Tuesday, April 22, 2014

To Do in Key West

Cuban coffee: Coffee con Leche - a stronger flavored coffee bean brewed and served with milk. This is super yummy, much better than your usual latte. Found the best one at Cuban Coffee Queen.

Cuban/ Caribbean fare: had some delicious Shrimp in Red Sauce with Black Beans & Rice - tender shrimp cooked in a tomato based sauce with capers, garlic and cilantro, served over a bed of basmati rice with vegan black beans and a salad of pickled beets, lettuce and purple cabbage. This delicious meal was at Paseo Restaurant - a quirky order out place with only a few tables and chairs. Soo good! Only open till 7pm.

Old Skool breakfast, lunch & dinner from Key West's oldest restaurant. Don't be fooled by the exterior of this place that looks like a white shed with fenced area next to it; inside, is great food and a lot of history along with a super cute outside patio. Breakfast: Crab Cake over Eggs and Spinach with roasted potatoes special. Also tried their coconut bread and potato cakes, also on special. Pepe's Cafe circa 1907 - they also make their own bottled hot sauce.

Great public beach hangout with sectioned off swim area, beverages and delicious food! We had the Mahi Mahi Fish Tacos with Mango Pico de Gallo. Delicious and fresh; toes in the sand; downing it all with a local Florida Keys Lager. I didn't get the name of this place, but it's located at the end of Simonton st, near the Hyatt - faces sunset island. 

Happy Hour at the Hyatt. Sliders with plantain chips and tangy slaw - Half price appetizers; you don't have to be staying there to eat there! Generally, from 4-6pm most places have a happy hour which boasts 1/2 price drinks and eats; check them all out!

Two Friends Restaurant and Bar - Special: Key Lime Pie (Filling) Smeared Strawberry French Toast!

Pressed Cuban with the freshest, tastiest squeezed juice - I had a mix of half OJ/ half grapefruit at Panini Panini off Duval. LOVED this juice!!

Old Fort turned Garden - free with optional donation. Beautiful, on the water, history and foliage all in one, West Mortello Fort is near Higgs Beach.

Hard to tell, but this is a pic of a giant, wild iguana munching on leaves. Found this guy off a wetland/mangrove nature trail - right off the bike path.

Got to witness this rehabilitated sea turtle being returned to the ocean after it almost died from eating plastic. At Higg's Beach.

Great locals hangout/ kind of a treck from downtown- on Stock Island is a bar called Hoggfish Grill. Great happy hour specials, great locally caught Hoggfish, and other fresh/local seafood.

Other great finds include: The hot sauce place where you can test various hot sauces, bbq sauce and marinades before purchasing (20 tastes later and some heartburn n I got these 2 delicious sauces).
There are great museums featuring buried treasures, aquariums, a history of sea turtles and butterflies. 
Pick up an art gallery guide and check out some talented local flare or do some shopping- there are a ton of cute island-wear shops from fancy to cover ups as well as island-styled furniture and home goods.
Also, the Key Lime shop that let's you sample some really tasty Key lime flavored treats - my favs were the mints, taffy and cookies - or you can get it frozen, dipped in chocolate, on a stick!

And of course, not to be missed, the SUNSETS!

In conclusion: there is more to do in Key West than visit Duval Street and booze it up. Get on a bike and explore to find your own hidden gems! 

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