If Miami is synonymous with ocean views and gorgeous beaches, why is it so hard to dine by the water? As locals know and tourists quickly find out, there are very few Miami joints that actually offer waterfront dining. And with the recent collapse of the Shuckers deck, many are left scratching their heads wondering where they can they can enjoy the water, sunsets and seafood one expects from the Magic City.
Instead of chasing rainbows all summer, try checking out some of Miami's top poolside dining spots for an equally tropical dining experience. You get the sun and light fare you'd expect from ocean side dining, and at many of the restaurants you can take a dip to cool off. We rounded up five spots where you can dine by the cement pond here in Miami. It might not be an ocean view like the one in the brochures for the city, but these spots guarantee an authentic Miami atmosphere and a good time this summer.
One of the city's most recognizable pools is home to an equally beloved chef, James Beard Award-winning Michael Schwartz. Occupying the upper deck of the Raleigh's iconic baroque pool, Restaurant Michael Schwartz's captures the timeless atmosphere that has defined Miami Beach over the years while adding a touch of new with a menu of innovative martini cocktails that feature fresh twists on the classics.
Nestled between the Fontainebleau Miami Beach's luxe pool and Atlantic Ocean, La Côte's French Riviera vibe has been a go-to for locals in the know looking to enjoy an al fresco lunch, delectable drinks or an early sunset supper. Now, the beach club has announced extended hours for those who wish to linger longer, remaining open until 9 p.m., Thursday through Saturday. The new evening menu includes hamachi ceviche with lemon and coriander oil, mahi mahi bouillabaisse in a tomato saffron broth with mussels, clams and chorizo and lobster thermidor with mushrooms, chives, béchamel and gruyere cheese.
Located at The James Royal Palm, Florida Cookery overlooks the Royal Palm's pool and Atlantic Ocean while combining the bright, diverse flavors of true Florida-style cooking with a genuine farm-to-table concept. The restaurant offers an innovative menu featuring the freshest seafood and regional fare, with dishes including Veal Vaca Frita, Frog Legs Bathed in Lime Leaves, Empanadas stuffed with oxtail, oyster and alligator, South American Cowboy Steak, and Mango Pie. The ultimate Florida outdoor dining experience comes full circle with Cookery's array of craft beers, rums and specialty cocktails.
Pool at the Freehand
Hidden on an overgrown side street near the ocean, this local hideaway known for its pool parties and friendly, communal vibe was actually inspired by summer camp. The Broken Shaker, with its vintage wallpaper and wooden paneling, serves as a Pharmacia of sorts, creating herbal concoctions that are paired with unique local foods. Hit the pool this Sunday for a full-on sausage fest with Miami's premier purveyor, Proper Sausages, and their entire roster of mouth-watering meats. To wash 'em down, Broken Shaker will be serving up $6 Ocho Tequila drinks all afternoon, plus other ice cold libations. Party starts at 5 PM.
For those of you who are still confused as to where you can grab a beer now that Shuckers is closed, check out Lou's. This Gastro Pub is a hidden North Beach gem who's tropical beer garden atmosphere and entertaining chef is reason enough to visit. But they didn't stop there. This spot offers a vast selection of brews, a stellar cocktail list and food that always impresses. Best of all Lou's encourages its patrons to take a dip no matter what time of day or night it is.
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Other notable poolside spots include Duffy's Sports Grill North Miami Beach, Finnegan's on the River and of course Monty's Sunset on the Beach. While each packs a slightly each can offer you something battered and fried, a cold beer and a chance to watch the Dolphins' fumble their way to a winning season -- we haven't lost hope quite yet!
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