Dolphin (Mahi Mahi) Fish Tacos, Key West Style

I absolutely love tacos. Living down here in Key West, fish tacos are a pretty common menu item at just about any seafood restaurant. The fish of choice is typically mahi mahi (also known as dolphin fish or dorado) as this species are pretty prolific in our waters. Mahi can be substituted of course for another type of fish like snapper, grouper, etc. 

Capt. Steven Lamp posing with a mahi mahi after a fun day of deep sea fishing on the INXS out of Oceanside Marina in Key West.

Best Fish Tacos in Key West

There are a ton of places to get a fish taco on our island. Here are some of my absolute favorites! 

  • Hogfish Bar and Grill is my goto place for fish tacos. The Hogfish is known for, you guessed it, hogfish. So, of course I order hogfish tacos here. Their Baja style fish tacos are so yummy! Fried fish topped with a slightly spicy Baja sauce, cabbage, jalapeños, and tomatoes just meld into a flavor explosion! 
  • BO’s Fish Wagon located on Caroline Street has to have good fish tacos with a name like Fish Wagon! And I can tell you that they do not disappoint! 
  • DJ’s Clam Shack is my stop when I am looking for a quick bite and I am in the Duval Street area. The fish tacos are so tasty, and I love them paired with their hand cut fries. Just so good! 
  • Chico’s Cantina has both Baja fish tacos and pan seared fish tacos. Topped with onions, lettuce, tomatoes, queso fresco, how can you go wrong with either option? Plus, pairing it with their delicious salsa and guacamole just makes them special. 
  • Kaya Island Eats tops their mahi tacos with a key lime slaw and a mango and pineapple salsa. These are really tasty, and pair well with one of their amazing island drinks! 

Island Gen’s Key West Fish Taco Recipe

While it is all well and good to be able to enjoy fish tacos in Paradise, not everyone can be so lucky as to live here year round. So, here is my rendition of fish tacos that you can try at home!


  • 4 mahi mahi filets (can substitute another fish if you wish)
  • 1-2 T Old Bay (or your favorite seafood seasoning)
  • 1 lime, cut into wedges
  • 1/4 C fresh red or green cabbage, shredded
  • 1/4 C fresh chopped cilantro
  • 1/4 C red onions, diced
  • 1/4 C fresh tomatoes, diced
  • 1/4 C fresh or canned pineapple, diced
  • 1 -2 fresh jalapeños, thinly sliced OR pickled jalapeños (OPTIONAL)
  • 1/2 C shredded Mexican blend cheese or queso fresco
  • 8 corn or flour tortillas
  • 1/4 C Mayo (Hellman’s or Duke’s preferred)
  • 1/4 C Sour Cream (Breakstones preferred)
  • 1-5 T Hot Sauce of your choice (Sriracha preferred)


  • Rinse mahi filets and pat dry. Sprinkle both sides of mahi with Old Bay.
  • Sauté mahi in pan with some olive oil until is turns white and flaky. Alternately, you can place the mahi on a baking sheet and cook for about 15 minutes in a preheated 400 degree oven.
  • In a separate bowl, combine the mayo, sour cream, and hot sauce to your taste. Set aside.
  • Warm up tortillas by either placing them in a large, dry skillet over medium heat for 30 seconds per side. Or, place 4 at a time on a microwavable plate and cover with a damp paper towel. Microwave for 30 seconds. 
  • Place half of a cooked mahi filet on each tortilla. Squeeze a wedge of lime on the fish. Top with the cabbage, cilantro, onions, tomatoes, pineapple, jalepenos, and cheese. Drizzle with the sauce that you put aside. 

Booking A Charter for Dolphin (Mahi Mahi)

Many people come to Key West specifically to fish. Mahi Mahi can potentially be caught year round here in the waters off of Key West. Although, the best months to catch these critters is May through August. Anglers can fish for Mahi Mahi along with other species on a Deep Sea Fishing Charter.

Catch and release of the fish is always possible if the fish are not wanted. Others want to bring the fish home with them, and there is an option to do that. But, most people end up keeping just a few fish to enjoy while on the island. Those staying in a vacation rental can prepare it for themselves. But, for those that don’t want to cook on vacation, or for those staying at a hotel without kitchen facilities, the fish can be taken to one of the many local restaurants here that will cook your catch for you.

More About Key West

See what is happening on the island during your visit by checking out our Key West Events Calendar. And, for other things to do and see in our island city, go to our Key West Web Site.

But, before making your reservations for dinner while in Key West check out our restaurant reviews! I am sure that Fish Tacos won’t be on your list for every night of the week! Feel free to Email Me if you have any questions about Key West!!

Island Genn
Key West Concierge

About the author: Island Genn

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