This "Hidden Gem" Waterfront Florida Restaurant is a "True Locals Spot," and Among the USA's "Best" Seafood Restaurants

L. Cane

Waterfront restaurants in Florida can be both convenient and a lovely place to hang out for locals. Some hop in their boat and drive right up to the restaurant's dock. Others enjoy having the opportunity to enjoy their meal while looking at pretty water views.

Florida has plenty of waterfront restaurants that are popular with visitors. Examples are Caddy's Treasure Island, The SandBar Restaurant in Anna Maria Island, and Doc's Beach House in Bonita Beach. However, none of the above has been named "a true local spot" by Trips to Discover in the summer of 2023. Or have been called one of the "best" seafood restaurants in the nation by Tasting Table.

But that is the case for one place that caters to locals in the southern part of the state and offers fresh catch seafood, an old Florida vibe, and live music.

What's So Special About Hogfish Bar and Grill in Stock Island?: Located in the Florida Keys near Key West, the Hogfish Bar and Grill proudly announces on its website that it is "a true locals spot that avoids the pretension and hype of more touristy areas." (It is said that Jimmy Buffet was known to dine here.) The Hogfish Bar and Grill also offers beautiful, panoramic water views, since the place is located at the Safe Harbor Marina on the docks.

And all of these things can make for a nice dining experience, but let's not forget about the food. In addition to calling the Hogfish Bar and Grill one of the best seafood joints in the country, the site calls the joint a "hidden gem," and advises readers to try the house specialty - the hogfish sandwich which offers authentic hogfish (the specialty of the house) served on Cuban bread and topped with Swiss cheese, onions, and mushrooms.

Hogfish is delicate and moist and tastes like scallops, but some restaurants will substitute a less expensive fish for it. The Hogfish Bar and Grill does not.

What Should You Order at the Hogfish Bar and Grill?: Outside of Tasting Table's recommendation, what's good? Well, in addition to its popular fish sandwich, this joint is known for its Key West pink shrimp. The grouper reuben and fish tacos are also praised. However, all seafood is fresh, and there are plenty of options.

Is Hogfish Bar and Grill Reasonably Priced: The famous hogfish sandwich is a bit pricey at $22, but the price of seafood has been rising and hogfish is an expensive fish. The grouper Rueben is $21. Steak and shrimp are $33. Their shrimp boil, which is only available on Sundays, is $29. They do have a daily special, "fresh off the boat" which is posted daily.

What Do Reviewers Say About the Hogfish Bar and Grill?: There are nearly 5,000 Tripadvisor reviews for this establishment, with an average of 4.5 out of 5 stars. Many people applaud the fact that you can bring your fresh catch and Hogfish Bar and Grill will cook it for you. One reviewer said it was the "best meal" he had in Key West.

Many appreciate the large portion sizes and the freshness of the food. Some enjoyed the tacos. A few noted that this is an open-air restaurant, so that may be a consideration for some. A few negative reviews criticized the parking and the music.

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