Best Key West Bars and Nightlife Spots

The Best Key West Bars and Nightlife Spots

Key West, Florida, is famous for its vibrant nightlife scene. With many bars, clubs, and music venues, it’s no wonder this small island city is a playground for party-goers. Whether looking for a laid-back beach bar or a high-energy dance club, Key West has something for everyone. See some of the best Key West bars and nightlife spots guaranteed to make your trip unforgettable.

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Key West, Florida, is famous for its numerous bars and nightclubs, which offer various experiences for locals and tourists alike. Among the most famous bars in Key West, Sloppy Joe’s is perhaps the most well-known, thanks to its association with Ernest Hemingway. Hemingway also frequented Captain Tony’s Saloon, which has a rich history as an ice house, telegraph station, cigar factory, and bordello. Other popular bars in Key West include Irish Kevin’s, The Bull and Whistle, Rick’s Bar, Bourbon Street Pub, Aqua Nightclub, The Smallest Bar, Sidebar, The Tiki House, Virgilio’s, The Rum Bar, and The Sunset Pier. These bars offer a range of experiences, from live music and dancing to craft cocktails and beachfront views, making them a must-visit for anyone looking to experience the unique nightlife of Key West.

Sloppy Joe’s – The Iconic Key West Bar With a Rich History and Live Music

Key West bars
Sloppy Joe Facebook

A historic American bar was built in 1917, and the kitchen and Joe’s Tap Room were built in 1892. Live music and the annual Ernest Hemingway Look-Alike contest at Sloppy Joe are daily. It offers a bar, food, entertainment, and a retail store. Sloppy Joe’s has additional locations in Treasure Island, Florida, and Daytona Beach, Florida.

  • Address: 201 Duval St, Key West, FL 33040, United States
  • Open hours: Monday-Saturday, 9:00 am to 4:00 am / Sunday, 12:00 pm to 4:00 am

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Green Parrot – A Legendary Dive Bar With a Laid-Back Atmosphere and Live Music

Key West bars
Green Parrot Facebook

The Green Parrot in Key West is a great bar that offers a variety of drinks, including an excellent wine collection, beer collection, and signature cocktails. They also have good draught options. Visitors can enjoy happy hour specials; the bar is open until 4:00 am daily. The Green Parrot is known for its great vibe and live entertainment, including Flamenco Gypsy guitar performances. As for parking options, it is recommended to check the availability of parking nearby since there is no parking on-site or use public transportation.

  • Address: 601 Whitehead St, Key West, FL, United States, Florida
  • Open hours: Sunday-Thursday 10:00 am to 2:00 am / Friday-Saturday 10:00 am to 4:00 am

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Irish Kevin’s – A Lively Irish Pub With an Electric Atmosphere and Interactive Music Shows

irish kevin
Irish Kevin Facebook

Known for its local Irish cuisine, Irish Kevin is particularly the delicious soup. They also have various other food options, including Cuban sandwiches, hot dogs, quesadillas, and more. In terms of entertainment, Irish Kevin’s is famous for hosting live music every day, featuring local and national musicians. They also have a lively atmosphere and often have a crowd singing and dancing to the music. 

  • Address: 211 Duval St, Key West, FL, United States, Florida
  • Open hours: Sunday-Monday 11:00 am to 2:30 am

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The Bull and Whistle – A Three-Level Bar With Live Music and Outdoor Decks Overlooking Duval Street

Key West bars
Bull and Whistle Facebook

The Bull and Whistle is a famous Key West bar serving a brunch menu. As for entertainment, they have live music performances, karaoke, and a rooftop garden bar that offers great city views.

  • Address: 224 Duval, Key West, FL, United States, Florida
  • Open hours: Sunday-Monday 10:00 am to 4:00 am

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Captain Tony’s Saloon – A Historic Bar Where Hemingway Used to Drink and Listen to Live Music

Key West bars
Captain Tony’s Saloon Facebook

American cuisine with vegetarian-friendly and vegan options? Head to Captain Tony’s Saloon! It was visited by famous writers such as Ernest Hemingway and Truman Capote. It is located in an 1851 building with a colorful history. As for entertainment options, the bar offers live music and karaoke nights. See in person the iconic bra and money displays! If you’re looking for other nearby bars, Irish Kevin’s and Hog’s Breath Saloon are nearby and offer Irish and American cuisine, respectively.

  • Address: 428 Greene St, Key West, FL, United States, Florida
  • Open hours: Monday-Saturday 10;00 am to 2:00 am / Sunday 10:30 am to 2:00 am

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Rick’s Bar – A Huge Nightclub With Multiple Bars and Dance Floors Playing Different Music Styles

Key West bars
Rick’s Bar Facebook

Looking for a popular venue offering various entertainment options? Go to Rick’s Bar! It is a karaoke bar, nightclub, and restaurant serving different dishes. It is known for providing a great nightlife experience and offers VIP and Champagne Rooms for guests to indulge in. Nearby restaurants include Angelina’s Pizzeria and Amigos Tortilla Bar.

  • Address: 202-208 Duval St, Key West, FL, United States, Florida
  • Open hours: Sunday-Monday 11:00 am to 4:00 am

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801 Bourbon Bar – A Popular Gay Bar and Nightclub With Drag Shows and DJs

801 Bourbon Bar
801 Bourbon Bar Facebook

Bourbon Street Pub is a popular destination for tourists and locals alike. The pub offers a variety of tasty sandwiches, well-cooked lying, and great bourbon, all served by friendly staff. It features outdoor seating, credit card acceptance, and wheelchair accessibility.

As for entertainment options, Bourbon Street Pub is known for its nightly Men of Bourbon shows, and live DJs keep the party going. The pub also features five bars, including a rooftop bar and live shows to entertain guests.

  • Address: 801 Duval St, Key West, FL, United States, Florida
  • Open hours: Sunday-Monday 10:00 am to 4:00 am

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Aqua Nightclub – A Colorful LGBTQ Bar and Dance Club With Drag Shows and Karaoke

Aqua Nightclub
Aqua Nightclub Facebook

Also known as Aquaplex, Aqua Nightclub is a popular entertainment complex in Key West. It is known for its world-class drag shows hosted in the Aqua Theater. The neon-lit atmosphere offers a fantastic backdrop for cocktails, food, and dancing. Visitors can enjoy dining options from Poke in the Rear and the wild and colorful atmosphere. The nightclub has a variety of drinks and cocktails on its menu, and visitors can enjoy tasty food and beverages while taking in the entertainment.

  • Address: 711 Duval St, Key West, FL, United States, Florida
  • Open hours: Sunday-Monday 12:00 pm to 4:00 am

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The Smallest Bar – A Tiny Bar With a Big Personality and Creative Cocktails

Smallest Bar
Smallest Bar Facebook

The Smallest Bar is famous for its cozy and intimate atmosphere. While it doesn’t offer any specific entertainment options, it serves American cuisine, with vegetarian-friendly and vegan options available. The bar is only 72 square feet, making it a unique visitor experience. It has the most enormous martini menu on the island and is LGBTQ-friendly. Visitors can also check out other bars and nightclubs, such as The Green Parrot, Captain Tony’s Saloon, Bourbon Street Pub, and Aqua Nightclub, which offer various live entertainment options. 

  • Address: 124 Duval St, Key West, FL, United States, Florida
  • Open hours: Sunday-Monday 11:00 am to 11:00 pm

Note: They are not active on social media but are still open.

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Club 504 – A Modern Speakeasy With Delicious Cocktails and a Retro Vibe

Key West Club
Club 504 Facebook

A popular bar with a lively atmosphere and delicious drinks? It’s Club 504! They are known for their nightly DJ sets until 4 am. Additionally, Sidebar is the official home of Key West Burlesque, a popular entertainment option that visitors can enjoy.

  • Address:  504 Angela St, Key West, FL 33040, United States
  • Open hours: Sunday-Monday 12:00 pm to 4:00 am

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The Tiki House – A Tiki Bar Serving Tropical Drinks and Hosting Live Music

Key West Bar
Tiki House Bar Facebook

The Tiki House in Key West is a bar and restaurant on Duval Street that serves various drinks, including classic and original cocktails such as Mai Tai and Zombie. The establishment has outdoor seating and offers vegetarian-friendly and vegan options. Visitors can enjoy live music, a great atmosphere, and friendly and attentive bartenders. In keeping with preferences, Tiki House Key West serves up authentic tiki cuisine with kids’ menus and fantastic food. The Tiki House also offers Tiki cocktail classes, making it a top spot to learn something new while enjoying their drinks.

  • Address: 430 Greene St, Key West, FL, United States, Florida
  • Open hours: Sunday-Monday 12:00 pm to 2:00 am

Virgilio’s – A Cozy Piano Bar With a Classy Atmosphere and Talented Musicians

Virgilio's Key West
Virgilio’s Facebook

It is a popular restaurant and bar that serves delicious food such as flatbread pizza, tortellini, and sausage. The drinks menu is also worth exploring, with martinis being a standout. It offers classic cocktails and live music, making it an excellent choice for a lively atmosphere. The service is also friendly, with reviewers noting that the bartenders are great to chat with. Virgilio’s is a popular spot for locals and tourists, with several customers recommending it for drinks or dinner.

  • Address: 524 Duval St, Key West, FL, United States, Florida
  • Open hours: Monday and Wednesday 6:00 pm to 3:00 am / Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday 6:00 pm to 3:00 am / Saturday 6:00 pm to 1:00 am

The Rum Bar – A Beachfront Bar Serving Rum Cocktails and Offering Stunning Sunset Views

The Rum Bar
The Speakeasy Inn and Rum Bar Facebook

Known for its authentic Key West experience, The Rum Bar offers a wide selection of cocktails featuring its signature ingredient, rum. The Rum Bar is famous for its excellent rum collection and signature cocktails. They have a cozy and relaxed atmosphere, making it a fantastic spot to hang out and enjoy drinks. 

  • Address: 1115 Duval St, Key West, FL 33040, United States
  • Open hours: Monday-Thursday and Sunday 11:00 am to 11:00 pm / Friday and Saturday 11:00 am to 12:00 am

Sunset Pier – A Romantic Bar and Restaurant at the End of the Pier, Perfect for Watching the Sunset Over the Ocean.

Sunset Pier Key West
Sunset Pier Facebook

The Sunset Pier in Key West is famous for live music and breathtaking sunset views. Their menu features delicious cocktails, bites, and tropical and Caribbean culinary delights. Some dishes that customers rave about include smoked fish dip, ceviche salad, Mahi Mahi tacos, and burgers. It is known for its notable wine and beer collections and signature cocktails. In terms of entertainment, Sunset Pier offers nightly music and dancing with entertainers from the area.

  • Address: 0 Duval St, Key West, FL 33040, United States
  • Open hours: Sunday-Monday 11:30 am to 8:00 pm

Why is Key West a great place for nightlife?

  1. Diversity in Entertainment: Key West has a diverse entertainment scene, with bars, clubs, and music venues catering to various tastes and preferences.
  2. Live Music: The city has become known for its live music scene, with various genres, from blues and jazz to rock and pop, playing at multiple venues throughout the city.
  3. Outdoor Bars: Many of the city’s bars are outdoor, allowing patrons to enjoy the warm, tropical climate while drinking and socializing.
  4. Sunset Celebrations: Sunset celebrations are a nightly event in Key West, where locals and tourists gather on the waterfront to watch the sunset in paradise.
  5. Festivals and Events: Key is known for its many festivals and events, such as Fantasy Fest, Hemingway Days, and the Conch Republic Independence Celebration, which feature live music and other entertainment.
  6. Casual Atmosphere: The laid-back, relaxed atmosphere of Key West makes it easy to mingle with locals and tourists alike, creating a fun and welcoming nightlife scene.
  7. Late-Night Eats: The city offers a wide range of late-night dining options, from casual street vendors to upscale restaurants, allowing people to keep the party fun.
  8. LGBTQ+ Friendly: Key West has a long history of being one of the most LGBTQ+-friendly cities in the country, with many bars and clubs catering specifically to this community.
  9. Historic Old Town: Key West’s historic old town is home to several bars, each with its unique atmosphere and charm.
  10. Unique Cocktails: With its solid Caribbean influence, Key West is known for its fantastic cocktails, such as the Hemingway Daiquiri and the Key Lime Martini, making the city a must-visit destination for cocktail enthusiasts.

Things you should avoid doing in Key West bars

  1. Don’t drink excessively – remember to stay in control and be safe.
  2. Pay attention to the locals – Key West has a friendly community and an excellent opportunity to meet new people.
  3. Pay attention to the dress code – it’s always better to be appropriately dressed for the venue.
  4. Don’t leave your valuables unattended – make sure you keep hold of your belongings and be cautious of pickpockets.
  5. Don’t engage in fights – avoid confrontations, stay calm, and walk away.
  6. Don’t drink and drive – always ensure you have a driver or plan to take a taxi to your destination.
  7. Don’t be disrespectful – be courteous, use proper etiquette, and don’t be rude to the staff or fellow patrons.

Things you can do or visit nearby before going to bars and nightclubs in Key West

Before hitting the bars and nightclubs in Key West, there are plenty of activities and attractions to explore, like the historic Old Town, Ernest Hemingway Home and Museum, or the Key West Lighthouse. Take a sunset sail or snorkeling trip to see the island differently. Visit the Key West Butterfly and Nature Conservatory or the Key West Aquarium for family-friendly activities. For a unique experience, check out the daily Sunset Celebration at Mallory Square, where street performers, food vendors, and musicians celebrate the sunset.

Key West may be small, but its nightlife scene sure packs a punch. From the famous Duval Street to the more low-key spots like Garbo’s Grill, there are plenty of places to party until the early morning. Whether you’re looking for live music, craft cocktails, or a casual beachfront hangout, the bars and nightlife spots in Key West have got you covered. So next time you’re in this sunny paradise, see the best bars and clubs that Key West offers. You won’t be disappointed!

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