This post is in partnership with Marker 88 and The Florida Keys and Key West who hosted our visit. All opinions are my own. You can read my full Disclosure Policy here.
Dining Experience in the Florida Keys
There are a lot of reasons to plan a family vacation in The Florida Keys and Key West, and the food is at the top of the list. One of the things I started missing right away when we returned home was all the fresh seafood and unique independent restaurants.
Our first dinner was at one of the best restaurants in The Florida Keys, Marker 88 in Islamorada. Talk about setting the bar high! This restaurant is a must-stop not only for the amazing food and drinks, but also for the unbeatable beachy atmosphere.
Dining at Best Islamorada Seafood Restaurant
Marker 88 has a fantastic menu, and it’s kid-friendly. They even gave my son a little coloring page with crayons (even though he was more interested in looking in the water!), so you can absolutely take your kiddos here. Specializing in fresh Florida seafood, prime steaks, and chicken, Marker 88 has been a Keys tradition since 1967.
While we were most excited for the seafood, it was HOT in The Keys on our August trip, so I started our dinner off with a drink. Their frozen drink menu is amazing and when on vacation by the beach, you sort of have to, right? Cheers to that.
For an appetizer, we all shared the Blackened Tuna Sashimi. Just look at the photo above. I probably don’t have to tell you it was absolutely to-die-for. Perfectly flavored and cooked, we ate every last bite on that plate.
For an entree, I ordered the Shrimp Zoodles, which included large shrimp sauteed in olive oil, roasted garlic, and herbs, served over fresh zucchini noodles. This was SO good.
Fresh and flavorful, I love that this cuisine is satisfying but doesn’t make me feel like I need a nap. Because who wants to feel like that when it’s hot and you’re on vacation? Marker 88 food is just perfect for the Florida Keys vibe.
My husband ordered the Onion Encrusted Mahi Mahi and it was also fantastic. We passed around our plates and got to try a bite of each dish. Mmm, I can almost taste this one from the picture.
This is the Ahi Tuna Burger that my daughter ordered, which is pineapple marinated tuna, wasabi aioli, onion straws, and lettuce and tomato. I had a bite (of course I did) and it was delicious. That tuna was cooked perfectly!
I mentioned that they have a kids’ menu, though I don’t see that online. It is on the paper menu they give kids when you’re sat, and there are some yummy options there as well. My son ordered a cheeseburger and ate the whole thing!
Don’t Forget the Dessert
No meal in The Florida Keys is complete without a piece of key lime pie, and just look at that meringue! Holy WOW! I don’t know if you can see on the edge of the photo, but there are 4 spoons there and we shared. As much as it pained me to do so, we shared. ha!
There are a bunch of other tasty-sounding desserts but we basically ate as much key lime pie as we could in The Keys and this mile-high piece was one of our favorites of the trip.
Islamorada Restaurant On The Water
Obviously Marker 88 has the topnotch food thing completely covered. Pair that with the perfect Florida Keys atmosphere and you’ll see why I’m telling you this is a must-do on your trip.
Marker 88 is right on the water, and if you look on the right side of the photo above, you can see that there’s even a beach. I didn’t see anyone full-on swimming, but there were plenty of people (lots of kids!) getting their toes wet.
While we waited for our food and in between courses, we walked around, out onto the dock, and along the beach to check it out.
I liked being able to let the kids explore a bit while I was able to see them the whole time. Of course if you have really little ones you want to watch them near the water and on the dock. Mine are old enough to be given a little freedom and they had so much fun spotting fish (and a shark!) in the water.
Yes, we did see a small shark right off of this dock. Pretty cool!
Best Sunset Restaurant in the Keys
When the sun goes down, there are lots of lights that come on to give Marker 88 a really cool atmosphere. In the dining area, there are hanging ball lights that are so pretty.
And watching the sunset from your seat while sipping a drink is a pretty special way to enjoy your meal. I love this photo of my kids on the doc. A framer!
Don’t be afraid to take your good camera with you. There are tons of cool photo ops with the gorgeous beach, colorful dining tables, the dock, and all the little lights.
There is some covered bar and dining space for guests, but a lot of Marker 88 dining is al fresco. We had a couple of sprinkles while we were there, but nothing that made our visit unpleasant. It’s all part of the experience! We absolutely love this restaurant and really hope to get back to Marker 88 soon!
Learn More About Marker 88
The Florida Keys and Key West are the perfect place for a family vacation. Visit their website, and check out their social profiles for tons of ideas to help plan your adventure: Facebook | Twitter | Instagram
PLANNING YOUR FLORIDA KEYS VACATION:
- Faro Blanco Resort and Yacht Club
- Marker 88 Restaurant in Islamorada
- The Turtle Hospital, Marathon Key
- Angler & Ale Restaurant, Hawks Cay Resort on Duck Key
- Dolphin Research Center, Marathon Key
- Morada Bay Beach Cafe, Islamorada
- Robbie’s of Islamorada: The Hungry Tarpon + Feed the Tarpon
- Aquarium Encounters in Marathon FL: Coral Reef Encounter
- Bahia Honda State Park – Best Florida Keys Beaches
- Ocean’s Edge Resort & Marina – Family-Friendly Key West Resort
- Key West Butterfly Conservatory