At first glance, we weren’t sure what to expect from Key West.
Our trip here was semi-spontaneous and we didn’t do a lot of research in regards to culture and cuisine. Typically when I think Florida I think old retired white people, and when I think of old retired white people I assume there’s not going to be a lot of flexibility in regards to vegetarian/vegan diet choices. Although we were delighted with the hints of Cuban culture and the diverse backgrounds of these Key West residents, downtown Key West definitely didn’t have a ton of Vegan options! But we found some incredible vegetarian dishes and lucked out with one vegan spot.
Here are some of our favorite vegetarian and vegan options in Key West!
Established in 2009, Cuban Coffee Queen credits its incredible coffee to meeting a lady in Cuba who taught them how to make a Café Con Leche. To be fair, Sam and I have never tried Cuban Coffee before this place but our first Cuban coffee was incredible. Our typical go-to is always iced coffee – but we tried the lattes here during our stay instead and weren’t disappointed. We also tried their Keylime Pie on a stick which was great and they have several other vegetarian options.
Café Con Leche with Soy Milk and Caramel (vegan)
Cuban Coffee Queen is one of the main roasters in Key West and what’s really cool is that a lot of the local restaurants use them. We had some coffee at Banana Café (more below) roasted with Cuban Coffee Queen and white chocolate and it was incredible.
Breakfast & Brunch
(Vegetarian) One of our favorites was this little French café – they serve the BEST Belgian waffle in the US. To be transparent, it’s a hefty price to pay for a single waffle but as someone who has missed the authentic flavor of Belgian waffles this was worth it. They also have an incredible staff; nice as hell and happy to share their whole life story if you’re willing to listen.
(Vegetarian) This place serves breakfast and dinner, but they open up the balcony seating for breakfast so naturally we went for breakfast. The reason we came here is for the crepes, but I talked myself out of it and got a Caprese Eggs Benedict sandwich instead and… it fell short. A bit bland. But the coffee was good (See Cuban Coffee Queen notes) and the atmosphere was great.
(Vegetarian/Vegan) We came here once for dinner and once for breakfast. For breakfast we tried a dish called Shakshouka, which is a Mediterranean dish that reminded me of something Persian my father used to make me. It was extremely good but you have to be in the mood for a hearty breakfast. Sam and I shared this dish and were stuffed when we left. That didn’t stop us from getting some macaroons before we left though!
Lunch & Dinner
(Vegetarian) Follow a tiny little hedged walkway between two buildings with a sign for this restaurant and you’ll find yourself in a little Italian courtyard that feels more like a little spot in Rome than Key West. Besides the great atmosphere, we had an arugula salad and a pizza here that were both phenomenal.
(Vegetarian) A definite contender for our favorite, the Amigos tortilla Bar had some of the best loaded fries I’ve had – anywhere. And for only $4.50, this place was also one of the cheaper options in downtown Key West. They have two vegetarian tacos and a few other options like burritos and nachos!
(Vegetarian/Vegan) Like I mentioned, we came here twice – once for breakfast and once for dinner. We shared a Portobello, Roasted Pepper & Pesto sandwich and an order of truffle fries. Their drink menu included a whole pitcher of margarita for $20 so needless to say this experience was excellent haha!
All in all – we loved the food in Key West. Our experience was elevated by the great service most spots provided and each location felt unique and special. Share your favorite food experiences in Key West in the comments! We’d love to hear about everyone’s go-to spots!