Latitudes restaurant, a Key West waterfront restaurant a Sunset Key Cottages on Sunset Key.

5 of the absolute best Key West Waterfront Restaurants

Beth Autrey
Published: July 12, 2023

There are only a few natural beaches in Key West. But happily, if sitting by the water all day is your jam, there’s plenty to eat and drink when you dine at one of these Key West waterfront restaurants from the comfort of your table, soaking up the incredible water views and sunsets at pretty spots around the island — no sandy towel required.

Read on for a a few of our favorite spots to dine al fresco and take in the beauty that awaits alongside a great meal in the southernmost of the Florida Keys at one of these Key West waterfront restaurants we love.

A&B Lobster House: our pick for best Key West waterfront restaurants for lobster

Image courtesy of A&B Lobster House

Let’s start out someplace for a fancy seafood night out at a Key West waterfront restaurant. On the north side of Old Town in the aptly named A&B Marina, A&B Lobster House opened its doors in 1947, and still retains that old school charm. Richly colored oak walls and shelves full of books surround you while you wait to be seated.

Once at your table, Gulf of Mexico views are all around, with boats of all kinds bobbing in the marina. The fine dining experience continues with an elevated menu of seafood and steak, with many lobster options to choose from, as is A&B’s namesake. It’s the perfect spot for a special occasion – even if that occasion is just being together in Key West.

Latitudes: when you’re looking for Key West waterfront restaurants with plenty of privacy

It’s hard to imagine a more sublime spot to sit than at Latitudes (Image courtesy of Latitudes at Sunset Key Cottages)

If a breathtaking view is a must on your menu, you won’t find a better Key West waterfront restaurant than Latitudes. On the private island of Sunset Key, just west of the main island, it’s a five-minute ferry ride from Key West, and serves breakfast, lunch and dinner. Their delicious Key lime pancakes might get you over here early for a beautiful start to the day.

Latitudes is part of Sunset Cottages on the Key, so the dining experience is very private. It’s a beautiful spot to enjoy the famous Key West sunset away from the hustle and bustle of Old Town and Mallory Square, too. Come for an elevated surf and turf menu of fresh local seafood and delicious short rib and steak. The best part? You can eat, drink and be ferried right back to Key West once your meal is through.

Hogfish Bar & Grill: the best pick for Key West waterfront restaurants with simple fare fresh off the boat

You’ll never go wrong with an order of hogfish tacos overlooking the water at Hogfish Bar & Grill on Stock Island (image courtesy of Hogfish Bar & Grill).

As much as I love walkability, I love hogfish even more, a species of wrasse common in Key West waters that’s beyond delicious. For that reason, I’m going to direct you to another great Key West waterfront restaurant, Hogfish Bar & Grill , which is actually on Stock Island, right next to Ket West. And allow me to make a simple recommendation you won’t regret – order the hogfish.

Hogfish Bar prides itself on appealing to the locals and is located on Stock Island, a fishing village about five miles east of Old Town. The vibe is much more laid back here and lends itself to a chill atmosphere – though only figuratively.

The restaurant’s thatched roof and picnic-style tables sit in the open air and face the water, where fishing and pleasure boats bob in the tide. While there is plenty of seafood to be had at Hogfish Bar, it’s still going to live up to its moniker, serving the bar fare we all crave at least once or twice on a vacation.

Salute! On the Beach: sit down at the southernmost of Key West waterfront restaurants

Head about as far south as you can go to reach another of our picks for great Key West waterfront restaurants. Salute! On the Beach is less than a mile from the Southernmost Point in Key West, and, let’s be real, any restaurant with an exclamation point in its name must be fun. Salute! sits right on Higgs Beach, facing straight out into the dazzling Gulf of Mexico.

The famous Key West roosters got the memo, too, and you’ll find many of them strutting around the restaurant during your visit, adding to the Key West sense of place. Again, you’ll find more seafood-forward fare, and for dessert, there’s the Blue Heaven Key lime pie, topped with lashings of fresh meringue.

Half Shell Raw Bar: creme de la creme of Key West waterfront restaurants for raw oysters

Settle in just back from the sand at Salute! On the Beach, right near the Southernmost Point in Key West (image courtesy of Salute! On the Beach)

Half Shall Raw Bar

The best bivalves await your plate at Half Shell Raw Bar, one of the best Key West Waterfront Restaurants (image courtesy of Half Shell Raw Bar).

Now it’s time to satisfy our oyster on the half shell fix at yet another of the very best among Key West waterfront restaurants. Located just across the bight from A&B Lobster House, right along the boardwalk, is Half Shell Raw Bar. When it comes to atmosphere, however, this place is miles away. Once a shrimp warehouse, Half Shell found its sea legs in 1972 as a casual, open-air restaurant with a variety of seafood, including oysters, clams, mussels, shrimp and crab claws.

Half Shell also piles on the platters of fried seafood, too, if that’s what your heart desires, including the Key West fan favorite, conch fritters. Watch the boats come into the harbor loaded with fresh seafood while you sip on a cocktail at this spot in the middle of everything that still manages to retain the chilled-out, no frills spirit of Old Key West.

Next: 5 Secret Spots to Stop and Eat on your Way to Key West

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