Visitors to and through Marathon can delight in a whopping five new eateries, stacking the selections for a Middle Keys munch-a-thon to suit taste buds and tasty budgets.
Many boast a full-service restaurant, tiki bar, outdoor and oceanfront dining, though the food is what keeps the locals going back time and again. If you want a quick bite between sightseeing, attractions or packing coolers for a day on the water, then drop by some of the island's casual eateries - there are sandwich shops with dynamo deli as well as fish sandwiches straight from the ocean you wish you had more time for, to savor the flavor.
Commercial fishing, in fact, is the second-largest industry in the Keys. The fresh fish that graces a restaurant table at night was probably unloaded at the docks that morning, and fish and seafood headline nearly every restaurant menu.
Among the favorites are Key West pink shrimp, a delicacy generally considered sweeter than other crustaceans. Whether sautéed in scampi, battered and fried, nestled atop salad or pasta or simply steamed and served with savory sauces, Key West pinks rank among the most popular of the Keys' "natural resources."
The mollusk conch (pronounced konk) is impossible to pass up and is served in many forms: lime-kissed salad, spicy chowder and golden deep-fried fritters among them. Conch chowder can either be tomato-based or white, but don't expect to find any consistency of recipes from one restaurant to another. Keys eateries pride themselves on creating unique interpretations of classic dishes.
Stone crabs, renowned for their sweet and succulent meat, also are a popular delicacy. Because nearly all of the crab's meat is contained within its grapnels, these are the only portions of the crustacean that are harvested. Once the claws are removed, the crab is returned to the sea where, over the course of up to two years, the claws regenerate. It is for this reason that stone crabs are considered a renewable resource, and the Florida Keys are responsible for nearly 60 percent of the state's overall harvest. Stone crab claws are most commonly served warm with drawn butter or chilled with mustard sauce. Florida's stone crab season runs from October 15 to May 15 annually.
3660 Overseas Highway
Angus steaks, spiny lobster, local seafood, Stone Grill Dining, $5 lunch and world-famous desserts made by the woman herself. Try them, buy them and love them... read more
1406 Oceanview Drive
Terrific sushi rolls, prime rib, even gator tail! One of the few restaurants that offer Gewürtztraminer on the wine list, a perfect match for seafood!... read more
1140 Overseas Highway
Standing-room only most nights; all meals cooked by Frank. Needs a longer wine list, but who cares?... read more
4290 Overseas Highway
3390 Gulfview Avenue end of 35th St.
The only place in town where your order is placed as a famous person's name... read more
4650 Overseas Highway
57784 Overseas Highway
Award winning cuisine in a romantic, casual atmosphere overlooking the ocean... read more
725 11th Street Ocean
Laid back oceanfront dining with Chef Lupe Ledesma... read more
11399 Overseas Highway
Fresh, fast, affordable family dining... read more
11711 Oceanside Highway
From hot dogs to barbecued shrimp... read more