Deciding where to eat while on vacation is such an important part of the trip. To be honest, I’ve been nervous to recommend restaurants before because what you eat on vacation can make or break the trip! And what one person loves another might not care for. Or maybe a restaurant one person has had excellent service at 5 times in a row is the same place someone else had an awful experience. But at the end of the day, I’ve tried most of the restaurants in Islamorada so I am qualified to create this guide on where to eat in Islamorada.
While I tried to add specific days that restaurants are be closed (if applicable), it’s worth checking before you go to make sure they are open. During the slower seasons, it is not uncommon for restaurants to take a day off here and there, sometimes even for a week or so. That is just part of living on island time!
If you’re in a hurry and looking for the best Islamorada restaurants for one of the following reasons, check out this quick guide. For a little more detail on all of my favorite Islamorada restaurants, read on.
Restaurants that Have Delivery in Islamorada
Bayside Gourmet, City Hall Cafe
It’s actually fairly uncommon to find delivery in Islamorada. Luckily, both of these restaurants are wonderful options, but don’t expect a wide variety of delivery options.
Best Breakfast in Islamorada
Mangrove Mike’s, Bob’s Bunz, Made 2 Order Cafe, Midway Cafe and Coffee Bar, Cafe Moka (Cafe Moka is best if you want to take it to go)
Islamorada Restaurants on the Water
Square Grouper, The Ocean View Inn (The OV), Pierre’s, Morada Bay Cafe, Lazy Days, Lorelei’s, Made 2 Order Cafe, Hog Heaven, Island Grill, Islamorada Fish Co, Robbie’s, Wahoo’s
Best Restaurant for a Fancy Dinner in Islamorada
Pierre’s, Chef Michael’s, SHIMA, Ziggie and Mad Dog’s, and Atlantic’s Edge (at Cheeca Lodge).
Pierre’s and Atlantic’s Edge are your best choices if you want a view. While all of these options offer great food, they don’t all have views like Pierre’s and Atlantic’s Edge.
Best Key Lime Pie in Islamorada
The Green Turtle Inn, Lazy Days, Lorelei’s
While we are talking about dessert, Chef Michael’s has the best carrot cake!
Ultimate Guide to Islamorada Restaurants
One of the most important things on vacation is figuring out where to eat. So if you’re looking for the best place to eat in Islamorada, I have you covered. Even though Islamorada is a small island, there are plenty of options for dining from sit down to pick up, fine dining to casual, seafood to meat, and everything in between.
We first found Bayside Gourmet when we were leaving the brewery and knew we wanted delivery. We asked the bartender where we should get delivery and she told us, “Bayside Gourmet, hands down!” It is hard to find delivery in Islamorada, but not only does Bayside Gourmet have free delivery after 5 pm, it’s good food, too. They serve pizza, pasta, and other Italian dishes. My husband loves pizza, but pizza isn’t always my first choice and I love that we can both order from Bayside Gourmet and be happy (I usually order a sandwich). This restaurant is loved by locals and visitors alike and many stop here to eat on every trip to Islamorada. They are currently closed on Wednesdays.
What to order: Grouper rueben or pizza
Lazy Days is the epitome of the Florida Keys – laid back and chill atmosphere located right on the water. Upstairs, you’ll have sweeping views of the water. Outside, you can put your toes right in the sand. You can’t go wrong no matter where you sit. They serve a little bit of everything – seafood (they’ll also prepare your catch), salads, steak, chicken, and pasta. You can also enjoy live music during the evening and on the weekend.
What to order: Fresh catch sandwich and have it prepared Lazy Days style
Mangrove Mike’s is a small diner only open for breakfast and lunch (they close daily at 2 pm). Their breakfast is really good and they have large portions with reasonable prices. It’s kind of a small cafe, so it can get pretty crowded in there quickly. It’s also popular, so it’s not uncommon for there to be a wait. Luckily, they are quick so you typically don’t have to wait long. They do serve breakfast all day if you like breakfast for lunch (or if you get a late start on your day) and they start serving lunch at 11:00.
What to order: Lobster Benedict or french toast
Square Grouper is probably one of the most recommended restaurants in Islamorada. Their food is good and they also have a great water view. Square Grouper is a bit more upscale, though isn’t necessarily fine dining. They serve innovative seafood dishes but also have steaks, chicken, and salad. There is often a wait, but you can go upstairs to the Sunset Lounge and enjoy tapas, a raw bar, and cocktails with a view while you wait for your dinner spot to be ready downstairs at the Square Grouper. While most people know that Sunset Lounge exists, most don’t realize it has its own name and call it “upstairs” so if you hear someone talking about “going upstairs”, that’s what they are referencing. Both Sunset Lounge and Square Grouper are closed Monday and Tuesday. Square Grouper closes 2:30-5:00 every day and Sunset Lounge opens at 4:20.
What to order: Yellowtail snapper at Square Grouper, raw oysters upstairs (at Sunset Lounge)
Chef Michael’s is an more upscale option for dining in Islamorada with fresh, local food. They serve seafood and steaks with a Florida Keys twist. Their menu is unique and changes somewhat based on local food availability. I will say that the sides are nothing too special (coconut rice and steamed vegetables). The main courses are so good that it doesn’t bother me or anyone else I’ve talked to who has visited. Make sure to make a reservation because it is a pretty small place and usually full. It is pretty common to be able to get same day reservations, though. They are closed on Sundays. Finally, I typically don’t recommend dessert that isn’t key lime pie anywhere but the carrot cake at Chef Michael’s is phenomenal.
What to order: Ceviche (comes served in a half of a coconut!), lion fish, carrot cake
M.E.A.T. was voted best burger in Florida in 2015, 2016, 2017, and 2022 and has been featured on Diners, Drive Ins and Dives. Their burgers are delicious but they also have other options such as chicken and fish if burgers aren’t your thing. I like burgers, but I don’t particularly love them…but I love the burgers at M.E.A.T.! They have adult milkshakes and even make their own condiments! It is not a flashy place and really feels like a hole in the wall, which is a vibe I love. The employee working when we visited was super welcoming and friendly.
What to order: Inside Out Juicy Lucy Burger (or any of their burgers!) and make sure you try their homemade condiments with it
Kaiyo Grill & Sushi Bar
Kaiyo Grill is loved by locals and has amazing sushi, Asian cuisine (such as curry dishes), and wood grilled steaks. While it is not necessarily fine dining, it is definitely more of a splurge for dinner. They have outdoor seating, which is a great option when the weather is nice. You can order for pick up and they also take reservations. They open at 5 pm and are closed Sunday and Monday.
What to order: Steak with miso butter, sushi
Ziggie and Mad Dog’s
Known for the best steak in the Florida Keys (though some will argue that Kaiyo’s is just as good!) This is another great spot for fine dining and large portions. They specialize in steaks and seafood and have delicious homemade garlic herb butter. I also really like Ziggie and Mad Dog’s history. You’ll want to make reservations as they’re often very busy.
What to order: Lobster bisque, steak
The Ocean View Inn and Sports Pub
Definitely a hidden gem/hole in the wall and local’s hangout with both indoor and outdoor seating. We have seen this place several times driving through the Florida Keys as it’s located right on US-1. It’s easy to pass over, though, because it doesn’t look like a whole lot. These always seem to be the best kinds of places, though. The Ocean View Inn (The “OV”, as it’s called) serves bar food. They often have live music and also have corn hole, plenty of TVs for all of the games, and a little trail that leads down to the bay for some nice views (you can also bring your boat to eat here!) The restaurant is attached to a roadside motel.
What to order: Fried pickles, dolphin reuben
Pierre’s is another upscale dinner option that serves French food. While it is a fine dining restaurant, the vibe is a bit more relaxed and laid back. There are a handful of fine dining restaurants in Islamorada, but Pierre’s has the best view. It’s a great spot to watch the sunset, just make sure to make reservations. The building itself is a a colonial style two story dwelling and is so beautiful. They do weddings and this would be my number one pick if I was getting married. Pierre’s and Morada Bay Cafe are located side by side and are under the same ownership.
What to order: Lobster curry
Morada Bay Cafe
Under the same ownership as Pierre’s, Morada Bay Cafe is more laid back. They still have good food but it’s less expensive and it is a mix of Caribbean and American, not French fusion like Pierre’s. The vibe here is spectacular, with outdoor seating, vibrant chairs that just scream tropical vacation, string lights, and of course, the best views of the water.
What to order: Watermelon salad (with feta cheese and aged balsamic sauce!), fish tacos
Bob’s Bunz is a bakery and restaurant that serves breakfast and lunch. They are most known for their breakfast, and more specifically their cinnamon buns and sticky buns. You can eat there and order from a full menu, but we recommend grabbing some “bunz” to go.
What to order: Sticky “bunz” or cinnamon “bunz”
The best sunset views without fine dining prices. Lorelei’s is huge and located right on the water with a beach-casual vibe. Their seating is outdoors but there are big umbrellas at the tables for shade. There is usually live music and they serve a little bit of everything from seafood to pasta. You can also grab a drink from the bar if you just want to enjoy the atmosphere. Happy hour is from 4-6. During the day, it’s typically somewhat easy to be seated but around sunset, you’ll likely have to wait. It’s a really nice area to wait in, though, with a bar, gift shop, and marina you can walk around.
What to order: Key lime pie. It is less tart than other places and is frozen, which is a unique twist!
Made 2 Order Cafe
Made 2 Order is technically located in Tavernier, but that is right outside of Islamorada. They have some of the best breakfast around and are even located right on a canal for a beautiful water view. You can arrive by car or boat.
What to order: Island french toast
Midway Cafe and Coffee Bar
Midway Cafe is a really cute stop with its vibrant building. They also have fun decor on the inside with a few items available to purchase from local vendors. The cafe itself is small and can get busy. Most of the seating is outside. If we can’t find a spot to sit, we typically just take everything to go. They have plenty of healthy options, which is always nice on vacation. They also have a large amount of bakery items. They are only open for breakfast and lunch (they close at 2 pm every day).
What to order: Specialty coffee and a pastry
They do have some seating at Cafe Moka, but it’s more of a grab and go situation. They have excellent coffee and pastries. This is a great option if you’re driving through town or have a busy day planned and want to fuel up. They are located in the Village Square at The Trading Post which is a little community of businesses. While you wait, you can check out the other shops, there is a plant store and clothing boutique. Overall, it’s a really cool area with gorgeous foliage, too. This is also where Bad Boy Burrito is located.
What to order: Almond croissant
Hog Heaven has good BBQ as well as typical sports bar food. There is a gorgeous waterfront view; they have indoor seating, covered patio seating, waterfront seating, and bar seating. They are also a sports bar, so they have plenty of TVs if you’re trying to catch a game. They also have pool tables.
What to order: Brisket deviled eggs
We enjoy their open-air dining right on the water. It’s a little pricier than some of the other restaurants but they have good sushi, seafood, and pasta. They also have a small menu of non-seafood items if seafood isn’t your thing. If your trip happens to land when there is a full moon, they have full moon dance parties! Usually cover is $15 and they typically have things like live music or a DJ and fire dancers.
What to order: Seafood pasta
Green Turtle Inn
The Green Turtle Inn has been open since the 1940’s. It’s an Islamorada staple and has been featured on Diners, Drive Ins, and Dives. It’s like an upscale “old Florida” restaurant with upscale seafood dishes (without being too expensive, in my opinion), steaks, and salad. They are open for breakfast as well, but their dinner menu is my favorite.
What to order: Turtle chowder
Islamorada Fish Co
Islamorada Fish Co is located right on the water and is a great place to watch the sunset. There’s often tarpon hanging out around the restaurant, which is always cool to see. They have a lot of handheld options (like burgers and wraps) as well as plenty of seafood entrees. As expected, if you’re arriving for sunset, you’ll want to get there early because you won’t be the only one with that idea.
What to order: Conch chowder
Admittedly, there are mixed reviews on whether or not to actually eat at Robbie’s. But Robbie’s is a staple in Islamorada. It’s located right on the water and they’re most famous for tarpon feeding. For $5, you can get a bucket of fish to feed the tarpon on Robbie’s dock. Check out Robbie’s webcam to see the tarpon feeding in action! There is an open air market that is fun to browse and you can also rent kayaks or stand up paddle boards. Robbie’s is a great launching point for paddling (I have an entire blog post dedicated to paddling in the Florida Keys). The restaurant at Robbie’s is the Hungry Tarpoon and they are open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Their menu is pretty standard with plenty of sandwiches, tacos, and quesadillas to choose from. This is another location that will prepare your catch for you.
What to order: Mahi mahi tacos or sandwich
City Hall Cafe
City Hall Cafe is a more gourmet option in a laid back atmosphere. Their lunch is fairly standard, but their dinner menu has amazing fresh seafood entrees, steak, and pasta. If you prefer a go-to meal like burgers and tacos, they have that on their dinner menu as well. Prices are reasonable and they are also a wine bar! They also offer delivery after 5 pm.
What to order: Fish tacos (lunch), Chicken Parmesan (dinner)
Wahoo’s Bar and Grill
Wahoo’s is right on the water with stunning views. You have a good view of the Islamorada sandbar and it’s fun to watch the boats come and go. The food is good, they serve a large variety of seafood as well as burgers, salad, and steaks. I personally think it’s kind of pricey but like I mentioned, the views are phenomenal. We like to order an appetizer and cocktail and sit at the bar. Do note that Wahoo’s is located on a second floor, so if you have someone with difficulties climbing stairs, this may not be the best spot. But if you are ok with the climb, that’s what gets you the good views.
What to order: Wahoo bites and a cocktail
Nikai was recommended to us by a friend. It’s located in the Cheeca Lodge (you don’t have to be staying there to eat at Nikai, though) and since we were staying at the Cheeca Lodge, we decided it was the perfect time to give it a shot. We did not have reservations, thinking that we could sit at the bar. We were very lucky that they did make a spot for us at the bar but we were wrong to think you wouldn’t need reservations even for the bar. Definitely make reservations, you don’t want to chance it like we did and miss your opportunity to eat here because it’s the best sushi we have ever had!
What to order: The luxe sushi roll
SHIMA Sushi and Champagne
SHIMA is a newer restaurant in Islamorada (they opened in March 2022). They are a sushi and Japanese restaurant. Of course, they have great sushi, but they also have great non-sushi options such as short rib ramen, duck tacos, pork belly bao buns, and chicken and waffles. Plus, they have a champagne bar, which is a pretty unique concept for the Florida Keys.
What to order: Pork belly bao buns, Volcano sushi roll
The Italian Food Company
The Italian Food Company first opened a location in Key Largo. Locals loved it, but didn’t love the drive (if you know Florida Keys traffic, then you probably understand) so everyone was elated when a second location opened in Islamorada. It’s a taste of Italy with authentic Italian food featuring pasta and wood fire oven pizza. They also have a full bar and a mercantile store with Italian food available for purchase.
What to order: Pizza!
Bad Boy Burrito
Bad Boy Burrito is one of our favorite casual restaurants. All of their seating is outdoors in a really cute area with a lot of tropical plants and string lights. We have eaten there a few times, but we prefer taking it to go if we have a hotel room with a balcony. We ordered burritos quite a few times until I did a TikTok on the restaurant and someone told me I needed to try their sushi burrito. They were right, it is so good. But you can’t go wrong with anything. Just know they close really early (4 pm!) so it’s best for a lunch or early dinner. It’s perfect if you’re just getting off the boat after a long day in the sun.
What to order: Sushi burrito
Twisted Shrimp is about the best casual dining you could wish for. They have indoor and outdoor seating and it’s a perfect lunch spot that everyone in Islamorada loves. Their shrimp cannot be beat, it truly is the best shrimp around. It’s lightly fried, so it doesn’t feel too heavy, and it has the perfect amount of seasoning. Perfect for a quick meal, especially if you are roadtripping through the Florida Keys.
What to order: Po Boy wrap, Brussels sprouts (they are flash fried with a balsamic glaze and parmesan!)
Islamorada is a true paradise for food lovers, offering a wide variety of dining experiences. From casual beachside eateries to upscale fine dining establishments, there’s something for everyone to enjoy. Whether you’re a local or a visitor to the Florida Keys, exploring the area’s culinary scene is a must-do activity. With fresh seafood, locally sourced ingredients, and laid-back atmospheres, the best restaurants in Islamorada are sure to provide you with a dining experience that you’ll never forget. So come and savor the flavors of this beautiful island oasis and discover why Islamorada is a foodie’s dream destination.