October 12th, 2010
11:30 AM ET
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Alexandra Willingham is a CNN video journalist. She's based in Atlanta, but Key West has been her lifelong destination of choice. She's had a lot of practice chowing down while living it up on the island.

Forget what you learned from Jimmy Buffett - Key West eats go far beyond cheeseburgers and margaritas. Here are some of the best foods to try while visiting in paradise.

Don't-miss dishes from the southernmost city

1. Conch Fritters
This little mollusk, known for its glossy pink shell, is actually a type of snail. One of the tastiest ways to eat this island escargot is in a fritter: chunks of chewy meat held together by a batter mixed with peppers or spices.

Some of the best are found north of Key West, at Alabama Jack’s in Key Largo. These golden cakes combine the pefect amount of conch with a lightly sweet corn batter. If you’re not a fan of fried foods, try your conch in a hearty red chowder.

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Filed under: America • Bite • Cuba • Florida • Key West • Lick the Screen • Travel

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