The Best Key Lime Pie In The Florida Keys: A Definitive Ranking

March 27, 2022
best key lime pie florida keys,best key lime pie in the florida keys,best key lime pie key west,best key lime pie marathon,best key lime pie islamorada

Like France’s pain au chocolate or Chicago’s deep dish pizza, key lime pie is synonymous with the Florida Keys.  And you know I love me a good dessert!  So as I was planning my Keys roadtrip, I decided to make it my mission to try as many different key lime pies as possible—to find the best key lime pie in the Florida Keys.

The origins of Florida’s state pie date back to the 1800s, and it’s one of the iconic (truly) American desserts.  And while traditional key lime pie only has six main ingredients, the end result…well, let’s just say it VARIES.

The Best Key Lime Pie in the Florida Keys | Finding the best key lime pie in Key Largo, Key West, and beyond...I tried 15+ key lime pies throughout the keys & here is my definitive ranking, with detailed notes on each pie. What to do in Florida Keys, where to eat Florida Keys, best key lime pie in Key West. #keylime #floridakeys

You might also like:  Everything to Pack For A Beach or Tropical Vacay

As I made my way up and down the Keys, from Key Largo to Key West and back, I sampled as many key lime pies as I could get my hands on.  Some I devoured in the restaurant, but more often than not I got them “to go” and enjoyed with a gorgeous Keys view, in my car, or in my jammies in bed 🙂

I apparently have a totally separate stomach when it comes to key lime pie.  Or like a hollow leg or something.  An older gentleman I met called my key lime pie mission “a service to humanity”, and I WILL TAKE IT.

best key lime pie florida keys,best key lime pie in the florida keys,best key lime pie key west,best key lime pie marathon,best key lime pie islamorada

You might also like:  9 Sunscreens I Swear by for Travel

So, what makes a good key lime pie? 

Well, obviously that’s subjective.  But what I’ve learned is that I’m a purist.  First, the filling has to be a perfect balance of tart and sweet, with the lime flavor really punching through.  I like a custard-y texture, rather than something more solid, cheesecake-like, or whipped.

Then, I want a graham cracker crust that is buttery and a little sweet, with a bit of crumble to it.  And personally I don’t love piling on meringue or whipped cream or whatever…it actually detracts, rather than enhances.

I’ve found my perfect homemade version as well, if you’re interested in giving it a try!

Ranking the best key lime pie in the Florida Keys

Rather than a true linear ranking (which was really difficult when I was eating them over several days), I’ve grouped them into broad buckets.  I do think that Blond Giraffe ended up as my #1, but without eating them all side-by-side it was a little hard to say for sure.  Here’s the list, and then I go into detail on each below.

I’ve plotted all of these on a map so you can get a sense of where everything is.  Green are the cream of the crop, orange are middle of the pack, and blue are “eh”.  Here’s a link you can use to pull up the map yourself as well.

Where to base yourself in the Keys:  I spent a few nights at the amazing Grassy Flats Resort, and HIGHLY recommend it!  You can see my super detailed review here.  In Key West I spent one night at the Kimpton Ella’s Cottages and one night at H2O Suites…loved the latter for a bit of a splurge stay (have your own private pool!!).

Other Florida Keys adventures!

A Guide to Key West:  What To Do, Where To Stay, & More

Sunset In Key West: The Two Best Spots That AREN’T Mallory Square

A Spe-“Shell” Experience…Touring the Sea Turtle Hospital in Marathon

Where To Stay In The Keys: Review Of Grassy Flats Resort (Marathon)

Exploring Bahia Honda State Park: A Must On Any Florida Keys Roadtrip

Exploring Historic Fort Jefferson In Dry Tortugas National Park

Cream of the crop: the best key lime pies in the Keys

What’s the best key lime pie in the Florida Keys?  These would all be on my list, and I do think Blond Giraffe probably takes the top spot.

#1 – Blond Giraffe Key Lime Pie Factory

92220 Overseas Hwy, Tavernier, FL 33070

They have many different offerings, all the same key lime pie base but a variety of toppings (whipped cream, meringue, chocolate, frozen on a stick with chocolate, etc.).

I got the meringue even though that’s not my thing, but she said it was the traditional one.  The meringue thankfully didn’t distract from the pie itself, which was great…a really light and creamy filling that was delightfully tart.  The crust was good as well.

This location has a beautiful peaceful garden in the back where you can sit and enjoy your pie as well…don’t miss it!  They have a sign saying children must be seated and quiet at all times in the garden, which made me laugh—love it!

Finding the best key lime pie Florida Keys...Blond Giraffe is #1 overall & the best by Key Largo

The Best Key Lime Pie in the Florida Keys | Finding the best key lime pie in Key Largo, Key West, and beyond...I tried 15+ key lime pies throughout the keys & here is my definitive ranking, with detailed notes on each pie. What to do in Florida Keys, where to eat Florida Keys, best key lime pie in Key West. #keylime #floridakeys

Blond Giraffe has a lovely garden to enjoy your key lime pie

You might also like:  11 of My Best Tips for ANY Trip

Pepe’s Café

806 Caroline St, Key West, FL 33040

After a caffeination stop at Cuban Coffee Queen, I popped into Pepe’s for breakfast and to try their famous key lime pie.  The key lime pie came with whipped cream from a can, which I don’t love, so just scraped off.

The filling was good and balanced, a bit thicker texture like cheesecake.  The lime might have come through a bit more but overall it was delicious.  There wasn’t a ton of crust but what was there was good, nice and crumbly, not solid (feels more homemade).

Pepe's might be the best key lime pie in Key West, & one of the best in the Keys!

Pepe's is a must-stop in Key West, & one of the best key lime pies in the Florida Keys

You might also like:  The Best Cross-Body Purse for Travel

Banana Café

1215 Duval St, Key West, FL 33040

This key lime pie was pretty great.  I have to give it a bit of leeway on texture, because I ended up carrying it around for like an hour (with it banging around and getting a bit soggy from the raspberry sauce) prior to eating it.

The filling was good and tart, and offset nicely by the little bit of raspberry sauce on top.  The crust was soggy by the time I got around to eating it, which was not its fault, but it tasted good and was a great texture (prior to sogginess)…could’ve used just a bit less sugar in the crust though.

Finding the best key lime pie in the Florida Keys - Banana Cafe is one of the best in Key West

best key lime pie florida keys,best key lime pie in the florida keys,best key lime pie key west,best key lime pie marathon,best key lime pie islamorada

The Best Key Lime Pie in the Florida Keys | Finding the best key lime pie in Key Largo, Key West, and beyond...I tried 15+ key lime pies throughout the keys & here is my definitive ranking, with detailed notes on each pie. What to do in Florida Keys, where to eat Florida Keys, best key lime pie in Key West

You might also like:  The Only Carry-On Suitcase You’ll Need

Kermit’s Key West Key Lime Shoppe

200 Elizabeth St, Naval Air Station Key West, FL 33040

This one’s a bit of a cheat because I’m going off memory…I actually didn’t visit on this trip.  Instead, this was one of the only spots I got to stop by in my like 3 hours in Key West before and after my amazing open-water sailing trip a couple years ago (Key West to Dry Tortugas and back).

I literally landed in Key West, took an Uber to Kermit’s, got some key lime pie, walked to Loggerhead’s, and got on the boat!  As I remember, the key lime pie was pretty solid.  Not the best I’ve ever had, but a great balance of sweet and tart (potentially just a bit more solid than I’d prefer) and a good crust.

Kermit's has a great key lime pie, one of the best in the Florida Keys & a great one in Key West!

You might also like:  13 Cool Souvenir Ideas To Pick Up While Traveling

Mangrove Mama’s

19991 Overseas Hwy, Summerland Key, FL 33042

Mangrove Mama’s key lime pie is a tale of two parts.  It had a really creamy custard, the perfect blend of sweet and tart.  One of the best fillings, in fact.

But from what I could tell it was a store-bought crust, more solid (though still graham cracker-based), so that let it down a bit more vs. some of the ones higher on the list.

Finding the best key lime pie in the Florida Keys - make sure you stop at Mangrove Mama's

The Best Key Lime Pie in the Florida Keys | Finding the best key lime pie in Key Largo, Key West, and beyond...I tried 15+ key lime pies throughout the keys & here is my definitive ranking, with detailed notes on each pie.

You might also like:  How to Choose the Best Hotel Every Single Time

Midway Café

80499 Overseas Hwy, Islamorada, FL 33036

I finally got to stop here on my way up to the Miami airport, and am so glad I did.  And their key lime pie overall lived up to the hype.

The filling was great, one of the best I had.  What let it down was the crust, which was just basic bland pie crust—HERESY!  The meringue doesn’t add anything.  Still, I enjoyed this pie despite the five screaming unsupervised children at the table next to me 🙂

Finding the best key lime pie in the Florida Keys...Midway Cafe might be the best key lime pie in Islamorada

finding the best key lime pie in the Florida Keys

You might also like:  My Favorite Face Sunscreens & Moisturizers for Travel

Keys Fisheries

3502 Gulfview Ave, Marathon, FL 33050

This ended up being one of my favorite places overall in the Keys, and their key lime pie pretty good.  Simple and solid all-around pie, nothing fancy.

It has a great texture and fairly good balance of flavors…the key lime citrus punch could have come through just a little more, but that’s a nit-pick.  It had a seemingly-prefab graham cracker crust, but was otherwise really solid.

Finding the best key lime pie in the Florida Keys...Keys Fisheries is a must in Marathon

A ranking of the best key lime pie in the Florida Keys...Keys Fisheries is a must in Marathon

a beautiful view from Keys Fisheries

You might also like:  My Favorite Books for the Beach & Pool

Middle of the pack:  totally fine, with some qualms

Moondog Café

823 Whitehead St, Key West, FL 33040

It was a little hard to put this here rather than it barely making the cut in the previous group.  So definitely don’t think that means that Moondog’s pie isn’t good…it still is!

Their key lime pie is topped with (I think) Swiss meringue, which is quite sweet and sticky.  I preferred it without, and just mostly scraped it off.  The actual filling is pretty good, though a bit non-descript.  I didn’t really love the crust, it was hard and difficult to tell what it was made of (as the meringue was all up in its biz…).

Moondog Cafe has a pretty good key lime pie - not the best key lime pie in Key West but still good

I didn't love the swiss meringue or crust, but Moondog's key lime pie filling was good

A Keys roadtrip was on my official list of 10 places I’m dying to visit in 2022

Lazy Days

79867 Overseas Hwy, Islamorada, FL 33036

The chill seaside ambiance probably elevates the key lime experience a bit here beyond the pie’s actual quality, but I feel confident saying that Lazy Days has a totally fine key lime pie.  I wouldn’t kick it out of bed.  (Since I literally ate multiple pieces of pie in bed throughout my key lime explorations, so this is a real consideration.)

From what I could tell, the crust was pre-fab, but the filling was a good texture and wasn’t too sweet…it had an almost delicate lime flavor (would have liked it to shine through a bit more).

The Best Key Lime Pie in the Florida Keys | Finding the best key lime pie in Key Largo, Key West, and beyond...I tried 15+ key lime pies throughout the keys & here is my definitive ranking, with detailed notes on each pie. What to do in Florida Keys, where to eat Florida Keys.

Finding the best key lime pie in the Florida Keys - I tried 15+ key lime pies

The Best Key Lime Pie in the Florida Keys | Finding the best key lime pie in Key Largo, Key West, and beyond...I tried 15+ key lime pies throughout the keys & here is my definitive ranking, with detailed notes on each pie. What to do in Florida Keys, where to eat Florida Keys.

You might also like:  A Travel Bucket List for Your 30s

Blue Heaven

729 Thomas St, Key West, FL 33040

I knew I was pushing my luck trying to swing by Blue Heaven around 1p on a weekend and there was quite a wait, but I was able to go to their indoor bar area around the corner and snag a seat right away.  I ended my lunch with their famous “mile high” key lime pie.

It sure looks impressive, though I really didn’t love the meringue (the texture was kind of weird).  The actual key lime filling is quite good, but the crust is weirdly crumbly and and a bit bland.  This is one of the key lime pies that often gets talked about as the best in the Keys, and I’m not entirely sure why.  It was fine, but middle of the pack at best.

I didn't find Blue Heaven's "mile high" key lime pie to be one of the best in Key West...kind of weird.

Many say Blue Heaven is one of the best key lime pies in Key West, but I didn't agree - see my list of the best

You might also like:  Things You Might Not Know About Your Credit Card

Sarabeth’s

530 Simonton St, Key West, FL 33040

I swung by Sarabeth’s to get a piece of their key lime pie to go, as I wasn’t able to find time to have a meal there during my short Key West stay.  When I got back to my hotel and opened it, I was honestly a bit shocked at the like $13 price tag for a tiny round piece of pie!

This key lime pie has more of a whipped texture (it’s okay though I prefer the more custard-y one), and the taste and crust overall were fairly good.  The lime comes through decently, but for some reason there was a bit of a fake aftertaste that I couldn’t quite place.

Trying 15+ key lime pies to find the best in the Florida Keys

You might also like:  6 Travel Intentions for 2022

Porky’s Bayside

1410 Overseas Hwy MM47.5, Marathon, FL 33050

Porky’s is known for their fried key lime pie, and I was honestly not sure what to expect…like, what does that mean???  You can kind of see below, it basically has a very light batter or crumb coating and I guess has been fried somehow.

The taste was okay but the texture was a bit odd.  I think the filling would have been good on its own, but this just didn’t work as well for me.

I tried 15+ key lime pies to find the best key lime pie in the Florida Keys - Porky's fried was weird

I tried 15+ key lime pies to find the best key lime pie in the Florida Keys

You might also like:  My Trip Planning Process: Inspiration>Research>Reality

Not offensive, but not worth the calories

These are ones that just didn’t do it for me for whatever reason.  Again, that’s subjective, and not to say these were “bad”, just didn’t come close to the top of the list.  Usually because they lacked flavor or the texture was off.

Bayside Gourmet

82758 Overseas Hwy, Islamorada, FL 33036

This seems like a real locals place, didn’t show up on any list, but the people were super friendly and the food gets good reviews.

I swung by here on a rainy night and snagged a piece of key lime pie to take back to my hotel.  It was decent, not overly sweet though the lime didn’t really come through much.  The filling was a bit more solid than I’d expect.  It had meringue on top but it wasn’t offensive.  It was fine but not special.

I tried 15+ key lime pies to find the best key lime pie in the Florida Keys

You might also like:  My Favorite Bra for Travel

Mrs. Mac’s Kitchen

99336 Overseas Hwy, Key Largo, FL 33037

My first stop of the entire road trip was the original Mrs. Mac’s Kitchen, which is really cute.  I got some iced tea and a slice of key lime pie to go.  Maybe because it was early yet, the pie was semi-frozen, so I tried to let it thaw a bit before eating.

It was okay, but pretty dense and sweet and the was lime harder to find (the sweet whipped cream on top didn’t help, and I pushed it off).

I tried 15+ key lime pies to find the best key lime pie in the Florida Keys - I wasn't impressed with Mrs. Mac's Kitchen

Finding the best key lime pie in the Florida Keys

Finding the best key lime pie in the Florida Keys

You might also like:  20+ Tips to Survive & Thrive on a Long Flight

Green Turtle Inn

81219 Overseas Hwy, Islamorada, FL 33036

I had high hopes from the looks of it, but this key lime pie fell short for me.  The filling was okay, good texture and the citrus kind of sneaks up on you.  But the crust was not good, bland and almost bad…I can’t place the taste but it wasn’t good.

Finding the best key lime pie in the Florida Keys - Green Turtle was a disappointment

Finding the best key lime pie in the Florida Keys - Green Turtle was a disappointment

You might also like:  Tips for Making Any Trip At Least a Little Epic

SS Wreck & Galley Grill

58835 Overseas Hwy, Marathon, FL 33050

This was a desperation dinner play, the closest thing to my hotel.  It’s definitely a locals place, and I had fun watching people interact (I got takeout because the weather was nutty and I was tired).

So I didn’t go specifically to get the key lime pie, but grabbed some anyway.  (Because, DUH.)  And it was just eh…too sweet, didn’t do much for me, and I only had a couple bites before deciding the taste didn’t justify what the sugar rush right before bed would do to my sleep.

Finding the best key lime pie in the Florida Keys

You might also like:  My Trip Planning Process: Inspiration>Research>Reality

No Name Pub

30813 Watson Blvd, Big Pine Key, FL 33043

Everyone says you have to visit No Name Pub (partly for their key lime pie), so I made my way there one afternoon.  It’s about 10 minutes off the highway, so it’s not as convenient for a quick stop.

Their key lime had more of a whipped texture and the flavor was a bit odd (and not key lime-y enough, and too sweet).  Just wasn’t a fan overall.

Finding the best key lime pie in the Florida Keys - I did not like No Name Pub's

Finding the best key lime pie in the Florida Keys - I did not like No Name Pub's

A couple more “outside the box” key lime options

One thing that kept coming up in my pre-trip research was Harriette’s…specifically, their key lime muffin.  As muffins go (I’m not a huge fan), it was pretty darn good…super moist but not crazy sweet.  Get it warmed up!

Harriette's key lime muffin was interesting

Another key lime option to try is Flamingo Crossing, an ice cream shop in Key West.  My friend @sjems5 said I had to try the strawberries & cream, so I got that and the Cuban coffee ice cream (a weird combo, I know).  But they had a key lime ice cream that looked awesome.  (Note, it’s cash only.)

The Flamingo Crossing key lime ice cream in Key West is worth trying

best key lime pie florida keys,best key lime pie in the florida keys,best key lime pie key west,best key lime pie marathon,best key lime pie islamorada

Whew!  So 20 or so key lime treats later, I feel mildly ill, 10 pounds heavier, fully indulged, and like I have a good feel for the pie landscape in the Keys…and if you focus on those “cream of the crop” spots then I feel confident you’ll find your own pick for the best key lime pie in the Florida Keys!

Other deep foodie explorations you’ll love:

Pin for later!

The Best Key Lime Pie in the Florida Keys | Finding the best key lime pie in Key Largo, Key West, and beyond...I tried 15+ key lime pies throughout the keys & here is my definitive ranking, with detailed notes on each pie. What to do in Florida Keys, where to eat Florida Keys, best key lime pie in Key West. #keylime #floridakeys

Comments (2)

  • Lisa Holmes

    May 11, 2022 at 12:39 am

    S.S. Wreck was my all time favorite key lime pie! My husband has been trying to replicate it since we returned home. Great article but I don’t know how you managed to consume that much pie😂 thank you!

    1. Jessica

      May 11, 2022 at 7:41 am

      Ha! I wondered the same myself…

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Prev Post

best key lime pie florida keys,best key lime pie in the florida keys,best key lime pie key west,best key lime pie marathon,best key lime pie islamorada

Overall Tips for Urban Photography (& Some Detailed Chicago Photography Tips)

March 20, 2022

Next Post

best key lime pie florida keys,best key lime pie in the florida keys,best key lime pie key west,best key lime pie marathon,best key lime pie islamorada

Exploring Bahia Honda State Park: A Must On Any Florida Keys Roadtrip

April 3, 2022