Where Should You Eat at Old Key West
Today, we’re continuing our detailed look into the dining options at various Disney Vacation Club resorts. We’ve finally reached the original DVC property, Disney’s Old Key West Resort, and I’m confident that many of you already know what I’m about to say.
Where should you eat at Old Key West? I’ll offer several different options, but you know that one of them towers above the rest.
The DVC Favorite
Let’s just go ahead and get it out of the way. When you stay at Old Key West – and everyone does eventually – you’ll eat at Olivia’s Café at some point. We all do.
In fact, Disney leans into that fact. One of the restaurant’s walls commemorates our adoration for Olivia’s and Old Key West itself. Disney has populated the wall with pictures of happy DVC members eating at the restaurant.
You’ll take a walk down memory lane when you dine here, even if that’s not your picture on the wall. You’ll still look because there’s something decidedly wholesome and communal about this practice.
Disney even constructed the restaurant’s theming around a similar idea. According to the fictional story, Olivia loved cooking for people so much that she opened her home to guests in her oceanside community. Thus, the décor here possesses nautical theming and homey touches.
Of course, what you’ll remember the most is the fried chicken, the signature dish at Olivia’s since opening day. During your visit, somebody at your table simply must order Southernmost Fried Chicken. It’s the law for DVC members.
Then again, you’ll find a surprisingly deep and flavorful menu here. Many seafood dishes are available, and the Crab Cakes work perfectly as an appetizer. Olivia’s also serves brunch now, and I have it on good authority that the Savory Hushpuppies and Parrot Punch pair perfectly.
Olivia’s Café currently ranks among the top 150 out of more than 2,100 restaurants in Central Florida. For DVC members, it symbolizes something more than just a meal, though. It reflects an entire lifestyle.
Quick Service and Lounges
If you’re unfamiliar with Old Key West, you may not realize how expansive the campus is. For this reason, DVC members develop their favorite parts of the resort, the places where they try to book a room.
Not coincidentally, your favorite backup dining option to Olivia’s says a lot about where you’re most likely to stay.
Fans of the Old Turtle Pond Road area love the pool bar here, Turtle Shack Poolside Snacks. During my first visit at Old Key West, we discovered this place almost by accident and couldn’t believe how tasty the pizza was. They also sell a hot dog and a charcuterie plate. So, it’s an ideal choice for noshing. And for drinkers, the Turtle Krawl is a must.
The other dining option off the beaten path is the beloved lounge, Gurgling Suitcase Libations & Spirits. It’s a small, intimate place close to many Hospitality House favorites. Also, it’s a sneaky-good spot to watch live sports because it’s rarely crowded and has a TV in the corner.
The Gurgling Suitcase currently holds a grade of 4.5 out of 5 on TripAdvisor, which is legitimately Victoria & Albert’s territory. That’s how passionate the lounge’s fans are about the place. If you’re drinking here, the Bourbon Berry Lemonade has built quite the buzz.
Finally, we have the other place you’re all but certain to visit at Old Key West. Good’s Food to Go resides around the corner from Olivia’s and the boat dock. So, you can order your food here, grab a table, and people-watch.
You’re at the central hub for all Old Key West activity, and you’ll probably walk past this place often during your stay. I don’t want to oversell the food, as TripAdvisor reviewers find it middling.
Still, the convenience of Good’s Food to Go and the serene setting provides the appeal. You can dine here for breakfast, lunch, or dinner, and I have…many, MANY times.
Dining by Boat Ride
Speaking of the boat dock, you can take a Friendship Boat to Disney Springs. You may make a stop at Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa along the way as well. This service will also take you to Disney’s Port Orleans – Riverside and Disney’s Port Orleans – French Quarter.
So, when you stay at Old Key West, you can ride a boat to several locations, each offering excellent dining choices. Realistically, you’ll choose something at Disney Springs almost every time, though.
Still, you shouldn’t sleep on Boatwright’s Dining Hall at Riverside or The Turf Club Bar and Grill. In fact, that’s the oddity of Old Key West overall. Guests are most likely to eat at the hotel’s favorite spots. However, the boat system rewards DVC members who explore a bit. For this reason, Old Key West is one of the most underrated resorts with regard to dining options.