Restaurant Reviews

Key West: Where to Score the Best Hogfish, Doughnuts, and Shrimp

An inky, flooded road skirts the edge of a trailer park on Stock Island, a square mile swath of land just east of Key West. Two men in rubber overalls stomp through the water, sheets of rain smacking their bright-orange suits. They head toward Hogfish Bar & Grill, a rickety restaurant beside the old shrimp docks. Inside, wooden picnic tables -- topped with local pink shrimp, hogfish, and grouper -- crowd the noisy dining room. And though the weather calls for staying home, Jimmy Buffett's voice coos from the speakers as if everything outside is sunny and warm.

From Miami, the three-hour journey is long -- stretching from Homestead's nurseries to the Seven Mile Bridge to the southernmost point of the continental United States. But the Hogfish is the ideal endpoint, stocked with knickknacks, straw roofs, and fresh, fried seafood. It helps that it isn't dog-eared in any Lonely Planet guide books. That, along with a trailer-dotted trek, provides a semblance of secrecy.

The best destinations always feel like discoveries of your own.

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Emily Codik