Thursday, January 3, 2008

Islamorada Restaurant Guide

Our guests really appreciate this restaurant guide we provide as they check-in at the resort. B = Breakfast, L = Lunch, D = Dinner, ** means this is one of my favorite places, O/S = Oceanside, B/S = Bayside, B/A = Boating accessable.

*Lazy Days: (L,D) mm 79.9 O/S; 664-5256; 2nd floor oceanfront dining, a beautiful view. Get a reservation for the balcony and eat outside. In the summer, ask for a table on the balcony but in the shade. B/A
Hungry Tarpon: (B,L,) mm 77.5 B/S; 664-0535; This is fun little Keys diner. It’s a “dive” but the food is really good. It’s a popular local favorite. Try their unusual breakfast specials. Good burgers. Eat, then go have some fun feeding the Tarpon out back at Robbie’s… those fish are BIG, imagine catching one on a fly rod! B/A.
*Midway Café & Coffee Bar: (B,L) mm 80.4 O/S; 664-2622; They have good homemade food and the best coffee (which they roast). This is Islamorada’s version of Starbucks but with high quality food. Breakfast & lunch served 6:00am – 3:00pm Thurs.-Sat., 7:00am-2:00pm Sunday, closed Wednesday. Smoothies are super too. A bit more expensive than your average breakfast place but, homemade is homemade.
**Uncle’s: (D) mm 80.9 O/S; 664-4402; One of my favorite dinner places! They don’t have a view, but the food and the service is excellent. Known for Tuna, try the “Tuna Teriyaki” (it’s a bit hot); excellent local fish preparations; usually a wild game dish on the menu too. Bring an appetite; they give you tons-o-food! Arrive early and enjoy the antics of Tony the bartender… you’ll know what I mean after you meet him.
**Spanish Gardens Café: mm 81 O/S, (L,D); UPDATE! One of my new favorites for lunch, the sandwiches are unbelievably good. This is a small deli and restaurant with fine cheeses and meats with fresh bread. There are also smaller tapas items available, coffee and fresh squeezed juices. They also sell neat gourmet items. I just updated this (1/15/09) to a ** rating because they recently updated their dinner menu and everything is fabulous. Order a glass of the Rioja with dinner... yum.
*Green Turtle Inn: (B,L,D) mm 81 O/S; 664-2006; My new favorite place for breakfast and they have great coffee too (Starbucks). Lunch and dinner is very good too. It’s real nice inside, let us know what you think!
Islamorada Fish Company: (L,D) mm 81.5 B/S; 664-9271; Fun must-do lunch while you are here… eat outside on their dock... fish in a basket style… beautiful Bay view AND it’s a working seafood market. Shop at the Worldwide Sportsman next door before or after dining. If it’s Stone Crab season, don’t leave without trying some… they’re fully cooked, get the honey mustard sauce and a wooden mallet to break open the shells, take home and eat: yum… sweet meat! The boats come and go daily with their fresh catch in season. B/A
Zane Grey: (L,D) mm 81.5 B/S, located inside the World Wide Sportsman, 664-4244. Excellent view of the bay from the upstairs balcony, light lunch – dinner, cigar bar, entertainment (sometimes). B/A
**Morada Bay: (L,D) mm 81.5 B/S; 664-0604; Go here for nightly sunset celebration. One of our favorite hangouts for a cocktail and/or dinner. Wear your sandals so you can walk barefoot on the beach. Watch the sunset sitting in an Adirondack chair while you wait for your table. “Full Moon Party,” monthly starting @ 7pm on the full moon. Tip: eat at the bar if it’s crowded instead of waiting for a table. It’s a fun place, wonderful sunsets. Take your camera. Kids welcome.
**Pierre’s: (D) mm 81.5 B/S; 664-3225; The elegant sister restaurant to Morada Bay, gourmet dining. Start with a cocktail downstairs, so you can see their beautiful bay front bar and porch... a work of art. Request a table on the balcony, for best dining experience. Reservations recommended. Time your dining with the sunset. The place to go for a very special dining experience. Expensive.
Islamorada Restaurant & Bakery (Bob’s Bunz): (B,L) mm 81 B/S; 664-8363; Excellent basic All-American eggs and bacon breakfast. Try their famous cinnamon buns with cream cheese frosting (get it… Bob’s Bunz!) … a side of bacon… coffee… yes! (go early, they sell-out fast!). Carryout bakery items. Good basic lunch too. Open 6am – 2pm.
Tower of Pizza Restaurant: (L,D) mm 81.5 B/S; 664-8216; Basic good to great pizza – they are generous with the cheese! Eat in or take out. Excellent Italian entrees too, free delivery after 4pm. Good food.
*Chanticleer South: (D) mm 81.5 O/S; 664-0640 This is located where Manny & Isa’s used to be. Their ad reads “Fine French Cuisine” and the food quality is excellent and expensive. Let me know if you like it!
Kaiyo: (L,D) mm 81.7 O/S; 664-5556; If you like sushi, this is the place. Beautiful interior design. Try the Islamorada roll. It’s fun to eat at the bar rather than wait for a table. Something for everybody, not just sushi.
The Lor-e-lei: (B,L,D) mm 81.9 B/S; 664-4656: The Lorelei was destroyed by hurricane Wilma but the cabana is open with a new chef and updated menu. A nice place to go for lunch and a traditional place for the nightly sunset celebration. New owners, not as fun or as good as it used to be. Mostly bar food but pretty good. B/A
Mangrove Mike’s Café: (B,L) mm 82 B/S; 664-8022. Another breakfast and lunch spot, like a diner, serving 6am – 2pm; daily lunch specials start at 11am. Locals hangout. Excellent breakfast and lunch.
Taki Outi: (L,D) mm 82 O/S; 664-0600; Your basic Chinese carryout with free delivery. Sesame chicken is good.
Athens Café & Grill: (L,D) mm 82 O/S; 664-0848; Greek food in the Keys? Yes, and it’s real good. Mostly carry out but a few tables inside. They deliver. Gyros are authentic and excellent! (Not open on Sundays.)
Whistle Stop: (L,D) mm 82.5, 664-4246: Best place for late night eats, serving food until 3 am Monday through Sunday. This is also our local liquor store next door. Lots of cigarette smoke!
Islamorada Village Gourmet: (B,L,D) mm 82.7 O/S; 664-4030. Opens at 5:30 am for breakfast. This is a little gourmet food shop, diner, and carryout. You can eat outside in the little courtyard next to the restaurant. Good place for dinner if you don’t want to wait in line at the other restaurants.
Bentley’s: (L,D) mm 82.8 O/S; 664-9094. One of the older establishments; feels like a TGI Fridays. Some people really like this place. To me the food and service seems just ok.
**Ziggie and Mad Dog’s: (D) mm 83 B/S; 664-3391. The “Ziggie” name has lots of Islamorada history. It recently reopened as a steakhouse with new owners. Looks way better on the inside than on the outside. The food and service is excellent! Try the filet, it’s huge (excellent fish too). White linens, nice atmosphere, excellent wine list. John will usually greet you and has everything perfect.
Whale Harbor Seafood Buffet & Raw Bar: (D) mm 83.5 O/S; 664-4959; B/A. They feature their famous all-you-can-eat seafood dinner. Most of their seafood on the buffet is not local but it is still popular. If you’re interested in watching the fleet come in, try a seat at Wahoos Pub & Grill upstairs at Whale Harbor. The food is pretty good.
Braza Leña: (D) mm 83.5 O/S; 664-4940; B/A. A Brazilian Steak-House. A grand selection of all you can eat meats and a large salad bar all for one price.
Hog Heaven Sports Bar & Grill: (L,D) mm 85 O/S; 664-9669. Full menu available until 4am, great burgers! Also pool tables & shuffleboard.
*Island Grill:(L,D) mm 85.5 O/S; 664-8400; B/A. One of my favorite dinner places. Neat little Keys-style oceanside eatery… just this side of the drawbridge. Live Entertainment. Indoor or outdoor seating. Everything we tried on the menu is excellent. Inside tip - eat at the bar if it’s crowded instead of waiting for a table. Go by boat too. A fun place to eat.
Chillie-Willies: (L,D) mm 86.7 O/S; 852-8786. Large sports bar & grill plus huge game room. They have 14 televisions so if you are looking for a certain sports game, chances are they can tune it in. The menu and food is excellent for this type of place. Try the hot wings or BBQ ribs.


Anonymous said...

We just returned from Islamorada and enjoyed our dining experiences, except for the service at Chanticleer South.

You can read about our dining experiences at Chanticleer South, Kaiyo and Pierre's.

Paula Kidney said...

Hi there, we were just at your resort. We had an awesome time. we will be back for sure. Lazy Days also is a GREAT place to eat. Awesome food too.

Paula and gregg kidney from michigan

Dempster said...

Where would a senior couple go for an early New Years Eve dinner? Tried Marker 88 once, Pierre's last year. Someplace special, not casual.
Love your website. We will be fishing out of Bud's and Mary's.
Some inside and some outside.
Dick Dempster,

Jim said...

Hello Mr. Dempster: Pierre's is hard to beat but if you haven't tried Ziggies, it is also very nice but no view of the water. Good luck with your fishing!

Amanda said...

Mr Dempster maybe we will see you there! Staying at Bud n Marys for the week fishing and looking for nice casual eating. Thanks for the tips Jim.

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Anonymous said...

We are sitting out on the porch of cabin #7 and watched a spectacular sunrise. Loving our stay at Pines and Palms. We enjoyed our dinners at Island Grill, especially the whole yellowtail and homemade potato salad...and last night at Chef Michaels...the panko fried lion fish were excellent, and a great way to get rid of a nuisance fish. Also had late breakfast/lunch at Made 2 Order and second day lunch at Keys Fisheries down in Marathon. Lots of great places to eat..Ruth and Marc Cooper