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This is part 3 of our series, “The Gateway to Key West,” featuring local recommendations in the Conch Republic.
The saying might go, “It’s 5 o’clock somewhere,” but in Key West it’s 5 o’clock all the time. After all, it’s an art, and one that Key West practices well. But the trick isn’t just to drink, it’s to drink well. That said, here are some local Key West spots with an impressive selection of our favorite 5 o’clock beverages.
The Porch & The Other Side
We love https://www.theporchkw.com/The Porch - and its speakeasy neighbor, The Other Side. Here you can get both quality cocktails and a wide variety of craft beers and well-chosen wines. The vibe is laid-back and low-key, which is a dream come true when it comes to bars in Old Town. As for The Other Side, it’s a prime spot for craft cocktails, minus the side of hipster pretentiousness that can come with speakeasy getup.
Although the restaurant is great in its own right, Bagatelle’s rooftop bar takes home the cake. With great views of Duval Street and some delicious concoctions, Bagatelle is solid spot to grab a cocktail in Old Town. It’s wine list is also top notch. In 2016 it won a distinction from Wine Spectator, proving that this spot does know its drinks.
Point 5 Lounge
Located above one of our favorite dinner spots, Point 5 Lounge has a rooftop bar that’s to die for. Add that to an extensive list of handcrafted cocktails and we’re there. And when we say handcrafted, we mean handcrafted. Point 5 Lounge makes many of their mixers and syrups in house, including their tonic - a small detail that takes the gin and tonics here to a whole other level. Order some truffle fries to go with your drinks and you’ve got it made.
Possibly one of the most well-stocked bars in Key West, 2 Cents is rather modest when it comes to showing off their knowledge of mixology. Instead, they prefer to have fun. Roll the dice during happy hour to determine your drink special, and snack on crispy bacon while your bartender works the magic. Or better yet, order something from the kitchen. 2 Cents comes backed by Key West’s favorite chef Chris Otten, making the establishment not just a bar you want to drink at, but one you have to eat at as well.
Tucked away on a side street, Virgilio’s is a hidden gem among Old Town establishments. With their $5 Martini Mondays, live music, and back patio dance floor, there’s no better way to spend a Monday in Key West. Grab a bite to eat at their sister restaurant La Trattoria and head around the corner to get your groove on. Virgilio’s keeps the party going late into the night.
Photo by Sam Howzit https://flic.kr/p/mB3c5X