Enjoy These 10 Locally Favorite Islamorada Restaurants

If you are like others on vacation in the Florida Keys, you’ll spend all day on the beach or in the water anticipating a fine restaurant for later in the evening. Islamorada is known for its magnificent sunsets, coral reefs and blue waters, and also known for its popular restaurants that offer world class gourmet meals,  and “just off the boat” fresh seafood, as well as Asian fusion, Italian, Greek and especially American classics. Because your villa rental is surrounded by favorite restaurants, a few of us natives and locals put together this short list below of our personal favorites. We're confident you’ll discover a fantastic culinary experience after a fun day on the beach and in the water.

Ziggie & Mad Dog’s – Steaks, Chops, Seafood

Location: Mile Marker 83, Bayside. 83000 Overseas Hwy, Islamorada, FL 33036

Step back in time to the days of Sinatra and the Rat Pack. Ziggie & Mad Dog’s rich history dates back to the 1930’s with reports of police shoot outs, gamblers and shady characters referred to as “the new Capone gang.” Later in 2005, Jim “Mad Dog” Mandich, who is a former NFL tight end for Miami Dolphins, purchased the legendary Ziggie’s. The exceptional food and amazing service make it an experience to remember. The menu is varied with something for everyone, including awesome burgers, tasty fresh lobster, and Truffle Mac and Cheese. Other popular dishes include steaks, chops, tantalizing seafood selections like crabmeat stuffed snapper drizzled with Béarnaise, and a full bar. Locals love this place and know they will always run into their friends when meeting up at Ziggies. 

Chef Michael’s

Location: Mile Marker 81.7, Oceanside.  81671 Overseas Hwy, Islamorada, FL 33036

Peace, Love and Hogfish! Come to Chef Michael’s for “dock to dish” quality freshness and creative preparations. They offer an impressive selection of seafood including tuna, yellowtail, mahi, grouper, tripletail, cobia of course Hogfish! Enjoy the cozy atmosphere with wonderful service. Chef Michael Ledwith settled in Islamorada after honing his skills in St. Thomas, St. John and Martinique. We highly recommend the mouthwatering specialty of the house, the Hogfish. We all agree a very quaint and special place.

Green Turtle Inn

Location: Mile Marker 81.2, Oceanside. 81219 Overseas Hwy, Islamorada, FL 33036

No list of favorite Islamorada restaurants is complete without The Green Turtle Inn. Since 1947, this Islamorada favorite has become “sort of like an old New York speakeasy” and been a part of the eclectic local color. The legendary Catch a la Roxie, seared with Jumbo Lump Crab, and Buerre Blanc, is a heavenly culinary experience. Green Turtle has Happy Hour every day from 2PM -5PM, half off all drinks. Tuesday’s are Happy Hour prices for ladies all night, with entertainment from 6PM – 9PM. Saturday is Prime Rib Night – Call to order in advance, it runs out quick. One of the only Islamorada dining establishments open for Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner. Another local favorite, there are so many great restaurants it’s hard to choose but The Green Turtle Inn is a must. 

Kaiyo Grill and Sushi

Location: Mile Marker 81.7, Oceanside. 81701 Old Hwy, Islamorada, FL 33036

The first Asian fusion and Sushi restaurant in Islamorada, the Kaiyo Grill and Sushi is an entirely different type of fusion experience along the Keys since 2002. Kaiyo’s has a diverse menu of sushi, sashimi, ginger pork dumplings, clams and mussels, homemade focaccia, Thai Green Curry, crispy duck, Kobe beef, wood-grilled shrimp… and the menu goes on and on, all to rave reviews. You can’t miss the hand built replica of Alligator Lighthouse, created by local artist “Lighthouse Larry”. 

Pierre’s Lounge and Restaurant at Morada Bay

Location: Mile Marker 81.6, Bayside. 81600 Overseas Hwy, Islamorada, FL 33036

Along the Florida Bay on Islamorada, many different cultures from around the world come together at Pierre’s Lounge and Restaurant. Every plate is a creative fusion of flavors. We love its old world feel and inventive French cuisine. Sit on the Veranda overlooking the Bay and enjoy a magnificent sunset while dining on casual and tasty island meals. Every dish is prepared expertly based on classic French techniques and Asian and Caribbean influences. 

Lazy Days Restaurant Islamorada

Location: Mile Marker 79.8, Oceanside. 79867 Overseas Hwy, Islamorada, FL 33036

When we talk about Lazy Days and what it is in particular we love, it is always just Everything! The views of the Atlantic, the wide variety of menu items from the freshest seafood, certified Angus steaks, pasta dishes, romantic sunsets, fantastic desserts and reasonable prices. No visit to the Florida Keys is complete without a visit to Lazy Days. There is a reason it has won the award for “Best Overall Restaurant” every year since 1996 in the annual Upper Keys People’s Choice Awards! 

Marker 88 Restaurant

Location: Mile Marker 88, (what else?) Bayside. 88000 Overseas Hwy, Islamorada, FL 33036
For a relaxed, easy going lunch, dinner, or drinks and appetizers we love stopping at Marker 88. It always feels like a beach party going on….Florida seafood, prime steaks, Ahi Tuna, cocktails, sunset views, located on a natural beach, in an elegant Keys Casual setting. Go to the Tiki Bar on the beach and have a Watermelon Mojito and the Aji Tuna. Heavenly. They also have a wide selection of wines and beers in addition to the specialty drink menu.

The Beach Café at Morada Bay

Location: Mile Marker 81.6, Bayside. 81600 Overseas Hwy, Islamorada, FL 33036

Morada Bay is an upscale beachfront café lined with palms and paths with tropical flowers overlooking crystal clear blue waters of the Florida Bay.  Morada Bay has a large child friendly beach with cozy Adirondack chairs to enjoy the spectacular sunsets. Enjoy live entertainment, inside or outside with a blend of Caribbean and American food. Always the freshest local seafood and produce prepared with an innovative flair. Morada Bay is a must visit especially the Full Moon parties, with multiple bonfires and many different specialty drinks for a big beach party where you’ll see that the locals can’t resist just one more time. 

Old Tavernier Restaurant and Lounge

Location: Mile Marker 90.3 Oceanside. 90311 Old Hwy, Tavernier, FL 33070

One law of the universe: Everyone loves Italian Food!! Old Tavernier is a local favorite and has a very diverse menu, Italian, Greek, Caribbean and Continental. Everything is homemade, fresh baked goods daily, food prepared with imported extra virgin olive oil from the family’s grove located in Southern Greece. Many an anniversary, birthday and special occasion is celebrated by locals and family in the white tablecloth dining room of Old Tavernier. In addition to the dining room, there is a bar & lounge and also an outside terrace where food is also served. If nothing else, go to the bar and lounge and order appetizers, pizza and choose from their extensive wine selection. You’ll hear many a local’s conversation ending with, “I’ll see you later at Old Tav.” Go early! It fills up pretty quickly. 

Islamorada Fish Company, Zane Grey Lounge, Bass Pro Shop and Retail Seafood Market

Location: Marker 81.5, Bayside. 81532 Overseas Hwy, Islamorada, FL 33036

Islamorada Fish Company has a very large open air restaurant and Tiki Bar on the dock– it has two sides, one a more casual setting next to the Live Tarpon Feeding. A bar and lounge - Zane Grey, serves food and is overlooking the other restaurant and has FREE sunsets every evening. There is also a Retail Fish Market which is how Islamorada Fish Company got started. They have a very wide selection of fish and also lots of specialty food items to accompany a feast. Islamorada Fish Company combined with Bass Pro Shops in 1998 and they offer a wide selection of apparel and footwear for the whole family, sporting goods – saltwater, freshwater and Fly Fishing, marine, reel and rod, an art gallery and lots of specialty items to bring back home with you as presents for your loved ones that didn’t get to come this time! Islamorada Retail Fish Market will also properly ship seafood home to you so it can arrive when you do, to enjoy again. You won’t be able to miss the Huge Indoor Everglades Aquarium stocked with lots of native fish AND right in the middle of the store sits the Famous Sister Ship to Hemingway’s Boat “Pilar”. There are a few charter companies operating out of the marina- Easy Adventures and Stray Cat Charters.