Ziggie & Mad Dog’s Islamorada (Incredible!)

Every time we visit or pass through Islamorada, we make a trip to Ziggie Mad Dog’s!  It’s a place where the laid back vibe of the Florida Keys meets the best steak experience South of Miami. Known for premium steaks and the freshest seafood, the restaurant weaves its 1930s legacy into a unique dining experience. Today I’m going to share why “Ziggies,” as it’s called by locals, is a must-visit destination for both locals and travelers.

Why Ziggie Mad Dog’s is a Must Visit in Islamorada FL

  • Ziggie & Mad Dog’s is a storied steakhouse in Islamorada, FL, offering a blend of historical ambiance and a menu loaded with succulent steaks and fresh seafood.
  • The restaurant strikes a casual yet upscale atmosphere, boasting a rustic log cabin design with a covered patio and balancing fine dining with a sports bar vibe.
  • Alongside impeccable service, the food quality and eclectic choices from steak to seafood and a comprehensive wine list have earned it the title of the best steakhouse in the Upper Keys.

Ziggie & Mad Dog’s: A Hidden Gem in Islamorada, FL

Ziggie & Mad Dogs

Tucked away in the picturesque setting of Islamorada, FL, Ziggie & Mad Dog’s combines a storied past with a menu brimming with flavorful options. Its current incarnation as a steakhouse is just one part of its diverse history. Originally it was set amidst a pineapple plantation back in the 1930s before being converted into an office for Pen Key Club property sales.

The establishment took on new life when Ziggie Stocki acquired it and reinvented the space as Ziggie’s Conch in 1962. The baton passed once again in 2005 to Jim ‘Mad Dog’ Mandich, an ex-Miami Dolphins player, along with his partner who meticulously renovated and reopened the doors under the moniker Ziggie & Mad Dog’s by 2006.

Islamorada has been home to various dramatic events within this location over time – including confrontations between law enforcement and gamblers, alongside whispers about ties to Al Capone’s illicit gambling activities. Yet through all its transformations and updates since inception, crucial elements like the original bar setup and terrazzo floors have been preserved at this landmark spot — offering diners not only delectable meals but also serving them up accompanied by echoes of historical allure.

Ziggies Steakhouse Vibe

wine at ziggies
My friends appreciating the wine selection.

Upon entering Ziggie Mad Dog’s, you’ll encounter a warm and inviting log cabin atmosphere, enhanced by soft lighting and pristine white tablecloths. The environment offers an intriguing mix of elegance and relaxation, ideal for a date night that’s sophisticated yet comfortable.

Ziggie Mad Dog’s is more than just an establishment for exquisite meals. It also encompasses the ease of a sports bar with televisions scattered across every room. This element encourages patrons to dress down if they wish while enjoying the company in a hospitable setting that merges casual charm with fine dining flair.

fireplace
There is even a fireplace in the main dining room. Talk about charm!

For those who enjoy outdoor dining experiences, Ziggie Mad Dog’s provides an intimate covered patio space as well. Here diners can relish their meal under twinkling stars on a balmy evening, surrounded by an ambiance that captures comfort perfectly aligned with place and moment.

Ziggy and Mad Dog’s Menu

steaks at ziggie mad dogs
For me, there is nothing better than the steaks at Ziggies.

Ziggie Madness. Dog’s offers a menu that is an impressive showcase of culinary excellence, with a vast assortment of succulent steaks and fresh seafood complemented by an expansive wine list. This establishment provides a fine dining experience designed to accommodate diverse palates alongside a remarkable collection of wines from around the globe.

Seafood Options at Ziggie’s in Islamorada

Seafood lovers will be spoilt for choice at Ziggie Mad Dog’s. The menu showcases fresh seafood including local catch, stone crabs, and lobster tails, prepared in styles such as broiled or blackened, capturing the flavors of the sea.

Signature seafood dishes include:

  • Crabmeat stuffed snapper
  • Seared tuna steak with wasabi aioli and teriyaki glaze
  • Seared sea scallops on wilted spinach
  • Shrimp ‘Islamorada’

In addition to the regular offerings, patrons can enjoy a rotating array of daily seafood preparations that showcase the freshest catch available. Among the crowd-pleasers, the wahoo fish dip is a celebrated item, further cementing the restaurant’s reputation for excellent seafood.

The Best Steaks in Islamorada

Bar area
If you are lucky enough to get a seat in the bar area, it’s an awesome vibe.

Ziggie Mad Dog’s is celebrated for its array of expertly grilled steaks, which include filet, ribeye, and porterhouse options. These prime cuts are well-known for their exquisite preparation that steak aficionados appreciate deeply. Alongside these succulent steaks, diners can enjoy a selection of fine wines and favorite accompaniments such as truffle mac & cheese, loaded baked potatoes, and creamed spinach. This combination not only amplifies the rich flavors of the meats, but also elevates the entire meal experience.

The establishment also takes pride in one of its standout offerings, the Beef Tenderloin Stroganoff. Delightfully presented over pasta with mushrooms and infused with brandy flavoring – this dish represents Ziggie Mad Dog’s gastronomic excellence at its best and is considered essential tasting fare by those passionate about steak dishes.

Side Dishes at Ziggie Mad Dogs

ziggies islamorada
Guys trip to Ziggie & Mad Dogs!

At Ziggie Mad Dog’s, no meal is truly complete without the perfect side dishes. Each side dish has been carefully crafted to complement and enhance your main course, ensuring a fully rounded dining experience.

If you’re seeking an opulent addition to your chops, consider trying their lobster tail and white truffle mac & cheese. This sumptuous option includes tomato, fresh basil and capers with a final flourish of brandy – it’s as indulgent in taste as it is lavish in presentation.

For those who prefer classic flavors, there are traditional sides like the loaded baked potato, creamed spinach or potatoes au gratin that provide comforting familiarity with every spoonful. Among these timeless choices stands out the sought-after truffle mac & cheese – particularly when savored alongside one of the restaurant’s renowned steak selections.

Impeccable Service: What Sets Ziggie Mad Dog’s Apart

Beyond the food, what sets Ziggie Mad Dog’s apart is their commitment to impeccable service. Staff undergo thorough training in service standards and menu knowledge, ensuring that every guest enjoys a flawless dining experience.

The restaurant staff’s professionalism significantly contributes to Ziggie Mad Dog’s esteemed brand image. Their ability to handle challenging situations with grace, coupled with their impeccable grooming, creates a dining experience that is as memorable as it is satisfying.

Their commitment to service excellence fosters customer trust and loyalty, encouraging patrons to become ambassadors for the brand. The proof of their service excellence and pursuit of perfection lies in the customer testimonials, where guests often single out specific staff members for creating particularly memorable experiences.

Ziggie & Mad Dog’s Reviews

Ziggie Mad Dog’s has earned a reputation as the best steakhouse in the Upper Keys, a recognition that is testament to their high-quality steaks and exceptional service. Customers consistently celebrate the perfectly prepared steaks at Ziggie Mad Dog’s, affirming its reputation as a premier steakhouse destination. Their reviews speak volumes about the quality of food, the ambiance, and the service, painting a picture of a dining experience that is nothing short of exceptional. Here’s a sampling of recent reviews from Google Local Guides.

ziggie mad dogs review

Add to this the loyalty of regular patrons, who have maintained their loyalty to Ziggie Mad Dog’s over many years. It’s a testament to the restaurant’s sustained excellence in food and service, and a key reason why it’s a beloved institution in the Upper Keys.

ziggy & mad dogs reviews

Reservations

Are you prepared to delve into the enchanting dining experience at Ziggie Mad Dog’s? For a guaranteed spot, it is strongly advised to reserve your table in advance by reaching out directly to the establishment.

Opening for dinner promptly at 5 PM every day, Ziggie Mad Dog’s provides the perfect setting for either an early evening feast or a more leisurely late-night supper. You’re invited to savor their distinguished offerings, from expertly-prepared steaks to the most succulent and fresh seafood selections.

For those looking forward, especially to weekend outings, take note that on Fridays and Saturdays they remain open until 11 PM. During Sunday through Thursday timeslots they wrap up an hour earlier at 10 PM. Whichever day you choose for your visitation plans, Ziggie Mad Dog’s stands ready to serve you with perfection.

Contact Information and Location:

Ziggie & Mad Dog’s
83000 Overseas Highway
Islamorada, FL 33036

305-664-3391

Summary

Ziggie & Mad Dog’s transcends the typical steakhouse experience, blending a storied past with culinary distinction and outstanding service. Entering this establishment isn’t merely about dining. It’s an immersion into a narrative that has been developing for years and hopefully will never end.

As such, Ziggie & Mad Dog’s welcomes everyone—whether you’re passionate about steaks or have a penchant for exquisite seafood, don’t walk, RUN, if you get the opportunity to visit this iconic Florida Keys venue.

If I had to compare it to another experience in Florida, it’s very similar to what you’ll expect quality and vibe was to Billy’s Stone Crabs in Hollywood.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the history of Ziggie Mad Dog’s?

The structure that houses Ziggie Mad Dog’s has roots stretching back to the 1930s when it served as a component of a pineapple plantation, subsequently converting into a sales office. In 1962, Ziggie Stocki took ownership and transformed the space into what was known as Ziggie’s Conch. This establishment evolved over time and by 2006 had been renamed to what is now recognized as Ziggie & Mad Dog’s.

What is the atmosphere like at Ziggie Mad Dog’s?

Ziggie Madness. Dog’s exudes a vibe that combines the homely allure of rustic aesthetics with the relaxed feel of a casual sports bar. This setting provides an ideal backdrop for both romance and ease, featuring televisions in every room alongside a quaint outdoor patio.

What are the seafood options at Ziggie Mad Dog’s?

If you’re an enthusiast for seafood, Ziggie Mad Dog’s is a must-visit destination. They serve a variety of fresh options including the local catch, stone crabs, lobster tails and their special signature dishes crafted from the sea’s bounty. They present daily specials featuring seafood delicacies.

What sets Ziggie Mad Dog’s apart?

Ziggie Mad Dog’s distinguishes itself through a steadfast dedication to exceptional service, delivered by skilled personnel and supported by an eclectic menu, ensuring each patron enjoys a seamless culinary encounter.

How can I plan a visit to Ziggie Mad Dog’s?

If you’re considering a visit to Ziggie Mad Dog’s, it is recommended that you book in advance by reaching out to the establishment.

Every evening at 5 PM, dinner service commences at Ziggie Mad Dog’s. On Fridays and Saturdays, they extend their hours into the night.

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About 

Tim Schmidt is a 20+ year Entrepreneur and Digital Marketer. A Fort Lauderdale-based "Digital Nomad," he enjoys traveling as much as possible with family and friends. AllWorld is his escape to document all of his adventures, including being a hardcore "foodie." He has property in Costa Rica and visits several times each year and is happy to offer his expert advice for planning your trip.

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