Sunday, March 14, 2010

Vegetarian restaurants in Key West

The Cafe - best vegetarian restaurant in Key West
We've been eating vegetarian in Key West's restaurants for years as my partner is a vegetarian (of the no meat, no fish and does not like mushroom variety). So here is our (and his) subjective view of the best vegetarian food to be had in Key West - both in exclusive veggie places and also in mainstream restaurants that I make him visit so I can eat steak and lobster. I keep this updated after every visit - this was last updated November 2014.

Overall / general commentary

Key West is pretty reasonable for vegetarians in Key West. Not brilliant but pretty good for a town of only 25,000 permanent residents.

It would be nice if the mainstream restaurants had more veggie, more variety and actually changed their veggie options once a year.

Key West's best vegetarian restaurant: The Cafe, A Mostly Vegetarian place

Excellent, very friendly, long established and so now gets very busy. Highly rated on TripAdvisor and by us.

Our favorites: gyoza, edemame, veggie burger, stur fry special.

Here is a full post on our experiences with lots of pictures and the menu.

Key West's veggie deli and supermarket - Help Yourself! on Fleming Street

Great options for lunch. And a store now with logs of vegan, organic and veggie if you want to cook your own.

The best of the rest
These are non vegetarian restaurants, but with veggie options. Note in most cases there is only 1 veggie option. 

Non vegetarian, a small veggie selection which is GOOD

  • New: 2cents restaurant, Appelrouth Lane. Well done, 2 cent. Veggie creativity. Roasted cauliflower hummus is excellent (lots of garlic). And a few other options. This is a great, welcome addition to the veggie roster of restaurants in Key West and loads for the meat eaters too.
  • Updated: 915 Duval Street. For many years they had a boring mushroom option - boring. Good to see (November 2014) they have upgraded this and now offer ricotta gnocchi with squash filling.

Blue Heaven  - try the Key Lime Pie martini, or two, while you wait for your table)
Sarabeth's (David's an institution and a wonderful host)
La Trattoria (don't forget the martini bar)
Old Town Mexican - great place for lunch - veggieladas are the best on the menu for vegetarians - very fresh food - several options
Mangia Mangia - pasta, pasta, pasta; but well done
Hard Rock Cafe - great Duval Street people watching the day from the outdoor terrace seating - Veggie burger is the only option for veggies
Cafe Sole - they say they have a veggie menu -never tried the place

Non vegetarian, a small veggie selection which is REALLY AVERAGE AND BORING FOR VEGGIES


Good Key West restaurants which can't be bothered to offer ANY vegetarian options AT ALL - what a SHAME!

  • Michaels
  • A & B Lobster house - what about veggie scampi or fish - it's delicious


Best vegetarian starters

Asparagus and cheese souffle at Antonia's (rich)
Black bean soup at Blue Heaven (not exactly light though!)
Edamame at the Veggie Cafe
Bruschetta at La Trattoria (lots of olive oil, maybe too much)
Funghi Fatciti at La Trattoria (lots of cream, maybe too much)

Winner: Antonia's

Best vegetarian main/entree

Veggie stir fry at Blue Heaven
Spaghetti Norma at La Trattoria (well cooked, but a bit bog standard)
Penne Arrabiata at La Trattoria (well cooked, but a bit bog standard)
Any burger, or falafel, or salad at the Veggie Cafe (but not for a big night out)
Green Chile Pepper Macaroni and 3 Cheeses at Sarabeth's

Winner: Sarabeth's

RIP veggie

Historically great veggie dishes that inexplicably were taken off the menu at the following venues and so the that great dish was consigned only to the memory:

Vegetarian Curry at 915 was great. Creative and different, especially for KW. Then he took if off the menu because it wasn't popular enough. Replaced with mushroom risotto as the only veggie main (mushroom risotto = the veggie equivalent of boiled new potatoes = death through boredom). When he brings the curry back, and he will!, we'll be back! (Note: I've just re-checked the menu. Since we were last there they have added a veggie crepe, which looks very interesting - I will review on TripAdvisor when we are next in).
Paulie's Purple Pasta (with beetroot and roast veggies and cheese) at Mango's - before the place was sold and went downhill rapidly
Also Green Republic was exclusively veggie on Fleming and was open for a few years but is now long gone. We like this place a lot, I think it was a franchise chain.

Put your money on the table: If you only went somewhere once for veggie in Key West, where would it be?

For the place: charisma and something truly different: Blue Heaven

For food: pure veggie experience with great service and max vegetarian choice: The Veggie Cafe