Gluten Free Key West and the Florida Keys: The Complete Travel Guide (2024)

Before I visited Key West, I heard a lot about how challenging it was to be gluten free there. Now, after my second visit, I’m excited to share this gluten free Key West and Florida Keys guide to make your trip easier!

In my experience, you do have to plan ahead to find celiac safe options in the Florida Keys, but it’s definitely possible – and you’re halfway there by doing your research with this blog post! I ate really well in the Florida Keys and even managed to have gluten free key lime pie more than once. See all my favorite eats below!

Note: I am a sensitive celiac, so this gluten free guide discusses cross contact at each location. However, business owners and practices can change so I encourage you to always ask your own questions when you visit!

Check out my other Florida Keys blog posts…

Where to Find Gluten Free Key Lime Pie in Key West

5 Day Florida Keys Itinerary

Best Places to Stay in the Florida Keys

gluten free fried shrimp in florida keys
Yes, you REALLY can find celiac safe gluten free fried shrimp and fries in the Florida Keys!! All details below!

Gluten Free Key West and the Florida Keys: Planning Your Trip

Before we get into the nitty gritty, I want to explain a bit about the Florida Keys, and how this gluten free guide is organized.

The Florida Keys are so much more than just Key West: it’s a collection of islands on the southern tip of Florida, connected by land and sea bridges.

A lot of you may just be visiting Key West, the southernmost island (that’s what I did on my first trip). Key West is a popular cruise port, and has a small airport.

On my second trip, I spent a week road tripping the Florida Keys from Miami Airport to Key West and back. This is by far my preferred way to visit and I highly recommend it if you have time! Some of the best gluten free restaurants are located on other islands, not Key West. Check out our full Florida Keys itinerary here.

How This Gluten Free Florida Keys Guide is Organized

This gluten free Florida Keys guide includes gluten free restaurant recommendations, tips for celiac-friendly places to stay, and fun activities that can accommodate gluten free.

Locations across the Florida Keys include:

  • Key West (obviously!)
  • Islamorada
  • Key Largo
  • Marathon
  • And more!

This gluten free Florida Keys guide is FULL, with plenty of restaurant suggestions. So, I’ve put a ☆ next to my top recommended places.

Let’s get into it!

GLUTEN FREE MAP | I’ve created a Google map of gluten free Florida Keys restaurants! Just scroll to the bottom of this post to get it.

Red sunset in the florida keys
Sunset view from our sailboat tour in Key West. I just love this place!

Gluten Free Key West

Ahh, Key West. I’m sure you’ve heard of this literary and culture haven at the southernmost tip of the contiguous United States. Here you’ll find quaint historic houses, crystal clear waters, waving palm trees… and plenty of other tourists. But, it’s touristy for a reason, I promise!

Below are all my tips for gluten free Key West restaurants.

Gluten Free Key West Restaurants

El Mesón de Pepe

First of all, you must eat Cuban food while in Key West. El Mesón de Pepe is a popular Cuban restaurant in Key West and this was my first stop for dinner.

There is no gluten free menu here, however the servers are aware of celiac and gluten free needs and I found them accommodating and open to discussing options with me.

You are limited to naturally gluten free options here, and be wary of fried items cooked in a shared deep fryer or any sauces that contain gluten. The servers should be able to recommend some options.

I ordered the vaca frita which is basically a Cuban-style pulled beef, marinated overnight and then sauteed to crispy, juicy perfection.

Address: El Meson de Pepe, 410 Wall St, Key West, FL 33040

A plate of gluten free vaca frita at el meson de pepe in key west.
My meal at El Meson de Pepe – all gluten free and all Cuban!

Date & Thyme ☆

Date & Thyme is a really interesting combo of a health food shop with its own little café, and it is, in my opinion, one of the best places for celiacs to eat in Key West!

First of all, the shop has lots of great gluten free specialty items. I was so excited to find the elusive Coolhaus gluten free ice cream sandwich here! I’ve been looking for this for ages and it truly lived up to the hype (also, perfect in the Key West heat).

the wrapper of a cool haus gluten free ice cream sandwich.
a gluten free ice cream sandwich in key west florida.
My first gluten free ice cream sandwich in YEARS!!

As for the café, the menu has tons of gluten free options, including gluten free wraps! Note that they do have a disclaimer about the kitchen being a shared environment. Saying that, they also say they take steps to avoid cross contact if you ask. I spoke to two different staff members and I felt confident eating here.

They informed me that the toaster is shared with gluten, but when you tell them it’s an allergy/celiac they will cook the wraps over an open flame or in a clean pan. Overall, they were very willing to take steps to prevent cross contact. They marked my order as an allergy for the chef as well.

I ordered the spicy chicken gluten free wrap with cabbage slaw and it was mouth watering-ly good. Yes, it sounds simple, but how often can a celiac actually safely eat a wrap?! I highly recommend stopping at Date & Thyme.

Address: Date & Thyme, 829 Fleming St, Key West, FL 33040

A gluten free spicy chicken wrap
Honestly when can you ever eat a celiac safe wrap as big as this?!
Sarah smiles while holding her gluten free spicy chicken wrap
I’m obviously overjoyed, lol.

Green Pineapple Café ☆

The Green Pineapple Café was another hit on my gluten free Key West research mission! Strangely, this is a small café located in the back of an upscale boutique. An usual but very cute combo.

Notably, almost everything on the menu here is gluten free. When we visited, the only item containing gluten was the croissants, stored in the glass case. Honestly, Green Pineapple Café is sooo close to being the first and only dedicated gluten free spot in Key West (and the entire Florida Keys!) and I really wish they’d remove the croissants and just take that step! Okay, personal celiac vendetta-rant over, haha.

Gluten free key west fl restaurant Green Pineapple is 99% gluten free. Pictured is an open face salmon bagel.
My delicious gluten free salmon bagel!

As for the food here, it is very health-focused (lots of vegan options) and so yummy. My friend Mary and I shared a green juice, and the open-faced salmon and cashew cream cheese on a gluten free bagel. A bit messy, but the bagel was super crispy and the salmon was just right.

We went to the nearby Key West Lighthouse and Earnest Hemingway House afterwards; it’s a great brunch stop before or after some classic Key West activities!

Address: Green Pineapple Cafe, 1130 Duval St, Key West, FL 33040

A white interior of a cafe with four brown tables and handing houseplants.
The beautiful interior of Green Pineapple Cafe, which is also a boutique.
Sarah, a white woman with brown hair, smiles and holds a gluten free bagel.
Me and my child – ahem – I mean gluten free bagel.

Cuban Coffee Queen – Only Coffee is GF

Cuban Coffee Queen is an incredibly popular casual coffee counter in Key West, known for their coffees (obviously) and Cuban sandwiches. I checked it out and unfortunately, but not surprisingly, none of the food here is gluten free.

However, coffee is naturally GF so I still got to join some of the experience! Definitely worth a stop for a great to-go coffee, and to join in with any gluten-eating travel companions who want to try their famous sandwiches.

Sarah's hand holding a black coffee cup that reads "cuban coffee queen".
A black takeout coffee cup that reads "drink more cuban coffee and do stupid things faster"
I loved this quote haha.

Half Shell Raw Bar ☆

Half Shell Raw Bar is an iconic 50+ year old restaurant by the marina, known for their assortment of raw (and cooked!) seafood options and quirky dive bar-esque atmosphere. We came here for the classic Key West experience, and because I figured at the very least the raw oysters would be gluten free.

I ended up being blown away by how accommodating the staff was here for my celiac needs! I ate way better than expected; a lot of that is down to our really lovely waitress who checked every ingredient and even brought out the barbecue sauce bottle for me to check the label myself!

An aerial view of a table with multiple plates of vegetables, salads, and oysters.
What a spread!!

We ordered a platter of raw oysters, the barbecued oysters, and the fish dip. For the fish dip, they brought us two separate plates: one with just vegetables for me, and one with the gluten-containing crackers for Mary.

(Side note: Mary had her first ever raw oysters here and it was a beautiful sight to behold, haha).

When dessert rolled around, our waitress informed us that their chocolate cake was actually gluten free, and even though I was stuffed, please tell me how I was supposed to resist a surprise GF treat like that?! Obviously we ordered it and it was delicious.

Address: Half Shell Raw Bar, 231 Margaret St, Key West, FL 33040

A sign that reads "eat it raw, half shell raw bar key west". Raw bar is a gluten free key west restaurant.
Sarah's hand holding an oyster.
A chocolate cake.
This gluten free, flourless chocolate cake at Half Shell Raw Bar was absolutely delicious.

Seaside Café at the Mansion

I was sooo excited to try Seaside Café at the Mansion, which is the open-air café attached to the gorgeous Mansion on the Sea. The reason? I saw on their website that they offer gluten free lobster pizza. I know, right?!

However, I was also pretty hesitant because pizza is one of the most difficult items to make in a celiac safe way. So, I tried not to get my hopes up as I sat down at the bar with all my gluten free questions ready to ask.

After some lengthy discussions with the waiter and chef, I discovered this: the gluten free pizza base is certified gluten free, and when you tell them it’s an allergy/celiac, they will change gloves, cook it on aluminum foil surface, and on the top shelf of the oven.

They did inform me that the pizzas are all cooked in the same oven, and so they cannot guarantee no cross contact from airborne gluten in the kitchen.

A cheesy piece of lobster pizza - gluten free pizza in key west.
Gluten free pizza in Key West, YES PLEASE!

For me personally, that was good enough (note that I was also dining right when they opened, and it wasn’t busy at all). In my experience, a separate gluten free oven isn’t always necessary. After all, it’s not like I have my own separate oven at home!

The other steps like changing gloves, top shelf, and most importantly a barrier between the oven surface, are more essential. Be sure to confirm all those factors when you visit.

The lobster pizza was pricy, but honestly? Totally worth the splurge for this unique Key West dish. They do not skimp on the lobster. The garlic butter combined with tons of juicy lobster was divine and one of my favorite meals in the Florida Keys.

Address: Seaside Café at the Mansion, 1400 Duval St, Key West, FL 33040

Gluten free pizza in key west.
My absolutely glorious gluten free lobster pizza!!!
the southernmost mansion is light pink, white, and blue with a turret and wrap around porch and blue skies behind it.
The beautiful Mansion on the Sea. This is the southernmost house in the contiguous USA. It is possible to stay here!

Moondog Cafe – Not Celiac Safe

I checked out Moondog Cafe because I read some reviews on FMGF about their gluten free baked goods. Unfortunately, when we visited all of the gluten free baked goods were intermixed with (and sometimes touching!!!) the gluten-containing ones in the display case. Eek.

For me, that’s an immediate NO. If, however, you are gluten sensitive and don’t avoid cross contact then it may be an option for you so I wanted to mention it here. Selfishly, I do wish restaurants would only advertise gluten free food if it’s actually gluten free.

Address: Moondog Cafe, 823 Whitehead St, Key West, FL 33040

More Gluten Free Key West Restaurants

Yes, there are even more gluten free Key West restaurants to check out! I did a lot of research before our trip, and marked some promising restaurants on my Google maps. However, I didn’t have time to try them all.

I’ll share some other suggestions below, but keep in mind that I did not eat at these myself so I can’t comment on cross contact!

More gluten free restaurants in Key West:

  • Misohappy Sushi and Thai: Sushi restaurant that can accommodate gluten free and has gluten free soy sauce. I’m a sucker for sushi so this will be one of my first stops on a return visit.
  • Mangia Mangia: Italian restaurant that has gluten free pasta; however I am unsure about cross contact. Be sure to ask about separate boiling, and if they have a separate machine to make the GF pasta (I believe it’s homemade).
  • Conch Republic Seafood Company: Local institution specializing in seafood. Gluten free options are marked on the menu, and include a GF conch chowder.
  • El Siboney: Popular Cuban restaurant with some mixed reviews on GF options.
  • Better Than Sex Dessert Bar: A late-night dessert bar that typically has a couple gluten free options every day; I am unsure about cross contact and there is clearly a lot of wheat flour on site so be sure to check.

Where to Find Gluten Free Key Lime Pie

Okay, if you’re like me than at this point you’re wondering: can I get gluten free key lime pie in Key West?!

My answer is YES!!

I ate some absolutely incredible gluten free key lime pie in Key West, as well as at multiple other shops along our Florida Keys road trip.

I actually wrote a separate blog post all about where to find gluten free key lime pie, so please check that out for the locations.

I’ve also included the locations in my gluten free Florida Keys map, which you can find by scrolling further down this post!

RELATED | Where to Find Gluten Free Key Lime Pie in Key West

Gluten free key lime pie in key west
I found six places to get gluten free key lime pie in the Florida Keys!! Check out my other article for all the details.
Sarah smiles as she spoons out gluten free key lime pie in a cup.
Gluten free key lime “pie in a cup” – find out more about it in my other article.

Where to Stay in Key West if You’re Gluten Free

While in Key West, we stayed at The Gardens Hotel and despite some hiccups I would recommend it.

Here, you will get a classic Key West experience with a historic house, a stunning and peaceful inner courtyard that features a lush garden, a big pool, daily outdoor breakfast included in your room rate, champagne upon arrival, a high-tech wine cellar, valet parking, and even a resident tortoise!

RELATED | Best Places to Stay in the Florida Keys

Sarah wears a black swimsuit and walks into a swimming pool.
The wonderful pool atThe Gardens Hotel.
A wine cellar.
The wine bar is pay-per-pour! Luckily, wine is gluten free 😉

If you caught me saying “daily breakfast” above then of course you may be wondering about gluten free options. I have to say, this is where I was disappointed, as I’d really looked forward to breakfast here and had even emailed with them to confirm the gluten free breakfast options in advance.

During our stay, I discovered they use one toaster for both the gluten and gluten free breads, which is obviously a huge no. Their single waiter for all guests seemed very overwhelmed and told me they did not have the space or time to grill the bread, instead. The yogurt parfait also came with gluten-containing granola which were already prepped, so I couldn’t have that, either.

Instead, I had coffee, juice, and cut up fruit. I have to say, this is an area of improvement for The Gardens Hotel but all being said, it is a beautiful property with a great location so I’d still recommend it for those reasons.

Check Rates for The Gardens Hotel Here

The bed at Garden Hotel Key West.
The green and white front porch of Garden Hotel Key West.

Gluten Free Florida Keys

That sums up Key West, but what about the rest of the Florida Keys?! As I mentioned, I spent about a week road tripping the Florida Keys so I have plenty more gluten free tips to share.

Below are my gluten free restaurant recommendations for:

  • Islamorada
  • Key Largo
  • Marathon
  • And more!

Gluten Free Islamorada

Islamorada is where we stayed for the first couple nights of our road trip. It has sparkling clear waters, perfect for paddleboarding. Islamorada is also known for its sports fishing and I had a great half-day here going fishing with Captain Matt Bellinger of Bamboo Charters (read more about that below!).

Gluten Free Islamorada Restaurants

It may just be a small string of islands, but Islamorada oddly has some of my favorite (and objectively, best) gluten free restaurants in the entire Florida Keys. It’s definitely worth a stop and basing yourself here for a couple days along your road trip.

Twisted Shrimp ☆

Ohhhh, Twisted Shrimp! I have to say that this tiny roadside establishment is one of the BEST options for celiacs in the Florida Keys, and I categorize it as a MUST STOP.

Breaded and fried shrimp… need I say more?! (Okay, okay, I will…)

From the outside, Twisted Shrimp looks like a low-key mom & pop establishment, and that’s exactly why I love it. Pull off the side of Overseas Highway, and grab a seat – preferably in the old boat that’s been reconverted to a picnic table.

The exterior of Twisted Shrimp restaurant. A sign reads 'twisted shrimp' and there is a wooden boat reconverted into a red picnic table.
Twisted Shrimp! Check out that boat-table!
The boat picnic table.
So happy we got to eat in the boat-table-booth-thing!!

A little over half the menu here can be made gluten free, and that includes fried shrimp, fish and chips, french fries, and more! Their fryer here is 100% gluten free – of course, double check when you visit. They also told me they prepped GF orders in a separate area of the kitchen. A celiac’s dream!

I opted for both the french fries and fried shrimp basket, because when can a celiac get fried shrimp, right where they’re caught?!

I did read that they’ve very recently had a change in ownership, but still offer the same menu. If you visit, I’d be interested in you sharing your experience in the comments below!

Address: Twisted Shrimp, 87745 Overseas Highway, Islamorada, FL 33036

Sarah bites into a sweet potato fry and smiles at the camera.
Can you tell how happy I was?!
A basket of gluten free fried shrimp.
Gluten free fried shrimp – say no more.

Chef Michael’s ☆

Chef Michael’s is a really beautiful little chef-driven, farm-to-table restaurant in Islamorada and is another that I’d categorize as a MUST VISIT.

Mary and I had one of our favorite meals of the trip here. Remember how I mentioned I went fishing with Bamboo Charters? Well, Captain Matt sent over our (albeit, measly) pile of Red Snapper, for Chef Michael to cook for our dinner.

(And if you don’t want to do catch-and-eat, don’t worry. Chef Michael’s has a normal menu, too!)

A white bowl of red soup.
The conch chowder at Chef Michael’s is also gluten free!

I’ve been fishing my whole life and I have to say this was a pretty bad catch of Snapper – sometimes they’re just not biting! So I was wondering how it would possibly fill us up for dinner.

Well, Chef Michael worked some magic and he dressed the fish up with a beautiful presentation, as well as some fresh crab, scallops, local vegetables, and delicious sauces. Our waitress was also really aware of celiac and everything that entailed – a lot of their menu is naturally gluten free, anyway.

Mary and I were stuffed (and Mary actually “didn’t like fish” until this dinner!). I highly recommend making a reservation here for dinner while in the Florida Keys.

Address: Chef Michael’s, 81671 Overseas Highway, Islamorada, FL 33036

NOTE | You can order lionfish at Chef Michael’s! Lionfish is an invasive species that is destroying the coral reef around the Florida Keys. Do your part in conservation and order lionfish for dinner – it’s yummy.

A plate of shrimp and scallops and fish covered in cream - gluten free restaurants florida keys.
Chef Michael really dressed up our fish! It was sooo good. I highly recommend!

Mangrove Mike’s ☆

Mangrove Mike’s is my favorite breakfast spot in the Florida Keys for gluten free options. There are tons! Gluten free toast, pancakes, wraps, and more.

Be sure to ask about cross contact here, but in my experience they are really knowledgeable about how to prepare food in a celiac-safe way.

I spoke to the waitress and she assured me that they would cook my gluten free pancakes and hash browns in a separate, clean pan which i very much appreciated! Mary ordered gluten free french toast (so I could share! Friend goals!) and they also prepped that safely. Side note: the pancakes are HUGE!

A large gluten free pancake. Gluten free breakfast florida keys.
This gluten free pancake was WAY bigger than my entire face.

I also loved the vibe. This is a down-home style diner where there’s unlimited refills on coffee, and you’ll either be cozying up in a plastic-seated booth or rubbing shoulders with local cops getting their coffee fix at the bar.

For us, it was the perfect breakfast stop before we continued our road trip down to Key West!

Address: Mangrove Mike’s, 82200 Overseas Highway, Islamorada, FL 33036

Blue chairs at a diner bar.
Loved the atmosphere at Mangrove Mike’s.
An aerial shot of a gluten free diner with gluten free pancakes and gluten free french toast in florida keys.
Our gluten free breakfast spread! Sooo delicious!

Where to Stay in Islamorada if You’re Gluten Free

While in Islamorada, we stayed two nights at Postcard Inn Beach Resort and Marina. We had an ocean view and direct access to their beach, as well as free bikes, stand up paddle boards, and kayaks (obviously, we took advantage!).

A white bed at Postcard Inn in Islamorada Florida.
Our room at Postcard Inn.
Sarah wears a black tank top and black and white skirt and sits on a bike with a wicker basket, surrounded by palm trees.
I loved the free bikes!

There are multiple restaurants on site at Postcard, but I did some investigating and didn’t find any of them to be particularly celiac friendly. This isn’t to say you shouldn’t stay here, just that you should plan to have your meals outside the resort.

Of the on site restaurants, gluten free options include:

  • Raw Bar: I would say this is your best bet for a meal or appetizers. Order some cocktails and a platter of naturally gluten free raw oysters. Bonus, the views are stunning!
  • Tiki Bar: Probably my favorite gluten free aspect of this place was the rum runners! Yes, Postcard Inn is where the (gluten free) rum runner cocktail was invented and you can order one from their Tiki Bar and sip it while gazing out at the ocean.
  • Starbucks: There is a Starbucks a very short walking-distance from the hotel, where we got our morning coffees and juices. There are also some gluten free granola bars here.

Check Rates for Postcard Inn Here

Red rum runner cocktail with ocean in the background.
The famous run runner – naturally gluten free, invented at Postcard Inn in Islamorada.
Two bar chairs look out at an expansive ocean.
The epic view from the Raw Bar at Postcard Inn.

Gluten Free Key Largo

Key Largo is an island in the more northern area of the Florida Keys, known for its stellar diving and stunning coral reef. This is where you can snorkel in the John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park, which is the United States’ first underwater park.

That was actually my plan, but sadly high winds canceled my snorkeling tour. Another reason to return to Key Largo, right?

Gluten Free Key Largo Restaurants

I did not stay overnight in Key Largo, and as a result I only tried out a couple restaurants. I’m sharing them both below!

The Fish House ☆

The Fish House is an award-winning restaurant and seafood market that is totally iconic among Florida Keys visitors.

They were featured on The Food Network’s Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives show and have won multiple awards, among them best seafood restaurant and best overall restaurant in the Florida Keys.

Of course, I was curious if I would actually be able to eat anything here, and I was pleasantly surprised!

First of all, after my visit I can totally see why they’ve also won an award for best service staff in the upper keys! The menu does mark some gluten free options, but my waiter was also sooo incredibly helpful in double checking how everything was prepared.

A blue sign reads "in order to guarantee freshness all fish served in this restaurant are purchased whole and pilleted on premise daily".
The Fish House – home of ultra fresh fish!

I ordered the snapper with Matecumbe preparation – that’s their house specialty which has been featured on many TV shows. I’ve never had fish prepared this way before: a savory, salty, tangy flavor explosion of capers, lemon, shallots, juicy fresh tomatoes, and more, all melded together and infused into freshly caught fish.

I would highly recommend dining at The Fish House if you stay in or pass through Key Largo. They’ll keep you safe as a celiac, and your gluten-eating companions will absolutely love it, too.

Address: The Fish House, 102401 Overseas Highway, Key Largo, FL 33037

A red neon sign that says 'seafood' behind a bar with a glass tank of fresh whole fish.
Gluten free lunch in Key Largo.
The famous Matecumbe dish – would go back just for this!

Backyard Café at Key Largo Fisheries

Backyard Cafe at Key Largo Fisheries is the other place that I ate in Key Largo, and it was actually my first meal along our Florida Keys road trip.

I have to say, this popular open air, harbor-side cafe is absolutely full of fried fish and bread/buns and therefore not celiac friendly.

However, I was surprised that despite all this gluten on the premises, the staff here was super accommodating about offering me some options. After speaking to them, I was able to order steamed lobster tails and sauteed vegetables with butter and rice.

Not my favorite meal in the Florida Keys by far, nor the most gluten free options, but it was nice to be able to participate in eating at this popular place.

If your travel companions are gluten-eaters or seafood lovers, they’ll probably want to stop here and I can attest that there are at least a few things you can eat, too.

Address: Backyard Café at Key Largo Fisheries, 1313 Ocean Bay Dr., Key Largo, FL 33037

Lobster tail sits on a pile of steamed vegetables.
My gluten free meal at Backyard Cafe.

Gluten Free Marathon FL

Marathon is a city set across 13 islands on the southern Florida Keys. It’s about a one hour drive from Key West, and was our final stop on our Florida Keys road trip before we drove back to Miami Airport.

Marathon is famous for a few activities – among them, the Turtle Hospital which I highly recommend you make time to visit (I have since become the adopter of two turtles!). You can also visit Pigeon Key by biking or taking a tram along the recently renovated Historic Old Seven Mile Bridge.

Personally, I fell completely in love with our accommodation in Marathon and just wanted to spend all my time there. It was hard to leave! Read more about it below.

Gluten Free Marathon FL Restaurants

I had one of the most beautiful dining experiences of my entire Florida Keys road trip in Marathon – inclusive of gluten free key lime pie! Read about it below.

Mahina at Isla Bella Beach Resort ☆

Mahina is the on-site restaurant at Isla Bella Beach Resort, which is where we stayed in Marathon.

It’s a chef-driven restaurant with a Polynesian-inspired menu, drawing from chef Pavy Keomaniboth’s Hawaiian roots as well as cuisine from every other country that touches the Pacific Ocean. Add in a few Florida Keys spins, and expansive ocean views with a large al fresco dining space, and you’ve got the recipe for the perfect final meal of our Florida Keys road trip!

Sarah's hand holds a pink cocktail with a dark ocean in the background.
Not to mention.. their cocktails are also wonderful!
Sarah holds a key lime pie martini and smiles at the camera.
Of course I got the key lime pie cocktail (minus graham cracker rim)!

Gluten free options are not marked on the menu here, but a number of dishes are naturally gluten free or can be modified to be gluten free. I was happily surprised by how knowledgeable our waitress was about gluten. She told us another member of staff has celiac disease, and so they are all educated and extra careful when it comes to us celiacs.

I ordered the filet mignon which quite literally melted in my mouth. I devoured it. For dessert, I ordered the key lime pie martini (minus the graham cracker rim). That was before our waitress came out to tell me that she’d just double checked, and the key lime pie on the menu was actually gluten free! Obviously we had to order that, too. Read more about it in my gluten free key lime pie guide.

Mahina serves both breakfast and dinner. You will need reservation for dinner, and it is possible to dine here if you are not a guest, but call ahead.

Address: Isla Bella Beach Resort, 1 Knights Key Blvd., Marathon, FL 33050

RELATED | Where to Find Gluten Free Key Lime Pie in the Florida Keys

Aerial view of two plates one is filet mignon and the other is a pork chop.
Our dinners at Mahina (my filet mignon is the lower one).
A gluten free key lime pie.
I will NEVER turn down a surprise gluten free key lime pie! Read more about where to find GF key lime pies in my other article!

Irie Island Eats

Irie Island Eats is another gluten free Marathon FL dining option. I did not personally have time to eat here, but it was on my list so I want to put it on your radar, too!

This is a casual food truck with a tropical menu that serves lunch daily and dinner three days a week. Anything that contains gluten is marked with a wheat symbol on the menu. Gluten free options here include various bowls, tacos, and salads and it sounds like the staff is quite knowledgeable about what sauces and marinades contain gluten.

If you eat here, leave me a comment below and let other gluten free folks know how it is!

Address: Irie Island Eats, 4540 Overseas Hwy, Marathon, FL 33050

Where to Stay in Marathon if You’re Gluten Free

As I mentioned above, we both LOVED our accommodation in Marathon: Isla Bella Beach Resort.

First of all, the property itself is stunning. It spans 24 acres with one mile of beach. This means epic sunset views, ocean swimming access, five pools, a boardwalk, bike and SUP rental, and multiple (gluten free friendly!) dining options on site. Of course we adored Mahina, but there is also the Marketplace Cafe.

Sarah stands by a bike. She is wearing a white linen shirt and jean shorts, and looks away from the camera. Surrounded by tall palm trees.
Once again, we took advantage of free bikes!
Isla Bella luxury resort in Marathon Florida.
The serene Isla Bella, view from our room!

Second of all, our room! Every room at Isla Bella has an ocean view (swoon!) and a balcony to boot. The beds are cozy and the blue-and-white design is reminiscent of the nearby ocean. And the bathroom… oh, the bathroom! I won’t give too much away, but this was my dream bathroom.

Final touches are the champagne upon arrival, a (totally gluten free!) cheese and fruit platter that was sent up to our room, and the super friendly and helpful staff. I also think the prices are reasonable, considering it is a luxury resort.

Check Rates for Isla Bella Beach Resort Here

Sarah holds a glass of champagne.
I will always appreciate a hotel that offers champagne on arrival, haha.
Sarah wears a blue bathrobe and blue and white striped towel in her hair, and looks out at the ocean while sipping coffee from her balcony at Isla Bella Resort.
Living my boujie beachy dream life at Isla Bella!

Bonus 1: Gluten Free Tropical Fruits Experience in the Florida Keys ☆

Our tour at Grimal Grove was an absolute highlight of my entire time in the Florida Keys. Taking a tour here is a MUST DO for any fellow gluten free folks who love experiential foodie-focused travel, like I do.

Basically, Grimal Grove is a tropical fruits grove on Big Pine Key, with a fascinating history spanning from its founding by reclusive exotic fruit hunter, Adolf Grimal, to its years as a run-down squatter’s lot, to its current rebirth and renovation by Florida Keys resident, Patrick Garvey. Trust me, the history is captivating and you will learn all about it if you visit.

I highly recommend signing up for one of their Tropical Fruit Hunting Tours if you visit. It’s the perfect lunch stop on a drive down to Key West, as it’s only about a 40 minute drive away.

Mango trees at Grimal Grove.
Grimal Grove – a must do in the Florida Keys for my fellow foodie travelers!

Our tour consisted of exploring the grove, learning about the exotic plants and history, and… then came the (gluten free!) food.

We got to grind our own sugarcane for drinks, before tasting a variety of bread-fruit based foods including breadfruit chips, curry, pickles, and more. We also got to finish up with a tasting of breadfruit-based vodkas. And yes, despite its name, breadfruit is gluten free!

Tours take about 75-90 minutes, and are incredibly reasonably priced at only $35 for adults and $10 for children. If you visit, tell Patrick that Sarah from Endless Distances says hi!

Book Your Tropical Fruit Hunting Tour Here

Gluten free fried breadfruit.
Fried breadfruit chips…YUM! You need to try these!
Two blue drinking glasses sit next to each other on a cutting board.
Our super delicious sugarcane, coconut, and key lime concoction!

Bonus 2: Gluten Free Friendly B&B on Big Pine Key

Deer Run on the Atlantic is a lovely little organic, vegan bed and breakfast on Big Pine Key, who are well-versed in gluten free needs and can accommodate celiacs.

I was connected to them by Patrick Garvey (who runs Grimal Grove, above). The owners made me the most delicious box of gluten free chocolate-coconut bars that Mary and I devoured on our drive down to Key West.

Unfortunately, I haven’t gotten the opportunity to stay here myself but it is definitely on my radar for a return trip to the Florida Keys. Their location on a natural, secluded beach sounds just stunning. Definitely check them out!

Check Rates for Deer Run B&B Here

Gluten Free Key West and the Florida Keys Map

PHEW! This blog post is huge, and now it’s time for you to start planning your Florida Keys trip!

To help you navigate your way around the Florida Keys, I created this map of gluten free options. You can download it to your phone and use it yourself, in combination with this blog post!

Gluten free Key West and Florida Keys map key:

  • Dark blue: dedicated gluten free (none – yet!)
  • Light blue: non-dedicated gluten free but celiac friendly
  • Green: gluten free key lime pie!
  • Purple: may have gluten free options, but I have not been yet myself to confirm
  • Red house icon: my top recommended places to stay
  • Yellow star icon: Grimal Grove fruit tours

Final Thoughts on Gluten Free Travel in the Florida Keys

As you can see by this lengthy blog post, there are many celiac-safe gluten free options in the Florida Keys and Key West. You just have to know where to look!

I hope this blog post is helpful to you. I do my best to keep my gluten free guides updated, so if you have any changes or updates to note after your visit, please leave me a comment below!

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Check out this gluten free Key West guide, including gluten free eats across the Florida Keys (including Islamorada, Marathon, & Key Largo).
Check out this gluten free Key West guide, including gluten free eats across the Florida Keys (including Islamorada, Marathon, & Key Largo).

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