Guest post by Madeline Wilkins and Yours Truly
Doesn’t it seem that food often tastes better with a gorgeous view? And this is the perfect time of year to sit outdoors and take it all in. Plus, restaurants with a water view are a top pick to take out of town guests. Here are our 9 favorite waterfront restaurants in Miami, from the Miami River and Biscayne Bay, to the ocean.
La Mar by Gaston Acurio
La Mar by Gaston Acurio Peruvian eatery in the Mandarin Oriental Hotel has a lovely outdoor patio offering views of Biscayne Bay and the impressive Brickell skyline. Crowd favorites on the menu include Peruvian classics such as ceviche, arroz con mariscos, lomo saltado, and papa a la huancaina. If you cannot decide, simply try a little bit of everything! Before dinner have a drink at MO Bar which is always a happening place. (a side note from Madeline: If you prefer something more popular priced and you’re in the mood for Latin cuisine, there is also a plethora of other options in Miami for everyone’s budget).
Casablanca on the bay
Arguably the best place in Miami to buy seafood has two restaurants. The Casablanca team takes pride in the freshness of their product, calling it the key to their 20+ years of success. This casual restaurant has two waterfront locations – one on the Miami River and one overlooking Biscayne Bay. In both locations, there’s a wide variety of seafood items including grilled octopus, oyster on the half shell, shrimp cocktail, fresh Florida stone crabs, different kinds of ceviche, a variety of grilled and fried fish, as well as steak, pasta, and more.
Although inspired by the traditional Izakaya dining style, Zuma features authentic, non-traditional Japanese dishes. Its menu boasts three kitchens – the sushi counter, the robata grill, and the main kitchen. The place is elegant, and so are its guests, a great spot for people watching. Attentive and friendly service, simple yet creative presentation, an alluring menu, and quality ingredients make for a special occasion worthy dining experience (note from Karen: had my birthday lunch here last year!).
Enjoy the view from its palm-tree shaded terrace overlooking the Miami River and Brickell Key. Zuma restaurants can be found in multiple locations across the US. The Miami restaurant is located in the heart of downtown and is accessible by yacht and by land. If you arrive by yacht, there is a (pricey) yacht-focused catering menu, a sommelier included.
Amara At Paraiso
Amara at Paraiso is an upscale waterfront restaurant set in Paraiso District, an up-and-coming Miami neighborhood. Its proud owner is James Beard award-winning chef Michael Schwartz. Schwartz’s Amara celebrates his approach — natural ingredients and simple cooking techniques bringing Latin American and coastal flavors together. The menu is based on roasted and spit-fired meats and fish, as well as vegetables, grains, nuts, and sprouts. The wide choice of seafood dishes includes golden tilefish ceviche, tuna tostadas, and grilled snapper.
Amara’s beautifully designed 4,500 square foot indoor-outdoor space complements the natural beauty of its tropical surroundings. There is a deck on the water with a lovely view of Biscayne Bay and the dramatic Miami skyline. The main dining room and bar have large, floor-to-ceiling windows where you can admire the view when it rains.
Redfish by Chef Adrianne
Our list of best waterfront dining in Miami would not be complete without Redfish by Chef Adrianne. This new oceanfront offering is located in Matheson Hammock Park. Its extensive menu combines traditional fish house classics and new American seafood.
Other favorites such as steak and fried chicken are also available. Also on tap is a wide choice of wine, beer, and whiskey, as well as craft cocktails . It features 365-degree ocean views and a large patio with more than one hundred seats.
Seaspice Brasserie and Lounge is now a Miami classic, fine-dining destination conveniently located on the banks of the Miami River, minutes from Downtown Miami and the Brickell Financial District. This “buzzy” waterfront oasis offers a wide choice of seafood, signature wood-fired casseroles, and globally inspired dishes. Its open-air Courtyard Lounge and bar serves signature crafted cocktails. You can dine on the open-air deck lit with soft, romantic lighting overlooking the River with its passing boats or the Miami skyline. Or choose to dock here with your yacht and have lunch.
Il Mulino at Acqualina
Acqualina Resort & Residences’ Il Mulino restaurant in Sunny Isles Beach offers a fine dining experience in a Mediterranean villa environment. It offers beach and water views on the spacious terrace and classic Italian cuisine. Another option is a private dinner on the beach. Team dinner up with a Staycation at the resort. In case you missed it, here’s Karen’s Staycation experience there.
The Deck at Island Gardens
Another top choice for waterfront dining in Miami, The Deck at Island Gardens provides the perfect setting for guests to wine, dine, and dance outdoors while enjoying picture perfect views of Downtown Miami and Biscayne Bay. For extra privacy and small groups, super special are the lovely waterfront cabana lounges. The menu consists of a wide selection of seafood, as well as Italian cuisine and cocktails. Menu highlights include lasagna al forno, The Deck Burger and Homestead Farm tomato salad, as well as berry stuffed pancakes and carbonara pizza. Don’t miss the brunch with its party like atmosphere.
Smith and Wollensky
If you want a top steak with your view, Smith and Wollensky is the place. Its spacious indoor and outdoor areas provide plenty of room for safe dining during the pandemic. It features a beautiful waterside setting with large outdoor patios. The S&W menu is heavy with beef, but there are also popular seafood dishes, salads, sandwiches, classic and new sides, and, of course, decadent desserts.
HOT OFF THE PRESS, JANUARY 2021!
Here’s are other great additions, The Baia Beach Club in the Mondrian Hotel. For more information, click here:
Also, the Beach Bar at Newport Beach Pier in Sunny Isles, the only pier restaurant in Miami-Dade County.