Whether you are choosing to make your upcoming Keys vacation an epicurean expedition of good taste, or like everyone else, just enjoy trying out the different dishes that are exclusive to the region, we at RentTheKeys like to keep our guests happy, satisfied, and full by making lists like these! We have worked hard doing our research, eating out more nights than we should admit creating this list of our favorite local Florida Keys restaurants so that you always have the right answer to that eternal question: “What’s for dinner tonight?”
Cork Soakers, 837 SE 47th Terrace, Cape Coral
Finding an excellent place to eat on Cape Coral is pretty easy, but Cork Soakers is always going to be on our personal top 10 list! Keeping it casual with brightly colored walls and communal tables inside, and an outdoor patio with tiki roof covered stage for live music, the food is a creative mix of American dishes that include your old favorites created with a twist. Macaroni and cheese lovers will begin to crave their version, made with pasta, four-cheese cream sauce, and mixed in with fresh shrimp and crab. Their Eggs Diablo (deviled eggs) are a treat you will never get enough of, and their special event nights (Lady’s Night on Thursdays) are always packed!
One of the Best Anna Maria Island Restaurants: Beach House Restaurant, 200 N Gulf Drive in Bradenton Beach on Anna Maria Island
There are so many fantastic restaurants along the Keys, it is becoming more and more difficult to narrow the list down to just five, but we would be horribly remiss if we did not include this island favorite, the Beach House Restaurant, and place it near the top! Coming in at number four, and as might be expected, sitting right on the sands of Bradenton Beach, the views alone will bring you in to one of the best Anna Maria Island restaurants, but it is the food that will make you stay. Even plain old fish tacos taste better when enjoyed on the patio overlooking the Gulf, and because everything is fresh and locally sourced, concerned moms can happily bring their kids in for healthy and delicious meals. If this is your first time in the south, do yourself a favor and order the Fried Green Tomatoes off their shareable menu; it isn’t just a movie, you know!
Ophelia’s on the Bay, 9105 Midnight Pass Road in Sarasota on Siesta Key
Maintaining a casual elegance is not an easy task, but it is one that Ophelia’s on the Bay manages to handle easily! White clothed tables and walls of windows create a welcoming atmosphere, and efficient and friendly staff ensure that no needs are left unmet. A patio overlooking the bay allows guests to get up close and personal with the beauty of the Siesta Key water-scapes, but the windows allow everyone who dines here to be wowed by the unobstructed views. The menu rotates regularly, and the chef manages to surprise us (in a good way) every time we visit, but the one thing that never changes is the exquisite taste of every dish on the menu. Eggplant Crepes, Steak Tartare, and Jumbo Lump Blue Crab Cakes are just a few of the delicacies that await you at this romantic dining establishment!
Lobster Lady Seafood Restaurant, 1715 Cape Coral Parkway W #2 & #3, Cape Coral
You will find yourself ordering seafood dishes quite a lot during your time on the Keys, and as we head back to Cape Coral for a bite of the best, we think we are safe in guessing that the Lobster Lady Seafood Restaurant may end up being one of your favorite places to visit! Offering a seafood-centric menu filled with the cooked dishes you love, (lobster bisque, clams casino, and grouper sandwiches, to name a few!) they also feature an extensive sushi menu that we love almost more than the main dishes. In addition, their seafood market allows you to stop by and grab fresh seafood, steak, burgers, and chicken and take it home to the sanctuary of your RentTheKeys vacation escapes. As you probably already know, many of our properties come with access to grills, and nothing tastes better on a sunny Florida day than fresh grilled seafood!
Miguel’s Restaurant, 6631 Midnight Pass Road, Sarasota on Siesta Key
As always, we have saved the best for last, and Miguel’s has definitely earned its title of number one! Making the perfect date night or special occasion place, every bite of every dish and every sip of every drink promises to be the best you have ever tasted. Serving French and Continental meals in elegant surroundings, the menu changes with the seasons, but if their Seafood Vent is still available, we suggest you snatch it up immediately! Created from shrimp, scallops, and salmon sauteed in Madeira and cream and then stuffed in a light and flaky puff pastry, your taste buds are guaranteed to stand up and cheer at first bite!
Leftovers by the Light of the Stove
There’s something wonderful about leftovers from Florida Keys restaurants enjoyed in the middle of the night, especially when the stove light that is illuminating your path is in the kitchen of one of our RentTheKeys vacation sanctuaries. Reserve yours today!