Key lime pie and Key West go hand in hand. While there are plenty of delicious varieties of this creamy, tart dessert, there are also a lot of other sweet treats to tempt your taste buds at restaurants, bakeries and ice cream shops across the island. Read on for where to find the very best desserts in Key West.
El Meson de Pepe
Cuban culture and its food is engrained in Key West’s identity; so take this opportunity to sample the best of Cuba’s dulces. Head to El Meson de Pepe, a family-owned Cuban restaurant located directly on Mallory Square, and order the tres leches, a moist, indulgent cake made with three different varieties of milk and cream. Guava is a classic ingredient in Cuban desserts, so El Meson’s pudin de guava (guava bread pudding) is not to be missed. You can also sample both caramel and coconut flan here—and, of course, key lime pie is on the menu. Pair any of these sweet treats with a cafecito and you’re in heaven.
Better Than Sex
As its name implies, this dessert-only restaurant holds its sweet treats on a lofty pedestal. Dimly lit and bathed in sumptuous red velvet, Better Than Sex is designed for a romantic date night; but it’s just as popular for a girl’s night out. The menu consists of decadent desserts and wines with suggestive names like the Adult Apple, a glass of apple spiced ale whose glass is dipped in caramel, and the eponymous dark chocolate cake made with pumpernickel bread pudding and dark sweet cherries. Helmed by the creative pastry chef-owner Dani Johnson and her husband Len, the menu is constantly changing. Anyone with a sweet tooth will find Better Than Sex impossible to resist.
Kermit’s Key Lime Shoppe
For a classic slice of key lime pie (or a whole pie to go), head to Kermit’s Key Lime Shoppe on Greene Street. Whether you want yours topped in whipped cream or gussied up with meringue, Kermit’s got you covered. The shop is also home to frozen key lime pie on a stick dipped in chocolate. For a milder variety, try the frozen strawberry key lime pie on a stick dipped in white chocolate. You simply can’t go wrong.
Blue Heaven is Key West’s most iconic restaurant. Tucked away in the heart of Bahama Village down Petronia Street, Blue Heaven is a delightfully ramshackle restaurant with a large outdoor patio shaded by palm trees and old ship sails. A popular spot for breakfast and brunch, it’s also famously home to some of the best key lime pie on the island. Freshly baked on the premises daily, their key lime pie comes with mile high meringue and a delightfully tart flavor.
A&B Lobster House
For an elegant steak or fresh seafood dinner in an old school, clubby setting, A&B Lobster House is a classic Key West destination. Perched on the Historic Seaport with lovely views of the marina, it’s beloved for its preparations of locally caught hogfish, yellowtail snapper and grouper, as well as its prime cuts of beef. It’s also home to one of Key West’s most theatrical desserts. Their award-winning Bananas Foster is flambéed tableside in rum and served in a hazelnut-praline basket with a dollop of banana ice cream. You’ll definitely want to save room for dessert!
Old Town Bakery
For a classic French bakery, look no further than Old Town Bakery. Inside a quaint, cottage on Eaton Street, you’ll find everything from freshly baked baguettes to almond croissants and a menu of fresh, made-to-order sandwiches. Get there early before they run out of their most popular items, like the peach cobbler Danish and the OMG brownie. One taste will seriously leave you saying, OMG!
Flamingo Crossing Ice Cream
For fresh homemade ice cream that you can only get in Key West, head to Flamingo Crossing Ice Cream on upper Duval Street. Sometimes a frozen treat is just what you crave on a hot day in the subtropics. You’ll find ice cream, gelato, non-dairy sorbet and frozen yogurt here. Popular, one-of-a-kind flavors include soursop/guanabana, peaches and cream and raspberry cappuccino; so go ahead and order a couple of scoops.
Seriously, is there anything better than a donut—a perfect, soft-as-a-cloud donut covered in a sweet mist of glazed sugar? The answer is, there isn’t! That’s where Key West’s Glazed Donuts comes into play. This gourmet donut shop has way more than the classic glazed donut to fill a baker’s dozen. We’re talking salted caramel cake, blackberry frosted, chocolate, cinnamon sugar and even maple bourbon with candied Canadian bacon.