If you are going to Key West, there is a little café that you definitely want to find, that has the best fried conch you will find anywhere. They serve it with slices of lemon and their home-made steel cut fries that are amazing. Stock Rock Café is just off the beaten path and takes you back to what Key West was like years ago. If you have never tried fried conch, you do not know what you are missing and you definitely want to try the fried conch at the Stock Rock café, it will be your standard to judge any fried conch. Sitting on the Cow Key Chanel you will enjoy the tropical water as sit in the open TIKI HUT as sipping your drink and enjoying your meal or snack. This is the place you want to go to for Key West Waterfront Dinning.

Manatee sightings are common at the Stock Rock Café when they are migrating. You can look down and see them as they bask in the tropical sun. Manatees migrate to warmer waters in the winter and are found all over Florida in the summer months.

manatee sightings

The Stock Rock Café Menu will fulfill any appetite with Fresh local seafood like Key West Shrimp, Mahi BLT Wrap or Mahi Fish Platter, Fish and Chips and our Catch of the day Tacos. Appetizers of Chicken Wings, Buffalo Shrimp, Conch Fritters, and the incredible Stock Rock Fries. Enjoy a wonderful Caesar or House Salad. Burgers and Sandwiches will make your mouth water. The Holy Cow Burger, Kicking Chicken Sandwich, Mahi Fish Sandwich, Catch of the day Sandwich, Crispy Chicken Wrap, Buffalo Chicken Wrap and three cheese Blend Quesadilla.

stock rock cafe key west conch fritters

To quench your thirst, they offer a selection of over 60 different beers and soft drinks. The Stock Island Café is in the Cow Key Marina that offers tours and rentals: Jet ski tours, Kayak Tours, Safari Eco Tours, and Rent Boats. If you bring your own boat, they have fuel right at the dock. If you are looking for great food with a feeling of old Key West, you want to go to the Stock Rock Café, located at Cow Key Marina.

What are Conch?

There are 2 types of conch, the conch that live in the ocean and the conch that live on land.  I will tell you about the conch that live on land later  😊. The conch that live in the ocean the one that you eat and grow the wonderful shells you find all over Florida and the Bahamas. The conch that are served in Key West, Florida and all over the United States, come from the Bahamas because they were over harvested in Florida.

It is a crime to harvest , kill or harm Queen conch in Florida. If you want to see Queen conch in their natural habitat. Book a trip on the Sunset watersports Kayak Sandbar eco adventure. Although not guaranteed, this trip will get you an up close and personal experience with live conch.

The Queen conch is the species that we love to eat and can be prepared many different ways. You can eat it raw, in salads, one of my favorite is marinated conch, in fitters , fried , in chowders and they say that there are 20 way to prepare conch. There are many species of conch found around the world. In Florida you will find the Queen conch and  the horse conch  which is the State shell of Florida. (seen here). Other conch found in Florida are the Hawkings conch and the Florida fighting conch. Conch Shells are used for many things. Many people use the as decoration, planters, as a horn to blow through. The make jewelry out of the shell and they grind the shells up to use in porcelain .

What is a land Conch?

I mentioned that there are Conchs that live on land and they are people that where born in Key West. Now it as been said that if you live in Key West for many year you become a Fresh Water Conch.

The school is called Key West High school home of the fighting conchs and there seal has a conch shell in it. There is a big conch shell statue in front of the high school as well. The town seal for key west also has a conch in the seal and Key West is known as the Conch republic .

The Conch Republic is Born

Back in 1982 the federal government had border patrol set up roadblocks and any one coming into and going out of the Florida Keys had to go through Border patrol and Key west was treated like a foreign country. In April of that year May Denis Wardlow declared that Key West was a independent Country called the Conch Republic and a man in a US navy uniform over the head with a loaf of Cuban bread. One minute after declaring Key West a separate nation Wardlow surrendered to a nearby Naval officer. They made enough news as there were representatives from Washington there that day that the roadblock was removed.

key west conch republic flag

Key West Conch Fritter Recipe

You can find conch fritters in many restaurants thought Florida and here is a receipt for them. This recipe is from all recipes .This recipe for conch fritters with a delicious dipping sauce is a traditional Bahamian recipe. Conch is a wonderful shellfish that is delicious but so hard to find outside of the Bahamas. These fritters are great as an appetizer, finger food, or as a very tasty hors d’oeuvre to accompany your favorite tropical drink!

Recipe by Cynthia Russell  Updated on August 15, 2022.

  • Prep Time: 15 mins
  • Cook Time: 15 mins
  • Total Time: 30 mins
  • Servings: 8


  • 1 quart oil for frying
  • ¾ cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup milk
  • 1 egg
  • ground cayenne pepper to taste
  • seasoned salt to taste
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 cup chopped conch meat
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • ½ onion, chopped
  • ½ green bell pepper, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped

Dipping Sauce:

  • 2 tablespoons ketchup
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon hot sauce
  • salt and pepper to taste

Cooking Directions

  1. Heat oil in a deep fryer or large saucepan to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
  2. Make the fritters: Mix flour, milk, and egg in a large bowl until smooth. Season with cayenne pepper, seasoned salt, salt, and pepper. Mix in conch meat, celery, onion, bell pepper, and garlic.
  3. Drop the batter by rounded tablespoons into hot oil in batches; fry until golden brown on all sides, about 5 minutes. Drain on paper towels.
  4. Make the dipping sauce: Mix ketchup, lime juice, mayonnaise, hot sauce, salt, and pepper together in a small bowl. Serve dipping sauce on the side with fritters.


Conch can be replaced with any seafood. We followed the same recipe but replaced conch with chopped calamari. It turned out awesome! We cannot wait to try it with shrimp or crab meat.