10 Best Waterfront Restaurants in Miami | Miami New Times

The Ten Best Waterfront Restaurants in Miami

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.
Grilled wings from Shuckers come with a water view.
Grilled wings from Shuckers come with a water view. Shuckers Waterfront Grill photo
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No marriage is perfect, but there’s always an exception. Take, for example, the perfect 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 the blue ocean that offer the whole package.

Just travel downtown to the 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 a good steak 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, in alphabetical order, are ten of the best restaurants to do precisely that.
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Amara at Paraiso is chef Michael Schwartz's "love letter to Miami," set on Biscayne Bay.
Amara at Paraiso photo

Amara at Paraiso

3101 NE Seventh Ave., Miami
James Beard Award-winning chef Michael Schwartz will be the first to tell you he has a special spot for his Edgewater establishment, a place he calls his "love letter to Miami." Sunsets offer a golden glow on the buildings across Biscayne Bay to the east. And the food is stellar, blending Latin American flavors and local ingredients for dishes that change weekly to highlight specialty offerings cooked on a wood grill and Josper charcoal oven.
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Bayshore Club is your Coconut Grove staycation.
Grove Bay Hospitality Group photo

Bayshore Club

3391 Pan American Dr, Miami
If you're dreaming of a beachfront resort vacation where you can sit in a chair and watch the boats sail by with a drink in your hand, just take an Uber to Bayshore Club. This massive indoor/outdoor restaurant by Grove Bay Hospitality Group was designed so every seat could view the water. The restaurant harkens back to the days when Coconut Grove was the home of the Pan Am seaplane terminal, with aviation and nautical themes. Graze on raw bar items and fish dip, or choose a hearty dish like churrasco steak or shrimp and grits. Either way, you'll get staycation vibes and killer views. 
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Sunday brunch at the Deck at Island Gardens
The Deck at Island Gardens photo

The Deck at Island Gardens

888 MacArthur Cswy., Miami
If you love a front-row seat to watch the cruise ships at Port of Miami, the Deck is for you. This restaurant/lounge is directly on the water and gives off a "resort in Tulum" vibe, complete with plush sofas, canopied areas, and tunes spun by a DJ. The Deck is the perfect place to watch the sun set over Miami as the skyscrapers of downtown light up the night sky with a bottle of wine or a cocktail. The menu offers a selection of wood-fired pizzas, pasta, seafood, and steaks. On Sundays, the restaurant goes all out for a lavish oceanside brunch buffet complete with omelettes, cacio e pepe, and paella stations. 
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For more than half a century, Garcia's has been serving some of Miami's best seafood on the banks of the Miami River.
Garcia's Seafood Grille & Fish Market photo

Garcia’s Seafood Grille & Fish Market

398 NW N. River Dr., Miami
For nearly half a century, the same family has been running Garcia’s Seafood Grille & Fish Market overlooking the Miami River. Since its opening, the laidback restaurant just west of downtown has remained a hit with locals for the freshest fresh seafood and a beautiful vista. Choose from a cornucopia of catches, from swordfish and grouper to yellowtail and shrimp. Pair your choice with relaxing views, and you have an unparalleled taste of old Miami.
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La Mar by Gastón Acurio boasts a prime setting overlooking Biscayne Bay from the Mandarin Oriental.
La Mar by Gastón Acurio photo

La Mar by Gastón Acurio

500 Brickell Key Dr., Miami
The Mandarin Oriental's signature waterfront restaurant offers a prime setting overlooking Biscayne Bay and the Miami skyline. It's the perfect backdrop for La Mar's signature ceviches, freshly grilled anticuchos, and specialty cocktails. Abetted by spacious indoor and outdoor seating along with three bars, each providing distinctive culinary experiences, the menu ranges from upscale Andean fare to Asian-Peruvian fusion and traditional ceviches.
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Donatella Arpaia at NOMA Beach at Redfish
Photo by Charity Reed

Noma Beach at Redfish

9610 Old Cutler Rd., Miami
For years, Redfish in Matheson Hammock Park was known as the romantic venue to celebrate those extra-special date nights, anniversaries, and birthdays. The waterfront property was shuttered by hurricane damage in 2017 and reopened in 2020. Now, chef Donatella Arpaia has taken over the gorgeous restaurant, giving it a makeover. Start with caviar service, oysters, or Arpaia's famous meatballs before ordering housemade pasta, prime steaks, or freshly caught seafood. 
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Rusty Pelican is a go-to restaurant for waterfront views along the Rickenbacker Causeway.
Rusty Pelican photo

Rusty Pelican

3201 Rickenbacker Cswy., Key Biscayne
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 draw, but there’s a dash of magic in the air at sunset when splashes of pastel pink, orange, and purple color the sky. Then again, the brunch menu is a must-try. Order day-boat scallops and eggs for a hearty serving of wild-caught seared scallops, large sunny-side-up eggs, hash browns, and bacon mimosa Brussels sprouts. Then walk it off along the Rickenbacker Causeway.
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Seaspice's Miami River views are unparalleled.
Seaspice photo


422 NW N. River Dr., Miami
This chic white boathouse with wooden accents sits right on the Miami River, offering cool breezes that are as peaceful as you could imagine. But Seaspice's staff knows how to turn up the party vibes — especially on Sundays. Raw selections, seafood plates, pizzas, pasta, and wood-fired casseroles fill the food menu, and there's an extensive cocktail menu to match.
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Million-dollar views on a budget
Shuckers Bar & Grill photo

Shuckers Waterfront Grill

1819 79th St. Cswy., North Bay Village
Miami's most iconic waterfront restaurant isn't fancy or pricey. The best views come from an uber-casual sports bar behind a Best Western hotel. The menu isn't fancy either — but it's got some of the best wings, burgers, and oysters in town. Shuckers' grilled wings are large, moist, and meaty, so you don't need to drown them in sauce. The oysters are freshly shucked, and the beer is plentiful by the pitcher. Shuckers also makes a solid burger and strong drinks (served in souvenir glasses). By day, the oversized dock is filled with families taking in the view. In the evening, enjoy the gentle breezes and salty air while you watch the game on multiple screens.  
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South Pointe Park is home to Smith & Wollensky — and panoramic waterfront views.
Smith & Wollensky photo
Smith & Wollensky
1 Washington Ave., Miami Beach
Situated at the southern 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 dry-aged steaks and impressive wines. After a glass or two, Fisher Island will seem closer than ever, and the money you spent on an 18-ounce New York strip will seem like pocket change. But soon you'll see — as with everything else at Smith & Wollensky — it's worth it. And you deserve it.
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Dine on Argentinian fare and soak up views of the Little River canal at Tigre Miami.
Tigre Miami photo

Tigre Miami

620 NE 78th St., Miami
On the banks of the Little River canal — and surprisingly out of earshot from the honking traffic on Biscayne Boulevard and the 79th Street Causeway — this Argentine restaurant offers swordfish steaks, a 36-hour beef rib, and front-row seats to watch manatees and paddleboarders drift idly by. The intimate dining room is a three-dimensional Pinterest board of geometric tiles, whimsical wallpaper, wood paneling, and a curvilinear ceiling. Outside, everything is green: the tiles, the tables, the ferns spilling out of their pots, and the bougainvillea that crawls up the trellis. Patrons lucky enough to snag canal-front tables get dinner and an aquatic show starring plummeting seabirds, leaping fish, and sun-kissed fishermen plying their dinghies.
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