Category: My Blog

5 Ways to Dine the Coastal Way

Dining while on vacation should be relaxing, stress-free, fun, and—perhaps most importantly—delicious! Follow these tips and you should be guaranteed all of the above. Large Groups If you’re dining with a large group, there are many restaurants that can accommodate your party, like Lambert’s Café in Foley serving up delicious Southern cuisine at its finest. All our restaurants love the crowds, but save yourself the aggravation by calling ahead to ask about large seating requirements. Go for Reservations The variety of restaurants on the Gulf Coast is the stuff culinary dreams are made of. We’ve got plenty of flip-flop casual and fine dining options, plus everything in between. Whether you’re looking for white table cloths or paper towels for napkins, here are some of the places that accept reservations*. Fisher’s at Orange Beach Marina Villaggio Grille at The Wharf Sunset Cork Room Restaurant and Wine Bar Voyager’s at Perdido Beach Resort Ginny Lane Bar and Grill Big Fish Restaurant The Diner Aji Sai Tuscany Pizza and Grill Sassy Bass Beachside Grille Bubba’s Seafood House Online Check-in The Ruby Slipper Cafe and Lucy Buffett’s LuLu’s are two restaurants that let you beat the wait before you ever arrive! Unlike reservations which require you to plan what time you’ll dine in advance, some restaurants have a web-based system that allows you to get on the restaurant’s waitlist before you even arrive!  Look for this service coming to more and more favorite food stops. Watch People, Not the Clock It’s island time when you’re at the beach so watch people not the clock. Another way to minimize wait time at your favorite restaurant is to watch when people start leaving the beach. The trick is to either leave before the crowds do, or better yet, stay on the beach for that gorgeous sunset and take in a late dinner. Order In or Opt for Take-Out For some, it’s all about spending as much time on the beach as possible.  If you want to stay close to the beach and not leave your rental house or condo, we definitely don’t blame you! There are a few secrets to dining deliciously without ever sitting down inside a restaurant. Order In National delivery services are now offered locally, so you can have dishes from the best restaurants in Gulf Shores and Orange Beach delivered right to your door. Get meals from restaurants including The Diner, Ginny Lane, Doc’s, Cactus Cantina, Flora-Bama Yacht Club, and many more!  Delivery […]

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11 Best Florida Keys Hotels & Resorts

11 Best Florida Keys Hotels & Resorts Drive south from Miami and you’ll discover an intriguing collection of islands strung together like a shell necklace, each with its own personality. First up is kitschy-cute Key Largo, where T-shirt shops outnumber the tropical fish. Dive into the clear waters here, then rest your salty head at a boutique-style hotel. If you continue down Overseas Highway, you’ll get to Islamorada and its purple-hued sunsets. Further south still, Duck Key beckons families with a summer camp vibe. Whether fish trophies and shiplap or cosmopolitan coastal float your boat, there’s a hotel, and a Key, to match your every mood. Click the link to read our complete Key West guide. All listings featured on Condé Nast Traveler are independently selected by our editors. If you book something through our links, we may earn an affiliate commission. Courtesy The Moorings Village HOTEL The Moorings Village $$ |  READERS’ CHOICE AWARDS 2017, 2018, 2019 Each of The Moorings Village’s 19 villas and cottages are different in terms of design, size, and views. Some have ocean views, some look out onto the other villas. Clearly, the first is the better option. A recent stay at the Maroni Villa offered 1,000 square feet of space, ocean views from almost every window, a spacious deck, a quaint front porch that looked directly onto the water, and a hammock—suspended between two palm trees—for when lazy days came calling. If you’re looking for a bit of serenity, and don’t own a private oceanfront villa in Key West to find it, this is the next best thing. HOTEL Isla Bella Beach Resort $$ |  READERS’ CHOICE AWARDS 2020 We’ll forgive you for wondering if this is Marathon—or the Mediterranean. The whitewashed, Greek-inspired architecture and the eye-catching blue and white interiors set a sophisticated tone at this family-friendly resort. Elegant and upscale without any trace of pretense, the Keys’ newest resort is also one of its best. It’s located on Knights Key in Marathon, midway between Miami and Key West. It’s a perfect location for exploring the Keys. Courtesy Hilton HOTEL Baker’s Cay Resort Key Largo, Curio Collection by Hilton $$ |  READERS’ CHOICE AWARDS 2019, 2020 Open since February 2019 in Key Largo, Baker’s Kay Resort has been a hit with Traveler readers from the jump. It spans 13 tropical acres that were once a pineapple plantation tucked away off the busy Overseas Highway. The resort has 200 rooms but manages to maintain a boutique and […]

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4 Tips To Choose A Right Restaurant For Dining Out

When you plan to dine out for your dinner, you want to receive the best value for your money, especially when you eat out occasionally. From the ambience to the food served at your table, you want everything to be in its finest form. After all, you are paying for it. Food is not merely a physiological necessity. People now rave about the cuisines made with finest ingredients served at the concept restaurants. Food is one of life’s greatest pleasures, and you want to enjoy it thoroughly in the best possible manner. For that and so many other reasons, you should give rightful consideration to your choice of a restaurant. Here is a rundown of some tips to help you choose the best dining spot every time you plan to eat out. 01. Location: The location of a restaurant is one of the most critical factors you should consider when you are searching for one. In other words, you must consider the area in which a restaurant is located and look at how accessible it is from your home. Choosing the right restaurant in an accessible area is a good decision so that you will not end up wasting your time and money in traveling to that dining spot, incurring more cost for eating out. Therefore, you should choose a restaurant that you can easily drive to or access using your mode of transportation. The location of the restaurant also matters depending on the purpose of your dining out. For instance, you may want to choose a restaurant facing the beach or an architectural gem. 02. Menu: Menu of a restaurant should be your topmost concern. After all, the primary purpose of dining out is to enjoy the food. You should choose a restaurant depending on what type of cuisine you like and what particular taste you want to try. Taste of the food a restaurant serves matters a lot which depends on the experience of its chefs and the quality of the ingredients they use. You should know what kind of menus a restaurant serve when you are dining there for the first time. If you are dining out with your family, make sure the restaurant’s menu has something for everyone. If you want to eat a specific type of cuisine, search for a restaurant offering specialties in that cuisine.    03. Quality of Service: You should also consider […]

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Key Lime Colada is pure heaven in the Florida Keys

Key Lime Colada is pure heaven in the Florida Keys. If you like Pina Colada’s and really don’t care if it rains, the best one can be found in the Florida Keys and the Key Lime Colada is heaven. In the Florida Keys, it’s all about fresh seafood, conch fritters, and Key Limes! Key lime pies can be found from the tip of Key West to the Northern tip of Key Largo and just about everywhere in between. Yet if you want to enjoy the best of both worlds, you need to heat to Lorelei Restaurant and Cabana Bar. It is here that you will find the best Pina Colada, excuse me, the best Key Limcolada anywhere in this great big world. Located at Milemarker 12 on the bayside in Islamorada, the small restaurant is home to great food and more importantly, the Limecolada. Thicker than most traditional Pina’ Coladas, the Key LimeColada tastes like heaven. It is sweet like the key lime pie and the rim of the glass is dipped into a pie crust crumble. The drink itself is smooth as silk and tastes like a pie. To think that someone had the idea to blend a key lime pie without the crust and add alcohol is pure genius. Could you make it at home? Maybe. Grab a pie from the grocery store, scrape it off the crust and blend it with rum and give it a try!  But on your next trip to the Florida Keys, make sure you stop for the real deal. Lorelei’s is a great restaurant with extremely affordable prices, a friendly wait staff, and a beautiful view of the water from the outside tables in the back. There is even seating near a small beach that isn’t used for swimming. The restaurant serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner but the draw for me was the Colada.

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7 Things to Consider When Choosing a Restaurant

My husband and I love trying out dishes in restaurants, something we can’t do better at home, so we choose a restaurant based on this. How Do You Choose a Restaurant? How do you choose a restaurant? Will the occasion itself shape your choice? Or, is food a major factor? Aren’t service, ambience and location important, too? Or, do you go for Michelin stars? Whether we are conscious of it or not, we have our reasons for choosing a restaurant. Choosing a Restaurant Which Restaurant to Choose? When you take the time to choose, oftentimes, you are rewarded with a great gastronomic experience built around the ambience of the restaurant and the attitude of the staff serving you. In choosing a restaurant, one faces many considerations. Word of mouth or reviews is useful. They give you an idea of what the restaurant is like. Especially from people who had been to this place several times. That would be a vote for the restaurant. But why not take the risk and try out something new each time? This, too, could result in gastronomic surprises. Will You Choose This Restaurant? What Is Your Top Criteria? Street Restaurant in Hanoi aesta1 In choosing a restaurant, what is your top criteria? Tips in Choosing a Restaurant aesta1 Best Guide in How to Choose a Good Restaurant Sometimes, all we want to do is get a table and eat. But once in a while, to make of our eating out an experience is quite enjoyable. Some of us know exactly what to look for. But for those who have not much clue in making your restaurant visit a memory to cherish, here are some tips to a great restaurant experience. Barcelona Restaurant aesta1 1. Location of the Restaurant Choose a restaurant you can walk to. When you want to have a great time, driving afterwards can pose a real problem. So, get a restaurant that is close by where you can easily walk or where it is easy to get a cab. Another 50 bucks for a cab to go to a restaurant adds unnecessary expense. Of course, it is different when the location is truly superb: a lake, seaside, riverside or a spectacular view of the mountain or an architectural gem. But food must be excellent to enjoy a $50 cab ride value. A Neighbourhood Restaurant? Beautiful Restaurant in Istanbul aesta1 2. Ambience Matters […]

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10 Best Local Food in Florida Keys and Where to Find It

Genuine local restaurants in the Florida Keys give you the chance to eat the best dishes originating from this southern region in the USA. Visiting the sun and sand in the Florida Keys can make you feel like you’ve stumbled into a tropical paradise that you can’t find anywhere else in the mainland United States. With that drastic change in scenery comes a whole new array of food to enjoy, with local cuisine taking influence from a variety of sources not commonly found further north. The primary focus is seafood, but you’ll find extensive variety even amongst the seafood alone. Here are the best local restaurants in the Florida Keys. Lorelei Restaurant and Cabana Bar Waterfront dining with live entertainment Good for: Couples Food Known as The Pulse of Islamorada, Lorelei Restaurant & Cabana Bar is one of the most popular restaurants in all of the Florida Keys. Not only is the food and drink selection incredible, but you can sit back and enjoy breathtaking views of the sunset over the water from its waterfront tables. There’s even live entertainment just about every night, allowing you to enjoy both dinner and a show. Don’t worry about dressing up for the experience either. While there’s much to offer, the atmosphere is casual overall, so you can relax in your shorts and T-shirts. Location: 96 Madeira Rd, Islamorada, FL 33036, USA Open: Daily from 7 am to midnight Phone: +1 305-664-2692 Pierre’s Experience top-quality American cuisine with stunning views to match Good for: Couples Food At Barefoot at Pierre’s, you’ll find beauty at virtually every turn. The restaurant itself is located on the beach with palm trees towering overhead and walking paths decorated with vibrant and colorful tropical flowers. The architecture of the building mimics that of a plantation-style house, and all of that can be enjoyed before you even step foot inside. Once you sit down to eat, you’ll find a fine dining experience with high-end, contemporary American cuisine that specializes in seafood with a hint of fusion. Location: 81600 Overseas Hwy Islamorada, FL 33036, USA Open: Tuesday–Thursday and Sunday from 6 pm to 10 pm, Friday–Saturday from 6 pm to 11 pm, closed on Mondays Phone: +1 305-664-3225 Chef Michael’s Enjoy flair at Chef Michael’s Good for: Couples Food When you dine at Chef Michael’s, you can expect only the best when it comes to your cuisine. The chefs in the kitchen have extensive experience working at some […]

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Delicious Florida-Based Chain Restaurants You Have to Try

Florida restaurants are killing it these days! Many of Florida’s cities are being increasingly recognized as major food meccas, with new restaurants that are getting international attention. Some of the best of those restaurants have become larger chains, available throughout the state. These are some of the Florida chains that are currently expanding and making the biggest waves in Florida’s food scene. Find them in your city, and if they aren’t there yet, they might be there soon! Domu Domu is a rapidly growing ramen restaurant that opened it’s first restaurant in Orlando in 2016. After taking Orlando by storm, they expanded to Jacksonville and are planning an additional restaurant in Orlando’s Doctor Phillips area later this year. Nothing on the menu at Domu disappoints, so try something familiar or venture outside your comfort zone, either way you’re sure to be impressed. They offer delicious dinner, brunch, and a stunning bar that will make you more than happy to wait a while for your table. Maple Street Nothing kicks off your morning right like southern comfort food and biscuits cooked to perfection. That’s what Maple Street does better than anyone. Come for the spectacular food, stay for the friendly atmosphere. The first Maple Street opened in Jacksonville in 2012, and dozens of additional restaurants have opened in North and Central Florida since. They’ve also expanded to Georgia, North and South Carolina, Tennessee, and Texas, with further expansion planned for the future. So if there’s not already a Maple Street in your neck of the woods, there might be one there soon. Columbia Restaurant Celebrate Florida’s Spanish heritage at the state’s oldest restaurant. The first Columbia opened in 1905 in Ybor City, Tampa. It has been owned and operated by the same family ever since – 5 generations! You can now find Columbia in several Tampa Bay locations as well as Orlando and St. Augustine, all with the same historical ambiance. But history isn’t the only reason to love Columbia Restaurant; the authentic Spanish food also makes it more than worth a spot on your bucket list. Don’t leave without trying their Sangria! Jeremiah’s Italian Ice Jeremiah’s Gelati is practically a way of life in Central Florida. Layers of ice cream combine with layers of Italian ice (available in dozens of flavors) for a sweet treat children and adults love in equal measure. The first Jeremiah’s opened in Winter Park in 1996. Pushcarts found at community and school […]

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Florida Keys Beach Bars – The Lorelei Cabana Bar, Islamorada

The Lorelei Cabana Bar and Restaurant in Islamorada is a must stop for any Florida beach bar lovers. Located bayside at mile marker 82, it’s just across the street from Guy Harvey’s Islander Resort so you can’t miss it. It’s a favorite of the folks at floridabeachbar.com who give it a maximum five out of five pink flamingos. With its sunset views, nightly music and available dinner tables on the beach right next to the water, it’s also one of my favorite beach bars in the Florida Keys and should not be missed on any visit to the area. Beach Bar Bums Related Links Youtube Flickr Get Social Facebook Foursquare Links To People Who Know More Than I Do Yelp Trip Advisor Road Trippers – “This big old fish house and bar, with excellent views of the bay, is a great place for a snack, a meal, or a beer. A good-value menu focuses mainly on seafood; in season, lobster is the way to go.” About Lorelei Cabana Bar and Restaurant: “”The Pulse Of Islamorada”, The Lorelei Cabana Bar and Marina features some of the best seafood in the Florida Keys… the perfect place to sit back, order a tall, cool drink and let yourself be enchanted. Enjoy breathtaking views of our world famous sunsets. Sunset Celebrations Nightly! Serving Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner… dinner specials, kid’s menus, delicious food, beach and waterfront dining. Large groups welcome. Special events and weddings available. Look for the mermaid at Mile Marker 82, Bayside, Islamorada Florida Keys! Come By Land Or Sea!” Map Meet Lorelei yourself Got a hankering for the Keys and some awesome sunsets? If so, you can contact me via Beach Life Travel, the travel arm of Beach Bar Bums. For more information, email beachlifetravel@yahoo.com. Because a beach life is the best life. Share the love (or “strong dislike”): Have you been here? If so, let me know what you think in the comments. Since it’s impossible for me to visit every single beach bar I post about on the site, the comments from readers like you allow others who are interested in checking out these beach bars hear from people who have actually been there and let them read unbiased reviews. Kind of like the Trip Advisor for beach bars!

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The 9 Most Popular Restaurants in Islamorada, Florida

With plenty of popular restaurants located in Islamorada, deciding where to dine can become a difficult decision. But have no fear, outlined below are 9 of the most popular restaurants in Islamorada to choose from and help ease that all-important decision-making process. Of course, Islamorada eateries focus on the local seafood menu, but many other questions exist, such as Where should I watch the sunset? Are any local restaurants famous? Which restaurants are best for cocktails? Or even other questions such as Where should I go if I want to eat something other than seafood? Again, we have you covered, along with which mile marker (mm) each restaurant is located at too. Now let’s review nine of the most popular restaurants in Islamorada. Cocktails First Vacations often translate to celebrations and there are plenty of places to celebrate in Islamorada. Here are two of the best places for cocktails with dinner. 1 Lorelei Restaurant and Cabana Bar (mm 82) The Lorelei, perhaps the most famous of any Islamorada establishment, remains the place to go for a festive sunset celebration complete with cocktails. Sunset dining with classic keys seafood dishes occurs nightly, but the bigger emphasis seems to be on happy hour-energized crowds. Both live music and local magician shows entertain tourists, but the highlight of any evening here is when everyone toasts the sunset to celebrate another day in the islands. Not up for cocktails? The Lorelei also offers breakfast. Enjoy the same water views with surprising morning zen at this nightly party place. A cup of coffee and a delicious order of shrimp and grits here is a great start to any day in the Florida Keys. Lorelei Restaurant & Cabana Bar (Photo via their Facebook page) 2. The Square Grouper Islamorada (mm 80) A relative newcomer to Islamorada expanding up from its original location in the lower keys, this “dinner-only” restaurant offers delicious food with a creative cocktail list. The bartenders show pride in making a properly crafted cocktail and their efforts are applauded by the patrons. Located on the end of a canal on the water, it provides both outdoor and indoor dining and has quickly become a must-go place in Islamorada. Square Grouper (Photo via their Facebook page) Famous Local Places Every destination seems to have certain places everyone loves, places visitors return to year after year thanks to their history and consistent quality. Islamorada is no different. Here […]

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Lorelei Restaurant and Cabana Bar

Lorelei Restaurant and Cabana Bar 81924 Overseas Highway Islamorada, FL 33036 (305) 664-2692   Lorelei Restaurant and Cabana Bar Sunset Hours: 7:00 a.m. to midnight Location: On the water Drink: All Your Favorites Eat: Breakfast, lunch, and dinner Music: Wednesday through Sunday Parking: The parking lot Boat Access: Yes Unique Feature: All open air Overview Lorelei is a popular place at all times of the day and especially at their nightly sunset celebrations. We have been to Lorelei many times. Sometimes we go for breakfast and sometimes for lunch. But our favorite time to visit is for dinner and the sunset celebration. You can enjoy dinner, drinks, live music, and sunset. Perfect. Lorelei is an open-air bar and has no permanent walls. That means plenty of places to sit by the water. Their bar area is nice and everyone is friendly and chatting with each other. But it gets even better. There are tables and chairs on a small beach where you can put your toes in the sand and enjoy your favorite food or beverage and get a front-row seat to the sunset. This little beach even has its own tiki bar. The Lorelei was wiped out in Hurricane Wilma, but it is now rebuilt and charming. Maybe that is why they left out the walls. Makes it easier for a hurricane to blow through. The band plays in yet another little tiki in the area between the beach and the main bar area. . This Florida beach bar has Wednesday through Sunday and sometimes twice a day. And sometimes a magician. We have gone to the Lorelei and made friends with other patrons. Being a dog-friendly bar, we have even made some 4 legged friends. Sharing Florida beach bar time with your 2 legged and 4 legged friends is very special. The food is good at this Florida beach bar and they serve breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Try the two mini-burgers. We called them mini cheeseburgers in Paradise. Most days the bands start at noon and that makes this is one great Florida beach bar. Add it all up, and this is a great place to enjoy island life on Islamorada. Where To Next? All Florida Keys Beach Bars Beach Bars by City Top Beach Bars All Beach Bars

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