Rusty Pelican, Key Biscayne | Courtesy of Ariane Middel/Flickr
The only problem with eating at a restaurant with a magnificent view of Biscayne Bay, the Miami River, or the Rickenbacker Causeway is that the food has a lot to live up to. Luckily for you, this list of waterfront restaurants doesn’t sacrifice location for quality. Read our guide to Miami’s best waterfront eateries to be best informed for your next dinner outing in the 305. This handful of eateries are all eloquently perched on winding canals, bustling bays and blue oceans, offering a complete package of views, tastes and the ambiance of the Miami lifestyle.
River Yacht Club
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Internationally renowned greenscape architect Raymond Jungles collaborated with Dupoux Partners to create an immaculate design that fits perfectly with the River Yacht Club’s international concept. Here, a chic rooftop bar accompanies the first ever exclusive VanDutch Lounge. Come here for a high class seafood experience in the heart of Miami’s yachting scene.
Located in the Black Point Marina in Homestead, Florida, this waterfront restaurant has won awards for its outstanding service and mouthwatering dishes. Here, only the freshest ingredients and quality seasonal dishes are served and everything is reasonably priced, all the way from steak to seafood. We recommend that you eat on the outside patio where you can experience an al fresco setting as you sip on a glass of wine and enjoy a pleasant South Florida evening.
Eating seafood just feels more authentic while enjoying it with a view of the ocean where it comes from. Garcia’s is the perfect place to do just this; grab a seat and soak up views of the Miami River while watching fishing boats drop off their latest catches. Originally from Cuba, the Garcia brothers made their dream of opening a seafood restaurant/market in Miami a reality in 1966. 48 years later, their legacy lives on, and the business is still owned and operated by the family.
Housed inside the always hip Standard Hotel, this popular spot is filled with people soaking in the pristine bay views under the restaurant’s large and colorful umbrellas. The Lido Bayside Grill at The Standard Spa, Miami Beach takes inspiration from the traditional Mediterranean diet and lifestyle. Executive Chef Mark Zeitouni specializes in organic meats and fish, and the portions served are not small by any standard. We highly recommend this place for a romantic date night on the water.
The Palmieras Beach Club is no slouch; it has it all, whether you’re looking for a relaxing spa, a luxury hotel room or beautiful pools. It also hosts a 5-star restaurant on a private island in paradise. The main restaurant offers breathtaking waterfront views with indoor and outdoor patio seating. The dining room is decorated to resemble the ocean waters, showcasing hand-painted walls of local artists. You can also opt for outside dining, where signature dishes are served to you with a perfect view of Biscayne Bay.
Grove Isle in Biscayne Bay, Miami. The Location of Palmieras Beach Club Courtesy of Wikipedia Commons
Bar, Restaurant, American, $$$
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Known as the hottest destination for locals, celebrities and tourists alike, the Rusty Pelican offers eclectic and impressive contemporary American cuisine and the freshest local seafood you can find. Located on the famous Rickenbacker Causeway, this waterfront restaurant has elegant interior that features wood floors, tables and chairs. Make sure to check out its Sunday Brunch.
One of the best places in Miami to catch the sunset, you’ll find locals and tourists alike crowded around its popular bar nightly to take in the views and the ocean breezes. Smith & Wollensky is a chophouse chain with exclusive locations in the trendiest parts of the country, such as Las Vegas, New York, Chicago, and Boston’s famous Atlantic Wharf. The food and drinks here are excellent and the atmosphere is surprisingly lively and fast-paced considering the high-class nature of the establishment.
A fashionable, romantically lit beach destination for dinner and drinks, Red Fish Grill boasts breathtaking views of Biscayne Bay and a wealth of tasty dishes from land and sea. Take, for instance, the juicy double-bone pork chop, served with corn pudding, kale, and caramelized onions — its food is beyond amazing! This waterfront restaurant is a throwback to Miami’s bygone era of post-war leisure and sophistication. Housed in what was originally the Matheson Hammock Beach Pavilion, Red Fish Grill feels more like a romantic restaurant in the Keys than a typical chic Miami restaurant. By Laurence Kidd