We asked Trop Rockin’ Magazine readers to pick their top 5 Key West bars. Many of you struggled with only picking 5, but the results gave us clear winners (with hundreds of votes separating the top 5 Key West Bars from the rest). Here are your favorites:
Check out the Top 10 Best Bars in the Florida Keys if you’re looking for the bars on your way to Key West.
1. Schooner Wharf
We’re not surprised Schooner Wharf was voted the #1 Key West bar!
Open air, fun and casual plus perfectly located in the Key West Bight area. Live music almost everyday and night. Michael McCloud is the staple musician playing 5 afternoons a week. His sarcastic humor is part of the Schooner Wharf charm along with his original Key West songs.
At night, this bar often turns into a big party scene with everyone dancing in front of the stage.
A special feature at Schooner Wharf is Frank’s Magic Bar. Grab a seat in front of Frank and he’ll amaze you with his sleight of hand and funny (sometimes corny) jokes.
Good beer and house wine specials offered during two Happy Hours. From 7am until noon and then again from 5p – 7p. Big Drink menu, limited dinner and lunch menu but with something on the menu for everyone.
To see a great view, check out the small upper deck where you can look out over the marina.
2. Smokin’ Tuna Saloon
Another great open air bar landing in the number 2 spot in the readers vote for best Key West bars. Hidden behind buildings, The Smokin’ Tuna Saloon offers a good sized courtyard with two bars and a raised stage.
Known around town simply as “The Tuna,” it’s the hub for the Key West Songwriters Festival (so much fun!) and Trop Rock singer/songwriter Scott Kirby is part owner. When Scott’s not touring, he’s often playing at the Tuna.
Live local musicians daily makes is another reason it’s on the list of best Key West bars. During special events in Key West, make sure you watch for their live music schedule as they sometimes book bigger acts.
The Smokin’ Tuna has great food too, I recommend the smokin’ tuna dip!
3. Capt. Tony’s Saloon
The legendary Capt. Tony Saloon earns the 3rd spot on our favorite Key West Bars list!
Pull up a stool, order a drink and imagine you’re back in the days when Key West was a literary hub. Those days when Ernest Hemingway and Tennessee Williams were sitting at this very bar. Of course, Jimmy Buffett has been there too.
The history of the bar is as intriguing as the atmosphere. There is no lack of things to look at… business cards and dollar bills line almost every inch of the place.
Plus, many, many women just happen to lose their bras at Capt. Tony’s. Ok… probably not by happenstance.
Capt. Tony himself was a larger than life character (check out our recap of the book about Capt. Tony: Life Lessons of a Legend). He was the Mayor of Key West in the 80’s, been immortalized in a Jimmy Buffett song and although he sold the bar in 1989, he continued to “hold court” for the remainder of his life.
Live music daily, usually a talented solo artist and his guitar.
4. Green Parrot
Known as a locals favorite, the Green Parrot is a funky Key West bar. Located at the corner of Southard St. and Whitehead St. and is another popular location for live music.
Local musicians are a staple, but the Green Parrot gets an impressive number of big name singers and bands.
I enjoyed my front row to a Robert Earl Keen show. The stage is tight and on a busy night, you’ll be in a standing room only crowd. The key is to get there at least an hour early.
During the day, this is the most laid back bar in town. Great drinks, no food but free popcorn.
5. Hog’s Breath Saloon
Rounding out the top 5 Key West Bars, is this favorite open air bar with a laid back vibe.
Hog’s Breath has a large outdoor bar, daily live music on a small band stage and about 10 tables outside reserved for patrons ordering food.
Inside is a decent size restaurant that rarely is packed since everyone is enjoying the outside atmosphere.
The food is good here and you can watch the staff shuck oysters at the outdoor raw bar. Great signature drinks and I’d suggest the Hogarita or the Hog Snort!
If you’re looking forward to a late night party, this is the best Key West bar.
Make sure you fill up before you party late into the night. We’ve got the list of the best Key West Happy Hours that offer great deals on really good food and (of course) drinks.
It was hard to narrow it down and come up with only 5 favorites. But these are truly the best Key West bars – each unique with their own eccentric island vibe.
If you’re looking for the best bars up the Keys, check out the Top 10 Best Bars in the Florida Keys on your way to Key West.
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