12 Marathon Restaurants accessible by dinghy and by foot
Eating and Drinking, Sailing Destinations, Trips and Destinations, USA

12 Restaurants in Marathon, Florida Keys, Accessible By Dinghy Or By Foot From City Marina/Boot Key Harbor

Welcome to Marathon, the “heart of Florida Keys”, as they call it. You tied up your mooring lines at City Marina, lowered your dinghy motor, got all set up and now you finally sit down and realize you are hungry… and too tired to cook! But if you’ve never been here, how do you know out where to go? There are too many great restaurants in Marathon.

In fact, almost every place deserves a special review, and it would take pages and pages to write about every one.  But if you come here by boat, you probably don’t have a car, so I narrowed it down:

Here are 12 restaurants in Marathon you don’t need a car for. They can be easily reached by dinghy or by foot from City Marina/Boot Key Harbor:

  • check out the interactive map at the end of the post for detailed locations
  • please double-check the operating hours as they may vary according to season.
  • the information is as of Jan 2019, so double-check for any possible changes

1. Burdines Waterfront

Location: Mile Marker 47.5

Hours: 11 am – 9 pm

Alcohol: beer/wine

One of the most popular locations in Marathon right at the entrance to Boot Key Harbor is Burdine’s Waterfront Marina and Restaurant.  Just a short ride on your dinghy and you’ll find a full service marina with fuel dock, ships store, and docking, fixed and floating. The upstairs restaurant has the best channel views into Boot Key Harbor. 

Their scrumptious menu offers some classic favorites such as our personal pick, Hawaiian Tuna Poke, which will knock your socks off! Guaranteed! The fresh tuna melt is outstanding, an exceptional Rib-eye Philly Cheesesteak might be just the ticket.

You must order a basket of their hand-cut crispy fries which will feed the whole table. Sit back and take in a memorable sunset or evening under the stars and you’ll realize why you came to the Keys!

Tuna Poke
Tuna Poke

The Famous Fries - Burdines Waterfront, Marathon
The Famous Fries

More information about Burdines Waterfront

2. Castaway

Location: Mile Marker 47.5

Hours: 7 am – 10 pm

Alcohol: full bar

The Castaway Restaurant was founded in 1951 and is the oldest restaurant on the island. It is accessible by dinghy which can be a delight for all those wanting to arrive by boat.  Indoor air-conditioned seating keeps you cool on those hot sunny days, but there is still an option of the outdoor courtyard.

Check out their famous Happy Hour from 2 to 6 with half price craft beer (52 choices!) and discounted sushi rolls. If you wish to try different beers, you will enjoy the opportunity to order a flight. Castaway’s menu includes a wide variety of fresh local seafood, quality meats, and authentic sushi. You can even try a lion fish

Approach to Castaway, Marathon
Coming by dinghy…
Draft Beer at Castaway, Marathon
52 varieties of draft craft beer

More information about Castaway

3. Stuffed Pig

Location: Mile Marker 49

Hours: 6 am – 2 pm, Sunday: 6 am – noon

Alcohol: semi-full bar

CASH ONLY

Join the locals and tourists alike who have found out about the Stuffed Pig. Located across US 1 from the City Marina the Pig specializes in breakfast and lunch. We have experienced their weekend brunches and still go back on a regular basis. On Sunday there is usually a wait list, so plan accordingly! Breakfast items include crab or lobster benedicts as well as all the standards. French toast, eggs and meats any way you like it round out a complete menu.

The portions are large so come hungry… And you can even take a photo with the Pig! Pigs everywhere! Bring cash since they don’t take plastic. Order one of their pitchers of mimosas, or unlimited Bloody Marys and you’ll fit in perfect at the beautifully landscaped courtyard outback (you can eat indoors as well).

Mimosas at the Stuffed Pig
Mimosas

Lobster Benedict at the Stuffed Pig, Marathon
Lobster Benedict

More information about The Stuffed Pig

4. Keys Fisheries

Location: Mile Marker 49

Hours: 11 am – 9 pm

Alcohol: full bar

Obviously, there is nothing like truly fresh seafood … Keys Fisheries in Marathon is your seafood hub. Direct from the local commercial fishing vessels docked next door is a fabulous array of fresh caught treats to delight all those who seek them.

Out front is their seafood market offering slabs of grouper, mahi, hogfish, wahoo, etc! Don’t forget the shrimp, lobster and what everyone seeks are the stone crab claws of several sizes! I gotta go now!! Get ready for some outstanding items on the menu starting with the World Famous Lobster Rueben, piled high with lobster! (Guess how many have been served!) Another favorite is lobster macaroni and cheese. 

The restaurant serves food on the lower level overlooking the marina, or you can order your food and head upstairs to the Pickled Pelican Tiki Bar where you have the best Gulf of Mexico view spread out before you. 
Right there is a raw bar serving oysters and stone crab claws.  At sundown they pass out a fruity shot for your Keys Sunset and everyone cheers. During winter season there is live music every day.

13 Restaurants in Marathon, Florida, Accessible By Dinghy or By Foot From City Marina
The famous Lobster Reuben

13 Restaurants in Marathon, Florida, Accessible By Dinghy or By Foot From City Marina
Stone Crab claws

More information about Keys Fisheries

5. Steak and Lobster House

Location: Mile Marker 49.5

Hours: 11:30 am – 10 pm

Alcohol: full bar

Located directly across the street from the City Marina, you’ll find The Florida Keys Steak and Lobster House.  It must be said that this is a first class operation.  An outstanding selection of menus present the finest in steaks, chops, local seafood, pastas, sushi, you name it! Ask for the Stone Grill Menu and these entrees finish cooking at your table on a stone slab.

This is fine dining coordinated with impeccable service that we truly appreciated. Upscale is the word around here and the bar staff are some of the best in town.

Happy Hour (11:30 am to 6 pm) is a great time to get started with good and cheap drafts, wine and cocktails. They have the best martinis around!  The Happy Hour snack menu features some true culinary delights for only $5.95.  One thing we’ve noticed is no matter how busy this large restaurant gets, everything gets done efficiently and friendly. This was also the first restaurant to open with full menu and started accepting credit cards after Hurricane Irma.

12 restaurants in Marathon, Florida
Tuna Tataki Appetizer

More information about Florida Keys Steak and Lobster House

6. Barracuda Grill

Location: Mile Marker 49.6

Hours: 11 am – 2:30 pm and 6:30 pm – 9 pm

Alcohol: beer/wine

One place we were always passing when we first came to Boot Key Harbor is Barracuda Grill. Their sign always caught our eye because they were only open on certain nights and opening at 6:25 pm. That has changed now and they’re open for lunch as well.  Barracuda Grill now opens at 6:30 pm. This place is rather pricey, but it is a true find for special occasions.  We celebrated Michael’s birthday and the experience was outstanding. 

The restaurant has some signature items.  Michael had the Rack of Lamb, their bestseller for 24 years served with a black raspberry sauce which he enjoyed so much he ranked this meal in the Top 5 ever!

Appetizers at Barracuda, Marathon
Appetizers
Rack of Lamb at Barracuda, Marathon
Rack of lamb (usually there are 4 pieces, but we already ate the half! LOL )

More information about Barracuda Grill

7. Overseas Pub & Grill

Location: Mile Marker 49.3

Hours: 11 am – 12 am

Alcohol: full bar

One of the most popular bar/restaurants in Marathon near the City Marina is the Overseas Pub & Grill. This is a quick trip to the City Marina dinghy dock and a short walk across the Overseas Highway (US 1). The Overseas is a great hang out for locals and tourists alike: inside bar has many TVs (the best place to watch the Super Bowl).

Running around the bar right in front of your seat is a unique ice track that keeps your beverages cold. It appears that your glass is sitting down in snow. Monday through Wednesday are featured with themed specials. Monday is Mexican, Tuesday is Irish and Wednesday is Italian. There is great live music at the outside bar which always seems to draw a fun crowd!

Ice Rack at Overseas, Marathon
Milk Stout and the Ice Track
Shepherd's Pie at Overseas, Marathon
Shepherd’s Pie

More information about Overseas Pub and Grill

8. Island Time Diner and Ice Cream

Location: Mile Marker 50

Hours: 11 am – 9 pm, Sat-Sun: 12 pm – 7 pm

Alcohol: no alcohol, but, oh, that ice cream totally makes up for it! 🙂

At some point in, actually more often than you think, you’ll be walking to Publix. On the way you’ll pass a strip where the US Post Office is located. Don’t you dare go to get groceries if you’re hungry!  You have a way to nip that hunger in the bud! Just past the post office you’ll come upon the Island Time Diner.

This place serves up the absolute best burger ANYWHERE! All burgers are a half pound hand pressed patty and you can choose from a regular version to a Blue Water blue cheese burger, Asian, Oklahoman, Cali, South of the Border and Chili burger. They’ll even throw an egg on top if you wish.

Now we go to the outstanding fries, where you can choose from chili cheese, bacon cheese, or loaded nacho fries. The chicken salad sandwich is World Class, and the Gyros and cheese steak are totally scrumptious!  If you’re in the mood you may enjoy on of their fabulous hot dogs, they even wrap one in bacon.  

Just when you thought you’d seen it all here, you walk by the freezer case and discover Island Time’s specialty homemade-on-the-premises ice cream. Get you a cone or dish and these flavors are incredible and we must suggest the Toasted Coconut …. Wow!  Shakes, malts, floats, sundaes, banana splits, and brownies round out the veritable plethora of dessert delights!  It must be mentioned that usually the owner is there cranking from the grill and you feel the pride this establishment exudes in what they do.

California Burger at Island Time Diner and Ice Cream, Marathon
California Burger
Toasted Coconut Ice Cream
Toasted Coconut Ice Cream

More information about Island Time Diner and Ice-Cream

9. Takara Thai

Location: Mile Marker 49.5

Hours: 4 pm – 10 pm, Sunday: closed

Alcohol: beer/wine

One of the best kept secrets in Marathon is Takara Thai located across from the City Marina/Municipal Park. One of the things that made us laugh is you basically have a bait shop and next door you have sushi!  Their signage is a bit hidden, but you must try this wonderful restaurant.  The owner in the kitchen is Thai and we’ve talked a few times since we’ve been to Thailand a couple of years ago. 

The Thai selections are fabulous featuring thai curries, Tom Yum, Tom Kha and other soups, stir-fried noodles and salads. We love the sushi roll selections and they feature box and boat sets for a wider array of sushi.  You may order some saki or beer and wine (I love that oriental plum wine!) to go with your meal. We always get the green tea ice cream for dessert. YUM!

Sushi and Gyoza at Takara, Marathon
Sushi and Gyoza

More information about Takara Thai

10. The Hurricane Bar & Grille

Location: Mile Marker 49.8

Hours: 11 am – 12 am, Fri-Sat: 11 am – 1 am

Alcohol: full bar

Whether it’s great food, live music from a pro stage, or drinks you seek, The Hurricane delivers. The casual roadhouse atmosphere brings in locals and tourists and serves up a great menu. The pizza is outstanding!

If you like Italian food, you must try their calzone. But beware: we try to finish the small calzone, but every time end up having to take a go-box. It’s huge! So I would not recommend ordering the large one, unless you are a group of six people or more! Stromboli, sandwiches, burgers, and fish or shrimp baskets (my favorite is Buffalo shrimp) are served up fresh.

The Hurricane features the best live music in town and the dance floor packs out most nights. Open mic night on Wednesday and the Sunday Blues Jam are featured every week. You’ll find acoustic artists, duos, and full bands that make sure to keep the groove alive!

Calzone at Hurricanes, Marathon
Calzone
Singing at Hurricane
Live Music at the Hurricane – by yours truly 😉

More information about The Hurricane Bar and Grill

11. The Cracked Conch Cafe

Location: Mile Marker 49.6

Hours: 8 am – 9 pm

Alcohol: full bar

Owner Joe DeConda has spent forty years in the Keys and never left for a storm!  “People need to eat”, he says,” and I want to be here to help start the cleanup process.” The Cracked Conch Café is a place you must try especially if you’re interested to see many ways to prepare conch.

First off, you must try the conch chowders.  They present a New England style, white based soup which is so delicious, but I prefer their Manhattan version which really knocked my socks off.  There is a cracked conch sandwich and when you look at the full menu, you start to feel like you’re in a certain “Gump” movie with conch made in so many ways it’s amazing! 

For example, there are all the Italian dishes with a conch substitute like Conch Parmesan, Conch Marsala, Conch Piccata, Conch Francoise, Conch Capri, and a Cracked Conch Platter. The restaurant also serves breakfast until 4pm.

Cracked Conch Cafe
New England Conch Chowder

Cracked Conch Cafe
Manhattan Conch Chowder

More information about The Cracked Conch Cafe

12. Irie Island Eats 

Location: Mile Marker 49.6

Hours: 11 am – 4 pm

Alcohol: no alcohol

Irie (pronounced “eye-ree”) is a word used to describe feelings of goodness, happiness, and peace.  This food truck/catering company chose their name, Irie Island Eats, with those feelings in mind. Currently located next to Paradise Produce across the Overseas Highway from Home Depot, this food truck/diner is set up on a well landscaped and manicured lot with a total island feel and vibe.

Their menu is lavish and healthy with all kinds of Caribbean treats, featuring pokes, bowls, salads, and breads. The coconut rice bowls let you select a bedding style (Tropical, Caribbean, Bonsai, etc…)   and then add whatever seasoned and marinated meat you want on top (the marinades are all really creative and delicious, Kalua Pork or Pineapple Lime Chicken are just a couple of examples).

With your lunch, have a healthy sparkling fruit juice drink (no sugar added), and you will never drink soda again! When you leave, pick some fresh fruit or veggies at Paradise Produce to take home.

Rice Bowls at Irie Island Eats, Marathon
One of the Rice Bowls
Sparkling Juice at Irie Island Eats, Marathon
Sparkling Juice
Paradise Produce
Paradise Produce

More information about Irie Island Eats

Bon Appetit! If you used this list and went to one of these restaurants in Marathon, let me know in the comments what meal you had and how you liked it!

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2 thoughts on “12 Restaurants in Marathon, Florida Keys, Accessible By Dinghy Or By Foot From City Marina/Boot Key Harbor”

  1. Hi Michael, hi Jenia. It was very nice meeting you both in Roswell NM. Teena and myself enjoyed talking with you. We are currently in Eagle View RV Park in Fort McDowell AZ. We will be traveling on to California on January 2 before heading back east. We are headed across I-10 then south to the keys then north on I-95 to be back home on in upstate NY June 1. I hope our paths cross again sometime. Both of you seem like nice people.
    Teena & Joe

    Like

    1. Thanks guys! It was cool meeting you, too. We are enjoying our home in St. Augustine now and planning to RV more in spring. Call us when you drive by St. Augustine! 👍

      Like

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