No marriage is perfect, but there’s always an exception. Take, for example, the flawless union of stunning waterfront views and stellar meals. This kind of merger — harmonious and infinitely enchanting — is surprisingly scarce in Miami. After all, the food has a lot to live up to when a killer setting is its counterpart. But luckily, there are a handful of eateries perched on winding canals, bustling bays, and blue oceans that offer the whole package.
Just travel downtown to longstanding Garcia’s Seafood Grille & Fish Market, overlooking the Miami River, and enjoy freshly seared scallops and mahi-mahi fingers. Or catch sweeping oceanfront views while reveling in the cajun-marinated rib eye at South Pointe Park’s Smith & Wollensky.
There’s no better way to switch up lunch or dinner than dining alfresco with the Magic City’s glittering skyline and waterways as your backdrop. Below are ten of the best restaurants to do exactly that.
10. Grove Bay Grill
Yes, we miss the beloved Scotty’s Landing, but its reincarnation, Grove Bay Grill, offers the same look — green-and-white-striped canvas awning included — but with a spruced-up menu. And when you take into account stunning bay views, a
Making waves in North Miami Beach,
8. Antica Mare
This few-month-old Shorecrest stunner blends the tastes of Tuscany with unbeatable views of Biscayne Bay. Located at 7999 NE Bayshore Ct., Antica Mare is the sister restaurant of Marco Betti’s award-winning Antica Posta in Buckhead, Atlanta, and delivers the same authenticity of its much older sister. Dive into a delicate array of
7. Fresh American Bistro
Chef Philippe Ruiz dispatches dishes inspired by the ocean, from marinated octopus quinoa salad ($15) to seared Florida hog snapper ($25), which you can enjoy at the
6. Smith & Wollensky
Sitting on the southernmost tip of Miami Beach in South Pointe Park, Smith & Wollensky is the perfect place to soak in the sunset to the west and the views of Government Cut and the ocean to the south and east. People- and boat-watch over serious slabs of world-renowned dry-aged steaks and impressive wines. After a glass or two, Fisher Island will seem closer than ever, and the $58 you spent on a 16-ounce bone-in filet will seem like pocket change. But soon you’ll see — like with everything else at Smith and Wollensky — it’s worth it. And you deserve it.
5. Red Fish Grill
4. Rusty Pelican
It’s hard not to be taken aback by Rusty Pelican’s beautiful vistas as you gaze out the clear bay windows or sit outdoors. The view is the real draw whether you go for brunch, lunch or dinner, but there’s an extra dash of magic in the air during sunset, when splashes of pastel pink, orange, and purple color the sky. Nonetheless, the brunch menu is a must-try. Order the day boat scallops and eggs ($31) for a hearty serving of wild-caught seared scallops, large sunny-side-up eggs, hash browns, and bacon mimosa Brussels sprouts. Then walk it all off along the Rickenbacker Causeway.
3. Garcia’s Seafood Grille & Fish Market
For almost half a century, the same family has been running Garcia’s Seafood Grille & Fish Market, overlooking the Miami River. Since its opening, the laid-back downtown restaurant has remained a hit with locals. The seafood is as fresh as it gets — without the flailing. Choose from a cornucopia of catches, from swordfish and grouper to yellowtail and shrimp. Pair your choice with relaxing views, and you have a taste of old Miami that's unparalleled.
If you like this story, consider signing up for our email newsletters.
SHOW ME HOW
You have successfully signed up for your selected newsletter(s) - please keep an eye on your mailbox, we're movin' in!
1. River Yacht Club
Swanky riverfront dining reaches an all-new height at the Miami River District’s newest indoor-outdoor nautical-themed experience. You’ll go overboard for the River Yacht Club, boasting a refined seafood-based Mediterranean menu, plus the real star: the world’s first VanDutch Lounge located on the rooftop terrace. Although you don’t need to be a member to dine or drink at the River Yacht Club, its ultra-posh ambiance, unparalleled views and exceptional service will make you feel like one.
Follow Maureen on Twitter.