It’s getting easier to travel as a vegan, and I haven’t had too many problems going vegan in Florida. While the Florida Keys are pretty well known for their seafood and fish restaurants, many restaurants will have at least one vegetarian and vegan dish on the menu. Fortunately, Key West is very vegan friendly. Even though there aren’t many entirely vegan and vegetarian spots, there are loads of options. You just need to know where to look! In this vegan Key West guide, I’ll show you all the best places to eat in Key West with vegan and veggie options.
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Vegan Key West Guide
If you’re seeking many entirely vegan restaurants in Key West, you might be a little disappointed. There’s only one 100% vegan establishment, and it’s a really wonderful cafe inside an organic health food store. But, there’s no need to fret. There are lots of vegan and vegetarian focused restaurants where you’ll find lots of yummy eats. There are even places that will prepare your favorite traditional Florida Keys specialties, like key lime pie, made completely entirely without animal products.
Looking for the best restaurants in Key West? Whether you’re vegan, vegetarian, or adding more plant-based meals in your life, here’s the best Key West vegan dining when you’re visiting the island. These are all the places I’d recommend if you’re looking for where to eat in Key West.
Key West Vegan Restaurants: Sugar Apple Organic Cafe
The Sugar Apple Organic Cafe and Market is a natural grocery store with a vegan cafe. It’s the only vegan Key West restaurant in the whole city where all you’ll find is 100% plant-based goodness. First, take some time to browse the market itself. You’ll find so many grocery items and treats that are vegan, organic, and gluten-free. I stocked up on some snacks to bring back to my hotel room and bought a few treats for my flight home.
The Sugar Apple Cafe is attached to the grocery store. You’ll find delicious 100% plant-based meals and smoothies there. I selected the Grilled Tofu sandwich with tahini sauce and a side salad with key lime dressing. You could choose from several kinds of salad dressing, but I thought it would be fitting to try a unique Key West themed dressing that I hadn’t tried anywhere else.
The menu has so many yummy options that it was tough to choose. There are lots of salads, sandwiches, and other entrees at this cozy little cafe. They also had the Beyond Meat burger. Some other meals at this vegan Key West cafe that caught my eye: the barbecue tofu special, the fancy hummus sandwich, and the smoky tempeh sandwich.
Top Restaurants in Key West: The Cafe
The Cafe is a mostly vegetarian restaurant in the heart of Key West. While there is some fish on the menu, mostly everything is either marked as “vegan” or “non-vegan”. It’s a very vegan and vegetarian friendly restaurant, and I thought the food here was super yummy.
Choose from sandwiches, salads, pizza, tacos, stir fries, and other main courses. I ordered a Spicy Szechuan Stir Fry with tofu, noodles, and vegetables. It was pretty spicy and so tasty. Other items on the menu that looked really delicious included the un-wing dings, spinach gyoza dumplings, and the curried “chicken” salad.
I’d absolutely love to return for brunch at The Cafe. There are tons of breakfast and brunch items that will definitely make you seek out these vegan Key West restaurant. I’d love to sample the flax French toast, the tofu scramble, or the vegan Huevos Rancheros. Also, be sure to save room for dessert as there are numerous vegan cakes, including a vegan key lime pie.
Places to Eat in Key West: Bad Boy Burrito
Bad Boy Burrito in Key West has several vegan options on the menu, all clearly marked. It’s a fast food restaurant with a few outdoor dining spots, but you’ll find that most locals take their burritos as takeaway. You can choose from the selections on the menu or build your own burritos / burrito bowls. It’s somewhere to stop for a quick dining option before a night on the town.
In this vegan Key West dining guide, I’ll show you all the items that you can order at Bad Boy Burrito that are plant-based. First, I recommend building your own burrito or burrito bowl. The main veg protein is their organic tofu. Then, choose to add beans and rice, five different sauces (all vegan!), and a number of veggie toppings. You can add guacamole or have chips and guac on the side. They also have a vegan dish called “Naked Peter”, which has “seasoned tofu-veg-mushroom naked style – roasted pineapple habañero – all toppings dairy free… yes, all of them!”
Lucy’s Retired Surfer Bar and Restaurant
Lucy’s Retired Surfers Bar and Restaurant on Duval Street has a laid back atmosphere with delicious drinks and yummy food. You simply must order one of their frozen, slushy drinks, like the Frosé (so good!). They don’t have too many vegan options, but I loved the black bean burger, as well as the nachos and salsa. Make sure you ask for no aioli on the burger.
You can also order the nachos without any cheese, but with guacamole and salsa. While I am happy that Lucy’s has a black bean burger (which the server made sure was vegan), I’d love to see more vegan offerings in the future. Vegan cheese for the nachos would be a great start!
Vegan Desserts at Moondog Cafe
While Moondog Cafe is one of the best restaurants in Key West, there’s a little seating area at the front of the cafe for those simply wanting to enjoy coffee and a dessert. As I had just eaten lunch at the Sugar Apple Cafe, I wanted a coffee and a little something sweet for dessert. I was amazed to discover the sheer amount of vegan desserts in their front case. Half of the desserts are vegan! I had a slice of vegan key lime cheesecake and an iced coffee with plant-based milk.
If you’re dining at the Moondog Cafe, it’s one of the top vegan Key West restaurants. Everything that’s vegan is clearly marked on the menu. There are wok-fired Brussel’s sprouts, blackened tofu tacos, avocado and veggie salad, a quinoa salad, the Green Giant vegan burger, a tofu stir fry, and they have vegan cheese for their grilled pizzas. I’m super impressed with this Key West vegan friendly establishment and can’t wait to return for a full meal.
Cuban Coffee Queen
Cuban Coffee Queen has a few locations in Key West, and their coffee is amazing! I ordered an iced coffee with plant-based milk, and it was so refreshing. Cuban Coffee Queen also has food for lunch with a few vegan options. I recommend trying the hummus sandwich with a side of beans and rice.
Date & Thyme (Help Yourself)
On my trip to the Florida Keys, I didn’t have the opportunity to dine at Date & Thyme (formerly called Help Yourself). However, when I went on an excursion with Honest Eco, they provided lunch on our catamaran entirely from Date & Thyme. After having a 100% vegan meal from Date & Thyme, I only wish that I had dined there during my stay.
While they do serve meat and fish at Date & Thyme, there’s a huge emphasis on vegan and gluten-free meals. A majority of the dishes are either vegan to start or can be made vegan by switching out animal products for plant-based ones.
They also serve organic fruit and vegetable smoothies, juices, and there’s a full coffee bar on site. If you’re in a hurry, there are vegan meals in their grab and go section. Plus, there’s a huge grocery section with non-GMO foods, organic produce, and vegan meat alternatives. This is fantastic if you’ve booked an accommodation with a kitchen and you’d like to cook some of your own meals.
Where to Stay in Key West
I stayed at the laid back Perry Hotel Key West, just outside of Key West. It’s about a 20 minute drive to Key West on neighboring Stock Island. There’s a free hotel shuttle that will transport you to and from Key West all day long. You can park your rental car at the Perry Hotel for free, if you need it throughout your stay. I don’t recommend driving into Key West because it’s expensive and hard to find parking spots. Furthermore, if you want to enjoy a cocktail or two in Key West, you can take the hotel shuttle back without drinking and driving.
The Perry Hotel is such a beautiful boutique property that you might be tempted to stay on site for your entire trip. There’s a pool, restaurants, outdoor patios, and poolside bars. And then there are the little touches that make your stay memorable and enjoyable, like a complimentary glass of champagne upon checking in.
The room has everything you need for a comfortable stay. There’s a flatscreen TV, complimentary Wi-Fi, a Keurig coffee maker, a fridge, a pillowtop mattress, and a bright and spacious bathroom. Every room comes with an over-sized private balcony with sweeping views of the property. Feel the cool, ocean breezes as you watch the boats sail in and out of the harbor.
Vegan Options at Matt’s Stock Island Restaurant
I also enjoyed dining at their restaurant, Matt’s Stock Island. Their outdoor patio is the perfect place to spend the evening with friends. The cocktails are delightful, and many items on the menu can be prepared vegan. While the restaurant is very fish and seafood focused, the staff members were very familiar with veganism and prepared an assortment of side dishes for my meal. You’ve gotta try the black bean fritters with the avocado sauce! In addition, I ordered a variety of veggie side dishes, like the Roasted Brussel’s Sprouts in an orange sauce, as well as a baked potato and grilled asparagus.
Ready to spend some time and stay overnight at the luxurious Perry Hotel Key West? Book your stay at the Perry Hotel Key West (with free cancellation) or read more reviews of the Perry Hotel as written by fellow travelers.
Key West Vegan Map
Here’s a map of all of the vegan restaurants in Key West that I mentioned above. This vegan Key West map is also featured in my Key West travel guide, so you’ll find lots of activities, attractions, and places to stop for coffee in addition to the vegan restaurants.
If you regularly seeking healthier options or you follow a veg diet, I hope that you’ve found this vegan Key West dining guide to be super useful. I recommend checking out any of these top restaurants in Key West for delicious meals that will contribute to a memorable stay.