If you want to savor the flavor of the Florida Keys, spend a little time at a tiki bar. Our favorites profiled here are unpretentious waterfront spots where you’ll get good fresh fish, fried everything and a big serving of Keys atmosphere.
Everyone wants to discover that funky inexpensive spot where locals go. In Key West, that would be Hogfish Bar & Grill on Stock Island, which wins raves for fresh off-the-boat seafood.
Peace River Seafood in Punta Gorda is a true Florida crab shack; they don’t come more authentic than this. From its 1927 Cracker cabin to the buckets of fresh blue crabs, it’s a little piece of old Florida.
Fort Lauderdale’s Rustic Inn is a classic. Their “world famous garlic crabs” draw hundreds of people every night to this old Florida restaurant, tucked away on Ravenswood Road, just west of Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport. You’ll find it from the sound of wooden mallets pounding on the table every few minutes.
Lionfish are gobbling up native species on Florida Keys reefs. Now you can gobble them up instead. Several Florida restaurants are serving lionfish, said to be delicious.
This historic restaurant near Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings Historic State Park at Cross Creek is a great place to eat like a cracker. It offers an old Florida ambiance and menu.
FORT PIERCE — This iconic beach bar draws an amazing mix of bikers, tourists, locals and retirees to the north end of Hutchinson Island, and the staff here really hustles to deliver the food and drinks with chaotic precision.
Robbie’s Marina is a don’t-miss stop as you drive through the Florida Keys. Dozens of tarpon, some more than 6 feet long, gather at the dock and lunge for fish from visitors. The restaurant there, the Hungry Tarpon, is highly recommended , too.