Thursday, July 14, 2011


Cheeca Lodge & Spa,
MM 82, Oceanside
(305) 664-4651
Open Daily 7 a.m. –10 p.m.

With sweeping views of the Atlantic and both indoor and outdoor seating, this gracious landmark is Cheeca Lodge's signature restaurant, renowned for its fresh tropical- inspired local seafood, year-round Bahamian colossal stone crab claws, prime steaks, locally grown organic produce and decadent house-made desserts. Cited as one of "Florida's 500 Best Places to Dine." Full bar. Major credit cards. $$$
Islander Resort, MM 82.1, Oceanside
(305) 664-2031
Open Daily for Lunch & Dinner

This casual, open air beachside restaurant and poolside bar boasts gorgeous open water views and excellent island fare.  You'll find lots of local favorites here including big, juicy burgers, quesadillas, fish tacos, crispy fried Conch, classic lump crab cakes, lobster tempura and larger plates like seared tuna. shellfish pasta, shrimp scampi, the daily native catch and hand-cut steaks.  Full outdoor bar. Major credit cards. $
MM 81.2, Oceanside
(305) 664-2006
Open Tues. – Sun. 7 a.m. – 10 p.m.

Filled with local nostalgia, this beautifully renovated restaurant is home to Executive Chef Dan Harris who blends classic Keys favorites with inventive fare like Turtle Chowder, Lobster Lasagna, Scallops Paparadelle and nine different preparations of local fish and lobster. Daily Happy Hour 3 - 6 p.m. Full bar with renowned international wine list. Full service catering and event planning. Major credit cards. $$
MM 81.7, Oceanside, Old Highway
(305) 664-5556
Open Daily 5-10 p.m.
This hip, secluded dining jewel is regaled for its very cool sushi bar but now, with a new island influenced European-Asian menu, it delivers stellar preparations of Asian and classic European dishes as well as aromatic-grilled Wagu, Kobe and Certified Angus steaks or organic chicken. Extensive wine, beer and Sake list. Full-service catering and event planning. $$
MM 79.9, Oceanside
(305) 664-5256
Open Daily 11 a.m. –11 p.m.

Here's a place where you can take in a beautiful oceanfront seascape and casually dine on award winning Keys-style dishes by Chef/Owner Lupe Ledesma whose homemade soups, locally caught seafood, hand-cut steaks and house specialties consistently win rave eviews.  FYI: The fish sandwich here is an absolute "Must." Happy Hour from 4 - 6 p.m. with 3 for $1.00 appetizers at the bar. Major
credit cards. $$

Cheeca Lodge & Spa
MM 82, Oceanside
(305) 664-4651
Open Daily 5 p.m – 10 p.m.
Located at the Cheeca Lodge & Spa, this intimate, casual restaurant  is home to Executive Chef Luciano Balzano who prepares his family's old world recipes in true Cheeca style using only the freshest ingredients.  The homemade Gnocchi Alla Sorrentina with basil and fresh mozzarella is especially good, here, as is everything else that comes out of Chef's Balzano's kitchen. Full bar. $$ 

MM 82, Bayside
(305) 664-2692
Open Daily  8 a.m. –10 .m.

Renowned for having the Keys’ “Best Keys Sunset Celebration”and cited as one of the "Best and Brightest Spots in Florida" by Power and Motoryacht Magazine, this casual, family-friendly waterfront hangout is home to the world famous Lor-e-lei  Backcountry Fishing Guides and serves up good casual fare with an array of tasty sandwiches, fresh local seafood, ribs, steak and chicken. Live entertainment by local bands. Daily Happy Hour specials from 4-6 p.m. Full outdoor bar. Major credit cards. $
MM 81.5, Oceanside
Islamorada, FL
(305) 517-9611
Open Daily for Lunch & Dinner

It may not be fancy but MA's serves up some of  he most delicious fresh seafood in the Keys. Fried, grilled and blackened seafood baskets come with hand cut fries, hush puppies and coleslaw.  Nightly specials are just as excellent especially the 14 oz Ribeye. The homemade desserts, including the signature Key Lime Pie, are also outrageously good.  Special menu for kids, too.  Beer and wine. Major credit cards. $
MM 82.2, Bayside
(305) 664-8022
Open Daily Mon. – Sun  6 a.m. –2 p.m.

"Mangrove Mike" Forster is a regular guy with a penchant for all things Keys.  He's been flippin'  flap jacks and serving up hearty homemade breakfasts and lunches since 1998 and his small family diner is an everyday stop for locals who appreciate comfort cookin' at its best. Be sure to get there early.  With big portions for under ten bucks, this local's joint fills up fast!  Major credit cards. Full service catering.  $
MM 88, Bayside
(305) 852-9315
Open Daily 11 a.m – 10 p.m

Overlooking the Florida Bay, this local landmark boasts spectacular sunset views and is known for its fresh, locally-caught seafood including Grouper, Snapper and Mahi-Mahi which can be prepared in almost a dozen different ways. There's also a good choice of landlubber entrees here, as well.  Be sure to save room for the critically acclaimed Key Lime Pie and Baked Alaska. Indoor and outdoor seating.  Full bar.  Major credit cards. $$

Cheeca Lodge & Spa,
MM 82, Oceanside
Islamorada, FL
(305) 664-4651
Open Daily 5-10 p.m.

This ultra cool Sushi Bar serves terrific fresh sushi along with a unique selection of Sake, boutique wines and tropical cocktails. "Must Haves:" The "Big Kahuna Roll" –  red tuna and avocado topped with lobster salad, macadamia nuts and pineapple-ginger glaze; and the "Dagwood Roll" --  tempura shrimp and avocado topped with blue crab, red tuna and sweet soy.  Full bar. Major credit cards. $$

MM 84.5 Oceanside
At Holiday Isle
(305) 664-2321
Open Daily 7 a.m. – 10 p.m

If you love legendary NFL Coach, Don Shula's  steaks, you'll absolutely flip over his fresh, juicy Signature Burgers - a custom blend of Black Angus Beef, short rib and brisket.  Standout ombinations raise the bar for gourmet burgers and include winners like the Wine Country Burger, French Onion Burger & Southwest Burger.  You can also create your own custom burger from the "Build Your Own" Burger Menu. Full Bar.  Major credit cards. $

Tavernier Towne Center,
MM 91, Bayside
(305) 853-1177
Open Daily 11:30 a.m.-9 p.m.
Thurs – Sat ‘Till 10 p.m.

This award-winning, creative Caribbean eatery is home to Chef George Patti and Sommelier, Tom
Smith who win rave reviews for their fresh, innovative food, retailed priced boutique wines and unusual small batch beers. Special kudos for the Bacon Crusted Yellowtail Snapper over butternut squash risotto, award-winning Smoked Fish Dip and fresh Ceviches.  In Tasters Market, you can pick
up bottled wines, gourmet cheeses, specialty cakes and customized gift baskets. $
MM 90.1, Oceanside,
Open Sun. – Thurs 4 – 10 p.m.
Fri. & Sat. till 11 p.m.

This popular family-owned restaurant is also one of the Upper Keys most romantic
waterfront dining spots. You’ll find an excellent selection of fresh seafood, steaks,
chicken and lamb as well as many traditional Italian dishes.  Indoor and outdoor seating.
International wine list and a cozy lounge with excellent martinis. Major credit cards. $$
MM 82.5, Oceanside
(305) 664-2623
Open Daily 11 a.m. – 2 a.m.

Don't be fooled by the rough hewn exterior. This world-famous Keys' institution serves up some of the best homemade food around and is the home of the original "Rum Runner" cocktail. You'll find terrific selection of  sandwiches, burgers, nachos, subs and daily Big Plate specials.  This is where all the other chefs come to eat when they get out of work.  Full bar.  Major credit cards.

MM 83, Bayside
(305) 664-3391
Open Nightly 5 –10 p.m.

“The late Miami Sportscaster, Jim "Mad Dog" Mandich and South Beach TV Station owner, Randy Kassewitz, teamed up with ace GM, John Atkinson and Top Chef, Ben Coole to revive this legendary landmark restaurant into a sleek, sophisticated steak, chops and seafood restaurant that feels more like Tommy Bahama  than Ernest Hemingway. Don't miss the slow cooked BBQ ribs on Sun. or the  Prime Rib Special on Mon. Full bar with orchid garnished cocktails and a superb wine list.  Major credit
cards.  $$$

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