There are many reasons to visit Key West in Florida.
From the bars that open at the crack of dawn to the chance to explore the third largest barrier reef in the world and enjoy the endless summer weather. Most importantly, however, is for the key lime pie in Key West.
There’s a lot of delicious foods to try while traveling in Key West. You can expect a wide array of seafood dishes, from lobster and crab to snapper, hogfish and grouper. But there are a few dishes that many consider the official foods of Key West. Conch fritters and key lime pie are among these.
We’re here, in partnership with Hotels.com, to talk about key lime pie in Key West. Why you need to try and where you can find the best pie in the city.
Firstly, what is key lime pie?
Key lime pie is a simple sweet American dessert made of Key lime juice, egg yolks, and sweetened condensed milk with a pie crust. You’ll find it served either with no topping or topped with meringue topping or whipped cream.
The history of key lime pie in Key West
There are a few stories going around about the origins of key lime pie. Some say it originates from New York while others say it was derived from the ‘Magic Lemon Cream Pie’ published on a promotional brochure by Borden, a producer of condensed milk.
The story told in Key West goes all the way back to the 1800s, when Key West sponge fisherman kept limes on board to prevent sickness. The fisherman, called ‘hookers’ by the locals, would whip up a sweet treat mixing the limes with condensed milk and sometimes adding a wild bird egg. They’d pour it over stale Cuban bread and leave it out to set in the sun.
The fisherman’s wives took it a step further and baked it in a pie crust. It was a modest dessert of the working class, up until Sarah Jane Lowe Curry, the daughter-in-law of Florida’s first millionaire started serving it. Known as Aunt Sally, she served it to the children visiting her home and it wasn’t long until it was served in every restaurant in Key West.
Where to find the best key lime pie in Key West
There are countless key lime pie recipes, with more and more variations popping up all the time. While in Key West, you’re likely to find a few different variations along with the more traditional recipe.
Good thing is, you don’t have to choose which is the best, you can try them all!
Here’s a few places where you’ll find the best key lime pie in Key West:
The Stoned Crab
The Stone Crab is known to have some of the best key lime pie in Key West. They have the traditional key lime pie with classic ingredients, graham crackers and fresh whipped cream. But, also a few versions with chocolate and lime glaze.
It’s a casual vibe here, with both indoor and outdoor seating. The menu also includes a bunch of other Key West favorites including conch fritters, Key West pink shrimp and other seafood dishes.
Address: 3101 N Roosevelt Blvd, Key West, Florida
Kermit’s Key West Key Lime Shoppe
Kermit’s claims to serve the original key lime pie in Key West. It’s been declared the best in the city, even from the Food Network. Their version of the pie also follows the traditional recipe of creamy lemon filling, graham cracker crust and whipped cream on top.
Kermit’s Key West Key Lime Shoppe also sells a large variety of other items with a key lime flavor. Including key lime cookies, key lime salsa, key lime chutney, key lime taffy, key lime tea and key lime olive oil.
Not matter what other key lime pies you try while in Key West, make sure to also visit Kermit’s!
Address: 200 Elizabeth St, Key West, Florida
If you’re not a purest, then Blue Heaven’s version of key lime pie is just for you. They serve up a piled-high meringue pie which is loved by all meringue lovers! They stick to the buttery graham cracker crust and sweet lime filling.
Blue Heaven is located in the funky, historic district’s Bahama Village. It features a perfect Key West ambiance, with live music and laid-back atmosphere.
Address: 729 Thomas St, Key West, Florida
Old Town Bakery
From the outside, the Old Town Bakery looks like any old tackle shop that you’d find in Florida. Inside, you’ll find a lovely casual and laid-back vibe, with the traditional glass front pastry display cases featuring an array of delicious desserts. Their most requested is the key lime pie.
They also stick to the traditional recipe with whipped cream, and you can buy it by the slice or just take the whole pie (you’ll probably want the whole pie). They also sell fresh-made baguettes, sandwiches and pastries.
Address: 930 Eaton St, Key West, Florida
Key West Key Lime Pie Company
‘If we don’t make it, we don’t sell it’ – is the motto for Key West Key Lime Pie Company. They’ve also been voted a favorite from some big names, including Food Network’s Throw Down With Bobby Flay and CNBC’s The Profit with Marcus Lemonis.
Their traditional key lime pies are a favorite, but they also play around with a few other flavors, including mango, blueberry, toasted coconut, and extra tart flavors. They’ll even dip your slice of pie into a rich and decadent chocolate! They also have a gluten free crust, so really something for everyone.
Address: 511 Greene Street, Key West, Florida
Hotels in Key West that serve a great key lime pie
What could be better than staying in the best neighborhoods of Key West and that you know serves a great slice of key lime pie? That means pie for breakfast, pie for tea, pie for dessert…or just because, any time of day!
Here are a few hotels in Key West that serve delicious key lime pie:
- Pier House Resort and Spa – their version includes a lovely, toasted meringue topping.
- Oceans Edge Key West Hotel & Marina – they break away from tradition with a buttery chocolate cookie and almond crust, with white chocolate whipped cream and a heavy drizzle of raspberry sauce on top.
- Opal Key West Resort & Marina – their traditional key lime pie is served with a trio of fruit sauces.
- Sunset Key Cottages – another delicious version of meringue topped pie.
We hope that your tastebuds are salivating and you’re ready to head straight to Key West to try out some of the best key lime pie in America! And, while you’re thinking about Key West, check out our post featuring the best beaches in Key West.