The Island of Key West has about 190 bars and restaurants on a 2-mile by 4-mile patch of coral at the southernmost point of the United States. There is a big red marker denoting this location and the distance to Cuba. Tourists enjoy snapping pictures beside the marker. Little do they know the best food on the island is just a few doors down the street.
For the best semi-formal food on the island, there are only a couple of options. My vote goes to Louie’s Backyard at the south end of Duval Street, near the southernmost point as my favorite.
Louie’s has been serving Caribbean-style entrees and fresh local seafood for over 50 years. The restaurant is in an old Victorian home with a magnificent ocean view and a small tiki bar close to the sand. Service has always been expedient and courteous. I am told the same award-winning chef has been at Louie’s for 30 years.
Louie’s has won numerous awards for presenting Caribbean flavors with fresh locally sourced products. They have been featured on just about every food show and restaurant show across the country. The menu is creative and offers entrees for almost any taste.
All of the accolades, great menu items and fine service might be found in another place. However, having dinner beside the Atlantic Ocean adds a dimension unrivaled in Key West. Louie’s is popular. Reservations are suggested even at lunchtime. You can end a day of doing the Duval crawl by stopping at Louie’s.