There are only a few bars in Key West that are recognized as “world renown”. Sloppy Joe’s is at the top of that list. Being one of the rock’s oldest bars and having the distinction of being Ernest Hemingway’s favorite pub, more tourists flock to the Duval Street watering hole than anywhere else on the island.

Sloppy Joe’s is one of the ultimate tourist bars in Key West. With live stage entertainment every day and night, they draw in the street roamers and cruise ship Caribbean-shirted tourists on a constant basis. The weekends are especially energized with crowds vying for seats, drinks and occasionally a bite to eat from the “bar menu”.

The locals don’t stop by very often as it is really geared more for the hoards of tourists. So if your desire is to belly up to the bar and hear some local flavor stories, Sloppy Joe’s is probably not for you. You’ll more likely be sitting next to someone from Wisconsin, Ohio or New England.

For entertainment, it’s hard to beat Sloppy Joe’s. There is usually a good local act playing in the afternoon and early evening, and bands are brought in from all over the country for the 10pm-2am shift. Seems every good band wants Sloppy Joe’s Bar on their resume.

The variety of specialty and frozen drinks really make Sloppy Joe’s a favorite. Not cheap, but not overtly expensive for a tourist bar. To their credit, well drinks are concocted with brand name liquors, rather than the obscure cheap brands that improve profits. I did see a funny glitch where they advertise a frozen Cuervo Gold Margarita – made with Sauza tequila?

What about the Sloppy Joe sandwich? There doesn’t seem to be an agreed to answer regarding the origin of the sandwich. However, Sloppy Joe’s Bar claims it’s what made them famous, at least according to their menu. You can check out this interesting article here that discusses stories on the origin.

Sloppy Joe’s Bar is one of those “must try” places for tourists. Just about anyone that has heard of Key West has heard of Sloppy Joe’s. So make sure to visit, buy a T-shirt next door at their shop, then you can tell all your friends you’ve been there.