Pre-Dinner Cocktails at the Key West Harbor

“It’s not that big!”

Between the sunset celebration at Mallory Square, and an acceptable dinner time lies a gap of about 2 hours in the winter (in the summer, it is feasible to go see the sunset, then head straight to dinner). But these days sunset is around 6PM, and our preferred dinner time is somewhere around 8PM. What’s a person to do with out-of-town company? Cocktails.

The Sunset Tiki Bar at the Galleon resort is just the place to start. A favorite among locals and tourists alike, the live music, good drinks and overly friendly atmosphere make for a good time. As we were deciding what to order, one of my friends settled on the “Bucket of Love”, 32 ounces of 6 rums and juices. When I asked the bartender to see just how big 32 ounces is, he held up the small bucket.

Key Lime martini… so typically Key West-y

That’s not so big!” I announced, and the woman seated at the bar beside me looks at the bucket (soon to be Bucket of Love), looks at the bartender, looks back at me and says “Not that big? You must be a local.” Yes, yes I am.  After a Bucket of Love (which is sweet, tropical, and entirely too easy to drink), a couple of Bourbons and some wine, it was time to meander towards our next stop.

White Tarpon Deli, at the Key West Bight, next to Alonzo’s, has food (I am told), and a lovely bar. The live music in the courtyard would be perfect on a night warmer than 57 degrees (yes, I am a cold-weather wimp. I am pretty sure we have already firmly established that.) The indoor bar was perfectly cozy. White Tarpon has a nice choice of wines by the bottle to-go, as well as a full bar. I chose a dark and stormy, while FKGuy had wine and our friends had Key Lime martinis, because, well, why have anything else in Key West? The martini glass is rimmed with graham cracker crumbs, and the bright yellow cocktail embodies the island feel.

Overall, two good stops en route to a fantastic meal at The Flaming Buoy. If you are in Key West and by the harbor and thirsty, stop in to the Galleon Resort (617 Front Street, Key West) or the White Tarpon (700 Front Street, #107, Key West).


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