We take our coffee seriously in Key West, especially our Cuban coffee. Want something to wake you up and keep you going during a full day of house shopping with me in Key West? A Cuban coffee will do just that. We can see as many homes as needed without getting tired. While there might be many imitations on the island, Cuban Coffee Queen is one spot where you can go for authentic Cuban coffee. One of our favorites in town, this little hole-in-the wall not only serves up one of the best cafés con leche, but also some delicious sandwiches. However, what’s even sweeter is its location. Cuban Coffee Queen is on the water at the Key West Historic Seaport.
Made with Café Domino, the espresso from Cuban Coffee Queen is the real deal. Choose from Cuban specialties like the café con leche, prepared with steamed milk; the bucci, i.e. Cuban espresso; or the colada, which is espresso with pure cane sugar. Other concoctions by Cuban Coffee Queen include Cuban vanilla coffee, “gringo” coffee and caramel coffee. However, considering the Key West sunshine, most people opt for the café con leche over ice, which is especially good here. The secret? They make their ice cubes with coffee – and it makes all the difference. No longer will you have to sacrifice caffeine in your iced coffee.
If you’re stopping by in the morning, order the Key Wester, which is one of the spot’s most famous breakfast sandwiches. Made with eggs, American cheese, and your choice of mojo pork, bacon, ham or chorizo, the Key Wester doesn’t disappoint. However, there’s also breakfast burritos, croissants, Cuban toast and guava marmalade, and fruit smoothies. Although the original spot doesn’t have tables and chairs, it is next to the water, which translates to gorgeous views and quite possibly the best start to your morning.
And then there are the sandwiches. These you have to try. Made with a generous helping of Cuban-style pork, these sandwiches are enough to feed two. Some favorites include the traditional Cuban Mix on sweet, pressed Cuban bread, filled with mojo pork, ham, Swiss cheese, pickles, mayo, mustard and lettuce. If you’re a bacon-lover, get the Cuban Queen Mix with three meats, American cheese and bacon, lettuce and tomato. However, if you like your sandwich with a kick, consider the José Martí or the Caliente Cuban Mix. The José Martí adds provolone and horseradish, while the Caliente Cuban Mix offers pepper jack cheese and jalepeños. Either way, they’re all mouth-watering.
But aside from the strong coffee and great sandwiches, there are several other reasons we keep coming back. Cuban Coffee Queen is consistently good.. No matter how long the lines are (and yes, there are lines in high season), the quality remains the same. It’s also quite the reasonably priced breakfast or lunch, which as you probably know, is not always the case in Key West. We also love that the portions are generous, which makes Cuban Coffee Queen ideal for sharing with friends and family. It’s a local’s spot in the heart of Old Town, and the perfect stop for breakfast or lunch in close proximity to 24 North Hotel.
For more menu options, consult the menu. There is a second location in downtown Key West at Key Lime Square, yet I tend to be fond of the original.
Authentic Cuban Coffee will become a regular staple in your new Florida Keys house you buy from me. I know I have a colada (The strongest of the Cuban coffees) every morning before going out to help another happy client buy their dream home.