The Florida Keys have something other seaside communities don’t have, and that’s dockside dining. Guests arrive by boat with no worries of where to park the car (although many places are 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.
At Islamorada Marina, there’s a hidden jewel above the established Square Grouper restaurant. Located at MM 80.5, bayside, Sunset Lounge features some of the best fresh seafood dishes and craft cocktails using freshly-squeezed juices. On the menu, patrons can find an ever changing fresh oyster selection, lobster cocktail, shrimp cocktail and the seafood tower, which comes with shrimp, oysters, ceviche and tuna tartare.
We’ve got two words for you: burgers and fries. Though the Burdines menu ranges from steaks and sausages to Hawaiian tuna poke, its seasoned hand-cut fries are the stuff of legend. And for dessert, look no further than the shockingly tasty fried Key lime pie. Located along the canal at the west entrance to Marathon’s Boot Key Harbor, the elevated eatery offers sweeping views of the adjacent mangrove island with a steady parade of boat traffic. Keep an eye out for manatees, rays and dolphins, all frequently sighted from Burdines upper deck.
KEY WEST/STOCK ISLAND
Hogfish Bar & Grill
Once you find it the first time, you’ll be back for seconds and thirds.
The Hogfish Bar & Grill on Stock Island doesn’t get any closer to the shrimp that are on its menu. The rustic, tucked-away restaurant has a huge menu of seafood, steaks, salads, sandwiches, soups, nachos and decadent dinners, along with daily specials. It sits dockside with the island’s shrimp boats on one side and a pleasure boating marina on the other.
The Hogfish is worth the hunt.