Don’t let the dive bars of Duval Street fool you. There are plenty of classy Key West bars home to thoughtful ingredients, curated menus, and creative cocktails. You just need to know where to look.
The rowdy Duval Street–based bar scene, home to the famous watering holes of Sloppy Joe’s, Captain Tony’s Saloon, and the Green Parrot, is certainly a colorful part of what makes Key West Key West. But there are upscale drinking experiences to be had here, in the form of stylish settings and craft cocktails at what are some of the best bars in Key West in their own right. Here, we share a few of the hidden gems.
Little Room Jazz Club [821 Duval Street]
Just far enough away from the madness of the Duval Street scene, Little Room Jazz Club is a little-known spot for live jazz every night of the week (in fact, it’s the regular performing venue for world-renowned jazz pianist Bobby Nesbitt). As for the setting, expect a dark and intimate space featuring cozy nooks and crannies, as well as silent films projected on the back wall and a menu serving a wide assortment of craft cocktails, wine and beer, and artisanal appetizers.
The Other Side [429 Caroline Street]
Tucked inside a historic mansion on Caroline Street, this speakeasy-style bar features touches of old Hollywood glamour: Tufted white leather stools sit around a marble bar overlooked by a giant painting of fanned peacock tail. As for cocktails, creative takes on the classics – like the Dutch 75, featuring Nolet’s Gin, lemon, sugar, and rosé – come served in coupes and highballs.
Point 5 Lounge [915 Duval Street]
This hidden gem, located on the second floor of an older Victorian house (above the Nine One Five restaurant), is a favorite for oenophiles, with a wine bar built around an extensive international wine list. Guests can sample different selections and pair them with the simple –but delicious – tapas of charcuterie and cheese, deviled eggs, tacos, and ceviche.
Seven Fish [921 Truman Avenue]
Everything at Seven Fish’s modern, upscale bistro is built around the menu’s fresh dishes. The Thai curry snapper is the house specialty, while the banana chicken (come on, you have to admit you’re curious), and Seven Fish meatloaf are also guest favorites. Pair a specialty drink or one of the many wines available with your dish to ensure a happy night.
Hot Tin Roof [0 Duval Street]
No rowdy, packed-to-the-walls atmosphere here: Hot Tin Roof at Ocean Key Resort & Spa offers a gorgeous ocean view and a lively, but comfortable, grown-up vibe. The menu has been referred to as “conch-fusion” because of its melding of Caribbean and traditional Florida influences (think spicy tuna tacos, pan-roasted grouper, butter-poached Florida lobster) and the cocktail menu ranges from the familiar (the Classic Mojito) to the funky (the Red Devil Battery Sign).