Let’s just start with the obvious cliché: No stop in Key West, Florida is complete without Key Lime Pie. We knew we had to have to it, we wanted it, and we bought it.
Ah, but where to buy it? Not one bakery seems to have an actual claim to possessing the original, or the first, Key Lime Pie store in Key West – though they all try to. There seems to be one offered every time you blink your eyes, and we regret not buying two or even three different pies to be able to compare the differences in the most iconic place in the world to experience Key Limes! According to the place we rented our bikes from, Island Safari Rentals, Key Lime Pie Bakery has the best Key Lime Pie. When it comes to authenticity, what is better than word of mouth recommendations? If one thing is for sure, locals always know best!
► Ranking: #cleandiaper
Key Lime Pie Bakery
412 & 414 Greene Street
Key West, Florida
Hours: 9a – 11p | 7 days a week
After we finished our bike ride and it was time to head back to the Disney Wonder, we popped into the Key Lime Pie Bakery and ordered a Frozen Key Lime Pie to go. We were assured this was the best option on a hot day, and would be thawed by the time we were ready to eat it – in about an hour. This all proved to be true. When we got settled back into our room and cut into it, the smooth texture was perfect.
We opted for the original version, though several variations were offered including coconut, toasted coconut and a cheesecake version to name a few.
We don’t have anything to compare it too. It was tart, mildly sweet and extremely smooth. It was good, but it wasn’t overtly special. We share in the internet’s great reviews and sentiment of the pie, but I would have loved to have something to compare it to. We totally failed you.
The store itself had a very touristy vibe to it, with hundreds of shades of green and an equal number of key lime pie related items for sale. It was borderline kitschy, but why not? We’re talking Key Limes in Key West.
We were assured each pie was made fresh daily, though with 14 operating hours a day, this felt a little hard to believe. Considering Key Lime Pie is little more than a mix of lime juice and sweetened condensed milk, freshness probably isn’t the most defining factor when it comes to taste.
During our bike ride we stopped in several other Key Lime Pie Bakeries. They all seemed to have a much stronger focus on just how many pies they sell. Key Lime Pie Company was intent on showing off the baking and decorating aspect of the pie with huge clear windows into the kitchen where pies lined the counters, walls, and baking racks by the hundreds. They also sold candy in bulk.
According to Google snippets the original Key Lime Pie belongs to the Kermit’s Key Lime Shoppe on Elizabeth Street with the creepy statue out front. Google will also tell you the most authentic Key Lime Pie can’t be bought, but can be made following Robin Draper’s recipe. However, it looks awful if you ask me.
When it comes to top 10, or even top 15 lists, The Key Lime Pie Bakery doesn’t make the cut. Personally, I tend to have a hard time trusting such lists considering there is no transparency involved in what makes the cut. Key Lime Pie Bakery does show up in Google’s top three listings, of course which matters more to SEO than it does to actual taste.
► For Kids: Pie. Whipped Cream. Sugar. Need I say more?
As a side note: I’ve tried making Key Lime Pie with actual key limes. It’s an exercise in futility. Those suckers don’t squeeze any juice. I gave up and resorted to regular persian limes. It definitely wasn’t the same, so the take away is, don’t give up! Or, an even better idea would be to squeeze one key lime and then use pressed juice for the rest, and you can still say you did it!
► Nap-Time Version: Taste testing Key Lime Pie in Key West, Florida took us to the Key Lime Pie Bakery on Greene Street. We definitely give it a #cleandiaper rating!