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90 miles from Cuba: Key West Food and Culture

photo courtesy of: https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1312/4725356637_c0dcee3e29_o.jpg

272 miles from Orlando, Florida, roosters and chicken roam free and the sunset is celebrated every single day. I have been blessed with the amazing experience of being able to travel to Key West for the past 7 years every spring break and the culture and food never seize to amaze. The “Let It Be” philosophy of the locals is infectious and makes it easy for everyone who visits to join in.

The first inhabitants of the Florida Keys were the Tequestas and the Calusas where they thrived off the abundance of food from the sea and the fertility of the coastal lands. Being a coastal area, seafood is usually the most popular item on the menu but there are some hidden gems that many tourists forget to search for. Being so close to Cuba, the restaurant scene draws in some down to earth, real-deal Cuban food restaurants.

El Meson de Pepe is the veteran Cuban eatery with a rustic look that draws in crowds with their live Cuban music.

photo courtesy of: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/3/31/Key_West_2008_(2337694429).jpg
photo courtesy of: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/3/31/Key_West_2008_(2337694429).jpg

El Siboney Restaurant is extremely traditional with their recipes and their homemade sangria is one of the best things I have ever had.

photo courtesy of: http://www.roadfood.com/photos/2935.JPG
photo courtesy of: http://www.roadfood.com/photos/2935.JPG

The Cuban Coffee Queen is a lively, funky counter-serve coffee stand that offers quality Cuban coffee and popular famous Cuban sandwiches.

photo courtesy of: http://img2.10bestmedia.com/Images/Photos/241629/Cuban-Coffee-Queen_54_990x660_201404250019.jpg
photo courtesy of: http://img2.10bestmedia.com/Images/Photos/241629/Cuban-Coffee-Queen_54_990x660_201404250019.jpg

Finally, if you’re looking for a very strong cup of coffee, Ana’s Cuban Café is the place to go. Ana’s Café is a hole in the wall kind of place that offers traditional Cuban meals and drinks. If you ask Ana, she’ll probably recommend the Ropa Vieja with the avocado salad.

photo courtesy of: http://wheretoeatkeywest.com/city/anas-cuban-cafe/
photo courtesy of: http://wheretoeatkeywest.com/city/anas-cuban-cafe/
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