On our recent cruise, our favorite stop was definitely Key West, a notorious party town. Docking that morning, we didn’t really have a plan for the day, other than wanting to see Hemingway’s house, and Keith was the only person who had been there…during his Spring Break, so a bit of a different feel. The town is pretty well-known for its bars and nightlife so I was a bit nervous about eating in Key West with kids – mainly because they are famously picky about food. I needn’t have worried however, because Key West has an amazing food scene!

I had two requirements for food in Key West. Conch fritters and Key Lime pie. My mom has the best Key Lime Pie recipe ever and I’ve never had one that comes close to comparing. However, my mom told me  the one place she’s had Key Lime Pie which rivals hers is Key West. I was excited to finally put it to the test. And conch fritters because, well, fritters. 🙂

When our cruise docked, we headed directly to Hemingway’s House for what turned out to be a pretty lengthy tour, so we were pretty hungry afterwards. My friend Kate had recommended a place called Blue Heaven, which was fortuitously located nearby so we headed right over. When we arrived, we were greeted with a unique wooden building with a gorgeous, rustic courtyard, a parrot, a few chickens and a HUGE crowd. Clearly Blue Heaven is a pretty popular place. After I saw the menu, I could see why. Shrimp, local fish, and jerk chicken populated the menu. And of course, key lime pie. I didn’t really see any kid’s menu though and with our picky kids, I was a little nervous because by that point, they were really hungry and I could see a meltdown happening. Before we could test it out, however, we found out there was an hour and a half wait. At lunch! We just couldn’t swing it so we moved on, as good as the menu looked.

I’m actually glad we decided to move on however, because we discovered a gem called The Six-Toed Cat, right near Hemingway’s house. A small place, with a tiny outdoor patio, it was welcoming and cool and had a fantastic menu filled with fresh fish, omelets, lobster and a little kid’s menu perfect for our little guys. I had a lobster BLT and it was amazing. After lunch I had to try the key lime pie so I ordered a slice to go so we could get walking over to Duval street. I was a little disappointed in the pie but the good news? I could look for another place and have another piece!

Along our walk, the kids and I kept our eyes open for more key lime places and found it on Duval Street. Kermit’s Key Lime Pie. Now this was key lime pie. As good as my moms for sure and a really cute place with all things key lime – jellies, salsas, candy, body wash. The kids really enjoyed perusing the store with me and guessing what would taste really good (candy) and what would taste really bad (key lime salsa).

After our second slice of key lime pie, we were pretty hot and I realized my conch fritter dream had not been fulfilled so we found a place further down on Duval called Caroline’s Cafe, which had a gorgeous, outdoor patio and friendly servers. And what was the first thing on the menu? Conch fritters. Yay! Caroline’s was the perfect place to sit down and cool off in the tropical heat.

Yes, I pretty much ate my way through Key West, but that’s what I had planned to do. And eating in Key West with kids was pretty easy considering the town is all about food and people watching! We were sad we only got to spend a short day in Key West and can’t wait to go back. We’re thinking about doing a week vacation there sometime in the next year.

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To book a fantastic trip to Key West, contact me at mdownham@departurelounge.com



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