The 12 Best Bars in Key West

Are you looking to discover the best bars in Key West?

Then we have you covered!

On this page, you’ll find the official shortlist of all the bars in Key West. (More in-depth further below). And, each with why it’s best to go.

Feel free to check out each bar’s official profile to find out more and to find out which is best for you.

We’ve also created separate shortlists for each genre you might like to visit on your time out.

So check out these articles as well:

Furthermore, you can get on the guest list or book a table with bottle service on some of the more exclusive bars. We are happy to help you out with either.

12. Sloppy Joe’s

Sloppy Joe’s, which opened in 1933 and has been at its current location since 1937, was a favorite hangout for Ernest “Papa” Hemingway and his “mob” and is today one of Key West’s most popular and consistently entertaining pubs. This well-known Key West pub was opened on December 5, 1933, but was relocated to its current position at the intersection of Greene and Duval in 1937. Ernest Hemingway visited the pub, and now Hemingway fans pilgrim to the bar for a taste of the author’s previous life. Most of the cocktails are frozen concoctions. However, Hemingway is reported to have requested a Papa Dobles, a mixture of rum, grapefruit juice, grenadine, sweet and sour, club soda, and a squeeze of fresh lime juice. 

So, on a Monday night in the off-season, Sloppy Joe’s is generally packed, and the enormous stage attracts the greatest musicians in Old Town. The music continues until 2 a.m., and the high ceilings provide good acoustics. Come in the late afternoon to avoid the crowds, or stop by Joe’s Tap Room for a selection of beer on tap. Sloppy Joe’s, one of Key West’s most renowned sites and Ernest Hemingway’s favorite watering hole, attracts guests from all over the world who enjoy their favorite beverage, real Key West ambiance, and top-quality cuisine. There’s usually a party in the main bar, and Joe’s Tap Room offers a wide selection of artisan and specialty beers. 

Live musical entertainment begins at noon and continues until 2:00 a.m.! Sloppy Joe’s has a dance floor set up from 9:30 p.m. so those still standing may practice their dance moves. If you want to party late, you’ll likely end yourself here. This is one of the greatest bars in Key West, in my opinion — I’ve always had a fantastic time here. A fascinating tidbit about this pub is that it was a favorite hangout for Ernest Hemingway (though we think most of the bars in Key West were). So, this is one of the best bars Key West has to offer! If you are in town, we highly recommend visiting this bar at least once.

11. The Hog’s Breath Saloon

The Hog’s Breath Saloon is a popular pub providing bar food on a covered outdoor patio plus live music & dancing. Despite its evident attraction to the Key West tourist trade, the low-slung, partly concealed Hog’s Breath Saloon has the sense of a motorcycle bar; guests can (and frequently do) dismount their Hogs and jump up to a stool at the open-sided bar. The entertainment schedule is dominated by live bands and bikini contests, as is characteristic in Key West. It is almost necessary that visitors leave wearing a Hog’s Breath T-shirt embedded with the saloon’s famous motto. Hog’s Breath is better than no breath at all. 

Hog’s Breath Saloon has been entertaining Key West locals and visitors for over 25 years as one of the island’s favorite and iconic venues! With daily live entertainment featuring the best in local and nationally-acclaimed musicians, Hog’s Breath Saloon is the ideal nook to get off sweltering Duval and enjoy the cuisine, good times, and beverages! Remember, Hogs breath is preferable to no breath at all! If you’re looking for live music in Key West, look no further. But what I appreciate best about it is the potential to spill out onto the front yard when the risk of having someone else’s elbow in your beer gets too great. Welcome to Key West, Florida’s World Famous Hog’s Breath Saloon. 

For almost 25 years, the Hog’s Breath Saloon has been a favorite “Key West Watering Hole” for residents and visitors. Have a refreshing drink, eat outside in a tropical atmosphere, or choose our air-conditioned inside dining and bar space. The Hog’s Breath presents daily live music from the top local and national acts. On one of the Hog’s Breath Saloon’s three webcams, you can see what’s going on in real-time. A visit to the Hog’s Breath would be incomplete without purchasing a world-famous t-shirt from our mercantile store. If you cannot visit them in person, all Hog’s Breath stuff is available through their online store. The Hog’s Breath, conveniently located at the intersection of Front and Duval Streets in the center of Old Town Key West, usually has something unique. Please make us your first and final stop while in Key West, and remember Breath Hog’s is better than no breath at all.

10. The Bull and Whistle

The Bull and Whistle are two bars rolled into one (three, if you count the rooftop Garden of Eden). The Bull on the ground floor is dominated by a vast central bar with a tiny performance stage in the corner, while the Whistle on the second floor is more of a sports bar. It has a pool table, darts, and other bar games. The Whistle’s short second-floor balcony, equipped with seats so customers can enjoy a refreshing drink and the street panorama below, is the greatest element of either. This three-for-one deal includes daily live music as well as incredible art. 

The Bull and Whistle Bar is one of Key West’s oldest open-air establishments. The Bull and Whistle are three birds that are distinct and original. The Bull is located on the first floor. A spacious room with an extended bar serves some of the Bull’s greatest alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages. It also features live music by local musicians. The Bull is one of the birds contributing to Key West’s open-air system. The Bull attracts a large number of people. The Whistle Bar is located on the second level of the same structure. The Whistle Bar has gaming and pool tables and a squared bar with cold beverages and liquors from both domestic and international states. 

Whereas the Bull offers a fantastic setting for individuals who enjoy live music, the Whistle Bar offers fresh air on the balcony that overlooks Duval Street. You may also get a drink and relax on the porch while socializing with your pals. That is not all the case! Another great bar at the Bull and Whistle Bar will blow your mind. This is a rooftop bar, popularly known as the Garden of Eden, where you may or may not wear clothing. Yes! You read that correctly. You may have beverages with your special someone while watching the entire island from this rooftop pub. If you’re searching for something out of the usual in Key West, The Bull and Whistle pub is the place to go. So, this is one of the best bars in this city!

9. The Garden of Eden

The Garden of Eden, perched above the Bull and Whistle, is Key West’s only clothing-optional bar. How much flesh will you see at this rooftop bar, bordered by tropical plants and sheltered from prying eyes below? Depending on the day, time, and weather, you may expect to pay anything from a lot to nothing. A topless bartender (selling beverages that are somewhat more costly than elsewhere in town or even below) and a few dirty dancers are likely but come on a bright afternoon, and you’ll discover nude sunbathers resting on lounge chairs. You are not required to be naked here, and body paint is a fantastic way to be brave without revealing too much, but the no-photography rule is rigorously enforced. Yes, you read that correctly. Clothing is not required. 

The Garden of Eden bar tempts you at Key West. At the highest top of the Bull & Whistle is a nudist bar. You can remain dressed, but it puts you squarely in the category of a voyeur. Please refrain from taking photographs. The Key West Garden Of Eden serves all the typical beverages one would expect to find in a Key West bar. Cocktails, wine, beers, and spirits are plentiful, just what you expect from a night out in Key West. Prices are roughly average for the region but keep looking for happy hours, coupons, and promotional evenings to stretch your bucks a little further. They don’t sell food, but they provide a list of all the local Key West restaurants and delivery services. On the nights when everything is going on, the bartenders are entertaining and attentive but also focused and competent. 

As previously stated, they will jump on you if you pull out your phone in the Key West Garden of Eden, and they are also intent on making nude people wear a towel when sitting on the chairs. And that, my buddy, is not too much to expect after they’ve worked up a sweaty bum crack from jiggling up and down for a couple of hours. Be aware that if you visit in the afternoon, you will most likely be served twice as quickly, but you will find yourself alone next to two elderly nude gentlemen having an afternoon drink. If you want the drinks to flow and the pleasure to be at their peak, go there after 11:00 p.m. and on weekends, as you would anticipate.

8. Capt. Tony’s Saloon

The old Sloppy Joe’s—which was moved across the street in a rent dispute—was Hemingway’s Key West hangout for many years and still has a richness of local history hanging on the walls. That tree you’re resting on with your drink, for example, was Key West’s “hanging tree” in the nineteenth century, so your company may include the spirits of pirates whose necks were stretched by local vigilantes. Every night, live music is performed at Capt. Tony’s. Captain Tony’s saloon is regarded as one of the finest works of art in the living history of Key West bars. The great Tennessee Williams, Ernest Hemingway, Shel Silverstein, Truman Capote, and Jimmy Buffet dined at Captain Tony’s tavern. To tourists’ astonishment, Captain Tony’s saloon is not just an ordinary bar but also a frequent meeting place for prominent and influential persons such as Key West’s mayor, a casino operator, and a fishing boat captain. 

This excellent pub serves some of the finest alcoholic beverages and exquisite whiskies that will transport you to Paradise. Captain Tony also arranges fantastical events such as zombie Paradise, pirate parties, rubber balls, plaid parties, steampunk parties, etc. Captain Tony’s, located at 428 Greene Street, is a terrific place to hang out with friends and family. This historic bar, the original Sloppy Joe’s Bar, has been cherished for decades by residents and visitors alike and legendary people. These people include Tennessee Williams, Truman Capote, and, of course, Ernest Hemingway. 

Capt. Tony was an enthusiastic fisherman, rumrunner, casino manager, and even Key West mayor who established the saloon to provide ice-cold beverages to his fellow Key Westers—a tradition that everyone now enjoys! We might as well start with Key West’s oldest tavern. Captain Tony’s Saloon is a historic institution where you may want a beer. This is the original location of Sloppy Joe’s, and Ernest Hemingway was frequently spotted at a barstool here until the late 1930s when he left Key West. Ask the bartender about the “hanging tree” growing straight through the center of the bar for some pirate mythology. (Hint: It’s where 19 pirates were executed.) Jimmy Buffet got his start in the dismal pub as well. If you can’t decide what to order, the Pirate Punch, the bar’s trademark cocktail, is a good place to start.

7. The Smallest Bar

This is, as the name suggests, a little bar. The chamber is 72 square feet (about the size of a prison cell), with a maximum lawful occupancy of around ten people. There are just about three barstools, but it’s a terrific area to hang out with a (small) group of friends, and there’s lots of interaction with interested Duval Street passers-by. This little pub is located across the street from the Smallest Bar Inn, a normal-sized hotel. If there are 10 of you, you’ll pack the place out, and only 3 of you will get a seat. It’s slap-bang on Duval, and worth a stop, though do move on after a drink to let others give it a try. The Key West Historic District, a neighborhood in Key West, is home to the Smallest Bar Inn, which is in the entertainment district and close to the beach. 

The Ernest Hemingway Home and Museum and Fort Zachary Taylor Historic State Park are notable landmarks, and South Beach and Higgs Beach showcase the area’s natural beauty. The Mel Fisher Maritime Museum and the Key West Shipwreck Museum are worthwhile stops. Many water activities are nearby, such as scuba diving, snorkeling, and parasailing. The Tiniest Bar Inn Key West, also known as the Old Customs House Inn, is a picturesque island escape with all the vacation amenities you could want. 

Another advantage is the downtown position in the historic district on the island of Key West, on the major thoroughfare known as Duval Street. We are centrally located and within walking distance of everything that Old Town Key West has to offer. The Old Customs House Inn and Guesthouse should be your first pick if you’re seeking a quaint, attractive Key West Guesthouse that’s walking distance to everything! Want to stay up to speed on all of our Key West news? Another advantage is the downtown position in the historic district on the island of Key West, on the major thoroughfare known as Duval Street. We are centrally located and within walking distance of everything that Old Town Key West has to offer.

6. Margaritaville Key West

This isn’t the largest or even the greatest of Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville bar-restaurant complex, but it was the first, opening in 1985. Margaritaville Key West, located behind a pink facade in the commercial sector at 500 Duval St., offers a stage for musicians and the traditional tiki-bar décor, and a complete menu of eating and specialty drink selections. Try some regionally inspired delicacies like conch fritters and a slice of delicious key lime pie for a fast bite. Their unique beverages are available in a standard 22 oz: glass or a souvenir blender cup. Specialty cocktails are expensive, around $18 per glass, but they are crafted with various distinct and exquisite liquors and juices. 

Whether you’re visiting Parrothead or want to soak up some of the wonderful vibes, it’s worth a visit. Drifter’s Cove Restaurant is open for breakfast, lunch, and supper and serves acai smoothies, Cuban sandwiches, tuna poke, shrimp ceviche, and surf and turf delicacies, including steaks and lobster quesadillas. Indoor and outdoor seating is available, with tables on a covered terrace facing the resort pool. Everything is extremely Key West, which means tropical, bright, and inviting. Shipwreckers Bar is a spherical open-air bar by the pool with a churning blender and frozen cocktails spiced with rum, passionfruit, and mango on the menu. It’s no surprise that I had to Google Jimmy Buffet (I thought it was a brand of buffet-style dining) since I haven’t visited this establishment. 

However, I suppose this establishment is a massive thing for Buffet lovers (and it’s undoubtedly one of the most renowned bars in Key West, even if you’re not a Buffet fan). All accommodations are suites with separate bedrooms and sitting spaces, mini-fridges and microwaves, and a salvage-chic décor concept of weathered wood and neutral tones. After a hot day seeing Key West or playing on the beach, this is a great spot to retreat and rest in the luxury of luxurious pillow-top mattresses and cold AC. The rooms have cool and refreshing air, with soothing, neutral hues and enough natural light. So, this is one of the best bars in the city.

5. Hard Rock Cafe Key West

Hard Rock Cafe is a Rock’ n’ roll-themed chain with a high-energy vibe serving burgers & American classics. Local bars are often included on “best” lists. Still, the Key West outlet of the Hard Rock Cafe brand is an anomaly due to the meticulous restoration of a stunning three-story Victorian property in the middle of Duval Street by the owners. The brand embraces its new home; its website mentions a probable spirit strolling its hallways. At this Hard Rock Cafe, you may admire the rock memorabilia, raise a glass to your idols on the balcony, dine alfresco in the front yard, or attempt to spot Robert Curry’s restless spirit. There’s something for everyone! This bar is a global phenomenon, with 185 locations attracting almost 80 million visitors annually.

The original Hard Rock Cafe debuted on June 14, 1971, in London, England, and the brand has grown to include major cities and exotic locales worldwide. Every meal at the Hard Rock Café Key West is an adventure, whether on the road or a lunch break. Dine-in elegance and a fancy environment and feel like a celebrity at this popular restaurant on Key West’s world-famous Duval Street. Enjoy a 2- or 3-course fixed-price supper with a theme. For the main dish, choose from the Legendary Burger, ribs, salmon, steak, a vegetarian choice, and a side and dessert. Coffee, tea, or soft drinks are complimentary. Visit Hard Rock Cafe Key West for genuine food and world-class entertainment. You’ll find the most delicious foods on their tiny island paradise on world-famous Duval Street. 

Following a great lunch of freshly produced classic American cooking, enjoy a trip through musical history with a collection of rock n’ roll artifacts found only at Hard Rock Cafe Key West. During your stay in this lovely and inspiring city, choose the ideal spot to dine, drink, and relax among the tropical winds. Hard Rock is well-known for its tantalizing, made-from-scratch cuisine. The number one reason you should visit Hard Rock Cafe Key West is for our food. Enjoy freshly cooked American cuisine such as this traditional favorite: a delicious cheeseburger in paradise.

4. The Schooner Wharf Bar

The Schooner Wharf Bar, located in Key West’s historic port, caters to both boaters and tourists, featuring renowned figures such as Al Jardine from the Beach Boys and the late broadcaster and novelist Charles Kuralt. The “Schooner Lemonade,” rumrunners, and mango daiquiris are specialty beverages at this nautical tavern. If you are trying to find a fun place, this bar has three happy hours: one from 8 a.m. to noon, the next from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m., and a third from 2 a.m. to 4 a.m. A sunset sail followed by Dark ‘n’ Stormy drinks on the deck is almost as good as it gets. Schooner Wharf is a friendly, laid-back island hangout with historic tall ships parked on one side and a bar and live music on the other. The bar has long been a favorite with locals and visitors alike. It also acts as a vital anchor in the town, holding several festivities and events and supplying a few vessels to the Conch Republic Navy. 

The local musicians are some of the finest in town, the dance floor is constantly busy, the cuisine is tasty, and the view from the upper deck is well worth the trek. On the historic seaport of 202 William Street, Monday through Saturday, 7:30 a.m. to 11 p.m.; Sunday, 7:30 a.m. to noon. Key West’s favorite local bar appears like a tropical haven as you round the corner on the Historic Seaport harbor promenade. 

The sounds of the greatest musicians in the Keys fill your ears; the delicious aroma of the freshest local seafood available in town tempts your senses, and the sight of the most diverse mix of customers – and their dogs – anywhere will make you smile. You are now nearing The Schooner Wharf Bar, a final vestige of ancient Key West that only gets better with age. This eccentric open-air pub, built on the site of the old Singleton Shrimp factory, has beckoned visitors and residents alike since 1984 with its unique combination of special events, superb cuisine, and outstanding live music. The Schooner Wharf is a classic Key West experience that should not be missed, no matter where you are in life.

3. The Rum Bar

The Rum Bar is present at the Speakeasy Inn on Duval Street. It is run by Bahama Bob Leonard, a laid-back Key West legend who also happens to be one of the world’s foremost rum specialists. Classic tropical drinks, including the painkiller, mojito, and rum runner, are handcrafted with care at this in-the-know rum destination. Leonard can also expose you to hidden treasures within his huge collection of over 350 rums from the Caribbean and beyond. The Run Bar at Speakeasy Inn may be described as a Paradise on Earth for people who enjoy a rum drink. Rum bar serves traditional cocktails made with over 350 different rums from across the world. This bar also has a terrific ambiance for both locals and tourists. 

However, you may listen to good music while sipping tropical drinks like Mojitos, Daiquiris, and house-special cocktails. The Rum Bar, located at 1117 Duval Street in Key West, has unique characteristics. The railings around the balcony are one of the unusual elements in the basement that keeps rum. It’s on the second level of the Speakeasy Inn. Aside from world-class cocktail specialties, you may also enjoy inexpensive shots. Whether you visit with friends or family, you can always enjoy the ambiance that the Rum Bar offers. 

Even if you come here alone, you can always find someone to chat to or make friends with. Rum Bar’s bartenders are extremely pleasant and eager to give information about the drinks, including their history and ingredients. It is a great location to meet new people and learn more about them. The Rum Bar is a beautiful bar that serves some of the best rum and other popular liquor, so if you want to relax while sipping some of the highest quality rum, you should go there right now! The Rum Bar, located in the residence of the late Raul Vaquez, a cigar selector and rum-runner from the early 1920s, features the island’s greatest collection of rums. As you sit peacefully on the veranda observing the passers-by on Duval Street, fantastic drinks, not simply rum, await you. This laid-back place, located on the first floor of the Speakeasy Inn, is a must-see during your stay.

2. The Green Parrot

The Green Parrot is a lively corner bar that is a must-stop on the route to or from the Hemingway house. Locals and tourists alike frequent this location. The Green Parrot was once a wartime food store that subsequently began offering alcohol to residents. However, Green Parrot is now known as one of Key West’s most renowned bars. The green parrot bar serves some of the strongest beverages, live music, a calm atmosphere, and a place to meet new friends and travelers worldwide. 

Green Parrot offers various sizes of well-known alcoholic drinks, liquor, and wine. You may enjoy the jukebox, ukulele club, and other live musical performances by local and worldwide brands and artists because Green Parrot is well-known for its musical events. Almost every evening, Green Parrot has a musical event. This bar is open every day of the week. You may also buy gifts for your friends and family, such as original Green Parrot T-shirts, Hoodies, bandanas, Jewellery, stickers, magnets, etc. The Green Parrot Bar is located at 609 South 3rd Old Town Street in Key West. Green Parrot is the place to go if you want to listen to some of the biggest classics performed by excellent performers while drinking a nice beer. 

This unique tavern has undergone various transformations over the years but has remained a Key West favorite for fantastic music and camaraderie. The walls are covered with signage, souvenirs, and other items, most of which have an intriguing tale or history. This tavern is open seven days a week, and features live music virtually every day, ranging from country bands to brass punk rock. The Green Parrot is a real Key West landmark and the ideal location to unwind with friends and be yourself. Every night, fantastic music, unique cocktails, and groups of local regulars mingle with Key West tourists to create an atmosphere of escapades, excitement, and sheer fun. The authentic Key West attitude of the Green Parrot never changes and embraces everyone with open arms, from hurricane parties to divorce celebrations to pet birthdays. So, this is one of the best bars Key West has to offer.

1. Irish Kevin’s

Irish Kevin, an immigrant who relocated to Key West in 1992 and built a pub on Duval Street, performs live weekly at this Duval Street Irish bar. The pub features a large selection of beers on tap, and they urge its patrons to sing along with Irish Kevin and their other performers, perhaps “becoming part of the performance” themselves. Can’t make it to see one of your favorite musicians? No worries, you may watch the concerts live on their website on their Stage Cam page. Irish Kevin’s is a great spot to hang out with friends and sample some of Ireland’s delectable food. Irish Kevin’s is more than simply a pub; it also takes extra effort to offer a welcoming atmosphere that makes you feel relaxed amongst others. 

Irish Kevins serves traditional pub meals as well as delectable foreign food. When it comes to Irish Kevin’s ambiance, they ensure that all of their visitors appreciate the presence of the Irish essence. It is also widely known among locals and tourists as a rustic second home. Irish Kevins not only serves some of the most outstanding cuisines and soothing alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages, but it also has live music performances by local and international artists. So, if you’re searching for a comfy location to hang out with friends or family at night, go to Irish Kevin’s on Key West’s Old Town Road. 

This is the place to go for good times and cool Guinness! Irish Kevin’s offers a rustic second home for all its guests, from private business meetings to family festivities. With a high degree of hospitality and competent staff, it’s simple to kick back, relax, and enjoy the excellent traditional Irish food and a fantastic lineup of live entertainment each night. Irish Kevin’s genuinely has something for everyone. They are delighted to have a complete bar with creative drinks and 26 beers. Live entertainment is provided seven days a week from the early opening time in the morning until closing time. Everyone is welcome to sing along and perhaps become part of the act! There are plenty of televisions to guarantee you don’t miss your favorite sporting events.

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