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Blue Heaven, Key West, Florida

729 Thomas Street
Key West , Florida
Tel: 305 296 8666's insider take:

Caribbean-themed American and veggie fare draws tourists and locals to this legendary eatery, which served its first meal in September 1992. The menu is heavy on the local seafood, with staples like barbecued shrimp or seared scallops Provençale. The building that houses Blue Heaven has been through many iterations—most of the tables are situated in the outdoor courtyard, where Hemingway refereed boxing matches and customers watched cockfights (there are still chickens pecking about). The patio surface is paved with slate pool-table tops from the restaurant's days as a billiard hall and ice-cream parlor. Diners with more risqué tastes should request a seat in the second-floor gallery, formerly a dance hall and bordello (you can still peek through peepholes into tiny rooms). Reservations are not accepted for breakfast or lunch and there's usually a line, especially for Sunday brunch. It's worth the wait for fragrant house-made banana bread.

Open Mondays through Saturdays 8 am to 3 pm and 5 to 10:30 pm, Sundays 8 am to 2 pm and 5 to 10:30 pm.

Information may have changed since the date of publication. Please confirm details with individual establishments before planning your trip.