Although certainly not strictly vegetarian, Blue Heaven (729 Thomas St., 305/296-8666, 8 a.m.–10:30 p.m. daily, main courses from $8) offers a selection of tofu- and vegetable-based dishes alongside their fresh seafood and meats. Veg-heads will want to start with a carrot and curry soup and work their way through Blue Heaven’s tofu stir-fry or a heaping plate filled with brown rice, grilled plantains, and black beans. Meat-lovers will rejoice in the excellent jerk chicken, the legendary seared grouper, or any of the restaurant’s daily seafood specials. The whimsical tropical surroundings—painted picnic tables, an upstairs “tree house” dining room—are quintessentially Key West .
There’s a community-centric vibe at The Cafe: A Mostly Vegetarian Place (509 Southard St., 305/296-5515, 11 a.m.–10 p.m. Mon.–Sat., main courses from $8). The cozy modern diner has seating at the bar area and at a few tables, and the low lights, hip music, and friendly staff make it incredibly comfortable. Although there are a few tofu dishes on the menu (like a fantastic barbecue tofu served home-style with sautéed spinach and roasted potatoes), most of the plates here are vegetable- and grain-based. Asian stir-fries can be made with tofu, seitan, or tuna, but are best with just the brown rice and mixed vegetables that constitute the base. The Cafe’s goat-cheese-topped polenta cakes are drenched in a chilled tomato sauce that makes for a great flavor-texture contrast.