Those looking for a classic greasy-spoon breakfast should head for the Hideout (47 Shoreland Dr., 305/451-0128, 7 a.m.–2 p.m. daily, main courses from $5). The no-frills diner atmosphere is low-key, with all the bacon, eggs, and biscuits fare one would expect. The from-scratch pancakes along with some distinctly Southern dishes like fish and grits have made this place a standby.
There are few places that would bother claiming to serve superlative coffee and seafood, but Key Largo Conch House (100211 Overseas Hwy., 305/453-4844, 7 a.m.–10 p.m. daily, breakfast from $5, lunch from $8, dinner from $12) does indeed make such a seemingly incongruous boast. Frankly, it’s hard to argue: In the morning this former coffeehouse serves up decadent French toast, pancakes, Benedicts, and other traditional breakfast fare—and some damn good coffee.
Lunch sees the menu shift to paninis, wraps, and some highly touted fish tacos, and by the time dinner rolls around, the Conch House’s transformation is complete, with fresh meat, poultry, and vegetarian entrées rounding out a menu packed with fresh, lightly prepared fish dishes, conch meunière, and richly sauced seafood pastas. The atmosphere here is cozy, quirky, and decidedly unpretentious; the wraparound porch is a great place to relax with a glass of wine before or after dinner.
Two more great places in Key Largo  to find seafood, conveniently enough, are located right next door to each other. The Fish House and The Fish House Encore (102400 Overseas Hwy., 305/451-4665, 11:30 a.m.–10 p.m. daily, sandwiches from $9, lunch entrées from $12, dinner entrées from $16) are built around the menu made famous by the original. The Fish House has been an institution in Largo since the 1980s, known for its fresh fish and seafood offerings. When a gift shop next door went out of business, the restaurant expanded, except rather than simply add more seats, an expanded selection was introduced. The Fish House is an old-fashioned Florida seafood restaurant that stacks coleslaw, hush puppies, and corn on the cob beside your tuna steak, while Encore is more likely to accompany your dishes with steamed vegetables and rice, and there’s a slightly more expansive and upscale selection of entrées as well as a sushi bar.
Although it seems almost a requirement that restaurants in the Keys serve seafood, the focus at Rib Daddy’s Country Kitchen (102570 Overseas Hwy., 305/451-0900, 11 a.m.–9 p.m. Sun.–Thurs., 11 a.m.–10 p.m. Fri.–Sat., main courses from $14) is on their succulent Memphis-style barbecue. While a fine selection of steaks, chops, and seafood make up more than half of the menu, the real treat here is a plate of Rib Daddy’s smoked ribs, which, wisely, are served either with sauce or without. There’s no brisket on the menu, only ribs and pulled or sliced beef and pork. They even serve a baked potato that’s filled with pulled pork and topped with cheese.
There are a handful of options for drinks and pub fare in Key Largo , and almost all of them offer some variety of burgers, oysters, wings, seafood baskets, and ice-cold beer. Although the food is seldom spectacular, whatever these joints lack in epicurean savoir-faire they make up for in their determined efforts to give locals and visitors places to drink; they are, in other words, the extent of nightlife in Key Largo.
Paradise Pub (102051 Overseas Hwy., 305/451-1516) keeps their kitchen open pretty late, while the dive-bar atmosphere of Sharky’s Beer Co. (522 Caribbean Blvd., 305/453-0999) belies the convivial nature of the staff and the fact that they serve sushi and an exceptional fish taco. Buzzards Roost Grill & Pub (21 Garden Cove Dr., 305/451-4696) is just a bit more upscale, with steaks and ribs on the menu and a decent selection of beer on tap.