Sloppy Joe's, Key West

4 out of 5 stars 17 Reviews

201 Duval Street, Key West 305-294-5717

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  • Sloppy Joe's
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    Sloppy Joe's
    by TravellerMel
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    Sloppy Joe's Bar
    by TravellerMel
  • starship's Profile Photo

    Capt. Tony's Saloon: Once a Hideaway for a Literary Giant

    by starship Updated Jun 6, 2014

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    In the mid to late 1930s, the famous writer, Ernest Hemingway, called Key West his home. During the better portion of these years, Hemingway was exceptionately productive as an author. One of his favorite places was the bar at "Sloppy Joe's Saloon." Today, "Capt. Tony's Saloon" stands on the spot of the ORIGINAL "Sloppy Joe's." The present day "Sloppy Joe's" is only connected to Hemingway by the name.

    The owner of "Sloppy Joe's" (now "Capt. Tony's Saloon") was Josie Russell, who cashed a $1,000 check for Hemingway when the banks would not. This was on Hemingway's first visit to Key West and from then on Josie and "Papa" Hemingway were fast friends. They took fishing trips to Cuba and Hemingway incorporated Russell into his book, "To Have and Have Not" as Capt. Freddie. Hemingway met a cadre of people during his stay in Key West which eventually became characters in his many books. It was also at "Sloppy Joe's/Capt. Tony's" where Hemingway met his 3rd wife, Martha. Hemingway eventually moved to Cuba with her.

    Favorite Dish: It's said that Hemingway's favorite drink was "Teachers", a cheap scotch and soda drink, but bartenders also liked to make "Papa Dobles" for him though his favorite remained scotch and soda.

    Hemingway's bar stool remains today at Capt. Tony's!

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    Sloppy Joe's Bar: You've just got to.....

    by Zlur Updated Jun 5, 2003

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Be it a smoothie or just a plain old regular joe! You can't go to Keywest and not go to Sloppy Joe's! It's packed with Ernest Hemingway photographs hung up on the wall and memorablia... he used to hang out there a lot, and most of the locals still remember him! There's also a competition every year for the Ernest Hemingway look-a-like contest! :)

    Sloppy Joe's Bar

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    Sloppy Joe's: Its Sloppy Joe's - or is it???!!!

    by Gillybob Updated Jul 27, 2010

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Well, the answer is - its the modern Sloppy Joe's - but the original was located in what is now Captain Tony's on Greene Street. But still, its got a great ambience and does great Sloppy Joe sandwiches!

    Favorite Dish: It may not be the Sloppy Joe's of Heminway's days, but the Sloppy Joe's sandwich is still delicious!! And well worth a visit.

    Sloppy Joe's Sloppy's own brew Sloppy Joe's stage The Original Sloppy Joe's!!

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    Sloppy Joe's: You Must Have a Sloppy Joe Here!

    by FatesWarn Updated Jun 21, 2007

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    I have only had two things here: the Sloppy Joe and a side of French Fries. Their fries are just right, and their Sloppy Joes are incredible. I typically go in at lunchtime and there are plenty of available tables, live music, and sometimes a few chickens running around.

    Favorite Dish: I'm sure their other food is good, but I will never get past the Sloppy Joe - they're much better than you remember as a kid. Just be sure to give it a minute or two to cool down, it's seriously hot and you want it to be cool enough to taste how good it is.

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    Sloppy Joe's Bar: Sloppy Joe's Bar: A Key West Tradition

    by TravellerMel Written Mar 9, 2011

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Walking around Duval Street looking for a place to have lunch, we walked past Sloppy Joe's Bar. Live music came from the inside, and with the windows/doors all open and a crowd of people inside, it looked like just the place! It took just a minute to find a table, but the waitress was on the spot to take our drink orders. The service was fast, but not rushed. We enjoyed the atmosphere very much, and the food was good and reasonably priced.

    Favorite Dish: I enjoyed my sloppy joe sandwich, although I had to eat it with a knife and fork (hello - it was sloppy!) We split an order of french fries, and even then could not finish them. It was a fun place to rest and refuel!

    Sloppy Joe's Bar A Sloppy Joe! Lunch at Sloppy Joe's Sloppy Joe's Sloppy Joe's
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    Sloppy Joe's: Checked It Off the List

    by vabchtraveler Written Nov 21, 2012

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    I had such great expectations based on other reviews and hearsay. And, truthfully, it wasn't bad. The service was quick, professional, and pleasant. The atmosphere was what I expected so that was a plus, too. There was music until we got there and then the guy took a break about the time we sat down. Oh, well - that can't be helped. The food came quickly and was hot and tasty - I had conch fritters and my friend had barbecue. So what's the beef? I'll tell you. How can you NOT sell Frozen Lime Daiquiris in Key West? Duh...famous for ...Key Limes..Key Lime Pie...Key Lime do-nuts, etc, etc! I finally settled for a Rum Collins - and it was disgusting, and should not have been. Places other than a bar in Key West seem to be able to do something tasty with rum and limes. And then, contrary to the menu I looked at on line - there was no cole slaw. So, you serve seafood and barbecue and NO cole slaw. What in the world? Not earth shattering to say the least, but a big disappointment to me. If you don't have to have a Lime Daiquiri or coleslaw, you'll probably get along just fine there. I'll try another place next time and hope for better luck.

    Favorite Dish: The conch fritters were quite good and were served hot - always a plus.

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    Sloppy Joe's Bar: Famous

    by grandmaR Updated Apr 4, 2011

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    I am not sure whether this is a tourist trap or a must-see or a shopping tip or a restaurant tip.

    I have not been to Sloppy Joes, since I don't do bars, and am not quite so enamoured of Hemingway as to want to go to one just because Hemingway did.

    But I did take a photo as my husband was driving down Duval.

    Favorite Dish: The website says:
    Since 1933 Sloppy Joe’s hospitable staff has welcomed patrons daily. Visiting the Internationally known bar, guests are instantly enveloped by the history of Sloppy Joe’s, Key West and Ernest Hemingway.

    Beginning at 9:00 a.m. customers enjoy their favorite beverage with something from the menu, or can shop at Sloppy Joe’s world-famous Retail Shop with over 300 souvenirs to choose from.

    Photo from car window

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  • Sloppy Joe's: C'mon, they can do better!

    by rockycomfort Written Feb 19, 2009

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Sure its a forever landmark and they could serve pelican urine only and remain crowded, but why let the food quality and drink strengths decline so much? We've been visiting there for years and sadly watch this slide downwards...and what? No more popcorn shrimp? Is everything here from pre-packaged, big-box, major food vendors?

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  • sloppy's joe: great food

    by seniorgonewild Written Apr 30, 2013

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    I just love this place, people friendly, I had the barbecue sandwich. When it came, I was not sure how it was going to be. I am used to shredded meat and it was chunks. When I tasted it, all thoughts of how it looked went out of my mind and I just enjoyed the taste. I would go back to the Keys just to eat here. Plus the staff was friendly, attentive, and I felt they wanted me to have a great tome there. and they had entertainment in the afternoon. It says it a key west tradition and I can see why.

    Favorite Dish: barbecue sandwich

    Related to:
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    • Seniors
    • Historical Travel

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    Sloppy Joe's: A Key West Tradition

    by lolitajane Written May 9, 2003

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The official beginning of this bar was in 1933.
    According to history, it was Hemingway himself who suggested the name "Sloppy Joe's". The writer used to spend a lot of time there, and when he left Key West left a lot of memorabilia today found at the bar.
    The place is lovely, there's good food, live music and entertainment. There's also a Retail Store where you can buy shirts, shot glasses, books, etc. with their logo.

    Favorite Dish: “Full Moon” Sandwich--Batter dipped, deep fried, and smothered with
    peppers, onions, mushrooms, and cheese...Yum, Yum! It was delicious!
    They have a great variety of beers --local & imported-- I had a cool Rollin' Rock.
    Don't forget to try the famous "Key Lime Pie".

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    Sloppy Joe's - Duval St, Key West

    by Ewingjr98 Updated Jan 17, 2010

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Sloppy Joe's is one of the most famous spots in Key West and for good reason... the food is good, but the entertainment is better. We stopped in for a bite to eat, but we stayed for a few drinks while we watched the hilarious singers perform. For food we enjoyed the roast beef sandwich with fries, which was basically a French dip sandwich (an expensive $9.75 for the sandwich) plus $3.50 for the fries. Definitely overpriced, but perhaps worth it to watch the band. Our drinks were $2 for the Coke and $4.75 for a Yuengling.

    Sure the singers are rude and obnoxious, but that is much of the fun. They might rip on gays, but they also rip on men, women, blacks, whites, straights, and everyone else, so don't get your panties in a bunch.

    The servers are friendly.

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    In orlando you can eat in so...

    by Ine_Timmers Written Aug 26, 2002

    1.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    In orlando you can eat in so many places but mind if you don't want to eat in Mc Donalds restaurants are a bit expensive.
    In miami I found a great place to eat in Bauside Marketplace it is on the first floor of the mall. There is an enormous food court .
    In key West try Sloppy Joes especially Key Lime Pie or the Sloppu Joes Burger.(picture)
    Try also theme restaurants especially in Orlando. It is a restaurant were you can eat while watching a show or performance.

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    Michael_D's Restaurant Tip

    by Michael_D Written Aug 24, 2002

    1.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    A LITERARY BANQUET. Americans arent particularly well versed in literary heros(even their own)...but Pappa Hemingway represents a literary hero that even most Americans recognise in that he created them AND was one himself. ---This is the house where Hemingway lived with his 3rd wife from 1931-61 ultimately his most productive years. It was actually built in 1851 but Hemingway added some essentials like a swimming pool and a legion of cats, some descendents still roam the grounds. Some of the plumbing fixtures are ruputed to have been lifted from Sloppy Joes Bar...but its never been substantiated. People tended NOT to confront ol Ernie because he had a rather consistent habit of calling people outside bars from Havana to Paris and boxing their ears. Its tended to cut down on the overall volume of unsubstantiated vicious rumors ill bet. AH the good old was all part of Papa's CODE of HONOR.

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    Sloppy Joe's: Legendary Landmark, Everyday Eats

    by BMWCubsMan Written Oct 24, 2009

    Sloppy Joe's could very well serve up stale bread and's a landmark. The suggestions I just made are not incredibly far off. Not to say the drinks are bad...they are on par with something you would expect at a small watering hole to serve. Some good, some bad. The food is right on par with an Applebee's, nothing special, just more of the same. Bottom line, you are paying for the name on the front and the street sign of where it's located. This said, the live music is great! Especially when Kenny Chesney and Peyton Manning get on stage and start singing! This is a rare occurrance that also happened at Hog's Breath...but it is really cool nonetheless!

    Favorite Dish: Gotta say...if you are at Sloppy Joe's...order a sloppy joe! Not to be obvious but when in the tropics I love to indulge in the fresh seafood. Sloppy Joe's is not the best food on Key West...but a must go to it is!

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    Sloppy Joe's: Get Sloppy drunk at Sloppy Joes

    by HotSpotJ Written Apr 30, 2005

    To tell you the truth I never ate a thing here. I didn't even know they served food. But this is under the restaurant heading so I guess they do. This is an almost famous bar in Key West, and the drinks are good as is the atmosphere, its a must stop on your way around the key

    Favorite Dish: If the food as good as the drinks, its all good!

    Sloppy Joes

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