Where To Eat, Drink & Hear Live Music
One of the most fun and entertaining – as well as scenic – drives in the USA is the Overseas Highway from Miami to Key West, FL.
It’s scenic because there’s water on both sides of the road. It’s fun because there’s so many fun places to stop along the way. And it’s entertaining because, well, it’s so fun and there’s live entertainment.
With so many diversions – restaurants, bars and activities – it’s difficult to know the best places to stop on the way to Key West. But not to worry, PubClub.com has picked our “Fab Five” of places to visit for food, drink and live music.
In the Keys, the mile markers are more valuable than addresses for locating places. They are also designated as either being “ocean side” (on the left, heading south) or “bayside” (on the right).
The places listed here are in the order of going from Miami to Key West.
1.) The Fish House Restaurant
Time your departure to arrive at the Fish House for an early lunch; this place serves fish and fish sandwiches so fresh you think you caught them yourself. Look for the yellow building in Key Largo on the oceanside part of the highway. The decor is cool, too.
The Fish House: 102401 Overseas Hwy, Key Largo, FL
Mile Marker: 102.4, Ocean Side
2.) Lorelei Cabana Bar & Restaurant
This may put you off track to make Key West by sunset. In fact, this is the most popular place in the Keys for sunsets. Enjoy the conch fritters and rum drinks (served Keys style in the little clear 12-ounce plastic cups) with music provided by local musicians.
Look for the giant mermaid on the side of the road. There’s a daily Happy Hour from 4-6 p.m.
Lorelei: 96 Madeira Rd, Islamorada, FL
Mile Marker: 82, Bayside
3.) Dockside Tropical Cafe
This is THE spot for high quality live music in the Keys.
Co-owner Eric Stone (his wife, the lovely and lively Kim, is also involved) is a TropRock musician who tours all over the USA – playing the major boat shows, among other events – and even has had many trips to Australia. He brings in bands from as far away as New Orleans and Texas featuring everything from steel drums to rock to blues.
The bar is right on the water – thus it’s name – and has good and cheap drinks ($3 for many of its beers pulled from an ice-cold cooler, for example) and a rockin’ menu. Happy Hours are Noon-3 and “Happier Hours” are from 3-6. Often, the best live music is in the evenings. So get a room in the area and stay for the night.
Dockside Tropical Cafe: 35 Sombrero Road, Marathon, FL
Mile Marker: 50 Ocean Side at the Sombrero Marina
4.) Keys Fishery Market & Marina
This is a unique-to-the-Keys food stop. The Keys Fishery Market & Marina is the home to a delicious treat, the lobster reuben sandwich.
You heard that right, a lobster reuben sandwich. It’s overflowing with lobster and all the melted goodness that comes with a reuben. The ordering station is a counter, then you take it to a picnic table right on the water. Ymmm! It’s on 35th Street, on the right, just past the Home Depot.
Keys Fishery: 3502 Gulfview Ave, Marathon, FL
Mile Marker: 35, Bayside
5.) No Name Pub
This takes you off the beaten path of the Overseas Highway, down a two-lane road and then to a little hidden hut. Inside, you’re first temptation is to grab a beer, for it’s that kind of dive joint.
There are dollar bills thick on all the walls and ceiling, all signed by the people who left them there, and you’re of course tempted to do the same. For food, the place is known locally for its pizza.
If you don’t want to veer that far off the Overseas Highway, then continue to MM 20, Bayside, where you’ll encounter Mangrove Mamma’s. The name alone is worth checking out and it doesn’t disappoint, for this is a little shack of a place that serves the best Key Lime pie in the Keys. And that includes Key West.
It’s also a great place for a beer or a rum drink.
No Name Pub: 30813 Watson Blvd, Big Pine Key, FL
Mile Marker: 30.5, Bayside