Fiesta Flavors: Discovering the 5 Best Mexican Restaurants in Key West

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Key West, a vibrant and sunny city, is not only known for its breathtaking sunsets and historic sites but also for its tantalizing culinary scene. Among the various cuisines, Mexican food has carved out a special place in the hearts of locals and tourists alike. In this article, we embark on a flavorful journey to explore the best Mexican restaurants in Key West, each offering unique dishes and memorable experiences.

1. Salsa Fiesta

Shrimp tacos

Salsa Fiesta is a vibrant and highly regarded Mexican restaurant nestled in the heart of Key West, located on the iconic Duval Street. If you’re on the lookout for an authentic Mexican culinary experience, look no further than Salsa Fiesta. This restaurant has gained a stellar reputation for its delectable tacos and lively atmosphere that captures the essence of Mexican culture.

The Tantalizing Taco Selection

At Salsa Fiesta, the star of the show is undoubtedly the tacos. These mouthwatering creations are made with utmost attention to detail, ensuring a symphony of flavors in every bite. Here’s a closer look at their taco offerings:

Taco TypeDescriptionPrice
CarnitasSlow-cooked, tender pork, seasoned to perfection, and topped with fresh cilantro and onions.$10.00
BarbacoaSucculent, shredded beef marinated in rich, spicy sauce and garnished with lime and radishes.$12.00
VegetarianA delightful mix of grilled vegetables, black beans, and creamy avocado, served with salsa.$11.00
Fish TacosCrispy, beer-battered fish fillets with cabbage slaw, chipotle mayo, and a zesty lime twist.$13.00
Shrimp TacosJuicy grilled shrimp paired with mango salsa, lettuce, and a hint of spicy jalapeños.$15.00

Each taco is a work of art, meticulously crafted with fresh ingredients that tantalize your taste buds. The diverse range of taco options ensures that there’s something for every palate.

A Fiery Fiesta of Flavors

What sets Salsa Fiesta apart is its commitment to authenticity. Every dish bursts with the genuine flavors of Mexico. The homemade salsa served with the tacos is a standout feature. Here are some of the salsa varieties you can expect:

  • Pico de Gallo: A refreshing blend of diced tomatoes, onions, cilantro, and jalapeños, offering a mild and tangy kick.
  • Salsa Verde: A zesty, green sauce made from tomatillos, lime, and cilantro, delivering a bright and slightly spicy flavor.
  • Habanero Salsa: For the brave-hearted, this fiery concoction of habanero peppers, tomatoes, and spices provides an intense heat and flavor explosion.
  • Mango Salsa: A sweet and savory delight made with ripe mangoes, red onions, cilantro, and a hint of lime, offering a tropical twist.

These flavorful salsas perfectly complement the tacos and elevate the dining experience at Salsa Fiesta.

The Vibrant Atmosphere

Beyond the delectable food, Salsa Fiesta exudes a lively and welcoming atmosphere. The restaurant is adorned with colorful Mexican décor, vibrant murals, and lively music that transports you to Mexico itself. The friendly and attentive staff further enhance the overall dining experience, making you feel right at home.

2. El Meson de Pepe

El Meson de Pepe

El Meson de Pepe offers a unique blend of Cuban and Mexican cuisine, creating a harmonious fusion that’s a feast for the senses. Situated near the iconic Mallory Square in Key West, this restaurant not only offers exceptional food but also a picturesque setting to enjoy a sunset meal. One dish that epitomizes this delectable fusion is the renowned ‘Cuban Burrito.’

The Fusion of Cuban and Mexican Delights

El Meson de Pepe proudly showcases a menu that seamlessly merges the vibrant flavors of Cuba and Mexico. Here’s a detailed look at their enticing offerings:

Cuban BurritoSucculent Cuban-style roast pork, black beans, rice, and avocado, all wrapped in a large, soft flour tortilla. Garnished with salsa, sour cream, and fresh cilantro.$16.99
Tacos al PastorMarinated pork cooked on a vertical rotisserie, served in corn tortillas with pineapple, onions, and cilantro.$15.99
Chiles RellenosPoblano peppers stuffed with a savory blend of ground beef, cheese, and spices, topped with a zesty tomato sauce.$17.99
Enchiladas SuizasCorn tortillas rolled and filled with shredded chicken, smothered in a creamy tomatillo sauce, and melted cheese.$18.99
Cuban TostonesCrispy green plantains served with a tangy garlic mojo sauce for dipping.$12.99
Mexican Street CornGrilled corn on the cob slathered in mayo, cotija cheese, chili powder, and a squeeze of lime.$10.99
Guacamole and ChipsCreamy, freshly made guacamole served with crispy tortilla chips.$11.99
Tres Leches CakeA decadent three-milk cake topped with whipped cream and a drizzle of caramel sauce.$7.99
FlanCreamy caramel custard with a velvety texture and rich flavor.$6.99
Key Lime PieA classic Florida dessert featuring a tangy key lime filling in a graham cracker crust.$8.99

The Dining Experience

Beyond the remarkable menu, dining at El Meson de Pepe is an experience in itself. Here’s what you can expect:

  • Ambiance: The restaurant boasts a warm and inviting atmosphere with a Cuban-Mexican flair in its décor. Vibrant colors, lively music, and an open-air patio create a festive ambiance that complements the fusion cuisine.
  • Sunset Views: El Meson de Pepe’s prime location near Mallory Square provides the perfect setting for a memorable dining experience. As you savor your meal, you’ll have the opportunity to witness the breathtaking Key West sunset, painting the sky with vibrant hues.
  • Attentive Service: The staff at El Meson de Pepe are known for their friendly and attentive service. Whether you have dietary preferences or need recommendations, they are eager to ensure your dining experience is exceptional.
  • Live Entertainment: On select evenings, you might even be treated to live Cuban or Mexican music, adding to the festive atmosphere and enhancing your overall enjoyment.

3. The Taco Express


For those seeking a quick and satisfying meal, The Taco Express on Eaton Street in Key West is the ultimate destination. Renowned for its speedy service without compromising on quality, it’s hailed as one of the finest Mexican eateries in the area. The ‘Express Taco Plate’, offering a choice of fillings, has earned its reputation as a crowd-pleaser.

Quick Service, Flavorful Tacos

The Taco Express specializes in delivering delicious tacos at lightning speed. Here’s a glimpse of their menu:

Taco TypeDescriptionPrice
Express Taco PlateChoose from a variety of fillings such as seasoned ground beef, tender grilled chicken, or savory black beans. Served with soft corn tortillas, fresh lettuce, diced tomatoes, shredded cheese, and a dollop of sour cream.$7.99
Taco SaladCrisp lettuce, your choice of protein (beef, chicken, or vegetarian), black beans, shredded cheese, diced tomatoes, and tangy salsa served in a crispy taco shell.$8.99
QuesadillasGrilled flour tortillas stuffed with melted cheese and your choice of fillings. Served with a side of salsa and sour cream.$6.99
Nachos SupremeCrispy tortilla chips piled high and smothered in seasoned ground beef, melted cheese, jalapeños, diced tomatoes, and sour cream.$9.99
SidesAdd some extras to your meal with options like guacamole, salsa, or a side of black beans and rice.$2.99 – $4.99
Kids MenuSmaller portions for younger diners, including a choice of protein, tortilla, and simple toppings.$5.99

The Quick and Convenient Experience

The Taco Express prides itself on efficiency and convenience. Here’s what you can expect during your visit:

  • Speedy Service: As the name suggests, The Taco Express lives up to its reputation by serving your freshly prepared meal with minimal wait time, making it a perfect choice for those with busy schedules.
  • Customization: You have the freedom to customize your tacos to your liking, ensuring you get the exact flavors you crave.
  • Affordable Dining: With prices ranging from $5 to $10 per dish, The Taco Express offers an affordable dining option without compromising on quality or taste.
  • Takeout and Grab-and-Go: If you’re on the move, takeout and grab-and-go options are readily available, allowing you to enjoy your tacos wherever your Key West adventures take you.

4. Cantina Habanero

Cantina Habanero

Cantina Habanero is a standout Mexican restaurant in Caroline Street, Key West that ignites the taste buds with its fiery and flavorful dishes. If you have a penchant for spicy cuisine, this is the ultimate destination to experience the thrill of bold and zesty flavors. Among their renowned offerings, the ‘Habanero Chicken Enchiladas’ are a fiery favorite that encapsulate the perfect blend of heat and flavor.

A Spice-Lover’s Paradise

Cantina Habanero is a haven for spice enthusiasts. Whether you’re a chili connoisseur or just seeking a memorable spicy meal, this restaurant has you covered. Here’s a closer look at their menu:

Habanero Chicken EnchiladasA sizzling combination of tender chicken, sautéed with habanero peppers and spices, wrapped in corn tortillas, and smothered in a fiery habanero sauce. Served with a cooling side of sour cream and a garnish of fresh cilantro.$15.99
Spicy Beef TacosSeasoned ground beef cooked to perfection, served in soft corn tortillas, and topped with fiery salsa, shredded lettuce, diced tomatoes, and a sprinkle of cheese.$12.99
Shrimp DiabloSucculent shrimp sautéed in a devilishly hot habanero-infused butter sauce, served with a side of rice and cooling avocado slices.$18.99
Spicy GuacamoleA spicy twist on a classic. Creamy avocado, diced tomatoes, red onion, cilantro, and fiery jalapeños blended together to create an irresistible guacamole with a kick. Served with crispy tortilla chips.$10.99
Habanero MargaritaA signature cocktail featuring habanero-infused tequila, lime juice, and a touch of agave nectar, delivering a spicy kick with a hint of sweetness.$9.99
Spicy Chocolate BrownieA delectable dessert with a spicy twist. Rich, fudgy chocolate brownie infused with a hint of habanero heat, topped with vanilla ice cream and drizzled with chili-spiked chocolate sauce.$7.99

The Fiery Dining Experience

Cantina Habanero doesn’t just offer spicy dishes; it provides an entire dining experience that revolves around the heat:

  • Spice Levels: The restaurant caters to various spice preferences, so whether you want a mild kick or a fiery explosion of flavor, there’s an option for you.
  • Habanero Infusion: The use of habanero peppers, known for their intense heat and fruity undertones, adds a unique and memorable element to the dishes.
  • Cooling Elements: To balance the heat, many dishes are served with cooling sides like sour cream, avocado, and cilantro.
  • Signature Cocktails: Don’t miss out on their habanero-infused margarita, a delightful blend of spicy and sweet that complements the spicy cuisine perfectly.
  • Dessert Delight: End your spicy adventure with a Spicy Chocolate Brownie that offers a satisfyingly sweet and spicy finish.

5. Margarita Villa

Alt: cocktails

Margarita Villa is not merely a restaurant; it’s an unforgettable culinary experience. Ranked among the finest Mexican eateries in Front Street, Key West, this establishment boasts an extensive selection of margaritas that harmonize flawlessly with Mexican-style seafood dishes. Among their standout offerings, the ‘Lobster Taco’ stands out as a luxurious treat that epitomizes the marriage of flavor and indulgence.

An Exceptional Margarita Oasis

Margarita Villa takes pride in its margarita mastery. For margarita enthusiasts, this is paradise. Below, we delve into their remarkable menu:

Margarita TypeDescriptionPrice
Classic MargaritaA timeless favorite made with premium tequila, triple sec, and freshly squeezed lime juice, served in a salt-rimmed glass.$12.99
Mango Tango MargaritaA tropical delight featuring mango-infused tequila, orange liqueur, and a splash of fresh lime juice.$14.99
Spicy Jalapeño MargaritaA spicy twist on the classic, crafted with jalapeño-infused tequila, agave nectar, and a kick of fresh jalapeño slices.$15.99
Watermelon Mint MargaritaA refreshing blend of watermelon-infused tequila, mint leaves, and a hint of lime, served over ice.$16.99
Blue Lagoon MargaritaA visually stunning margarita featuring blue curaçao, tequila, and fresh citrus juices, creating a vibrant blue hue.$13.99
Sunset MargaritaA delightful combination of tequila, triple sec, and a medley of tropical fruit juices, creating a vibrant sunset in a glass.$17.99
Virgin MargaritaA non-alcoholic option with the same great flavor, perfect for those seeking a refreshing and zesty drink.$7.99

The Seafood Extravaganza

Margarita Villa doesn’t stop at margaritas; their seafood dishes are equally exceptional. Here are some seafood selections:

Seafood DishDescriptionPrice
Lobster TacoSucculent lobster chunks, lightly seasoned and nestled in warm corn tortillas, garnished with fresh cilantro, diced tomatoes, and a drizzle of zesty lime crema.$28.99
Shrimp CevicheChilled shrimp marinated in tangy citrus juices, mixed with diced tomatoes, red onions, cilantro, and jalapeños, served with crispy tortilla chips.$17.99
Fish TacosCrispy beer-battered fish fillets topped with cabbage slaw, chipotle mayo, and a squeeze of lime, served in soft flour tortillas.$22.99
Seafood EnchiladasA decadent blend of shrimp, crab, and scallops rolled in corn tortillas, smothered in a creamy seafood sauce, and baked to perfection.$30.99
Margarita Shrimp ScampiPlump shrimp sautéed in a luscious margarita-infused garlic butter sauce, served over a bed of linguine pasta.$25.99

The Dining Experience

Beyond the delectable menu, Margarita Villa offers a dining experience like no other:

  • Scenic Views: Situated on Front Street, you can relish your meal with views of Key West’s vibrant waterfront.
  • Live Music: On selected evenings, enjoy live music performances that enhance the lively atmosphere.
  • Happy Hour: Take advantage of happy hour specials on margaritas and appetizers for a delightful early evening experience.


Key West is a treasure trove of culinary delights, with Mexican cuisine taking a prominent spot. Each of these best Mexican restaurants in Key West offers something unique, ensuring that every visitor finds something to satisfy their palate. Whether it’s a quick taco at The Taco Express or a leisurely brunch at La Tequila Sunrise, the flavors of Mexico are waiting to be explored in the heart of Key West.


Q: Are these restaurants suitable for vegetarians?

A: Yes, each of these best Mexican restaurants in Key West offers vegetarian options on their menu.

Q: Do I need reservations for these restaurants?

A: It’s recommended to make reservations, especially during peak tourist seasons in Key West.

Q: Are there gluten-free options available?

A: Yes, most of these restaurants offer gluten-free dishes, but it’s always best to confirm with the staff.

Q: Do these restaurants offer takeaway services?

A: Yes, all these best Mexican restaurants in Key West offer takeaway services.

Q: Are these restaurants kid-friendly?

A: Yes, these Mexican restaurants in Key West are suitable for families with children.

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