I’m a night owl. Always have been. I don’t generally eat a big breakfast when I wake up, maybe coffee and a bagel. Late lunch is around 5 or 6 p.m., and dinner is as late as I can find something decent open, generally between 9 and 11 p.m. I’ve been this way since I was a teenager, and I have a feeling I’m not the only night owl hungrily lurking around Key West in the wee hours of the morning, particularly if I missed dinner and I’ve been out drinking. This bohemian behavior makes things difficult when trying to find something better than fast food or bar food after 10 p.m., and now that the only 24-hour eatery in Old Town (Denny’s at Truman and Duval) has closed permanantly, on those rare occasions that I’m out until the bars close at 4 a.m., well, I started to fear that I just might just starve to death somewhere between the hours of midnight and 8 a.m. if I didn’t investigate this dining dilemma further.
Fortunately, after a little predatory hunting, I found that Key West has a plethora of great late night choices for us nocturnal raptors. So, after a play or movie has ended, after a night of drinking has drawn to a close, or even when you just have the munchies at home or in your hotel room but don’t feel like cooking or eating from a vending machine, I can assure you that there is something open nearby to help satiate that grumpy bird of prey lurking in your growling belly.
I’ve compiled a list (with some disclaimers) to help my fellow night owls out. It is intended to be clipped and saved for future use. This list comes in three parts: LATE NITE (restaurants where the kitchen closes later than 10 p.m.), which also includes the various hot dog (et cetera) cart vendors; 24 HOURS; and EARLY BIRDS (opening earlier than 8 a.m. for the truly hardcore partiers). Let me just say, these hours are not set in stone, so don’t get all pissy if a place is closed and you’re holding this list in your hungry little hand. Here’s why: I gathered this restaurant information several different ways — from Facebook pages, from websites, from my Maps app, by going and asking hostesses, servers and bartenders, reading menus pasted on the front doors and windows, and by simply calling and asking. I’ve been running this list tentatively on Facebook for about a week, asking for input, and I got a lot. If your place isn’t on the list, I’m sorry.
It’s not foolproof, but it’s as good as it gets. On this list, “NT” designates
New Town (above White
Street) and “OT” designates Old Town (below
White Street). This list does not include delivery services, such as pizza deliveries — only eat-in joints or take-out.
Peckish? Happy hunting, fellow owlies! ¦
LATE NITE Kitchen closes later than 10 p.m.
——— 10:30 p.m. ——— >> La Trattoria (10:30 p.m. weekdays, 11 p.m. weekends, OT) – Authentic Italian cuisine. 524 Duval St., 305-296-1075
——— 11 p.m. ——— >> Big John’s Pizzeria (NT) – Appetizers, sandwiches, baked pasta, pizza, stromboli.
1103 Key Plaza, 305-293-9576 >> Camille’s (OT) – Home-cooked meals and fresh seafood. 1202 Simonton St., 305-
292-5733 >> Frita’s Cuban Burgers (OT) – Cuban burgers, pastries, ice cream. 425 Southard
St., 305-509-7075 >> Misohappy (OT) – Sushi and regional Thai.
504 Southard St., 305-509-7868 >> Nine One Five (OT) – Salads, shareables, pastas, hand food, raw seafood and meats.
915 Duval St., 305-296-0669 >> Thirsty Mermaid (OT) – Fresh local seafood, oysters, full raw bar. 521 Fleming
St., 305-204-4828 >> Schooner Wharf (11 p.m. weekdays, midnight Fri/Sat, OT) – Seafood, soups, salads, sandwiches, raw bar. 202 William
——— 11:30 p.m. ——— >> Caroline’s Cafe (OT) – Seafood, fresh salads, island fare, burgers. 310 Duval St.,
305-294-7511 >> Grand Cafe (OT) – Eclectic fusion of traditional and international cuisine. 314
Duval St., 305-292-4740 >> Hard Rock Cafe (OT) – American cuisine featuring a variety of legendary flavors. 313
Duval St., 305-293-0230
——— Midnight ——— >> Point Five (OT) – Small plates, homemade pasta, tacos, meats, sweets. 915 Duval St.,
305-296-0669 >> Better Than Sex (OT) – Exotic and erotic desserts, wine, signature drinks. 926 Simonton
St., 305-296-8102 >> Clemente’s Pizza (OT) – Handmade wood-fired pizza, salads. 516 Fleming St., 305-900-7035 >>
Henry and Eli’s Side Street Pub (OT) – Elevated pub food, very dog friendly. 112
Fitzpatrick St., 305-517-6282 >> Kennedy Cafe (NT) – Mediterranean, Italian,
Greek, Turkish and Uzbek cuisines. 924
Kennedy Dr., 305-809-9000 >> Kojin Noodle Bar (Mon through Sat, OT) –
Asian noodle bar. 502 Southard St., 305-296-2077 >> Sandy’s (OT) – Cuban, Mexican, breakfast, soups, salads. 1110 White St., 305-295-0159 >> Shanna Key (NT) – Irish pub and grill. 1900
Flagler Ave., 305-295-8880 >> Taco Bell (NT) – Popular Mexican restaurant chain. 2338 N. Roosevelt Blvd. 305-780-7950
——— 12:30 a.m. ——— >> Sandbar (12:30am Sun./Mon., 1:30 a.m.
Tues.-Thur., 2:30 a.m. Fri./Sat.) – Large variety of upscale bar food. 511 Greene St., 305-916-5530
——— 1 a.m. ——— >> Island Dogs (OT) – Upscale bar food, build-your-own hotdogs, seafood, raw bar, sandwiches, tacos, pizza. 505 Front St., 305-
509-7136 >> Old Town Tavern (OT) – Menu influences from England, Ireland, Scotland and Australia.
900 Duval St., 305-296-0637 >> Smokin’ Tuna Saloon (1 a.m. weekdays, 2 a.m. on Fri./Sat., OT) – Bar food, soups, salads, sandwiches, full dinners. 4 Charles St., 305-
517-6350 >> Virgilios (1 or 2 a.m., OT) – Authentic Italian panini, pizza and appetizers, bar food. 524 Duval
St. (entrance in side alley), 305-296-1075
——— 2 a.m. ——— >> Jack Flat’s (OT) – Generously portioned homestyle food, fresh seafood, American classics. 509 Duval St., 305-294-7955 >> Lucy’s Retired Surfer Bar (OT) – Coastal favorites like mussels, seared tuna and avocado fries, seafood, sandwiches, salads, pulled pork hash, cured ceviche. 221 Duval St.,
305-922-2616 >> Salty Angler (OT) – Seafood, sandwiches, barbecue, bar food. 1114 Duval St., 305-
741-7971 >> Wingmasters (OT) – Wings, salads, pizza, subs, quesadillas. 934 Truman Ave., 305-293-0750
——— 3 a.m. ——— >> Wendy’s (OT) – Popular burger chain restaurant. 335 Duval St., 305-296-5770
——— 3:30 a.m. ——— >> Angelina’s Pizza (OT) – Pizza, calzones, subs, pasta, salads. 208 Duval St., 305-296-3600
——— 4 a.m. ——— >> Mary Ellen’s (OT) – Gourmet grilled cheese sandwiches, soups, salads. 420 Appelrouth
Lane, 305-294-7750 >> Mr. Z’s (OT) – Philly cheesesteaks, stromboli, pizza, sandwiches, salads. 501 Southard St.,
——— HOT DOG CARTS ——— >> Superdog (OT) – Hot dogs and various sundries. Duval and Caroline Streets (The Bull) >> Woody Wagon (OT) – Hot dogs, gyros and various sundries. Greene and Ann Streets
(Tattoos and Scars) >> Sweeney’s Weeneys (OT) – Hot dogs and various sundries. Duval and Greene Streets
(Sloppy Joe’s) >> Chubb’s (OT) – Hot dogs and various sundries.
Fleming and Duval Streets (Banana Republic) >> Key West Taco Dog – Hot dogs and various sundries. Duval and Charles Streets (Red Garter)
——— 24 HOURS ——— >> Denny’s (NT) – Comfort food, America’s diner.
2710 N. Roosevelt Blvd., 305-741-7990 >> Dion’s (OT) – Fried chicken, corndogs, corn, picnic-style food. 1127 Truman Ave. 305-294-
7572 >> IHOP (NT) – Popular breakfast restaurant chain. 3416 N. Roosevelt Blvd., 305-292-6319 >> McDonalds (NT) – America’s most popular hamburger, fast food. 3704 N. Roosevelt Blvd.,
305-296-5800 >> Sonic (6 a.m. to 5:30 a.m., NT) – Drive-thru carhop, burgers, hotdogs, shakes. 2312 N.
Roosevelt Blvd,. 305-916-5252
EARLY BIRDS Opens earlier than 8 a.m.
——— 5:30 a.m. ——— >> Conch Flyer (NT, at the Key West airport)
– Traditional American pub cuisine. 3493
S.Roosevelt Blvd., 305-296-6333
——— 6 a.m. ——— >> 5 Brothers Grocery and Sandwich Shop
(OT) – Cuban coffee and sandwiches. 930
Southard Street, 305-296-5205 >> Kim’s Kuban (NT) – Cuban and Mexican cuisine. 2302 N. Roosevelt Blvd., 305-296-2878 >> Starbucks – Pastries and breakfast sandwiches.
Four locations: 430 Duval St., 305-296-2991;
431 Front St., 305-906-2061; 2500 N. Roosevelt
Blvd,. 305-900-8436; 3820 N. Roosevelt Blvd.,
——— 6:30 a.m. ——— >> Corner Sandwich Shop (NT) – Breakfast, homemade baked goods, Cuban sandwiches, soup. 1514 Bertha St., 305-440-2128 >> Cuban Coffee Queen (OT) – Cuban breakfast favorites with flair. 294 Margaret
St., 305-292-4747 >> Harpoon Harry’s (OT) – Traditional American breakfast. 832 Caroline St., 305-294-8744
——— 7 a.m. ——— >> Coffee Plantation (OT) – Pastries, cookies, pies, quiches and treats. 713 Caroline St.,
305-295-9808 >> Cuban Coffee Queen (OT) – Cuban breakfast favorites with flair. 5 Key Lime Square, 305-
294-7787 >> Fisherman’s Cafe (OT) – Specialty breakfast, seafood and sandwiches. 205 Elizabeth St.,
305-741-7044 >> Frenchie’s Café (OT) – Traditional French café with flair. 529 United St., 305-396-7124 >> Glazed Donuts (OT) – Colorful varieties of donuts. 420 Eaton St., 305-294-9142 >> Goldman’s Bagel Deli (NT) – Bagels, delicious breakfasts and New York-style fare made from scratch. 2796 N. Roosevelt Blvd.,
305-294-3354 >> Kennedy Cafe (NT) – Traditional American and Cuban breakfast. 924 Kennedy Dr., 305-
809-9000 >> La Grignote (OT) – Artisan French bakery café, homemade pastries, bread, sandwiches and salads. 1211 Duval St., 305-916-5445 >> Old Town Bakery (OT) – Pastries and artisan breads, breakfast and lunch sandwiches. 930
Eaton St., 305-396-7450 >> Sandy’s (OT) – Breakfast platters, Cuban,
Mexican, breakfast, soups, salads. 1110 White
St., 305-295-0159 >> Schooner Wharf (OT) – Traditional breakfasts, array of eggs Benedict. 202 William St., 305-
292-3302 >> Southernmost Beach Cafe (OT) – Traditional and tropical specialty breakfasts. 1405 Duval
St., 305-295-6550 >> Taco Bell (NT) – Popular Mexican restaurant chain. 2338 N. Roosevelt Blvd., 305-780-7950
——— 7:30 a.m. ——— >> Banana Cafe (OT) – French bistro with a
Caribbean twist. 1215 Duval St., 305-294-7227 >> Breakfast Club 2 (OT) – Traditional and creatively exotic breakfasts. 610 Greene St.,
305-440-2898 >> Croissants de France (OT) – French food with a Caribbean touch. 816 Duval St., 305-
294-2624 >> Key West Cuban Coffee (OT) – Traditional
Cuban cuisine. 517 Truman Ave., 305-395-
8993 >> Pepe’s (OT) – Full breakfast, build-your-own omelets, N.Y. strip steaks. 806 Caroline St.,
Disclaimers: Hours can change on a whim and kitchens may close earlier or open later than posted for a variety of reasons. Opening and closing hours traditionally change during season due to volume (or if the GM is hungover and just wants to close a bit early — it happens). And it’s MOST important to remember that sometimes the kitchen closes earlier than the closing hours posted (up to two hours in some cases). Restaurants want to serve you as late as they can, but
at some point, whether it’s inconvenient for your empty belly or not, they have to close up, clean up and send the staff home. Worst case scenario, there’s always CVS for M&Ms, Slim Jims and Doritos. Last but not least, it’s Key West. We’re laid-back here. We kind of open when we get there in the morning, close when we’re done at night and sometimes, if the fishing is good, all bets are off as far as opening and closing hours go. My advice, unless you’re willing to chance it, is to call first. ¦ Grub for Key West night owls