Off-Duval: Some Bahama Village Favs

When friends & family come into town, the first thing they usually want to do is check out the beaches and Duval Street. But after bar-hopping and eating our way up and down this main drag, we look forward to taking them to some of our local favs that aren’t on Duval. We have a ton of off-Duval favs and the few I’m highlighting in today’s blog are just the tip of the iceberg. It also helps that they’re all within about 2 or 3 blocks from our house.

In the heart of Bahama Village and just two blocks off Duval, we’re within walking & biking distance of everything in Old Town. We are extremely fortunate to be just a few short blocks away from many of our favorite off-Duval restaurants like Blue Heaven, FireFly, Santiago’s Bodega, Six-Toed Cat, La Creperie, Andy’s Cabana Bar & Grill, and one of Bahama Village’s newest additions; Blue Macaw Island Eats & Bar. Here’s three of our favorites, and they’re all right next to each other.

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The entrance to Blue Heaven – 729 Thomas Street

Whether you’ve been to Key West or not, you’ve probably heard of Blue Heaven. But just to whet your appetite and entice you to come check it out (again), it’s one of Key West’s most famous restaurants. A recent blog written by kpodadventures sums up the Blue Heaven dining experience very nicely, calling it the perfect breakfast spot. I’m pretty sure we’d all agree with that assessment, especially after you try one of their Blue Heaven benedicts topped with lime hollandaise. But don’t just go for breakfast – dinners here are fantastic. I pretty much always order the yellowtail snapper entree when I’m here for dinner. Featuring live music most days, this outdoor dining institution is open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner and is worth the wait (there’s always a wait!) at any time of day.

If you’re ever in Key West… grab brunch at Blue Heaven! It’s a local treasure a couple of blocks off of Duval Street. The pancakes are the fluffiest, the Bloody Goose is deliciously strong, and the outdoor seating area is full of cute critters (the good kind!). – kpodadventures

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La Creperie – 300 Petronia Street

Across the street from Blue Heaven’s entrance are two more local favs. At 300 Petronia Street you’ll find La Creperie French Cafe.  Describing themselves as a genuine French creperie nestled in the heart of Bahama Village, La Creperie doesn’t disappoint. In a delightful blog that does La Creperie more justice (and has better photos!) than anything I could write, Juliedible calls it a must visit and c’est magnifique! – and I couldn’t agree more.

Little did I know we would find the closest thing you can to a French street café, serving up the most amazing crepes you’ve ever had!          – juliedible

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Andy’s Cabana – 308 Petronia Street

Open Wednesday thru Sunday and next to La Creperie on Petronia Street is Andy’s Cabana. Most people stumble upon Andy’s by accident (usually because of the long wait at Blue Heaven!) and unless you’d been there before, you probably wouldn’t know it was even there. Known for their hippie tea and great food, simply order at the window and find a cozy seat or lounge in one of their hammocks while you enjoy their outdoor patio. When visitors envision the laid back atmosphere and outdoor charm of Bahama Village, they’re usually envisioning a place like Andy’s.

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The funky, relaxed patio at Andy’s.

Next time: Some Bahama Village Favs: Part II

 

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Key West: Duval Street Favs – Part I

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Duval Street Sign – Courtesy of Sam H.

Centrally located in Key West’s famous Old Town district, Duval Street is just over a mile in length and runs from the Gulf of Mexico to the Atlantic Ocean. Offering something for everyone, and frequently compared to New Orleans’ infamous Bourbon Street, Duval pulses with a lively, touristy, carnival-like atmosphere that draws vacationers from all over the world.

When we have guests visiting us (especially guests who haven’t been to Key West before), we tend to split our time: the beach during the day and Duval in the evening. While Duval certainly attracts (and often caters to) the tourists, that doesn’t mean you can’t find some genuinely good spots to grab a cocktail or eat dinner. It’s easy to get overwhelmed by the amount of bars and restaurants and revert to restaurants you know. So if you’re looking for alternatives to the Hard Rock Cafe and Margaritaville, then here’s just a few of our Duval Street favorites.

Duval pulses with a lively, touristy, carnival-like atmosphere that draws vacationers from all over the world.

At the southern end of Duval, sitting on the shore of the Atlantic, is the Southernmost Beach Cafe. Whether we have guests or not, we like to head to the Cafe Bar around happy hour for an app and a drink or two. This is an oceanfront bar on the beach with tropical drinks. Offering breakfast, lunch, and dinner, the restaurant is well worth a visit as well.

 

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The beach and bar at the Southernmost Beach Cafe

If you’re in the mood for a casual French bistro, then head just a few blocks north to the corner of Duval and Louisa for the Banana Cafe. Popular for breakfast, this spot also offers lunch and dinner in a casual setting with both indoor and outdoor dining available. Being somewhat new to Key West, we hadn’t been here until recently. Now it’s one of our local favs.

Another one of our French favorites is Le Petit Paris, at the corner of Duval and Olivia. Also offering indoor and covered outdoor seating, we enjoy heading over for a late breakfast and sharing their delicious pancakes, crepes, and fresh-squeezed juices while sitting outside.

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Duval Street – Courtesy of The Vintage Urbanite

If you’re in the mood for wood-fired pizza, then you’ll find Onlywood Pizzeria near the corner of Duval and Southard. It’s nestled down a short sidewalk, just steps away from the bustle of Duval. Aside from their pizzas, this Italian trattoria and pizzeria also offers a happy hour menu, apps & salads, Italian entrees, and an extensive wine list. Sit inside, outside, or at the bar. We mostly dine in when we’re here, but they deliver as well.

Also near the corner of Duval and Southard is the Old Town Mexican Cafe. This is one of my local favorites. If you’re in the mood for great Mexican food with open-air seating and a lively atmosphere, this worth a stop. The carne adovada is awesome – I get it every time.

At the complete opposite end of Duval, Sunset Pier is another of our oceanfront favorites. For spectacular sunset views, live music, drinks, and casual dining, the pier is a great place to relax and watch the sun go down after a long day at the beach.

If these restaurants aren’t enough to satisfy your quest for great food in Old Town, then go check out Our Key West Favorites, by Caribbean Sealife. This is a fantastic list of some of their (and my) local favs. Check back to Southernmost Points soon to enjoy some of my off-Duval-Street recommendations.

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Next Time – Off-Duval: Some Bahama Village Favs