I am a coffee addict. Any kind. Cuban, French, Italian. Even coffee ice cream. I am always on the hunt for the perfect cup of Morning Joe. Given we are all creatures of habit, we find a place for a cup of morning coffee and never seem to seek other places. But, that is about to change. Here are the 5 best places for coffee in Key West. Tell me if you don’t agree!
Key West coffee shops are everywhere. Some sell authentic Cuban coffee, while other coffee shops offer your traditional fare. So, who has the best Cuban coffee? Who locally roasts their coffee?
1. Cuban Coffee Queen
Really, who would argue with this one? With two locations in Key West, you are never too far from a Cuban Coffee Queen. I like the Duval Street location (in Key Lime Square) as it has seats and is a quiet place to enjoy some Cuban bread and coffee in the morning in the heart of Old Town. The Margaret Street location is a little busier and doesn’t offer, other than a few benches, a place to sit and relax. In the heart of the historic seaport, the original location offers a place to grab delicious food and then wander and enjoy the sea views. My favorite order is always a Cafe con Leche with a Pan Cubano… best breakfast …. ever! It’s basically Cuban toast, but, the bread makes it amazing. Great breakfast sandwiches always start with amazing Cuban bread. The Cuban sandwiches here are great sandwiches and will rivial any sandwich shop.
As a side note, Cuban Coffee Queen, at their second location (on Duval) roasts coffee. Pick up some, or have some shipped home.
2. Sandy’s Cafe
This is a true original. The coffee is hot and the food is awesome. Sandy’s Cafe is located at 1026 White Street, this is my go to stop when heading back after taking sunrise photos. The service here is awesome and, well, the coffee is perfect! It’s also a local favorite. My personal favorite is the Colada (basically a double Bucci). There are only about 10 stools around the corner, so keep in mind, space is limited if you plan to eat there. I always use the walk-up window and plan to enjoy my coffee on the outside stools.
If you are in the mood for great coffee but are a bit nervous to order off of these menus, here’s what you should know about the offerings at Cuban coffee shops. Cuban expresso is the basis for all of the drinks. It’s similar to Italian espresso, but it is sweetened. On the menu, you will see a Cafe Cubano, which is another name for Cuban espresso. It’s on the sweeter side, but a great pick me up, no matter the time of day.
A Cortadito is a Cubano topped with steamed milk. A cafe con leche is much like a latte. When you order, tell them how many scoops of sugar you want. For example, I usually order a medium with two. That means a medium latte with two scoops of sugar.
Colada is 3 to 6 shots of Cuban espresso in a cup. Very nice way to share with another. Or step on the wild side and order a bucci, it’s generally equal parts Cuban espresso and sugar. You can drink it alone, or add it to your con leche.
3. Funky Rooster Coffee House and Wine Bar
Located at 713 Caroline Street, this is the formerly the Coffee Plantation. But, the Funky Rooster Coffeehouse is more of a traditional coffee shop. But, they offer some very unique tropical and refreshing drinks. You can visit in the morning and enjoy a great cup of coffee and then head back for a glass of wine. There are lots of places to sit and relax inside and on the outside porch. On this quiet street, it’s a perfect spot to rest after a brisk morning walk! They have local artist items you can buy. As you sip your coffee or your wine, wander through the place and admire the art for sale by local artists.
4. Best Coffee in Town
Also on White Street (1222 White Street to be exact) Best Coffee in Town is more a local hang out. The Cafe con Leche has a lighter texture if that’s possible for a cup of coffee. The milk is whipped as it is combined with freshly brewed/pressed Cuban coffee. The guava pastries are some of the best on the Island.
5. Glazed Donuts
What? A donut place? Yep. Love, love their Red Buoy coffee. I order their iced coffee and it not only is refreshing, but it is also the perfect partner to a warm glazed donut. Located on Eaton Street, Glazed Donuts is close to everything. Plan to stand in a line as the donuts are made fresh every day and the coffee is roasted on site. Have to admit I spent a little bit of time watching them roast coffee, pretty fascinating to watch.
Where are your favorite places for coffee in town? What is your go-to order? Any of these options are close to the many Key West hotels found in Old Town. The best coffee shops in Key West are located on just about every corner. I have offered five of my favorite stops. No matter what you are looking for… a cup of strong coffee, medium roast or even dark roast, in Key West, you will find it.
Here are a few bonus options…
Heading up the Florida Keys? Then be sure to stop by Baby’s Coffee. This is also a local favorite for a morning cup of coffee. Founded in 1991, Baby’s offers fresh in house roasted coffee with a Florida Keys influence.
Want to sit down enjoy a great breakfast and need a strong cup of really good coffee? Check out The Cafe located on Southard Street.