If you’re going to Key Largo, Florida, there are two things you need to try: the seafood and the Key Lime Pie (although preferably, not on the same plate). While the area is bursting with great restaurants, the seafood restaurants are something else, serving up fresh, locally sourced fish cooked every which way to heaven. Whether you want a succulent lobster roll, a dozen raw oysters, or a comforting conch chowder, you’ll find plenty to tempt you on the menus of our ten best seafood restaurants in Key Largo, FL (including, of course, that delectable Key Lime pie).
10. Sal's Ballyhoo's Historic Seafood Grille
Where: 97860 Overseas Hwy, Key Largo, FL 33037-2229
Conch Fritters, Conch Meuniere, New Orleans BBQ Shrimp, Cast Iron Mahi, Whole Fried Snapper, Butter Poached Grilled Lobster, Florida Stone Crab, Chicken & Shrimp Curry, Shrimp & Oyster Po' Boy… if there’s a fish or crustacean that can be caught, grilled, poached, or baked, you can bet your bottom dollar it’s on Sal's Ballyhoo's Historic Seafood Grille’s extensive menu. If you can make it through the fish courses and still have enough room for dessert, don’t miss the Key Lime Pie, which, legend and locals have it, is one of the best in town.
9. The Catch
Where: 102041 Overseas Hwy, Key Largo, FL 33037
From the outside, the Catch looks relatively understated and low key, but don’t let its simplicity fool you. The fish is fresh, the home-style cooking is first-rate, and the ambiance is informal, vibrant, and fun. Try the Seafood Basket at $12.95 for a great lunchtime treat, or the 'Big' Catch Sandwich for a belly-busting snack on the go.
8. Bayside Grille & Sunset Bar
Where: 99530 Overseas Hwy, Key Largo, FL 33037
With its panoramic views over the Florida Bays and its bustling bistro-style open kitchen, the elevated, open-air restaurant that is Bayside Grille & Sunset Bar is as much a treat for the eyes as it is for the belly. The food is high end, but the atmosphere is informal, making it a great place to tuck into some world-class food without having to shine your shoes first. The portions are legendary for their generosity… which is no bad thing when you consider its superb menu of fresh, seasonal produce and locally caught seafood. For a meal you won’t forget, try the Key Largo Sampler, a humongous platter of Lobster Tail, Jumbo Shrimp, North Atlantic Scallops, Mahi, Ritz Cracker-Crabcake, Key Lime Beurre Blanc, Krispy Kapers, and Island Rice that comes in for the more than reasonable price of just $32.
7. Mrs. Mac's Kitchens
Where: 99336 Overseas Hwy, Key Largo, FL 33037
The small, inconspicuous Mrs. Mac's Kitchens is easy to miss, but step inside the doors and you’ll be extremely thankful you found it. The fish is fresh, flaky, and cooked to perfection, while the Key Lime pie is worth the trip alone. The service, meanwhile, is attentive, friendly, and courteous, and the informal, fun vibe makes it a great place to relax with friends.
6. The Fish House Restaurant & Seafood Market
Where: 102401 Overseas Hwy, Key Largo, FL 33037
If you want to taste the food of a serial award winner, check out The Fish House Restaurant & Seafood Market. The Key Largo institution has been racking up the awards for years, and currently bears the People’s Choice titles for Best Overall Restaurant, Best Seafood Restaurant, Best Service Staff, and Best Key Lime Pie in Florida. With a relaxed, informal vibe, friendly service, and a menu crammed with Conch Republic favorites, it’s easy to understand its evergreen appeal.
5. Lazy Lobster
Where: 102770 Overseas Hwy Mile Marker 102, Bayside, Key Largo, FL 33037-2730
Good food, great service, amazing cocktails, and a gorgeous little beer garden… if all this floats your boat, don’t miss a visit to the charming Lazy Lobster. Along with the faultless daily menu, the restaurant also offers to cook up your catch – just bring along your day’s takings, and Chef Lupe will prepare it in any way you like (although just be prepared to debone and fillet it first).
4. Key Largo Fisheries Backyard Cafe
Where: 1313 Ocean Bay Dr. Suite A, Key Largo, FL 33037-4213
For a quick bite, Key Largo Fisheries Backyard Café makes a great choice. The café may only have been in operation since 2011, but the family that runs it has over 46 years of experience in the seafood industry- something that’s patently clear from the divinely fresh seafood and shellfish on offer. For the perfect light lunch, the signature Key Largo Lobster BLT is hard to beat… although the gorgeous Lobster Philly comes in a close second.
3. What The Fish Rolls & More
Where: 90775 Old Hwy Unit #6, Tavernier, Key Largo, FL 33070-2429
What The Fish Rolls & More is one of Key Largo’s most popular lunchtime spots, and for good reason. The fish tacos are legendary, while the lobster roll sandwiches will rival anything you can get elsewhere. Service is exceptional, and while it’s advisable to turn up early (the favorites tend to sell out early), there’s enough on offer to tempt you even if you do miss out on your first choice.
2. The Key Largo Conch House Restaurant & Coffee Bar
Where: 100211 Overseas Hwy, Key Largo, FL 33037-4418
Family-owned, environmentally friendly Key Largo Conch House Restaurant & Coffee Bar is a fabulous choice for anyone looking for a warm welcome, delicately treated, sustainably sourced seafood, and a level of service that’s never short of excellent. The menu is a smorgasbord of affordably priced classics: the Lobster Mac & Cheese at $21.95 is a sumptuous dream, while the Lobster & Conch Ceviche makes a perfect, refreshing light lunch.
1. Pilot House Restaurant
Where: 13 Seagate Boulevard Key Largo, FL 33037
A favorite among locals and tourists alike, Pilot House Restaurant has become something of a Key Fargo landmark since opening its doors in 1950. In the warmer months, its outdoor patio overlooking the marina makes a great place to while away a few hours, while the warmly inviting interior makes an equally attractive proposition during cooler days. The menu is as good as it is wide, with a great selection of raw bar delicacies, fresh local seafood and shellfish, and even a full kid’s side-menu. Prices are reasonable, and the service is friendly, attentive and knowledgeable – all in all, a clear winner.
Written by Garrett Parker
Read more posts by Garrett Parker