The essence of Key West’s vibrancy, located along the very public Duvall Street profiled previously, was often very hidden via outdoor patios behind and alongside buildings.
Take Croissants de France (pictured) – at first glance you see a traditional front porch leading up to the entrance of the cafe, but as you walk up you notice a side patio followed by a tree-shaded courtyard, triggering an inkling to want to sit down and order a chocolate crepe or afternoon mojito.
Then there’s Blue Heaven, a local favorite, where all you see on the outside is a modest, traditional structure. However, enter through the gates and you’re thrust into another world complete with an outdoor bar and dining area. As one half of a couple remarked on a cold, rainy night as they ate indoors, “This is the first time in all the times I’ve come here that I’ve eaten indoors.”
Now multiply this formula several fold and sprinkle throughout Key West’s downtown, and you’ll understand why so many locals are passionate about their home town – these are the places where ‘life’ happens every night in Key West, and there’s no shortage of them.