Best Bars in Key West
Key West is known for a lot of things, and one of them is having a good time. And what better way to have a good time in Key West then at one of its world famous bars. There are no shortage of friendly bars here, but these are some of the must stops on any good bar crawl in Key West.
When you walk through the doors, you are taking a step back in time. Come and party where Ernest Hemingway used to – no visit to Key West is complete without a visit to Sloppy Joe’s. Known for their friendly staff and generous liquor pours, Sloppy Joe’s opened more than seventy years ago right around the end of the prohibition. To this day, they still have something for everyone. Sloppy Joe’s has an events calendar besides entertainment – anyone make homemade bikinis or look like Ernest Hemingway? If so, Sloppy’s has an event for you! For those into the music scene, the establishment offers a wide range of entertainment every day from noon to 2pm, and their full menu can best be described as an American-Carribbean fusion, with some burgers and sandwiches thrown in the mix for the not-so-adventurous palate. Make sure to get a Sloppy ‘Rita, and if you feel like trying something new order the Conch Fritters or Conch Chowder. Don’t forget the Key Lime Pie for dessert! Sloppy Joe’s is open from 9am-4am daily, except for Sundays 12pm-4am. Located at 201 Duval Street on the corner of Greene.
Hog’s Breath Saloon
They have their own lager, a legion of die-hard fans that sport their t-shirts everywhere, and a second location in Destin, FL. The Hog’s Breath Saloon is another Key West staple, and a favorite watering hole of the locals. Fans described as “Hogheads” flock here for the good service, good menu and great entertainment – the events calendar is always jam packed every month. Their menu has a little bit of everything, and they have an excellent raw bar as well. Try it out and wash it down with a Hog Snort or a Hogwash. You can keep the glass afterwards, and make sure you pick up a t-shirt before leaving. Located at 400 Front Street. Phone: (305) 296-4222.
801 Bourbon Bar
Dubbed “world famous” and more of an entertainment complex, the 801 Bourbon Bar caters to the gay crowd, and just so you know – it has more of a male clientele here. Feel like catching a show? Check out the Cabaret with twice nightly drag queen shows – Sushi is in charge and you’ll laugh your pants off. In the mood for bingo? Play Drag Queen bingo every Sunday at 5pm, and trust me when I say it’s not what your grandmother used to go to. Feeling naughty? Then go to Saloon 1, the only gay leather bar on the island. Pants are even optional one night during the week for you exhibitionists out there. And of course, if you just want to enjoy a drink during happy hour and get your karaoke groove on, there’s always the 801 Bar. Their happy hour runs daily from 10-am-8pm with two-for-one drink specials, and karaoke is on Thursday and Sunday nights starting at 6pm. 801 Bourbon Bar is open from 10am-4am daily, except for Sundays 12pm – 4am. Located at 801 Duval Street. Phone: (305) 296-1992.
If you are looking for an evening out that is a little more refined, look no further than Virgilio’s Music Club and Cocktails, right in the heart of Duval Street. Enjoy a classic bar cocktail such as an icy martini, scotch, or glass of wine in Virgilio’s open-air garden bar setting and listen to live blues, jazz, Latin, and piano music. You can dance as well if the mood (or martini) strikes. Feeling hungry? Walk a few steps to the Italian restaurant in front, La Trattoria, which is right on the premises. With its inviting interior, light colors and sumptuous bread baskets, you will want to relax over your meal here. If you are a pasta lover, try the Penne Puttanesca. Meat eater instead? Then definitely get the Bistecca al Pepe, it’s heavenly. Reservations recommended. Located at 524 Duval Street. Phone: (305) 296-8118 (Virgilio’s) (305) 296-1075 (La Trattoria)
Green Parrot Bar
On the end of Route 1 sits the Green Parrot Bar, another locals’ favorite. A local landmark since the late nineteenth century, the Green Parrot has friendly bartenders, an open-air atmosphere, and great drink specials, not to mention the coldest beer you’ve ever tried. Oh, and lots of frames and knick knacks covering the walls and ceiling. This place is nothing fancy, but it makes for a great time. There is entertainment almost daily at nighttime during the week, and on the weekends. The best part? They never charge a cover for entertainment! Their happy hour is daily from 4pm-7pm, with no drink minimum. But be warned, they don’t accept credit cards so make sure you have plenty of cash to support your big day or night out here. The Green Parrot Bar is located at 601 Whitehead Street. Phone: (305) 294-6133