Chico’s Cantina, located at 5230 US HWY 1 on Stock Island serves traditional Mexican fare at reasonable rates. It is a regular spot for Key West locals to gather for lunch or dinner. The casual setting offers both indoor and outdoor seating. I myself eat here often, usually for a quick and delicious lunch.
By far, Chico’s has the best chips and salsa anywhere, and it is prepared fresh each day. But there is a danger with filling up on these before your food arrives. You can choose from steaks, seafood specials, tacos, burritos, fajitas, enchiladas, chimichangas, quesadillas, eggs, soups, and salads. Fillings include bean, ground beef, shredded beef, chicken, shredded pork, and cheese. You can choose from several sauces as well, like Verde, chili, melted cheese, and several others. They also have gringo foods like hamburgers and hotdogs (two of the few items that I’ve never eaten here).
I have had just about everything on the menu here and I have never had a bad meal. But as with anything, I do have my favorites. Here are my top picks:
- Cayo Hueso Salad
- Chicken and Shrimp Fajitas
- Seafood Enchiladas
- Chicken Enchiladas
- Chicken Quesadillas
- Spinach and Portabella Mushroom Quesadillas
- Deluxe Beef and Bean Tacos (hard shell)
- Deluxe Chicken Tacos (soft shell)
- Asparagus Enchiladas (specialty)
Chico’s also serves delicious sangria, margaritas, and beers.
On top of the great food, the service is very good as well. Owners Jeff and Deborah make sure of that. Someone is always there to refill and empty drink or get another basket of chips and salsa for you when you run out. And the staff seems like they are having fun while taking care of you.
If you are looking for a casual dining experience with good Mexican food and service to match, you have to give Chico’s a try.
Island Genn – Your Key West Concierge