Are you wondering where to grab a bite to eat on Duval? If you are hungry after spending time shopping, walking, listening to music, or bar hopping, to help you get that craving under control, check out a few of these best Key West restaurants on Duval Street.
I recently posted about not eating on Duval and why you should. Now, I’d like to offer suggestions on why and where you can go to enjoy a meal on our town’s beloved main strip.
Key West is a busy place with many restaurants on and off Duval for you to choose from. Most places are located on or near Duval Street. This famed lively street stretches from the Atlantic to the Gulf. So when you are on a tight schedule, trying to cram everything in, how do you choose? In this post, you will find ten options featuring Duval Street restaurants with a healthy mix of cuisines and prices for you to explore.
I love going to Martin’s and am not sure what took me so long to get around to getting there in the first place. Elevated tapas and an exciting happy hour drew me in. I’m a sucker for gourmet, and Martin’s does that well.
I’m fascinated with their grilled lamb chops and can’t get enough of the different martinis on the menu. Shaken, not stirred! The shrimp and scallop skewers are always a good choice, along with the pork tenderloin and Bermuda onion on a stick.
Something about food on a stick makes me happy.
Best of all, if you are there from 4-6, they are all half-price. All of the tapas and all of the martinis are on the happy hour menu. House wine is on special too. Working my way around the varied menu offerings is fun. Stop in and see why Martin’s is often mentioned as one of the best restaurants on Duval Street.
What I like – I like the tapas menu, the ambiance at the bar, and happy hour pricing.
What I don’t like – The wait to get in at the opening. The lobster bisque isn’t our favorite.
Located at: 917 Duval St, Key West, FL 33040 Open from: 4 pm
When you have good food that is consistent and prepared well, It’s hard to be disappointed. And that is precisely what you will find at the Banana Cafe. One of our family favorites since 2015 and is always worth a visit for any meal at any time of day.
I think many of you may know about it as well, judging from the lines I see on the sidewalk when passing by. Key West restaurants can get quite busy, especially those on Duval.
Indulge in breakfast crepes with both sweet and savory options for you to choose from. Omelets, benedicts, and traditional items are available too. On a hot day, one of their amazing salads may hit the spot. I enjoyed the refreshing La Island Salad with shrimp and scallops.
Banana Cafe’s sandwiches are hefty portions and will fill you up. Don’t rule them out for a later meal; they still shine at dinner time as well. Try out some of our favorites, such as the French Country Chicken, NY Strip Steak & Frites, or the Pan Roasted Yellowtail Snapper.
Banana Cafe is a French-inspired bistro and creperie with a flair for excellence.
What I like – The variety on the menu. The friendly staff. The flavors of their food.
What I don’t like – The lines I see to get in and possible wait times.
Located at: 1215 Duval St, Key West, FL 33040 Open from: 7:30 am
Blackfin Bistro is a quiet, unassuming-looking building found on Duval near Truman Avenue. This restaurant is home to my son’s favorite burger in Key West. Have you heard about it yet?
Trevor’s favorite is the Wagyu burger, and it is a must every time he is back on the island. It comes dressed with port wine mayonnaise, shallot marmalade, and smoked gouda fondue. On the side will be hand-cut truffle fries. This luxurious hamburger now runs at $28. (To think I thought a $26 burger in Iceland was expensive)
If you choose to visit, you can dine at the bar or small inside area or outdoors in the welcoming open-air courtyard. Besides the burgers, you will discover pasta, salad, meat, and seafood selections on the menu. I enjoyed some nicely seared scallops on the daily special last visit. My father went all in on a silky and luxurious carbonara.
The wine pour was relatively small and cost me $21 for Hess Cabernet. (Ouch!) Perhaps consider a bottle if you are going to imbibe. The Japanese beer was decent and better priced at under $6.
What I like – The outdoor area is charming and a breath of fresh air from the bustle of Duval.
What I don’t like – The wine pour.
Located at: 918 Duval St, Key West, FL 33040 Open from: 5 pm (on Fri, Sat, Sun 12 pm)
La Te Da
One of my favorite breakfast places and also a spot to people-watch. An interesting and lively crowd gathers at the bar in the mornings. Yes, Alan, we are looking at you. It’s nice sitting there on Duval, watching the comings and goings around you.
The bloody marys and mimosas are fantastic and help to get things started. Once I order the Eggs La Te Da (soft scrambled with sour cream and chives), I know my morning is going well.
Lunch & Dinner are also tasty and well prepared. On occasion, La Te Da can have specials during the week, which can be an excellent bargain, so be on the lookout. (Meatloaf Monday, Prime Rib Wednesday, etc.)
What I like – The bar and dining areas, Bloody Marys, Honey whipped butter in the evening.
What I don’t like – The dinner menu prices are getting steep.
Located at: 1125 Duval St, Key West, FL 33040 Open from: 8:30 am
I discovered the Grand Cafe last year. Situated on lower Duval next to pretty much everything, you could say it has an idyllic location. I met a couple of guys at Martin’s, and thankfully they told me about the Grand Cafe.
Look into the Chef’s Tasting Plate if you want to try the best variety. It features a petite filet, a 4 oz lobster tail, ravioli, and Key West Pink Shrimp.
We have had excellent appetizers; we liked the yellowfin tartare, the cheese plate, and the steamed clams. I think the sauce the clams are in is better than others I have had at places like Alonzo’s and the Half Shell Raw Bar. The small plates are discounted during happy hour.
The Surf and Turf is always a tasty bite, and everyone on our visits that have ordered has enjoyed the fire-grilled filet.
Most importantly, and it is hard, always leave room for dessert. There is a cheesecake du jour, and on one of our visits, it was salted caramel, and it was heavenly!
What I like – Location, steaks, and seafood.
What I don’t like – N/A
Located at: 314 Duval St, Key West, FL 33040 Open from: 4 pm (Sunday at 12 pm)
Kaya Island Eats
If you are seeking out or missing some of that aloha in your life, along with some delicious island fusion, Kaya Island Eats is where you want to go! Tropical vibes await whether you are a local or a visitor.
Everyone is welcome. There is a daily happy hour from 4 pm if that’s your thing. It is mine!
Off the top, I’d say get after those appetizers. They are building a following with their Jamaican Jerk Chicken Wings, and I was pleasantly surprised with the Tuna Poke Nachos.
I’ve yet to get to the Hawaiian pork sliders, tacos, or veggie wontons, but it will happen soon. The menu is eclectic, and you should find something for every person to enjoy.
If you are coming in off a fishing trip, bring your catch. Scott will prepare different creations for you.
What I like – The menu makes me feel like I am back in Hawaii. The owner and staff, happy hour
What I don’t like – N/A
Located at: 618 Duval St rear, (for outdoor patio dining)
and at 628 Duval St (for indoor dining) Key West, FL 33040 Open from: 11 am
Dollar bills, live music, cold drinks, and being in the middle of Duval, does it get much better than this? We’ll leave that up to you to decide.
At Willie T’s, the food is better than you’d expect. First, try the cheese curds for a delightful bar snack. Then, of course, the burgers and other lunch items are always good. I can’t get enough of the fish sandwich. My wife raves about their salads, and my dad is always up for one of the daily specials.
Wash it all down with the rotating two for $12 daily drink special. If Brandon is behind the bar, the drinks will keep coming with wonderful service!
Grab that dollar bill you have left after tipping the musicians and service staff and leave your mark by stapling it up among the others. You can tune in on Willie T’s webcam and watch the antics anytime.
What I like – Location, higher-level bar food, drink specials
What I don’t like – N/A
Located at: 525 Duval St, Key West, FL 33040 Open from: 10 am
Southernmost Beach Cafe
Location, location, location! The Southernmost Beach Cafe is a popular spot for al fresco dining with water views. And they have this in spades. It creates a lovely atmosphere for when you are eating here.
First off, I must talk about the SOMO Bloody Mary. It’s one of my favorite bloodys on the island. Old bay rim, cheese-stuffed olives, and bacon! You must try the SOMO Bloody Mary at least once, or you haven’t lived as well as you could be.
Look out towards the water and let your problems slip away. Birds and chickens mingle with the crowd along the backyard beach and dining area. All the traditional Key West breakfast, lunch, and dinner plates you expect to see are on the menu. I’m a fan of the avocado toast trio and the Mahi sandwich.
The beach cafe has everything you would want:
- A lively atmosphere.
- Ocean views.
- An inviting strand of beach.
- Food & drink.
What I like – Bloody Mary, Views, Being near the water.
What I don’t like – The potato hash-pancake thing on breakfast plates. Give me seasoned home fries!
Located at: 1405 Duval St, Key West, FL 33040 Open from: 8 am
Viva Argentinian Steakhouse
Who’s ready for some flavors of South America? When I think of Argentina, three things come to mind.
- Lionel Messi
- Steak with chimichurri sauce
- Malbec Wine
Soccer wasn’t on when I visited, but my wife and I devoured our steak offerings and took down some wine at Viva Argentinian Steakhouse. Two out of three ain’t bad!
She had the ribeye, and I went for the filet mignon. She has since proclaimed this her favorite ribeye steak on the island. Besides those two, there is also a NY Strip and Skirt steak to round out the meat selections.
Viva has some of the best food on Duval Street, not to mention a killer happy hour and a fun tiki hut.
Yes, the other usual suspects are on the menu too. Hamburger, salads, seafood, and pasta.
If you are going for appetizers, you must try the empanadas. I love the texture of the dough and the flavorful burst in each bite from the steak empanada. You’ll also see seafood options (sauteed scallops, ahi tuna, coconut shrimp) along with a meat and then a cheese platter.
Save room if you are able for an after-dinner treat. For example, my friends raved about the Dulce de Leche Crepes. On my last visit, I enjoyed a tasty slice of homemade key lime pie.
What I like – An earlier happy hour 11- 5 (bar only), outdoor dining area, location, menu value, and offerings. On the Key West Bar Card.
What I don’t like – If I had to pick something, the corn and cheese empanada wasn’t a favorite.
Located at: 903 Duval St, Key West, FL 33040 Open from: 12 pm
New York Pasta Garden
At this restaurant, they like to do things Big!
Hidden just back from Duval St proper, you will see Duval Square, and here you’ll find the New York Pasta Garden. Indoor or outdoor dining options are available.
Remember I mentioned big? Try a glass of wine. Not only is it a generous pour that puts all others to shame, but it will get you through your meal! Not an offensive few ounces like you may be given at another dining establishment.
The trees out front used to be lively with some African grays and macaws. It created a lovely ambiance along with the decorative lights. Nowadays, the only birds left are some overly aggressive chickens. #keywestproblems
The menu here is huge, like four pages long. You won’t have a problem finding something for everyone. I tend to favor the picatta (veal, chicken, or fish). On occasion, you will be presented with a complimentary appetizer such as lightly fried artichokes or a salad.
Come with an appetite because, like the wine pour, the portions are not petite. See why New York Pasta Garden is a local favorite and one of the best restaurants on Duval Street in Key West.
What I like – The menu, the service, and staff, the portions
What I don’t like – No parrots anymore, the chickens can be aggressive
Located at: 1075 Duval St, Key West, FL 33040 Open from: 4 pm
There You Have 10 Key West Restaurants on Duval Street
The best way to enjoy Key West is by eating at its many great restaurants. These ten eateries are located along Duval Street, which runs through the heart of Old Town Key West.
Which will you go to first? I hope you can experience some of these wonderful restaurants on Duval Street in Key West and enjoy your time dining out.
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