Restaurant Review – Rusty Anchor

Rusty Anchor Fish Sandwich
Rusty Anchor, Key West Fish Sandwich

The Rusty Anchor Restaurant and Seafood Market has been around for a long, long time. Mainly locals dine here as it is located on Stock Island away from the touristy areas of Key West. Their menu has local seafood favorites like dolphin, yellowtail, calamari, clams, shrimp, conch, and crab as well as burgers, ribs, and steaks. We go here on occasion for lunch or dinner, and many make this their weekly dinner spot every Wednesday for Prime Rib night.

We brought out friend from out of town here for lunch the other day so that he could experience a traditional Key West seafood restaurant in the comfortable air conditioned dining room. We ordered fish dip, calamari, peel and eat shrimp, fries, and a yellowtail sandwich.

Since this is a fish house with the shrimp docks just a block away as well as a restaurant, you would think that their seafood would be fresh. Not so with the shrimp which was mushy and definitely not fresh. The fish dip was excellent, best part of the meal. The calamari was not bad; it was a little bland but their house cocktail sauce which is amazing fixed that up. The fries were good, but you can’t really screw those up, can you? And the yellowtail sandwich was tasty, but when they served it I could not believe how little fish was on the huge bun. Seriously, the fish only covered half of the bun.

Our waitress was good, and we never had to ask for drink refills, but we did have to ask for napkins. And when we told her that we thought that the fish sandwich was pitiful (nicely of course), she rudely said that they sell a lot of them and no one else seems to care. Perhaps because the sandwich normally comes with dolphin (which I cannot stand so I had them substitute yellowtail for me for an extra $2.00) that the portion was sooo small; but if I am paying extra, you’d think that they would at least put enough fish on the sandwich to cover most of the bun. And there was no excuse at all for the shrimp being less than fresh.

I would not say that this experience turned me off forever, but service and food quality definitely lack consistency here.

The Rusty Anchor is located at 5510 3rd Avenue in Stock Island, Florida. Their phone number is 305-296-2983. Their hours are Monday through Saturday rom 11:00 AM to 10:00 PM.

For more information about things to do and see in our island city, go to our Key West Web Site. You can also visit our Key West Events Calendar to see upcoming special events. And for more restaurant reviews check out our restaurant review section of this blogas well as our restaurant reviews at

Island Genn – Your Key West Concierge

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