Conch Flyer Restaurant
Key West International Airport
S. Roosevelt Blvd, Key West, Florida
Phone: (305) 296-6333
I think small airport restaurants are fascinating and filled with personality and the Conch Flyer at the Key West International Airport is no exception. I’ve traveled a fair amount and up till now my favorite small airport fare could be found at the White Plains facility in New York. That eatery is akin to a genuine bona fide 50’s diner, but in Key West we’re talking totally eclectic.
Once upon a time there was no overseas highway or Flagler Railway and the only way to see Key West was by boat or boat plane. The place attempts to yield to that aspect of the island’s history with old photos, model airplanes hanging from the ceiling, a tiki bar style at the bar itself and a laid back environment that would make most visitors feel like a local. Wherever you sit there are surrounding windows that enable you to see action on the tarmac. There are only two doors leading out to the arriving planes so the activity is concentrated. We have a 70-seater jet now, but most aircraft are turbo prop and the whirring sound of the props can be felt throughout the eatery.
I have never had a bad server or bartender when I stop by. They’re friendly and want to know as much about you as you want to know about why they ended up in Key West (the most popular question asked by tourists to locals). I’ve had only breakfast at the restaurant as far as eating goes and it was abundant and delicious serving all the basics. It’s an airport so everything is cost inflated including the drinks. By the way this is Key West and it’s perfectly okay to drink beer with your ham and eggs at 6 am. Don’t belabor this point with me!
Interesting factoid: Key West does not serve alcohol until noon on Sundays. The airport is County property so stop by for a mimosa or bloody Mary while waiting for your am flight on Sunday. You’d have to go to Stock Island (next key up) otherwise!
If you love the fragrance of jet fuel, the roar of the propellers, the yelling of customers whose bags haven’t arrived yet or you just love the concept of flight then pay the meters (yes there is only metered parking at KWIA and I think that stinks) and stop in to the Conch Flyer and enjoy a unique dining and drinking experience.
Doug Heyman in Key West for the Food Reference Website