Detour Worth Making: Florida’s No Name Pub

Last summer, my wife and I treated ourselves to a long weekend and hit the Underwater Music Festival off Big Pine Key, Florida. While the Festival, itself, was pretty cool, the highlight of the trip was dinner at the No Name Pub. Claiming to serve the “greatest pizza in the known universe,” I was a bit skeptical, since it was so far out of the way. Nevertheless, we bellied up to the bar, and we ordered two draught beers and one Key Shrimp Pizza. The verdict? I haven’t been to the entire known universe, but I can pretty safely say that it was the greatest pizza in Florida.

Located at the end of North Watson Boulevard, 1.5 miles north of US1, and just before you cross the bridge to No Name Key, this off-the-beaten-path hideaway is the oldest bar on the island. Built in 1936, the brothel that existed during the early days was exchanged for a killer pizza recipe. Visitors to the Pub are encouraged to decorate a dollar to hang on the walls or ceiling; there are tens of thousands of doodled-on bills covering them today. Dimly-lit, built entirely of wood, and featuring a sturdy bar to sidle up to, No Name is the pub pirates would call their own – except they’d demand, “Arrr, Matey…can we get some music in here?”

In short, no road trip to the Lower Keys is complete without a side trip to the No Name. You just gotta go.

[Photo: WavArt]