UncategorizedMy Quest for the Ultimate Key Lime Pie in the Florida Keys
My Quest for the Ultimate Key Lime Pie in the Florida Keys

My Quest for the Ultimate Key Lime Pie in the Florida Keys

You haven’t truly been to Florida if you haven’t tried a Key lime pie. Or two. Seriously, it’s like a rite of passage.

Travelers come to the Florida Keys for the sun, the sand, and the scenery that feels like a slice of the Caribbean within America. They come for bone-fishing in the morning, margaritas at midday, and sunset celebrations at dusk. But before it’s time to depart, everybody needs a piece of Key lime pie.

My Journey to Find Florida Keys’ Best Key Lime Pie

Never mind that most Key limes—golf-ball-size and yellowish, in contrast to the larger, greener Persian lime—are grown these days in Mexico. Or that first-rate Key lime pie can now be had in places like Brooklyn. A theme still hums through this island chain, audible to every tourist: “I eat Key lime pie, therefore I am vacationing in the Keys.”

The pie can be found in places from roadside diners to swank hotel restaurants. And if you drive out along the Key lime pie trail—U.S. 1 from Key Largo to Key West—you’ll find no two pies are quite alike. The variety reflects a certain rugged individualism that’s part and parcel of life in the Keys, which have a sun-splashed beauty that often belies a rough-around-the-edges, weather-beaten quality.

My Quest for the Ultimate Key Lime Pie in the Florida Keys

Although the pie’s origins remain a little fuzzy, there’s a theory that without a supply of fresh milk—cows weren’t around—settlers on the Keys took to making a pie with lime juice, eggs, and condensed milk.

Publix: The Classic Floridian Experience

Publix is as Florida as Florida gets. It’s where you’ll find a classic Floridian Key lime pie, and it’s also the spot for other local favorites like cheese and guava pastries, Cuban bread, and the famous Publix sandwich. We often buy “souvenirs” for family and friends in the form of Publix pastries. Yes, they’re that good.

Robert Is Here: The Gateway Treat

My Key lime pie odyssey began in Homestead, the mostly rural city that’s a gateway to both the Keys and the Everglades, at Robert Is Here, a homey stand about a mile west of U.S. 1. Specializing in tropical fruits long cultivated in the area, owner Robert Moehling is indeed usually there, ready to explain his stock of fruits, which you’ll never see in your neighborhood supermarket. From hard-to-find varieties of mangoes to the monstera deliciosa, which tastes like a cross between a banana and pineapple, it’s an adventure for your taste buds. He’ll sell you Key limes, too—and Key lime pies, tarts, and assorted products. But he’s perhaps most renowned for his Key lime milkshake, which is thick, frosty, and intensely flavorful.

Blue Heaven: A Mountain of Deliciousness

Next up is Blue Heaven in Key West, where the Key lime pie comes with a mountain of meringue and whipped cream. Seriously, it’s a dessert lover’s dream come true, with layers of deliciousness that make it one of the best Key lime pies the island offers. (Review courtesy of www.guyoh.com). Located in historic Bahama Village, Blue Heaven is an iconic spot in Key West. Even if you’re not there for the pie, this place is a must-visit.

Kermit’s Key West Key Lime Shoppe: An Iconic Spot

If you’re parking by the Conch Republic restaurant, you’re likely to see Kermit’s Key West Key Lime Shoppe with its bright lime color and bustling activity. Celebrating its 30th year in business, this shop is one of the oldest and best places for Key lime pie in the Keys. Longevity speaks volumes, folks.

Mrs. Mac’s Kitchen: Lime-y Goodness

Last but certainly not least is Mrs. Mac’s Kitchen, where you’ll find a nice and lime-y, wonderfully thick custard-textured Key lime pie. Not too much whip. Perfect service and texture in an old and iconic restaurant. And awesomely cold! Just the way it should be.

The Sweet Conclusion

So, which pie takes the crown? Honestly, each has its own unique flair and flavor, making it impossible to choose just one. From the Publix classic to the meringue mountain at Blue Heaven, every slice offered something special. The real joy is in the journey, tasting each pie, meeting the people behind them, and soaking in the vibrant culture of the Florida Keys.

If you’re planning a visit to Florida, make sure you set aside time to embark on your own Key lime pie quest. Trust me, your taste buds will thank you.

Got a favorite Key lime pie spot I missed? Drop it in the comments below!

A foodie’s guide to Key West

I believe that you can travel the world without quitting your job. I believe that you can experience all the magic, the foodies and the cultures of the world while having a normal life. And, perhaps, two dogs. This is exactly what I’ve been doing for 15 years. This is exactly what my blog is about. Love, Lilia

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