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Best Places for Key Lime Pie in the Florida Keys

Best Places for Key Lime Pie in the Florida Keys

Every destination has an iconic dish that travelers know is a must-try when visiting the area. Named for the small Key limes that were once abundant in the Florida Keys, Key lime pie can be found at restaurants across the Keys, all of which claim to serve the very best you’ll find.

State historians believe that the invention of sweetened condensed milk in 1856 led to the very first Key lime pie concoctions. A cook named Aunt Sally based out of Key West is often said to have made the first Key lime pie sometime in the 1800s, using a recipe created by local spongers as her guide.

Want to be “Keyed” into the best Key lime pies in the Florida Keys? Visit one of these six places, and you’re guaranteed happiness with every bite.

Key Lime Pie Company

The pies at the nationally award-winning Key Lime Pie Company are made fresh daily using natural ingredients, real Key lime juice, and handmade graham cracker crust. The Key lime pie here was named the Nation’s Best Pie by the American Pie Council.

Kermit’s Key West Lime Shoppe

Said to be among the best on the island, Kermit’s Key West Lime Shoppe is located on the shopper’s haven of Duval Street in Key West. Made with all-natural ingredients and a delicious crust, this pie can also be served frozen, dipped in Belgian chocolate, and put on a stick.

Porky’s Bayside Barbecue

This Marathon-based shop takes its Key lime pies to the next level. At Porky’s, you’ll find the pies are deep-fried in oil and served with a crispy outer crust and a subtly sweet filling.

Pepe’s Café

When you visit Pepe’s (established in 1909), the oldest eatery in Key West, your Key lime pie will be served in a bowl. The pie here has a crunchy crust, a tart taste, and is served with enough whipped cream to last you a while.

The Blonde Giraffe

Here you can get another famous chocolate-dipped Key Lime pie on a stick. Not only can you get one of the most delicious slices around, but you can also watch the pies being made.

Blue Heaven

This institution sells a Key lime pie made with 100-percent graham cracker crust and a light and airy filling, all piled high with fresh meringue.


4 Best Places For Key Lime Pie In The Florida Keys

A little bit of sweet. A little bit of tart. And a whole lotta heaven.

Could anything be better than Key Lime Pie?

I can’t tell you the first time I tried it. You would think something as pure and delectable as that first bite would be more memorable but I’m sorry to disappoint you. What I do remember about my first time was that it wouldn’t be the last, and one day I would find the perfect Key Lime Pie straight from the source. The holy grail.

Enter 2016. We had successfully completed an epic #motherofallroadtrips around the US during the prior year and a half, and our final stop was Florida Keys.

Why? For the love of pie, of course. And dessert always comes last.


Get a Taste of Literary History at the Ernest Hemingway Home

This small island is said to have inspired more writers per capita than any other city in the country, and the most well-known among them is undoubtedly Ernest Hemingway, whose former home is a must-visit for any fan of the author. The bright yellow Spanish colonial villa was Hemingway’s residence in the 1930s, where he wrote some of his most famous works. If you’re allergic to cats, beware: the grounds are home to more than 50 felines, all of which are descendants of a cat owned by Hemingway.


Key Lime Pie

Which Key Lime Pie is a "must have" when in Key West?

22 replies to this topic

Thank you all. Sounds like I need to try all of them. Publix is our first stop so will surely get some there. Looking forward to our trip.

It’s frozen says just defrost and eat. Waiting patiently. Not the merangie (spelling) type. Got it in freehold

Kermits is very good as the other posters have mentioned. It’s our go to spot. however I must say I really enjoyed hogfish bar and grills take on key lime pie very much during our last trip.

Make a trip to try their hogfish sandwhich, some pinks and finish it off with their key lime pie!

It was 10 yrs ago. but we liked the Key Lime Pie Company on Greene St the best. The pictures of the place online look a little different from what I remember but I believe it is the same place. We had Blue Heaven and Kermit's too. We like our KL pie as tart as possible, the whip cream should be thick and is there to balance out some of the tartness. We felt the Key Lime Pie Co best met that criteria. We will be there next week and we will definitely be checking out as many as possible again including the blueberry version at Off the Hook.


Key lime pie?

Ok. I think I have a handle on what I want to do during my short trip to KW.

But since I have no time to taste every pie in town, I thought I would inquire with the experts here on TA for the best key lime pie in town. I do realize that the place with the best marketing is not necessarily the best tasting.

Are there any other must taste treats in town that are a must and unique to Key West?

I think I will go ahead and sacrifice and taste both Kermit's and Blonde Giraffe for an official comparison.

Are they close in location? If so, perhaps my dh can buy one and I the other so I won't feel obligated to fully indulge in both-although again I am willing to make the sacrifice if need be. :<)

The days can not go by fast enough. I am so excited about the trip. I even watched Fools' Gold with Matthew Mc. and Kate Hudson that was set in KW but I think most of the water scenes were filmed in Australia. It did not matter though, it still just made me more excited about my upcoming visit.


Beyond Tourism: Florida's Yesteryear

In order to avoid infringing on copyright and having gourmetsleuth contact me and say please remove our recipe from your blog. Which I’ve had happen with other information on another blog I used to write. I’m going to leave links to different Key Lime Pie recipes. So you’ll have to go directly to the site to get the recipe.

So what makes key limes and key lime pie special to Florida? According to Kermit from Kermit’s Key West Lime Shoppe Key Limes only grow well in a small number of zones and the Keys are one of those places. Key Lime trees grow all over the Keys and at least one is in almost every yard. As Key Limes grow they start out green and turn yellow as they ripen.

Egg yolks are used to make Key Lime Pie so instead of a soft pudding texture you’ll end up with a custard consistency instead. The yellow Key Limes and the egg yolks give Key Lime Pie it’s yellow color so if the pie is green you know it’s not a key lime pie. Also when making Key Lime pie make sure to use actual Key Limes. They are more acidic and bitter than regular limes and will give your pie a more tart taste than regular green limes.

Condensed milk is used because when Key West was founded fresh milk was difficult to acquire being that the only way at the time to reach Key West or any of the other keys was by boat until railroad was built and after that the seven mile bridge, also known as the Overseas Highway.

Enjoy your pie and if you ever visit Key West remember to have a piece of pie while watching the Sunset at Mallory Square.


Best Places for Key Lime Pie in the Florida Keys - Recipes

What visit wouldn't be complete without key lime pie and the best one you'll find is at Kermit's key lime shop. Try it and you'll see what i mean..

82 - 86 of 425 reviews

We have stopped here before and needed to come again. This time they offered Chocolate Covered Strawberry Key Lime Pie on a stick in addition to the regular Chocolate Covered Key Lime Pie. Everything was really tasty. You Must Try This!

We went to Kermit’s on Front St. twice while in Key West. I loved the key lime pie and strawberry key lime pie. Hubby had 2 of the dark chocolate dipped pie slices. We bought some candy and salsa to bring home. I appreciated the samples to allow us to figure out what we liked best. I found the staff to be friendly and helpful. Great location with easy access from either trolley or a cruise ship. Don’t miss Kermit’s when in KW!

We went here to get some gifts for friends. The jelly beans & nuts are so good. We wish they had pistachio nuts though. They did a great job adding samples and tasting products at this location.

We tried a few different places' Key Lime on a stick (of course covered in chocolate). This was hands down the best tasting we had! Very refreshing and just the right amount of chocolate. A few chairs inside to sit down and rest your tired feet too. Staff is very friendly!


Top Five Places for Key Lime Pie (in Key West)

Key Lime Pie Company

Creating a top five list of the best key lime pie in Key West is a tough job but someone had to do it, so it may as well have been me. Just a couple of provisos regarding this list:

This is based upon my likes. I like to taste the lime, not to be overpowered by it but I do think it should be the primary flavor I taste. The crust needs to be good but honestly, most of the pie that I tasted had virtually the same style graham cracker crust. Last but not least I like a thick and consistent texture.

This is obviously not an exhaustive list! It is nearly impossible to try every restaurant’s version of the world famous key lime pie. So if you’ve been to the Keys, you may ask ‘how could you miss this place or that place?’ so it will take loads of additional research before I can complete this task. I encourage you to let me know if you have a favorite key lime pie and I will be happy to check it out.

Price is not a factor in any of the decisions here. I have based my decisions only what I think matches my tastes. It is not for me to decide how much is worth it to you to pay for a slice of pie.

So here it is, the Native Trekker ‘Top Five Places for Key Lime Pie in Key West’

The Key Lime Pie Company had a really good pie. The pies are made behind a glass window so you can see the magic as it happens. This pie had very good texture along with a standard pie crust. The only disappointing trait of this pie was the lime flavor was slight, almost hard to detect. This was one of the larger proportioned slices sampled and was the lowest priced among the top five.

This place has really got it going on! With great Cuban food and the best live music we heard while in Key West, the only thing it needed to make it even better was a great slice of Key Lime. It delivered with a meringue style pie with a lime syrup drizzle that made it one of the more unique flavors we tried. This pie had one of the strongest lime flavors on the list which was great. The texture wasn’t quite as thick as some but overall this was a very good pie and you can have it in perhaps the best atmosphere in Key West.

This place is another Key West locale with a great vibe. The outdoor seating area resembles some of the great courtyard restaurants in Santa Fe but with a tropical theme. Blue Heaven has a great combination of lights, trees, and even wild roosters to go along with their version of how to do Key Lime Pie. Theirs is another of the Lime meringue style and it didn’t disappoint. It had a great blend of lime flavor, with a good crust and texture.

Jimmy Buffet’s entry on this list may come as a surprise to some but we have consistently had really good Key Lime Pie every time we’ve been there. The atmosphere at Margaritaville is very different than the others on this list and has more of a cheeseburger in paradise feel to it, with music videos playing on a giant screen with a pirate like decor. The pie had a nice thick texture with a really good crust. The only thing that could have made this pie any better would be for a slightly stronger lime flavor. They even get double bonus points for giving you your margarita in a to-go cup!

The Banana Cafe ended up being a real surprise to us as the number one Key Lime Pie in Key West. Despite its name, this is primarily a French style restaurant and it made the best Key Lime Pie of anywhere we tried. Although Key Lime Pie is not often associated with French food, it is a ‘must have’ if you want to have a restaurant in the Keys. So if you look at the criteria I mentioned in the beginning, the Banana Cafe checks all of the boxes. Great crust, texture, and most important to me, I want to taste the lime and I certainly did.

So there you have it! The Native Trekker Top Five Places for Key Lime Pie in Key West. I plan on returning to try more and turn this list into a Top 10 someday. Maybe the next list will be a comprehensive Key Lime Pie list of the entire Florida Keys, who knows. The research has exhausted me and I need time to recover.


Beyond Tourism: Florida's Yesteryear

In order to avoid infringing on copyright and having gourmetsleuth contact me and say please remove our recipe from your blog. Which I’ve had happen with other information on another blog I used to write. I’m going to leave links to different Key Lime Pie recipes. So you’ll have to go directly to the site to get the recipe.

So what makes key limes and key lime pie special to Florida? According to Kermit from Kermit’s Key West Lime Shoppe Key Limes only grow well in a small number of zones and the Keys are one of those places. Key Lime trees grow all over the Keys and at least one is in almost every yard. As Key Limes grow they start out green and turn yellow as they ripen.

Egg yolks are used to make Key Lime Pie so instead of a soft pudding texture you’ll end up with a custard consistency instead. The yellow Key Limes and the egg yolks give Key Lime Pie it’s yellow color so if the pie is green you know it’s not a key lime pie. Also when making Key Lime pie make sure to use actual Key Limes. They are more acidic and bitter than regular limes and will give your pie a more tart taste than regular green limes.

Condensed milk is used because when Key West was founded fresh milk was difficult to acquire being that the only way at the time to reach Key West or any of the other keys was by boat until railroad was built and after that the seven mile bridge, also known as the Overseas Highway.

Enjoy your pie and if you ever visit Key West remember to have a piece of pie while watching the Sunset at Mallory Square.


What You Need to Know Before Your Florida Keys Vacation:

A road trip down the Florida Keys is one of the most popular ways to visit. It&rsquos also convenient, as there&rsquos one road connecting the major islands in the chain. It takes about three-and-a-half hours to reach Key West from mainland Florida, just south of Miami, via the Overseas Highway (U.S. Highway 1). The Keys themselves are broken into three categories: the Upper Keys, Middle Keys, and Lower Keys. The closest major airport is in Miami, where numerous car rental outlets are available. A small amount of flights also land at Key West Airport if you&rsquod prefer to use that as a home base, though you&rsquoll shell out more for your flight than flying into Miami.

The Upper Keys (excluding Biscayne Bay) run from Key Largo to Lower Matecumbe Key at about mile marker 75 (MM75). The Middle Keys start at Craig Key and extend to the city of Marathon &mdash ending at the south end of the Seven Mile Bridge. And, last but not least, the Lower Keys start at MM47 and finish at Key West, which is MM0. Since the majority of the Keys are linked by just one road, the mile markers are the most helpful ways to pinpoint locations along the route.

Keep in mind that you&rsquore not going to find a beach on every island in the Keys, though Bahia Honda and Curry Hammock State Park are nice options. That&rsquos especially true as 2017&rsquos Hurricane Irma caused significant damage to the coastline here. For the most up-to-date information on the recovery, check the Florida State Parks website before your road trip through the Keys to make sure your perfect stretch of sand has reopened.


Other great desserts of mine that I suggest:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

In a medium bowl, combine condensed milk, sour cream, lime juice, and lime zest. Mix well and pour into graham cracker crust.

Bake in preheated oven for 5 to 12 minutes, until tiny bubbles burst on the surface of pie. Don’t let it brown – take it out if it starts to. Put in the refrigerator immediately after and garnish with lime slices.

Hi, I'm Maxine!

I am a recipe creator & food blogger dedicated to cultivating the cooking experience. My goal is to inspire you to cook by incorporating videos (with a comedic twist) to simplify and share my recipes. My favorite cuisines are Mexican and Italian, which is why I came up with the name Cilantro Parsley!