Escape from Royal Caribbean – The best raw bar in Key West

This is definitely NOT a cruise review, but I thought I had better explain what a self-respecting Foodie was doing on a Royal Caribean ship. I have avoided cruises for years, but when my company decided to charter a ship for 1200 employees I knew the time had come.  While I was looking forward to spending time with my coworkers, I was not very optimistic about what the food situation would entail.  We had a great time on the trip, but sadly, my concerns about the food proved to be justified.  No fresh anything; I have eaten better at one of those buffet chains. Albertsons $5.99 shrimp cocktail would have run circles around the mushy, defrosted one served to us.   Cruises sometimes have smaller restaurants that are alternatives to the dining room.  Generally, you pay a small premium to go.  In this case, the “premium” option was Johnny Rockets.  We had to pay about $5 pp just to walk in, but I must say I have never enjoyed 50’s food this much. We referred to it as our “fine dining option” from that point on.  But I digress.

This is about an amazing raw bar experience.  I had found Half Shell raw bar on the web a few weeks before we left, and knew it would have to be a “not to miss” in Key West.  So as soon as we set shore, my friends and I rented motor scooters and set out to find it. 

It had the perfect ambiance.  Wood tables, pitchers of beer on tap, and a million dollar view right on the water.  Think Jersey Shore meets Laguna Beach.  Gulf oysters and little neck clams on the half-shell. Conch Seviche.  It was all so delicious and in an incredibly peaceful setting.  Plus, it was my birthday.  Our friends said the Stone crab claws were even better than the ones they had at Joe’s  a few nights ago. 

Even though it was just a simple shellfish lunch, for me it was the best meal of our entire Miami trip even compared to many of the pricey, wine-ladden dinners we later experienced.  But what do they say about pictures speaking louder than words?


Half Shell Raw Bar
231 Margaret St., Key West, FL

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