Feb. 13, 2011
The Hogfish Bar and Grill on Stock Island (near Key West) has excellent lobster bisque, the best conch chowder, and (of course) hogfish. The place is a giant tiki hut with open walls and is very casual. It's off the beaten path, but worth searching for, and you can watch the fishing boats unload the catch of the day while you eat. (http://www.hogfishbar.com)
On Cudjoe Key (about 20 miles north of Key West) is the Square Grouper. The almond-crusted grouper is so good that I order it every time, and no one I've been with has ever had a bad meal there.
I have been vacationing in the Keys for many years, and I love to find fresh, well-prepared seafood for a reasonable price. Some of the more well-known places in downtown Key West are overpriced tourist traps. I found both of these places via recommendations from the locals (known as Conchs) and have not been disappointed when returning year after year.