Readers choose the nominees for ideal restaurant in Vital West


Blue Heaven is between the finalists in a reader’s poll of Essential West’s very best dining places.

We questioned you to assistance us locate the most effective restaurant in Critical West — a large question in a modest town brimming with prime-notch eating possibilities.

You answered in droves.

Many thanks to every person who took the time to enable us slender this down. In this article we existing the top rated 16 eating possibilities on the island, in accordance to reader submissions.

But now arrives the pleasurable portion: We are heading to make these 16 eating places go head to head in a popular vote till voters last but not least decide Crucial West’s delicacies champ.

Just don’t forget, this is a just-for-pleasurable viewers poll. Men and women can vote as many occasions as they want, but robots can’t (however they will attempt). The grand prize is practically nothing but bragging rights, which is not really a terrible prize at all.

The Sweet 16

Blue Heaven: This longtime place in the historic Black neighborhood of Key West is famed for its seafood entrees, Sunday brunch and Key lime pie, which is piled high with meringue. Out of doors seating incorporates a rooster or two and stray cat roaming the grounds.

Café Solé: Just a bit off the crushed path of Duval Avenue, this cozy position has you included in the French delicacies division. The menu is loaded with domestically caught fish, like yellowtail snapper, mutton snapper and a Florida spiny lobster tail.

El Siboney: A Critical West vintage that opened in 1984, this Cuban cafe has two locations — just one in Outdated City and the more recent location on Inventory Island. Known for its roast pork, “El Siboney steak,” and Cuban combine, it is a common favorite for locals, much too.

Small Pearl: Chef John Ingelsby, who has worked in the Critical West restaurant scene for much more than 20 decades, is govt chef and portion owner of this little place recognised for high-quality eating with tropical touches. The wine listing is significant.

Lola’s: This minimal bistro with higher-stop fare gives two seatings for every evening so you want to simply call ahead for a desk. The switching menu attributes neighborhood fish. Convey your very own beverages — if you want nearly anything other than drinking water. Funds only.

Louie’s Backyard: This oceanfront Victorian natural beauty has for a long time been a measuring adhere for other good eating contenders. The major cafe is linked to the Afterdeck Bar, with great sights of the sunset, and the upstairs Cafe at Louie’s that serves modest plates. Chef Doug Shook has been serving up dishes like Vital West pink shrimp and yellowtail snapper, for 30 yrs.

Mangia Mangia: The name states it all. Selfmade pasta and sauces leading the menu with other Italian-American dishes at this Southard Road place. Decide on the eating area or the outside patio.

Mangoes: It constantly feels like a party at this open-air Duval Street eatery with a streetside bar. The menu features Caribbean flavors and appetizers array from nachos to lobster mac and cheese.

Off the Hook: Housed by the historic seaport, this indoor/out of doors restaurant has day by day supper specials along with its coconut shrimp, lobster and shrimp mac and cheese and pizzas. Glance for content hour-priced plates and drinks. And the menu has a pair goods for your pet, which include a “bacon ice cube bone.”

Onlywood: This Italian eatery has two spots: the pizzeria trattoria off Duval Road and the Onlywood Grill on Caroline Avenue. They have diverse menus. The Duval restaurant boasts an remarkable brick oven that reaches 1,000 degrees to make their Neapolitan-design and style pizzas. They have a checklist of exclusive pies, along with salads.

Pepe’s: Essential West cafe background practically starts off at Pepe’s, which opened in 1909 and features that it’s the oldest restaurant in the Keys and the second-oldest in Florida. They provide breakfast, lunch and supper daily. With its rustic, laid-again really feel, this spot recollects the island’s outdated times. Steaks and pork chops are evening meal favorites.

Santiago’s Bodega: Compact plates are king at this Bahama Village warm place. On the chilly facet, standouts are beef carpaccio and yellowfin tuna ceviche. The sizzling menu has meatballs, beef tenderloin with blue cheese butter, a “petite rack” of lamb, and dates loaded with goat cheese and wrapped in prosciutto.

Sarabeth’s: This James Beard Award winner has an intensive brunch menu and meal entrees that contain a grilled “Cowboy steak,” mussels, yellowfin tuna and brief ribs. Located in an lovely outdated residence on a corner near to Duval Road, it features American classics with island design.

7 Fish: For about 20 many years, this seafood mainstay has served new fish as signature dishes. The Thai Curry Snapper stands out alongside with the favorite staple meatloaf. Sushi is on the menu. The modern exterior and ethereal eating space are a far cry from its commence inside a little making that is now Minor Pearl.

Tavern N Town: Positioned proper off the foyer of the Important West Marriott Beachside Resort, Tavern N Town is the place the locals courageous North Roosevelt Boulevard to locate Wagyu burgers and steaks in a modern day eating place. The bar provides tapas and drink specials and are living music.

Viva Steakhouse: Viva bills alone as the 1st and only Argentinian steakhouse in Important West. Appropriate on Duval Road inside of a fabled historic building, the menu contains grassfed beef, pasta dishes and seafood. The significant outside patio permits you to persons look at, enjoy reside new music or hold a private party.

This tale was originally published May 24, 2022 6:00 AM.

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Gwen Filosa covers Vital West and the Decrease Florida Keys for and the Miami Herald and life in Important West. She was portion of the staff at the New Orleans Situations-Picayune that in 2005 won two Pulitzer Prizes for protection of Hurricane Katrina. She graduated from Indiana University.