America’s Byways: Florida Keys Scenic Highway

109 MILES | 2 hr 42 min | by Roadfood
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The Drive to Key West

Surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean and Gulf of Mexico stretching out as far as the eye can see, this drive winds through vistas of natural beauty, areas rich in history and legend, views of spectacular sunrises, sunsets, sparkling stars, and moonlight. It’s a highway where travelers from all over the world experience their own adventures in paradise.” Need we mention that Gulf seafood and, of course, Key lime pie, along this route are extraordinary?

Key Largo and Marathon

  • When available, the “Blackened Grouper Orleans” served at Buzzards Roost is our go-to dish. If it is unavailable while you are there, there are a variety of other fantastic dishes including a “Hogfish Sandwich” and “seafood combo” platter. The caramel granny smith apple pie is a hard dessert to pass up.
  • Eating at Key Fisheries is about as informal as it can get. Seating is outside at picnic tables and utensils and plates are disposable. The food is off the charts. The fish in the “Grilled Grouper Sandwich” is obviously fresh and tastes excellent. “Coconut Shrimp” are plump and juicy, they’re a great appetizer for any meal.

Key West

  • El Siboney serves many excellent Cuban dishes. The “Roast Pork” is fantastic and is served alongside onions, rice and yuca. The “Cuban Mix Sandwich” uses this roast pork, as well as ham, salami, cheese, pickles, lettuce and tomatoes, to construct a delicious sandwich.
  • Dining at Louie’s Back Yard is as close to a magical experience as you are going to get from a meal. Seating is outside on a terrace that overlooks the Atlantic Ocean, we enjoyed a spectacular sunset, and the food is unbelievably good. Fish is so fresh that you can eat a filet for a six o’clock dinner that was caught at noon.
  • Breakfast begins at 6:30 at Pepe’s Café & Steak House. Choose from a variety of omelets, pancakes and granola and don’t forget to order the bread du jour. For people arriving later in the day, oysters are offered in many different ways, including Mexican, raw and Florentine.
  • Chickens roam Blue Heaven as if they own the place, but we don’t mind. Breakfast here is outstanding, we suggest the pancakes or granola. For those arriving later in the day, the pork tenderloin is an great dish.
1

Buzzards Roost

Buzzards Roost is good eating off the beaten path on the waterfront in Key Largo. Note especially the lobster Reuben and caramel granny smith apple pie.

2

Keys Fisheries

Keys Fisheries is a market & seafood restaurant specializing in Florida stone crabs in season. Dining is at picnic tables; the sunset view is priceless.

3

El Siboney

El Siboney is a cool, clean and pleasant restaurant that serves Cuban lunch and early dinner, mostly to locals. A Key West, Florida, best bet!

4

Louie’s Back Yard

A romantic Key West dining spot overlooking the Ocean, Louie's serves stylish Caribbean food in a laid-back way. Don't miss: Key lime pie on gingersnap crust.

5

Pepe’s Cafe & Steak House

Pepe's boasts it is “the eldest eating house in the Florida Keys.” Its 3-meal-a-day menu ranges from fresh bread every morning to steak & oysters at dinner.

6

Blue Heaven

House motto: "Blue Heaven: you don’t have to die to get there." The outdoor terrace is a magical place for breakfast (or lunch or supper) on Key West.

Must Eats
Pork Tenderloin , Key Lime pie