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.
1. 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
2. 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.
3. 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.
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4. 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.
5. Seaspice. This