09 May 2013
Best Seafood Restaurants in Key West
If there’s any place in the world you should eat seafood, it should undoubtedly be Key West. You’re not going to find a more mouthwatering selection of succulent fish to land on your plate anywhere else. So where do you go on an island with restaurants on every corner claiming to have the freshest catch of the day?
Bo’s Fish Wagon
Try Bo’s Fish Wagon at 801 Caroline Street. It’s a shack, it’s laid back and you can wander in from the boat in your flip-flops. But this little place is where you’ll get a cracked conch sandwich on Cuban bread with a shot of key lime mayo that earned its moment of fame on Bobby Flay’s Food Network show. There are also fresh fish dinners, grilled scallops, fish sandwiches, platters and sandwiches for your queasy friends who are too chicken to eat fish.
Half Shell Raw Bar
Next stop, head to the Half Shell Raw Bar in the Historic Seaport. This is the place where the local charter boat captains come to eat fish. It’s an island tradition and a historic icon, but what makes it even more special is the fact that the fish they’re serving comes right off the boat in front of the restaurant and into the kitchen. The fish market is right there. You’ve heard it before, but truly the only fresher fish are still swimming. Dig into the luscious oysters, clams, shrimp, crab and conch fritters. You’ve got to try the conch ceviche; it’s a delicacy that explodes in your mouth with citrus flavor, spices and unbelievable sweet conch that will knock your socks off. Another really cool thing about the Half Shell, besides the refreshing tropical drinks, is the chef. The story goes that Sebastian actually grew up in the kitchen at the restaurant, watching his father, the original chef, work his magic and serve up all this delicious fare.
If you want something with more ambiance, or even fancy-remember you’re in Key West, the island where anything goes. But there are a few more upscale places around town. Seven Fish on Olivia Street is off the beaten path a bit and you’ll need reservations. They have a good wine selection and a fish taco appetizer that’s just the right amount of spicy. The A&B Lobster House is an elegant alternative located in downtown Key West. The views from the wrap-around balcony are great and the inside dining room is nice for a special occasion. They serve Maine lobsters and locally caught seafood; you’ll need reservations for this one as well.
Say Hello to Sebastian
So if you’re in Key West, and you’re wishing for fish, stop into any or all of these seafood restaurants for a great meal. If you hit the Half Shell Raw Bar say hello to the Chef.