat, drink and soak up the amazing views, weather and lifestyle of the Florida Keys.
Planning a vacation is serious business, as the joy of looking forward to the trip and the memories of a successful holiday can sustain you for months. The Florida Keys are a popular destination; not just for tourists but also in pop culture, as it’s been memorialized by music and movies alike. Adding to this unique area’s mystique, excitement, and romance is its early history of being a haven for smugglers, pirates and other fringe members of society. Toss in a perfect year-round climate and you can see why locals fiercely love these islands and why so many people make the pilgrimage to experience paradise for a few days. To know the Florida Keys is for many to also know the frustration of not being able to make a permanent move there.
Part of what the locals call the Conch Republic, the lifestyle in the Keys revolves around taking it easy. The best way to put the brakes on life is to immerse yourself with the indigenous cuisine, as it will force you to take your time.
There’s no way to rush through a perfectly roasted cup of Cuban coffee and not a single valid reason to not meticulously savor a plate of oysters on the half shell. The culinary influences of the Florida Keys takes cues from its tropical climate, along with being the gateway to the Caribbean Islands. Fresh seafood, tropical fruit and citrus-based desserts are ubiquitous along the Florida Keys, but a number of chefs are putting their own touch on these ingredients; like the Asian influence at Kaiyo Grill and wildly innovative and playful flavors of Glazed Donuts.
We found 10 great places for you to enjoy traditional Florida Keys cuisine (like conch fritters and hogfish sandwiches) while taking in the unparalleled ambiance of this island paradise. Take a look at our slideshow and be prepared to have beach-filled daydreams turn into serious vacation planning.