The Florida Keys have something many seaside communities don’t: dockside dining. Guests arrive by boat with no worries about where to park the rental car (although most places are also accessible by land). It’s a great way to end the day on the water that somehow makes the appetite sharper. Here are our picks:
SUNSET GRILLE & WATER BAR, Marathon
This place is the rest stop in the Middle Keys largest vehicular and marine thoroughfare. Located at the base of the 7 Mile Bridge on Knights Key, the huge restaurant and bar also features a pool. Sunday Funday is an established tradition as are the fun and yummy cocktails. Our bartender made this concoction on the fly with blueberry lemonade and pomegranate and vodka, and we walked out the long dock (room for plenty of boats) to get this shot. This is the place to watch the sunset over the majestic bridge.
HABANOS ON THE CREEK, Tavernier
A hidden gem by the water, enjoy some of the finest Cuban fare, tacos and more. Located at Tavernier Creek Marina, MM 90.8 bayside, dock the boat up or jump off the kayak or paddleboard for a sandwich or seafood baskets with a cold beer. A menu favorite is the Cuban nachos off the appetizer menu. Served with plantain chips, the dish is topped with mouth watering pork, melted cheese and pico de gallo. Enjoy your meal as you watch boats, kayaks and paddleboards make their way to and from Tavernier Creek.
HOGFISH BAR & GRILL, Stock Island
If you’re sitting across the dock from the shrimp boat that hauled in your Key West pink peel-n-eats, you’re at the Hogfish Bar & Grill — and you’re in the right place.
Tucked inside Safe Harbor Marina, the hard-to-find Hogfish is a nostalgic nod to the Key West everyone wishes they experienced: Fresh food, strong drinks and colorful people.
Hogfish, as the name implies, is the restaurant’s signature catch. The light and delicious local fish is served on a fried hogfish sandwich, nestled inside hogfish tacos or as a golden, crispy topper to the impressive shrimp & grits entree.