CLOSED: Kaya Island Eats

  • Veg-options Veg-options
    ( 8 reviews )



3100 Overseas Hwy, Key West, Florida, USA, 33040

Serves meat, vegan options available. Island fusion cuisine. Must call ahead to request vegan/vegetarian meal, and kitchen will accommodate. Confirmed closed, May 2015.

Categories: American, Beer/Wine, Caribbean, Fusion, Non-veg

8 Reviews

First Review by lvnltlv115

One of the Best Restaurants in the Keys - Edit

Delicious food. Quality in every served meal. The owner is always available and truly cares about his clientele. Will be closing due to a rough summer season of last year. They are closing the 30th of May, 2015.

Enjoy it while it's still in the keys!!

Pros: Fresh , quality meals, priced extremely reasonably

Cons: leaving us, Not completely vegan, Can't give it five stars

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one hell of a meal! - Edit

Kaya was recommended to us but as there wasn't any vegan option on the menu we still were pretty sceptical. When asking for a vegan option the owner himself (Scott) came to our table and told us a bunch of options he had in mind for a perfect 3 course vegan dinner. So we started off with a vegan version of the Kaya salad (baby arugula, straberries, roasted macadamia nuts in a papaya seed dressing). The second course was a yummy and very spicy carribean infulenced portobello mushroom stack with pineapple and chillies. The main course consisted of fried sesame tofu with sticky rice in a spicy sauce with a ginger-carrot topping. We really didn't expect such an amazing dinner here and made the owner promise us to put those amazing vegan options on the menu. You have to go there and ask for your vegan taste bud explosions :-)

Pros: lovely atmosphere, nice view, owner himself gives vegan recommendation, not too cold, open windows no aircon

Cons: no vegan options marked on the menu, you have to ask for vegan options first

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Gourmet Vegan Delight! - Edit

If you are vegan or vegetarian, be sure to tell your server. If Scott, the owner/chef is there, you will be in for a gourmet experience like no other. We told him we were vegan & he custom created a four course meal for us. Every bite was a shear delight. It was so good that we returned the next night. It was very busy the second night & we didn't want Scott to feel he had to fuss over us again so we ordered off the regular menu. Our waitress knew what was vegan & what wasn't. It was great. We can't wait to return!

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Super vegan friendly! - Edit

I had no idea that this place was vegan friendly until I saw the reviews on this site. Took me a while to get up there to check it out, but finally made it. I was NOT disappointed! I told the waiter that I heard it was vegan friendly and he said "we can ABSOLUTELY make you a vegan meal!" He went back and spoke to the chef and told me they had tempeh steaks and actually asked me what I felt like eating! I told him tempeh with rice and vegetables would be great. He came back a minute later and said their rice had chicken stock in it so they were making a fresh pot of rice just for me! The meal was delicious and presented beautifully. They had seasoned the tempeh to taste like fish, with roasted veggies, raw carrots spiral sliced, and white rice. I was so excited and they were so accommodating. I'm so glad we tried it, it will become a regular spot!

Pros: Cool, clean setting, Accommodating, knowledgable wait staff, Delicious food!

Cons: A little bit of a drive from Key West

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Yummy, yummy, yummy!! - Edit

If anyone is staying in the Keys, I highly recommend this restaurant. There were so many good things to say about it, that I became inspired to create an account and write a review!

Kaya Island Eats is a nice, sit-down restaurant with an Asian/Hawaiian flare on myriad dishes. I called before going to ask about vegetarian/vegan options and the chef patiently informed me of what he could do to cater to my dietary needs. Not only were there multiple vegetarian options, but he could easily turn what I wanted on the menu into a vegan meal.

I went with my carnivorous step-father, my chicken-eatin' mom, and 13 year old brother and we all were extremely delighted with our meals! (A big surprise, considering my brother thrives on Burger King). You could tell the food was made with love based on the beautiful presentations.

My favorite part about the restaurant was that I didn't feel like a nag when I asked our waitress what ingredients were in certain dishes. Normally, I resort to a house salad because I am afraid to be annoying :O "Friendly staff" would be an insufficient description of this restaurant's service.

If you are looking for a nice place to eat for the whole family, Kaya Island Eats is where it's at. I know that my family will make another trip when we visit the Keys next year. :)

Pros: Delicious food for anyone, Fantastic service, Fun, beachy atmosphere

Cons: A little pricey... , But reasonable and so worth it!

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Another terrific custom vegan meal! - Edit

It took MUCH longer to reach Key West than expected on the Sunday of Memorial Day, and by then most of the restaurants I'd considered were closed (of the few open on Sundays). We were very hungry, and I was curious about the HappyCow reviews I'd seen for a non-veg restaurant that makes terrific custom vegan food, so we headed over to Kaya Island Eats (after confirming they were open).

There were a couple of items on the menu that could easily be made vegan, but Scott did not disappoint - he offered to whip something up special, with tempeh "steaks", pickled carrot, and lots of flavor over sticky rice. I don't even remember all the facets of his proposal, but he told us that he goes for lots of flavor when cooking vegan, and he succeeded!

When we asked Staci, our excellent server, if there were any vegan desserts on the menu, she checked with Scott. He offered to take some local strawberries, sear them with a balsamic reduction glaze, and serve them with some cracked pepper on top to play off the sweetness in the berries and the glaze. We felt somewhat guilty when we asked if the strawberries are organic, since that's an item we are very careful about, and he came back quickly with bad news. He had even called his girlfriend to see if they had any organic strawberries in their home fridge, right nearby, but that cupboard was bare. A small disappointment, but a large effort to please the customer.

Clearly, Scott (and Staci) are concerned about their customers, and their food. They certainly did fabulously well by us, dessert or no! I wish I could give them five stars, but I can do only four for a non-vegetarian restaurant.

Pros: Wonderful food!, Excellent customer service!

Cons: Much too far from where we live!

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fantastic custom meal - Edit

So the menu looks like it's not very vegan friendly, but we went here on the recommendation of Deer Run B&B who is vegan. It was the best advice ever! Kaya is located on a lovely little key overlooking the water where we watched the sunset. From the moment we entered, the service was impeccable. We told our waitress Olga that we were vegan and she went to get the owner chef Scott. He clearly enjoys being creative and catering to his guests. He suggested the mushroom miso soup and Kaya salad (with no goat cheese) to start. We also got the battered fries with truffle ketchup. All delicious. For the entree, he described a lovely custom meal that he wanted to make for us, but even that didn't prepare us for the quality and presentation (at a reasonable price too!). He steamed blocks of tempeh in green tea and then baked them in banana leaves with a tropical pineapple sauce, including custom levels of spiciness. This was beautifully plated with jerk portobello mushrooms, pickled carrots, veggies, wontons, rice and leaf shaped wasabi. It got the attention of nearly everyone in the restaurant as someone came over to our table and Olga said many people asked her too. Dirk is still talking about this meal. Definitely a highlight of our trip. Don't miss the chance to eat here.

Pros: custom vegan meals, gorgeous location, amazing service from Scott and staff

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Excellent food! - Edit

Scott Taylor is owner operator and a great host! Tiffany was our delightful waitress both making this a great place to eat. But, I know what you are thinking, its not vegan right? It was actually recommended by our hosts at the Deer Run bed and breakfast( a vegan bed abd breakfast in the keys). All I had to do was tell Scott that my son and I were vegan and he whipped up a fantastic meal. He is actually in the process of changing the menu to offer things like tempeh and tofu as well. A really great dining experience:)

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