A Great Place for People Watching
There are several spots in Key West that are just made for people watching….
- Mallory Square and Sunset Pier as the sun sets.
- The bar and pool at Dante’s.
- The balcony at Bourbon Street Pub.
- The legendary Green Parrot.
The constant revelry and general carefree spirit that draw visitors to the Conch Republic are on full display here and throughout the tiny island every day of the year.
One of our absolute favorite places to people watch is Table #4 at Nine One Five.
This particular table, a two-top nestled next to the restaurant’s white picket fence within arm’s length of the foot traffic on Duval Street, is unbeatable. Far enough removed from Mallory Square to provide a quieter atmosphere, but still close enough to the heart of the action to feature a satisfying mix of locals and visitors, families and couples, bachelorette parties, frat boys and everything in between. The crowd itself may be a bit thinner than what you’ll find outside of The Bull but the carousing is no less fun to watch.
Why is this among our favorites?
We love this spot because you can (and we have) sit there for hours watching the rich scenery while enjoying some of the best food on the island. The menu has remained pretty consistent over the years but that’s not a bad thing. We usually start with some small plates like Devils on Horseback (bacon wrapped dates with roasted garlic) and grouper ceviche with avocado, oranges and coconut dressing. Always a cone of fries. Maybe some braised pork tacos or beef carpaccio with truffle aioli.
Sounds fancy right? The food certainly is. These guys have been invited to cook for the Beard Foundation twice. But the feel of the place is anything but stuffy. The wine and conversation flow freely and the tanned and relaxed faces of both the staff and the guests make everyone feel welcome.
The most special dishes at Nine One Five are, not surprisingly, seafood. The black angus prime filet and the New Zealand rack of lamb are nothing to sneeze at, but the pan roasted grouper, soul mama seafood soup (Key West pink shrimp, grouper, PEI mussels and clams in a Thai green curry broth) and especially the crispy whole yellowtail prepared Thai style are unforgettable and there’s no better way to celebrate island living.
Next time you’re in Cayo Hueso take a stroll to Duval between Olivia and Truman and check it out. If you’re not up for haute cuisine just head upstairs to Point5, where Andrew pours a mean drink, the chef tosses a phenomenal pizza, and the people watching is equally divine.
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