Key West is a mecca for unique shopping and dining experiences. While your travel companions are off deep sea fishing with Seize the Day Charters, check out the boutiques, galleries, cafes, and local fine dining restaurants that make Key West a one-of-a-kind destination.
A Mix of Familiar and New
New to Key West? Try a trolley or train tour to get an overall idea of all that awaits you in Old Town. These hop-on-and hop-off tours typically do a loop around the shopping areas of Key West, with a few predetermined stops.
Passengers are often treated to a narrated trip where a local guide will point out the landmarks and can’t miss places, as well as chat about Key West history and culture. It’s a great way to learn more about the city and prioritize if you’ve only a limited amount of free time.
Duval Street is the best place to start a Key West shopping trip. All along the tree-lined walk you’ll find art galleries, jewelry shops, clothing boutiques, and even traditional souvenir vendors.
Check out Lippy’s Hot Hats of Key West to update your look with stylish accessories. Stop for a sweet treat at Kilwins Key West Chocolates, Fudge and Ice Cream. Popular stops include Peppers of Key West for hot, sweet, and specialty sauces; Rodriguez Cigar Factory for award-winning cigars and demonstrations of traditional Cuban techniques; Kino Sandals for comfortable, locally handmade leather footwear; and Little Switzerland for exquisite jewelry.
If you don’t feel like walking Duval Street, check out Mallory Square; it’s at the northern end of Duval, and hosts numerous small shops and street vendors with an amazing view.
You can get all of your shopping in without concern. If you’re there towards the end of the day, stay at Mallory Square for the famous Sunset Celebration, where every night is a party with music, performers, and more.
Where the Art Is
In a city known for its art scene, be sure to visit some of the art galleries you’ll see on and off Duval, including Anna Sweet Gallery, Key West Gallery, Wyland Gallery of Key West, and Savlen Gallery. They and others like them have fine artworks for exhibition and sale.
Whether your artistic tastes range from traditional to avant garde, modern landscapes to portraiture, you’ll find what you like in Key West galleries. Many galleries show the work of local artists as well as national and international artists with dedicated followings.
Eclectic Dining in Key West
The restaurants, cafes, shops, bars, and lounges along Duval Street and its numerous cross streets offer a stunning array of choices to tempt every palate. The cuisine of Key West has strong international influences, from French and Asian to Caribbean and South American, without losing sight of all-American favorites.
No trip to Key West would be complete without a visit to Caroline’s Cafe. Be sure to order the conch fritters for an authentic Key West experience. Blue Heaven’s courtyard makes it a popular choice for its famous Key Lime Pie. Relax with a glass of wine at Uva Wine Shop and Bar while sampling a cheese plate.
Some local restaurants offer seafood dishes from local catches; others offer to cook your catch, so when your party comes back from their All In Charters fishing trip with the prize fish, all of you can enjoy it, expertly prepared.
Fine dining restaurants abound in Key West. Visit Prime Steakhouse, Latitude’s, Cafe Sole, Hot Tin Roof, Antonia’a or A&B Lobster House for creative and seasonal seafood, meat, and pasta dishes. Other popular venues for food and drink include Cafe Marchesa, Nine One Five, Thirsty Mermaid, and long-standing favorite Pepe’s.
Can’t decide? Try a food or drink tour. Spend a few hours with a knowledgeable and friendly guide who can give you the inside scoop on what makes Key West special while you enjoy some of the best food and drink local chefs and bartenders have to offer. Or, mix it up with a sunset appetizers and drinks cruise on a local sailboat.
In addition to year-round restaurants, you can also find specialty food vendors at some of the many festivals and events that happen in Key West every year, from Hemingway Days to Goombay Festival and Fantasy Fest.
Key West is one of the most exciting places to shop and eat in the Florida Keys. While there’s a lot that will seem familiar and comfortable, there are also ample opportunities to try something new, making this an exciting destination for travelers of all ages.