Alonzos Oyster Bar (Raw Bar and Seafood)
Old Historic Seaport
700 Front Street, Key West, Florida
Phone: (305) 294-5880
Parking: Small free parking lot
Price Range: Moderate
Waterfront dining on the Key West Bight. Building circa 1947 has been completely renovated. A & B Lobster House is upstairs with Berlin's Cigar & Cocktail Bar. Downstairs is Alonzo's.
Often times it’s hard to find high-end quality food with a good presentation in a relaxed and laid back atmosphere. Local residents will tell you that one of the places that best fits that description is Alonzo’s Oyster bar right on the pier at the old historic seaport just downstairs from the famous A&B Lobster House. If you want white tablecloths, a maitre de and fancy wine list then take the stairway, but if you want good fish with a level view of the boating action then take a seat at the bistro tables right where you stand.
Everyone in the Keys serves conch in varying forms and from much personal experience I will admit it is an acquired taste. It’s very chewy and dense and, therefore, requires a chef who can prepare it with that in mind. If you plan on taking the plunge I would be very secure in doing so at Alonzo’s. They have about the best chowder I’ve eaten and their conch fritters certainly rate in the top 5 I’ve tried anywhere. I had the grouper sandwich along with the conch chowder on my last visit and the friend I dined with had a large fresh and very attractive salad. I don’t think you will go wrong ordering anything on their menu.
I’m a bit of a romantic. I love the water, sailing and everything that such thoughts conjure up. When you sit on a wharf surrounded by charter boats and all the visitors craning their heads to catch the sights you just feel good. I can’t think of a better environment to enjoy a good meal comprised of local ingredients served by friendly faces. I’m told by a number of fellow residents that Alonzo’s is quite generous with their happy hour as well and is quite popular in the after work hours.
Just so you’re aware. Parking nearby is limited and my choice is to eat outdoors whenever possible, so if the weather is inclement you will lose the visuals you’d get on the wharf. If you’re shopping this area provides some of the best quality stores in Key West. I would recommend making some retail stops, enjoying our sunset celebration at nearby Mallory Square and then meander down Front Street till you hit water and make Alonzo’s your dinner choice. I always look forward to it myself!
Doug Heyman in Key West
for the Food Reference website