Lobsterfest, held every year in Key West at the beginning of August, signals the beginning of lobster season in South Florida and the Florida Keys. This year, the events will be held across four days, from August 6-9, and there will be lots of entertainment, debauchery, and of course lobster!
The festivities begin on Thursday, August 5 at 5 p.m. with a Lobster Boil at the Sunset Tiki Bar & Grille, located at 617 Front Street. For $26.99 per person, each diner will receive a pound or more of the lobster boil, which consists of lobster, shrimp, andouille sausage, crawfish, sweet corn on the cob, and new potatoes. There will also be side salads served with your choice of dressing, and garlic bread. There will be live entertainment playing throughout the evening. Groups are seated every half-hour beginning at 5 p.m., with the last group being seated at 8 p.m. Walk-ins will only be taken on a space available basis. Visit keywestlobsterfest.com to book your seat.
Do you love wine as much as you love lobster? You’ll definitely appreciate the Vintner’s Dinner, which begins at 6:30 p.m. on Friday, August 7 at Tavern N Town at the Key West Marriott Beachside. The first course consists of consomme and croquettas paired with two delightful Florida wines. The second course is chilled scampi and fennel with olive oil and Meyer lemon, paired with a chardonnay. The main course consists of grilled lobster and oxtail risotto, with a side of tavern chorizo and a luxurious Russian River pinot noir. The dessert course will be flan with dulce de leche and a cabernet sauvignon. This dinner is $80 per person and reservations are required. Call (305) 296-8100 to reserve your seat.
One of the biggest events of the weekend is the annual Duval Crawl, which celebrates its 10th anniversary this year. It begins at 8 p.m. on Friday, August 7, and participants will stop at fifteen different bars, including the Sunset Tiki Bar, Hard Rock Cafe, Bagatelle, Rick’s, Durty Harry’s, Coyote Ugly, Pinchers Crab Shack and McConnell’s Irish Pub. The cost to be a part of the Duval Crawl is $20, and that entitles you to admission, a Lobsterfest ’15 T-shirt, a souvenir Corona bottle opener and lanyard, and discounted drink prices at all 15 participating bars. Purchase your passes by going to the Key West Promotions store at 218 Whitehead Street before the event.
On Saturday, August 8, beginning at noon and continuing until 11 p.m., the 19th annual Lobsterfest Street Fair will be set up across four street blocks on Duval Street. There will be many vendors selling souvenirs, and of course there will be food trucks cooking up lobster in various ways! It is free to attend; just make sure you save some money to buy yourself some delicious lobster! At the corner of Duval and Greene Streets, there will be a free concert beginning at 1 p.m. and running until 10:30 p.m. The concert headliners for this year’s Lobsterfest are Alphonse, Bubba System, Cool Breeze and The DurtBags.
This decadent weekend ends on Sunday, August 9 with a sumptuous Lobster Brunch, also served at Tavern N Town at the Key West Marriott Beachside. The meal begins at 11 a.m. and will be served buffet-style. There will be a lobster-inspired sushi station, lobster appetizers such as brochettes, lemon thyme grilled prawns, a petit filet mignon with Maine lobster and a lobster mushroom ragout, and prosciutto-wrapped spiny lobster tails served with an enchilado broth. There is also a prime rib carving station and a breakfast station serving eggs, omelets, waffles, bacon, sausage, potatoes, and fresh fruit. Champagne and desserts are also included. The cost is $58.95 per person. This brunch is very popular so limited seating is available. Be sure to go online to keystix.com and enter in your reservation right away so you can bid farewell to 2015’s Lobsterfest in mouth-watering style.
The Key West Marriott Beachside, located at 33841 N. Roosevelt Boulevard, plays host to the Vintner’s Dinner and the Lobster Brunch, and is also the host hotel for this event. As of press time rates start at $189 per room, with two guests permitted per room. Mention Lobsterfest and you might possibly get a discount. Call them directly at (305) 296-8100 to make your reservation. Other lodging options are also available and can be accessed on the Lobsterfest website by going to keywestlobsterfest.com and clicking on “Lodging Options.”
Sponsors of Key West Lobsterfest include Three Olives Vodka, Corona Beer, Coca-Cola, and numerous bars and nightclubs across Key West, including all fifteen Duval Crawl participants. Key West Lobsterfest is made possible by event organizers Key West Promotions and Key West Walking Tours. For more information, visit keywestlobsterfest.com.