Like great service, a view, and scrumptious food? Key Largo’s Skippers Dockside has all that and more. Now in its third year serving hungry Upper Keys residents, Skippers has built a menu that offers a variety of Keys delicacies.

The best advice for an ideal Skippers dining experience is to come hungry. Their starters include a one-of-a-kind ceviche, crispy calamari with sweet chili dressing, and gourmet flatbreads. Their “big plates” items are filled with a variety of options for sea-faring and landlocked palates. For instance, the churrasco steak and yucca frites are served with savory chimichurri and garlic cilantro aioli sauces. The pan-seared snapper and blistered sweet peppers are as colorful as they are mouth-watering. And for only $14 patrons can have their catch specially prepared and served with a choice of two sides.

“The coconut in the bread budding has a nice nutty flavor to it, and the Haagen-Dazs rum and raisin ice cream is really enjoyable with a cup of coffee, espresso martini, or Irish coffee,” said server Ganesh Selvam.

Still have room after dinner? Dig into the warm and delicious coconut bread pudding and flourless chocolate cake. Skipper’s menu also has plenty of gluten-free options, from appetizers and soups to the entrees and desserts.

On weekdays happy hour kicks off at 3 p.m. With eight happy-hour plates under $10, and a wide selection of beers, handcrafted specialty drinks, and frozen drinks, there is something for everyone. The Rum Runner is especially prodigious, and for good reason. The management is linked to Islamorada’s Tiki Bar, which is world famous for creating the classic Rum Runner recipe of Bacardi rum, blackberry brandy, banana liqueur, lime juice and grenadine.

“Every week we try to have a unique craft beer on tap along with our two signature craft beers, the Debatable Tangerine Wheat IPA and the Reel Good IPA,” said assistant general manager Eugene Bergen. “They are only made for our affiliated restaurants.”

Every weeknight the restaurant features live local musicians, and, on weekends, daytime and nighttime performances. The dockside eatery offers a 10 percent discount to locals, and is prepping to begin trivia nights on Thursday.

A knowledgeable staff and relaxing dining environment add much to the allure of Skippers. The bar and dining staff go above and beyond to make visitors feel at-home. During warmer months, its enormous tiki hut and outside seating (which is also dog-friendly) comfortably accommodate a large number of guests. Watching an armada of fishing charters, diving vessels, and glass-bottom boats scoot by gives off a true island-feel, and makes Skippers a must-see.

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