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Key West Shrimp

Key West Seafood Markets

You won’t believe the seafood paradise that awaits you in Key West! Get ready to indulge in the freshest, most mouthwatering catches from the sea.

In this article, we’ll take you on a tour of the top seafood markets in Key West, where you can find the catch of the day. From succulent shellfish to delicious fish varieties, we’ll also share tips on how to buy and cook seafood like a pro.

Get your taste buds ready for a seafood lover’s dream!

Key West Seafood Markets :: A Rich History

If you frequently visit Key West, you’ve likely heard about the rich history of its seafood markets. The history of Key West seafood markets dates back to the early days of the island’s settlement. When fishermen first discovered the abundant fish and shellfish in the surrounding waters, they saw an opportunity to create a thriving market for their catch. These early pioneers set up simple stalls along the waterfront, selling their fresh catches directly to locals and visitors alike.

As the island grew and its reputation as a fishing destination spread, the seafood markets evolved. More permanent structures were built, offering a wider variety of seafood options. The markets became a hub of activity, bustling with fishermen, buyers, and curious tourists. The smell of saltwater and fresh fish filled the air, creating an unmistakable atmosphere.

Over the years, the seafood markets of Key West have become an integral part of the island’s culture and economy. They haven’t only provided fresh and delicious seafood to the locals but have also become a popular attraction for tourists. Today, you can still visit these historic markets and experience the vibrant history and flavors that are deeply rooted in Key West’s seafood traditions.

Top Seafood Markets in Key West

When visiting Key West, you’ll find that the island is home to several top seafood markets that continue to uphold its rich fishing traditions. These markets offer an array of fresh seafood options that are sure to satisfy any seafood lover’s palate.

Eaton Street Seafood Market

801 Eaton St, Key West, FL 33040

This market is known for its wide selection of locally caught fish, including grouper, snapper, and yellowtail. They also offer a variety of shellfish, such as stone crab claws and Key West Pink Shrimp.   The onsite restaurant will let you head right over to the case and pick your choice of fresh fish for the kitchen to cook.   While you are there you have to try their Key Lime Mustard Sauce, it is incredible.

Half Shell Raw Bar Market

231 Margaret St, Key West, FL 33040

Another hidden gem in old town is the Half Shell Raw Bar Market.   If you head over to the bar and walk all the way to the back of the restaurant you will find the market hidden way in the back.    This market Opens early and closes early, so do not expect for there to be anything left when you stop in for a happy hour cocktail.

These guys usually stock the regular stuff like Dolphin (Mahi Mahi), Key West Prink Shrimp, Spiny Lobster, Hog Fish, Yellow Tail Snapper, Gulf Oysters, Stone Crabs, Scallops, and Grouper.   While you’re there pick up some of their house made Conch Salad!


6406 Maloney Ave, Key West, Florida 33040

If you head up to Stock Island way back in the neighborhoods you will find Fishbusters Seafood Market.   The bulk of their business is wholesale so you know that this place is going to have the freshest seafood in the keys.  When you head through the front doors you will find a huge case of fresh fish on ice just ready to be filleted and cooked.   Fishbusterz also stocks a ton of random local spices, rubs, and sauces.

Last time I was in here they had Florida Spiny Lobster, Key West Pinks, Stone Crab, Red and Back Grouper, Hogfish, Swordfish, Wahoo, and Cobia.   Their selection is second to none.

Keys Fresh Seafood Market

6840 Front Street Key West, Florida 33040

Another Great Stock Island Seafood Market is Keys Fresh Seafood, located at the Docks Restaurant.  If you want fresh off the boat it does not get any closer to the water than these guys.   If you head over early in the morning you can find the fisherman unloading their catch and moving it into this historic market.

The restaurant here is second to none.   Sit on the docks and enjoy a cocktail or try their Tuna Carpaccio Pizza while listening to the sounds of the harbor.

The Docks Stock Island

These top seafood markets in Key West are a must-visit for any seafood enthusiast, as they offer high-quality, locally sourced seafood that truly captures the essence of the island’s fishing traditions.

Fresh Catch of the Day: A Seafood Lover's Delight

You’ll be thrilled with the abundance of fresh catch of the day at the Key West seafood markets, satisfying every seafood lover’s delight. From succulent lobster and juicy shrimp to tender snapper and flaky grouper, the options are endless. Each morning, local fishermen bring in their daily hauls, ensuring that you’ll always find the freshest seafood available. Whether you prefer grilled, fried, or raw, these markets have it all.

At the seafood markets in Key West, you can expect to find a wide variety of fish, shellfish, and crustaceans. The catch of the day often includes popular favorites like yellowtail, mahi-mahi, and stone crab claws. The selection isn’t only diverse but also of the highest quality, as the markets pride themselves on offering only the freshest and most sustainable seafood.

The knowledgeable staff at these markets are always ready to assist you in choosing the perfect catch. They can provide recommendations on cooking methods and offer tips on pairing seafood with the right sauces and seasonings. With their expertise, you can create a truly unforgettable seafood feast.

Key West Shrimp

Popular Shellfish Varieties in Key West


Indulge in the mouthwatering variety of popular shellfish varieties available in Key West’s seafood markets, adding a delectable touch to your seafood feast. Key West is renowned for its fresh and flavorful shellfish, making it a paradise for seafood lovers.

One of the most sought-after shellfish in Key West is the Florida spiny lobster. This delicacy is known for its sweet and succulent meat, which can be enjoyed grilled, steamed, or in a lobster roll.

Another popular choice is the stone crab, famous for its meaty claws that are packed with flavor. The stone crab’s claws are typically served chilled with a tangy mustard sauce.

If you’re in the mood for something smaller, the Key West pink shrimp is a must-try. These shrimp are naturally sweet and tender, making them perfect for shrimp cocktails or grilled skewers.

Oysters are also a staple in Key West, with their briny and refreshing taste. Whether you prefer them raw, steamed, or grilled, these bivalves are sure to satisfy your seafood cravings.

With such a wide range of shellfish options, Key West’s seafood markets offer something for everyone, ensuring a memorable and delicious seafood experience.




Tips for Buying and Cooking Seafood in Key West


To ensure a satisfying seafood experience in Key West, make informed choices when purchasing and preparing your seafood. Here are some tips to help you make the most of your seafood adventure:

– Choose a reputable seafood market: Look for a market that’s known for its fresh and high-quality seafood. Ask locals or do some research to find the best options in Key West.

– Inspect the seafood: When buying seafood, always check for freshness. Look for clear eyes, shiny skin, and a mild ocean smell. Avoid seafood that appears slimy or has a strong, unpleasant odor.

– For fish: The flesh should be firm and spring back when pressed. The gills should be bright red or pink, and the scales should be intact.

– For shellfish: Make sure the shells are tightly closed and not cracked. Avoid shellfish with an ammonia-like smell.

– Know your cooking methods: Different seafood requires different cooking methods. Consider grilling, baking, steaming, or frying based on the type of seafood you have.

– For delicate seafood: Opt for quick and gentle cooking methods like steaming or pan-searing.

– For thicker seafood: Grilling or baking can help retain moisture and enhance the flavor.

By following these tips, you can ensure that you’re getting the freshest seafood and preparing it in a way that brings out its natural flavors.

Enjoy your seafood feast in Key West!


So next time you find yourself in Key West, don’t miss out on the incredible seafood markets that offer a wide variety of fresh catches.

Dive into the rich history of these markets, explore the top spots to find the best seafood, and indulge in the delicious shellfish varieties that Key West has to offer.

With these tips for buying and cooking seafood, you’re sure to have a seafood lover’s delight that will leave you craving for more.

Dive in and taste the flavors of Key West!

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