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Every town has a quintessential, neighborhood restaurant that, if you visit, you’re lucky to find. Amidst grand, restored mansions, Sarabeth’s is such a place. Yes, New York has fourSarabeth’s and a bakery, but this one is Key West unique. Owner David Case worked for decades with Sarabeth Levine, and could perfectly translate her concept to a new community. He transformed an 1800s, historic building (formerly a synagogue, still with sanctuary ceilings) into cheerful rooms and a lush garden patio (where dogs are welcome) positively magical at night. The menu is clean, classic, and people pleasing, with a wine list to match. No one in town bakes such muffins, made even more scrumptious with spreadable fruits. 

The regulars constitute a discerning breed, including many artists and writers (hence the signed books inside). They seize ownership of favorite dishes—as in, “I’d like MY tomato soup, please.” Personally, I recommend MY lemon-ricotta pancakes and MY calamari with coconut-lime dipping sauce. But enough about my dishes; go find your own.