We are not talking about a specific dish, nor about salsa or Caribbean rhythms, on this post we will dedicate ourselves to savoring from coast to coast, a hidden region that has much to offer …
From Miami to Key West it’s about 4 hours of driving, but in each town or city you can stop and get to know the local culture through its various restaurants and fast food places. Forget Mc Donalds or Wendy’s on the highway, the state of Florida is a haven for foodies seeking original flavors, ranging from farm vegetables to seafood.
(You can watch a video from Acceso Total 29, here)
The tour begins in Key Largo, home to Everglades National Park and John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park, and a must stop is Blond Giraffe Key Lime Pie Factory, a small cafe where you can buy the famous Key Lime Pie, ice cream or whatever sweet that you want.
Or you can have breakfast before you leave on this trip so that you arrive just in time for lunch …
A must stop on this trip for lunch, it’s in Islamorada. For me, nothing better than eating by the sea, in a quiet, fresh, different and stylish place. The Bass Pro Shop Restaurant (Fish Company) offers all of that, plus delicious dishes full of shrimp, fresh fish and excellent service. If you visit, be sure to order the clam chowder for the starter and the Key West Pasta for the main dish… a delight!
After eating, it is always good to have a drink. The Holiday Isle Tiki Bar is a great option. Well, it always has fun, good music, cold beer and lots of cocktails. Opened in 1969, the bar is a few meters from a hotel. It is the perfect place to relax, enjoy the scenery and take photos.
In this area there are several restaurants with a good view of the sea and delicious dishes.
Marathon is another beautiful town in the keys. At the Fish Tales Market & Eatery you will have the opportunity to buy German sausages, fresh fish and freshly baked bread. In addition, they sell a smoked fish considered by many as “the best in the world”. For something sweeter, Sweet Savannah’s Bake Shop & Ice Cream Café offers ice cream, cakes, pies, and shakes.
And we are there!
Our final destination is Key West. When leaving the Low Keys, we see the southernmost point of the continental United States; a place where John Audubon and Ernest Hemingway lived, and where the magic of the Caribbean captures even the most European or Asian in the world.
The gastronomic offer of this beautiful destination is as wide as its cultural, gender and musical diversity. You can walk around the town, and I assure you that it is the best way to eat, see, listen and have fun …
You can delight your palate with seafood, pizza, hamburgers, desserts, cookies, ice cream and an extensive menu of cocktails and alcoholic beverages.
A place that you should not miss, an icon of Key West, is Sloopy Joe’s Bar. Located on a corner of the famous Duval Street and it has a variety of dishes, drinks and a fun atmosphere until 4am.
Throughout Duval Street you will find a variety of bars and restaurants for the whole family. Just remember that after a certain time (usually 9:30 pm), those under 21 will not be able to access some places like bars and including Sloopy Joe’s.
Dessert must be at Mattheesson’s Homemade. For me, the best place to enjoy an authentic American brownie and the best Key Lime Pie in the region. At night, sitting on the front stairs, or inside the premises, you will not believe how delicious their desserts are.
Key Lime Pie is practically the dessert of the area (and of all Florida) so in the keys you will find many dishes and drinks with Key Lime flavors. Feel free to try the pie and something extra …
For an afternoon coffee, Cuban Coffee Queen: strong and divine. And to end the visit with a unique experience, Latitudes; a restaurant that can only be reached by boat.
Written by Ana Belmonte, Acceso Total 29.
Photos by Yoss Castillo.