Key West Food & Fun

There’s a lot to do on and around this little 2×4 island but sooner or later you need sustenance/nourishment/food!  There are lots and lots of choices here on Key West so where to begin?

A friend of ours, Nancy, is a fairly regular visitor to Key West.  We asked her about where to get good Cuban food and she highly recommended El Meson de Pepe, so that’s where we headed for our first meal.  El Meson is on the east side of Mallory Square and about four blocks from our hotel.  The walk was short and the air was hot and wet so we were glad to slip into the cool air-conditioning.

Inside El Mason de Pepe

Inside El Mason de Pepe

El Meson de Pepe is decorated with lots of interesting memorabilia from Cuba and the atmosphere is friendly and fun.  We had studied the menu for months so we already knew what we wanted: Ropa Veije which is shredded beef stewed with fresh tomatoes, green peppers, onions and red wine; and we wanted Lechon Asado which is roasted pork marinated in cumin-mojo sauce.  Luckily for us they had a combo platter which offered both items.   We ordered one platter to share and enjoyed perfect mojitos while we waited for our food.  After about twenty minutes our meal arrived and it was awesome!  What an incredible mix of food and flavors….total Yum!

Our incredible Cuban meal: Picadillo, Lechon Asado, Ropa Vieja, and all the trimmings!

Our incredible Cuban meal:

We loved El Meson de Pepe so much that we came back here three more times during the week.  They are situated right on Mallory Square and offer Cuban music nightly. Here’s a link to their web site: El Meson De Pepe  (Note: El Meson is where we met two people who used to be operatives for an undisclosed government agency.  You just never know who you’re going to meet in Key West!)

We originally came to Two Friends Patio Restaurant to redeem a coupon for a free slice of Key Lime pie.  However, as we were seated our server pointed out the specials of the day: Fish tacos for $7.95 and cheeseburger sliders for $8.95. We did some quick math and decided to skip our coupon and just go with the specials and order the pie separately. The cheeseburger sliders would be simply called a cheeseburger anywhere else. They were perfectly cooked and they had some kind of seasoning on them that eliminated any need for mustard or ketchup. Yum!

However, the fish tacos were the highlight of the meal. Three generous tacos with blackened fish accompanied by a rice pilaf that was the best I’ve ever had. The tacos were absolutely wonderful and didn’t need any salsa or hot sauce…they were just perfect!

Two Friends Patio Restaurant

Two Friends Patio Restaurant

Two Friends is located on Front Street just about a block from Duval.  They’ve been in this location since 1967 and they often have live music…definitely worth a visit!  (By the way, we were too full after eating our lunch and had no room left for the Key Lime pie so we had to come back another time to try it…it was perfectly delicious!)

It was late evening and we were walking down Duval when we detected the aroma of tacos. We were immediately hungry and followed our noses to Greene Street and walked the few steps to Amigos.  This is a tiny little restaurant inside and also has street seating with an open kitchen where you can watch them make their signature square tortillas.

Amigo's Square Taco

Amigo’s Square Taco

On our first visit I had the chorizo/potato taco which had a great blend of flavors and textures and was oh so good. Mona had the  beef taco with pickeled onions which added a great zest to the taco. Most of all we loved the Mexican Fried Potatoes. They were cubes of potatoes covered in mild chili, garlic aioli, Cotija cheese & green onions. Mmm…amazing!

The tacos were only $3.20 each and the potatoes were $4 making this an inexpensive but very tasty meal!  We visited here twice because of the great food, reasonable prices and great service.

These are just three of the many restaurants we’ve visited in Key West.  There are many great dining choices on this little island and many of them offer live music, Caribbean decor and great food.  One thing for certain, you won’t go hungry in Key West!


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