There’s no better way to experience a location than through food. All the activities and different sights or sounds offer a different point of view but a staple recipe has the ability to bring emotions in a visitor, leaving them with a craving that will forever haunt them. To knock off all the tastes and flavors of Key West, we scheduled a food tour with none other than Southernmost Food Tour.
Upon checking in with our tour guide, Analise, we received an itinerary for the day with descriptions of what we would be eating at what location. The pamphlet also had tons of recommended restaurants to dine at and coupons for use.
Let’s begin the food tour!
Our meeting location was also our first stop: El Siboney – Cuban. The rich history of Key West has created a culture of its own, distant from mainland Florida and our first dish, CUBAN Roast Pork Rice and Beans, was a display of this culture. I don’t want this post to describe in detail every meal we sampled because I feel that would be an injustice to Key West Food Tours, but I would like to emphasize that this dish was fantastic. Quite literally, the best way to understand these unique, cultural dishes is to sample them first hand, via the tour. As for the history of this dish, Analise described every single ingredient used and how it brought out flavors.
Tip: Be sure to leave room for the other stops! Although it was only a sampling of one dish between other guests, it was easy to keep eating the scrumptious meal.
After our first stop, we headed to Bad Boy Burrito – Mexican – Yellowtail Tacos. What’s remarkable about this spot is each tour has the potential to be different. The dish is based on the fresh catch of the day (caught within 24 hours and very fresh). The fresh catch is always written on the left bottom board at the front while ordering. The board is updated every day with a different fish, exhibiting the talents of the owner/chef.
What makes a food tour great? Historical narrative (which I love). What makes a food tour even better? Drinks, namely, rum. With great excitement, our next spot was The Rum Bar on Duval Street. Designed meticulously, into what appears to be just an elegant porch wall, was a secret symbol during the prohibition area that your favorite spirits could be found here. It’s amazing that these little highlights, located throughout Key West, are still alive to tell the story as if time-traveling to that era. Back on topic, the Rum Bar boasts an impressive menu of over 250+ flavors of rum.
Refreshing after strolling through the humid streets of Key West.
Conveniently plotted, our next stop was just a couple buildings away: Camille’s Restaurant – Traditional/American. Mary loves food tours for the dishes. I love food tours to learn history. We both love food tours because it presents the opportunity to try dishes we couldn’t have fathomed. The picture above is local and unusual favorite: conch. Yes, the creature that lives in the aptly named conch shell. Who would have known this was a dish?! Human ingenuity is amazing. It was my favorite sampling (with our first stop being a close second).
Our 5th location was Mary’s favorite – Blue Heaven Bar & Restaurant – for a taste of the famous Key Lime Pie! Walking into the area, you would have never guessed it was a shaded area with live music. The entrance was just off the street and unsuspecting to any outsider.
The famous Key Lime Pie! According to Mary, it is as good as all the rumors say it is. To say it was her favorite dish is an understatement (she wanted to bring home a full pie).
Finally, our last, (and no better way to end it) stop was a young and local Distillery. I’m all for supporting local and for Key West to have such a promising new establishment, making waves in the alcohol industry, is awesome to witness. We were taught how particular types of spirits were brought to life and how certain techniques are used to make this Distillery standout.
Of course, we had the privilege to sample the local rum!
There’s more than just food and rum….
What fascinated me about this food tour was that everything was walking distance. These quick walks allowed our guide to describe individual buildings, the native fauna, historical reasonings behind lifestyles and was able to answer just about any question thrown her way. It was a cultural experience.
The Beautiful street mural, mimicking real-life and some of the people still living in the area! We’ll let your future guide tell you about its intriguing history.
Beautiful yet, regulated, colorful houses up and down the streets of Key West with many homes being historical sites.
Food tours are supposed to be informative. They are meant to captivate you with history as your imagination brings you back to a time of the first settlers, trying these new dishes and even turning a classic dish into something different. Key West Food Tours covers all the bases you expect in a food tour and more. We diverted down streets specifically to learn more about the local culture. It’s more than just a food tour: it’s experiencing a glimpse of Key West’s culture both past and present. A massive thank you to Analise for being an excellent and patient tour guide. There wasn’t a moment we didn’t enjoy, a dish we didn’t like, or question left unanswered. Thank you!
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Southernmost Food Tour
227 Petronia St.
Key West, FL 33040
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