The water is like a sheet of glass, the air filled with the salty scent of ocean and conditions in the Florida Keys are perfect – to enjoy the pleasant affects of fermented grains.
From the shores of the Atlantic to piers on the Gulf, the Florida Keys are home to an amazing collection of world famous saloons like Sloppy Joes, Hogs Breath Salon, the Hurricane and Parrotdise. But for those smart enough to climb off the Conch Train or skip the guided tours, a motley group of rustic watering holes and cantinas epitomize the true spirit of the Florida Keys – where getting drunk and mingling with the natives go hand in hand.
Back when the sweet smelling plant from Mexico was the most popular catch of the day, the Buzzard’s Roost was a bait and tackle shop, swarming with buzzards who were lucky enough to find anglers who actually caught fish. This eatery is found on Garden Cover Drive in Key Largo, and is known as “Another Place to Play.” Hostess Tammy Campbell credits the friendly patrons for the Roost’s popularity. A man who calls himself Brodini is one of them and says, “This is clearly the best dive. The Buzzard’s Roost is where I want to be.”
Voted Best Conch Chowder and Best Fish Sandwich
MM 106.5 Swing a Right off HWY 1
Then another quick Right off Garden Cove Dr.
Or maybe that’s Captain Spencer Slate’s right hand man Kurt Schaefer who grabs a bite to eat here at the dive situated one gravel parking lot away from the world-renown dive center! Cushy chairs surround the benches and polished wooden tables make this the ideal eatery to reminisce about the dive or fishing trip you just had in the waters of Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park. Beer battered onion rings and steak fries compliment any of the main menu items.
MM 106.5 Swing a Right off HWY 1
Venture ¼ M and look for the Wooden Sign on your right “Shipwrecks”
Waitress Tiffany Sagan nurses a blister on her left ankle with duct tape – a fitting bandage for the salty saloon.
The Safari Lounge
A taxidermist’s dream! The Lounge, aka “The Dead Animal Bar” is loaded with the mounted heads of a thousand beasts. Waterfront, full liquor…what else could you need?
This place is called the Doghouse for a reason. Bikers are welcome. So are patrons with bare, crusty “Circle K feet.” The Doghouse is truly the locals’ bar and the regulars pack into this hole in the wall as often as the sun rises, and as frequently! Entertainment includes a pool table, mirrors, bathroom, and as many TVs as there are square feet.
Ron Castillo Rum & Cola: $3
Food Special: toaster over pizzas for $4
MM 42, Gulf
Key Deer Bar and Grill
No, you are not drunk. Those are not dogs with antlers. They are Key Deer. Keep drinking.
MM31, Big Pine Key
Formerly known as Charlie’s Place, you can find this locals’ hang out tucked behind the Albertson’s shopping center. Inside Barmaid Phyllis Surprise has been pouring $9 pitchers for ten years for her clientele. Take commercial fisherman Pedro Collaco. We found him savoring the lunch of champions – A Pitcher of Bud Lite, Beef Jerky, and Full Flavor DTC Filtered lites. Open 9 am – 4am. Wander in; they always want to know how a tourist found the dive.
What’s for lunch?
Commercial Fisherman, Pedro Collaco shows the tourists, and locals, how it’s done. Package of jerky … pitcher of beer. “Gives me energy for all day!”
Back in the day it was called Che-Che’s! But the place has seen new owners…Don, duh! At 2 pm, the Shaker is already in motion. Not to mix up anything too fancy though. Bartender Rob Axe calls it an Ice Breaker. “Just pop open a Smirnoff Ice and shake the wine cooler up with ice. Makes it fizz.”
Inside collages of pictures plastered on the walls, tell the story of many good times and take us back to a day before Facebook. Swing by on Monday, Hot Dog Day! All Day.
Happy Hour every day at 7 am – Noon!
Located on US 1/Truman Avenue and Grinnell right about at MM 1.
Ahh…the Keys. 4 am closing times, smoking encouraged and drive thru liquor stores for those booze hounds constantly on the go!