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Key Lime Pie
Key Lime Pie

Top Things to Eat in Key West

If you are visiting Key West, check out these top delicacies that you shouldn’t miss.

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Key West's southernmost part has pristine waters, beautiful beaches, and amazing wild nightlife, but still, its cuisine is the most-talked about. Some of the top things to eat in Key West result from the culinary mixture of the top cities in its proximity. It is closer to Cuba than Miami, so its culinary culture uses its advantage and makes the best seafood like nowhere else.

5 Top Things to Eat in Key West

Recently, Travel & Leisure named the Key West Island one of the best for food. Try these 5 delicious dishes on your next visit:

1. Conch Fritters and Chowder

Conch is a staple food in Key West. Here it is served in multiple ways, and you might have seen the shell of a sea snail used for decorations. In Key West, it is eaten as fritters, chowder, deep-fried, or steamed. Due to their tough textures, fritters are the most common among the locals.

The conch snail is chopped, mixed with onions and green peppers, and then fried in batter. Also, they are addicting when served with key lime aioli. Conch tastes similar to clams, so it is also used for chowder. This is prepared in a spicy tomato broth with vegetables and potatoes.

2. Pink Shrimp

Pink shrimp are found in the surrounding waters in the Key West, primarily in the US. It is identified by a red dot on a distinctive shell and is one of the best foods in Key West. They are found from March to May and are prepared to make various dishes such as fried and wrapped in bacon. For the starters, they are dipped in mango or coconut sauce for a flavorful experience. However, it can be costly as around 85% of pink shrimp is harvested in the US from the Dry Tortugas north to Tarpon Springs, FL.

3. Key Lime Pie

Key lime pie is the most famous food in Key West. This creamy dessert pie is made from the juice of yellow-green key lime. It consists of three ingredients- 100% key lime juice, sweetened condensed milk, and graham cracker crust topping it with browned meringue. You can also try the chocolate-dipped key lime pie, which is one of the must-try foods in Key West.

4. Spiny Lobster

Spiny lobster is also called sea crayfish or rock lobster. If compared to the Marine lobster, the spiny lobsters have antennas instead of claws and their tails are delicious and sweeter. They live in the warm waters of the Bahamas, Australia, and California. They are broiled, fried, sautéed, or coated with key lime butter. You will find these lobsters in a variety of dishes.

5. Cuban Food

Key West is close to Cuba, so its food is infused with Cuban flavors and spices. Therefore, it is not surprising that Cuban cuisine had made its mark as half of the residents of Key West was from Cuba.

You will get plenty of Cuban dishes like sandwiches filled with roast pork, Swiss cheese, ham, salami, mustard, mayo, pickles, tomato, and lettuce. You can also try other traditional dishes like saffron-flavored paella and burgers, also known as fritas.

Best Things to do in Key West

Key West is famous for its sunny weather, spectacular views, sandy beaches, and many historic attractions. Some of the best things you can do are:

  1. Visit Mallory Square
  2. Ernest Hemingway’s House
  3. Take in the view from the Key West Lighthouse
  4. Bar hopping on Duval Street
  5. Visit Key West Butterfly and Nature Conservatory
  6. Visit a Rum Distillery
  7. Ride on a Floating Tiki Bar
  8. Lounge on the beach
  9. Harry S. Truman's Little White House
  10. Edward B. Knight Pier
  11. Visit the Shipwreck Museum
  12. Visit the Mel Fisher Maritime Museum
  13. Trip out to the Dry Tortugas
  14. Go Kayaking through the Mangrove Swamps

Final Thoughts

You can find everything in Key West, from freshly caught seafood to sweet key lime pie. Besides Cuban delicacies, you will also get a ton of great Caribbean foods. This is a paradise for food lovers and they are sure to fall in love with the flavorful preparations of the Key West.

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