Win My Stomach, Win My Heart: A Valentine’s Day Travel Guide, Vol 1

Valentine’s Day is just around the corner, and you know what that means: there will be roses bought, dinner reservations made, and amateur lovers scrambling to book last-minute getaways to Paris. Because that’s textbook romance, right? But, ladies and gents, take my advice this Valentine’s Day and plan an offbeat, quirky food adventure for your paramour instead.

There are so many delicious places to travel in this world, and Valentine’s Day is the perfect excuse to go and taste them. Here is the first installment of three romantic food adventures to win over the heart and stomach of your Honey. (I’m going to try and use tons of food terms of endearment in this post…Happy Valentine’s Day!)

 Option #1: The Florida Keys.

These islands provide a picture-perfect setting for a lovers’ weekend. Between the unbelievable sunsets and the bluest water you’ve ever seen, you really don’t have to do much work to bring the romance. But add in some Key delicacies, and your Sugar Pie will remember this V-day for years to come. You can fly into Key West International Airport and work your way north, or start at Miami International Airport and head south. Either way, you’ve got 180 miles in between with fresh seafood and tropical drinks.

Stop at the Key Fisheries Market and Marina on Marathon. This seaside eatery serves up Conch Fritters, Grouper, Mahi, and Snapper sandwiches, all fresh and delicious. But this is a romantic food adventure, so go for broke and split the famous Lobster Reuben. This might be the best sandwich you’ll ever have in your life. Bold statement, I know. The lobster is buttery sweet, and blends perfectly with the sauerkraut and dressing. Amore!

This Lobster Reuben from key Fisheries Market and Marina is a guaranteed aphrodisiac

This Lobster Reuben from key Fisheries Market and Marina is a guaranteed aphrodisiac

Continue eating your way from key to key, stopping to order fresh shellfish along the way. Try Half Shell Raw Bar in Key West, especially around sunset, where you can order Tupperware-sized tropical punches with two straws.

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Love on a plate and in a plastic bucket at Half Shell Raw Bar

Now that things are heating up, you’ve got to get a slice of Key Lime pie. You can stop at any shop, from Key Largo to Islamorada, and find a unique spin on this quintessential South Florida dish. In fact, I recommend you do so. You and your Cupcake can take turns spoon-feeding each other the tart key lime filling. Try a slice from Pepe’s Cafe, the oldest eating house in Key West!

Afterwards, bar-hop at some of Key West’s most famous drinking parlors. Order a rum concoction from The Rum Bar or The Green Parrot, and evoke the romance of Hemingway. Finish off your evening with a decadent treat at Better Than Sex. This dessert restaurant serves up over-the-top sweets and indulgent beverages in chocolate-rimmed glasses, setting the mood for love. When it’s time to say goodnight, you’ll find endless Bed and Breakfasts housed in gorgeous Colonial-style bungalows. See, isn’t this better than Paris?

This is just a starter idea for your Valentine’s Day food adventures. After all, things tastes better when shared with loved ones. Where will you travel this Valentine’s Day? Wishing you full hearts and tasty travels!

Pro Tip: Is your Gum Drop a bookworm? Impress them by ordering Papa Hemingway’s favorite drink, the Daiquiri, at Sloppy Joe’s Bar in Key West. This famous dive even holds an annual Ernest Hemingway Look-Alike contest!

Image Credits: Top photo- CC pixabay.com  All other photos: Lara Pasternak

 

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