The Florida Keys are known for "Key Lime Everything" but Key Limes are most well known for Key Lime Pie. I must get asked by 20 visitors a week where they can get "The Best Key Lime Pie". Just abut every restaurant and bakery in The Keys sells Key Lime Pie and they all claim theirs to be the best. I like to eat and I love dessert. I usually eat at least one meal seven days a week. Often times I will eat all three meals out. Here is my top picks for the Best Key Lime Pie in Key West.
- Kermit's Key West Key Lime Shop, 200 Elizabeth Street (Corner of Greene and Elizabeth), Key West, FL 33040. For over 20 years I have driven by the corner of Greene and Elizabeth to see Chef Kermit standing outside threatening to throw a pie in someone's face. Most people would gladly take one of Kermit's pies to the face if they could eat it after. Restaurants and bakeries come and go in Key West every year but Kermit has been there for decades. Why you ask? Because he is the best. His Key Lime Pie has just the right amount of lime to give it flavor but not overpowering like many, sweet but tart. Kermit's crust (which is my favorite part of a Key Lime Pie) is always crisp and leaves the sweet sugar taste. Each bite leaves you wanting more. Although his Pies is what made Kermit famous he also offers every Key Lime Goodie you can imagine and more. You can pick up a Key Lime Pie then bring home some Key Lime Cookies, Key Lime Salsa, Key Lime Chutney, Key Lime Taffy, Key Lime Jelly Beans, Key Lime Tea, Key Lime Olive Oil and more. I remember about 15 years ago Kermit gave me some Key Lime Fudge and all I could think was "This sounds disgusting but I have to eat it because he is standing here". Was I ever wrong. It was amazing. I came back and bought a bunch of it to take to a dinner party. This fudge was one of the best desserts I have ever had. Kermit also has a Cafe on the property of the Key Lime Shop serving delicious lunches and of course after lunch you have to try a piece of Key Lime Pie for dessert. If you prefer t stay on Duval Street stop by their second location at 802 Duval Street although I prefer the Greene and Elizabeth location because they carry more products plus seeing Kermit in action is the icing on the cake, or in this case the pie.
- Blue Heaven, 729 Thomas Street (Corner of Thomas and Petronia), Key West, FL 33040. Blue Heaven has become so popular it is almost a Tourist Attraction. They are known for having break Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner but their most well known Dessert is their Key Lime Pie. They use a huge amount of Meringue to make it as pretty as it is tasty, fresh squeezed Key Lime Juice and a Graham Cracker Crust. Blue Heaven is located in Bahama Village with mostly outdoor seating. You will be joined by the famous Key West Chickens as you enjoy your meal. Often times you will find local Key West Musicians entertaining you as you enjoy your delicious Key Lime Pie.
- Publix (Grocery Store) Bakery, 1112 Key Plaza, Key West, FL 33040 or 3316 N. Roosevelt Blvd, Key West, FL 33040. For many years I have been telling people the Publix Bakery is the best kept secret in Key West. Many of the high end restaurants in Key West will use Publix for Birthday or Anniversary cakes and just ask them to put "Happy Birthday John" on it when they pick it up. I usually get a Cupcake from the Bakery when I do my grocery shopping. They offer their Key Lime Pie with or without the Meringue and both are excellent. Less than half the price of most "Boutique Bakeries" and just as good if not better. As an added bonus Publix is always giving out samples in the Bakery. How many times have we all heard going grocery shopping when you're hungry is dangerous? I just walk past the Bakery as soon as I go inside Publix and that problem is solved.
- Latitudes on Sunset Key. You check in at Margartiaville Resort (formerly The Westin and to those of us who have been here a long time formerly The Hilton) 245 Front Street, Key West, FL. Latitudes is the perfect "Island Dining" for your Key West vacation or Locals who just want to enjoy dinner on the beach. Sunset Key is an Island about 1/4 mile off Key West accessible only by boat. If you want beachfront dining you'll get it. Take off your shoes and put your toes in the sand. Great place for a Sunset Dinner. Everything I have ever had at Latitudes has been outstanding and that includes their Key Lime Pie. They do something different with their crust that makes it sweet separating them from other Key Lime Pies. My taste buds tell me "Grand Marnier" but the server wouldn't confirm or deny that. The Key Lime taste is there but not overly strong. Like most Fine Dining the pieces are smaller than most but it is still delicious.
- Hogfish Bar and Grill 6810 Front Street (Stock Island) Key West, FL, 33040. For those who don't live in, or know, The Keys, Stock Island is the very first Island outside Key West separated by a bridge that is maybe 50 feet at the most. There is also Front Street in Downtown Key West. This is a different Front Street. Hogfish is one of the places the tourists either can't find or get nervous of the neighborhood even though it is a very safe area filled with clean living Locals. The Locals are actually OK with the tourists not finding Hogfish. We have to have a few places to ourselves. Sitting right on the Marina where the fishing boats come and go you will often see the Chef meeting the boat buying fish that was swimming just a few hours ago. The entire restaurant is an open air Tiki Bar style building but even in the heaviest of rain you stay totally dry. The portions are so big I rarely have dessert but when I do their Key Lime Pie is as good as any. Hogfish uses very little Meringue giving the Key Lime Pie a Cheesecake look with a lot of Whipped Cream. There is enough taste that they don't need the extra Meringue to make it delicious. Hogfish is also a fun bar to enjoy a cocktail, a ballgame or both.
There are as many places to get Key Lime Pie in Key West as there are restaurants. Many others deserve to be mentioned but when I do my "Best Of" pages I like to keep it to five or less. No matter which one you try Key Lime Pie is part of Key West Culture. As the expression goes, "When in Rome do as the Romans do". When in Key West enjoy a piece of Key Lime Pie.
Gary McAdams, P.A.
The Key West Life
Barbara Anderson Realty