Where to Eat and Drink on the Water in Miami

Because nothing pairs better with ocean breezes than fresh oysters and chilled rosé.

Shuckers Waterfront Bar and Grill
Photo courtesy of Shuckers Waterfront Bar and Grill

Welcome to Miami, where there’s miles of waterfront and seemingly even more miles of spots to eat, drink, and take in those sparkling ocean (or bay, or river) views. In a city that loves its al fresco dining, the best way to really enjoy it is to park your table as close to the waves as possible, allowing diners to bask in all the fresh ocean breezes and magical panoramas the 305 has to offer.

Whether you’re arriving by car or boat, are looking for a romantic night out, a chill happy hour, or a flashy bottle service-fueled party, there’s a waterfront dining destination for you right here in the Magic City. These are the best of the bunch.

Smith & Wollensky
Photo courtesy of Smith & Wollensky

Smith & Wollensky

Miami Beach
$$$$

This classic steakhouse situated on Miami Beach’s South Pointe provides great views of the bay crashing into the ocean and cruise ships coming in and out of port. Sip classic martinis and feast on aged American Wagyu with all the fixings—think truffle mac and cheese, creamed spinach, and whipped potatoes. There’s both indoor and outdoor seating, but those who choose to sit on the patio are awarded with pink-hued sunsets over Miami’s skyline.

Available for Reservations
Monty's Raw Bar
Monty's Raw Bar | Photo by Deyson Rodriguez

Monty's Raw Bar

Multiple locations
$$$$

This Miami institution sports not one but two waterfront locations, making a Monty’s moment possible whether you’re in Miami Beach or Coconut Grove. Both lively spots are located on the edge of popular marinas (Miami Beach Marina and Bayshore Landing Marina, respectively), serving boozy cocktails like the infamous Pain Remover made with a blend of Virgin Islands Dark Rum, pineapple, OJ, and a touch of coconut. Pair your island-inspired libation with a plethora of fried foods—conch fritters, coconut shrimp, chicken tenders—and, of course, the can’t-miss brick of curly fries. Happy hour (Monday through Friday from 4 to 7 pm) is always a riot at this fan-favorite hangout.

Available for Reservations

Il Gabbiano

Downtown
$$$$

Stashed on the ground floor of One Miami lurks one of the city’s most iconic Italian restaurants. This is the kind of place that spoils you with bites of fried zucchini, aged Parm, bread baskets, and more before you even gander at the menu. Listen carefully to the specials of the day—a list often longer than the actual menu itself—because that’s where you’ll find your best options. Between the old-school career servers, the extensive wine list, and the views of Biscayne Bay, this is a surefire hit.

Available for Reservations
La Mar by Gastón Acurio
Photo by La Mar

La Mar

Brickell
$$$$

Offering what is arguably one of the absolute best waterfront views in the city, La Mar at Mandarin Oriental gives diners unobstructed glimpses of Brickell, Downtown, and Biscayne Bay. The menu centers on Peruvian cuisine inspired by chef Diego Oka’s travels around the world. Popular dishes include the Chaufa Aeropuerto with chinese sausage, roasted pork, fried rice, shrimp omelet, quinoa, egg noodles, and pickled vegetables; Lomo Saltado with stir-fried tenderloin, red onions, tomatoes, soy sauce, cilantro, thick-cut potato wedges, white rice, and choclo; and Tiradito Bachiche, a fluke tiradito with 24-month Parmesan cheese, leche de tigre, colatura, garlic chips, and basil oil.
How to book: Reserve via SevenRooms.

Available for Reservations
The Ocean Grill
Photo courtesy of Ocean Grill at The Setai

On the beachfront of The Setai, you’ll find Ocean Grill—an elevated and covered dining deck that’s reminiscent of a large cabana covered in lush tropical plants overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. A more casual alternative at this luxurious property, the menu is composed of classic American dishes with a touch of southern European flair. The Truffle Pizza is considered the “diamond of the kitchen,” while other popular dishes include a woodfire-grilled Spanish Octopus, Yellowfin Tuna Tartare, and Truffle Risotto. There’s also daily chef specials inspired by the flavors of Miami’s eternal summer, featuring local and seasonal ingredients.

Available for Reservations
Ocean Social
Photo courtesy of Ocean Social

Ocean Social

Miami Beach
$$$$

A newcomer at the Eden Roc Miami Beach, Ocean Social is a shoreline getaway that’s perfect for a leisurely lunch or sunset happy hour. Serving wood-fired eats, hearty salads, and colorful cocktails, this spot exudes a laid-back coastal vibe that’s highlighted by sprawling views of Miami's oceanfront. From dishes like the Lobster Pizza made with poached lobster, tarragon, and Calabrian peppers to a fall-inspired Kale Salad with cured egg yolk and garlic sourdough, there is truly something for everyone.

Available for Reservations
Verde at Pérez Art Museum Miami
Photo courtesy of Verde

Verde

Downtown
$$$$

A hidden paradise often forgotten unless you’re visiting the Perez Art Miami Museum, Verde serves brunch and lunch Thursday through Sunday. Great for a bite before or after a day at the museum or even for brunch with friends, the breezy veranda is the perfect place to enjoy the menu’s light and fresh dishes like Delicata Squash Salad with labneh, mizuna, radish, pickled onions, preserved lemon vinaigrette, and candied pepitas, or Pan-seared Salmon served with cauliflower purée, black garlic, caper relish, and celery-apple salad.

Available for Reservations
Shuckers Bar & Grill
Photo courtesy of Shuckers Waterfront Bar and Grill

Whether you're coming by land or sea, Shuckers, located at the Best Western on the Bay in North Miami Beach, is a beloved waterfront restaurant that’s been around for over 30 years. With stunning sunset views and cheap cold beers, it’s a favorite for locals. The casual menu features all the sports bar greatest hits plus a wood-roasted prime rib sandwich, black Chilean mussels, fish tacos, veggie burger, and more.
How to book: Stop by for first come, first served seating.

Redfish by Chef Adrianne

Coral Gables
$$$$

Featuring a massive outdoor patio, four waterfront cabanas, and a rooftop observation deck, Redfish in Matheson Hammock Park offers a 360-degree waterfront backdrop. Served alongside breathtaking views of the bay, guests can feast on fresh seafood dishes like Butter-poached Sea Bass and Almond-crusted Pan-seared Sea Scallop, as well as Nonesuch Oysters from Maine and Hama Hama Oysters from the Pacific Northwest. Several dishes are made with fresh herbs, fruits, and vegetables from the onsite living garden overseen by the nearby Fairchild Botanic Garden, keeping things as local as possible.
How to book: Reserve via SevenRooms.

The Deck at Island Gardens
Photo courtesy of The Deck at Island Gardens

Situated in the center of Miami’s only superyacht marina, you’ll find Deck at Island Gardens, a Mediterranean hot pot where the Champagne is often flowing and the DJ creates the mood with a tropical-inflected setlist. Marvel at the yachts you’ll likely never be able to afford while noshing on Grilled Branzino, Maine Lobster Ravioli, and Charred Octopus. Stop in on a Sunday for a very spirited brunch.

Available for Reservations
Amara At Paraiso
Amara at Paraiso | Amara at Paraiso

Amara at Paraiso

Edgewater
$$$$

Inspired by its stunning bayfront setting and said to be chef Michael Schwartz’s love letter to Miami, this Genuine Hospitality Group venture focuses on bold Latin American flavors and coastal ingredients. The menu features a well curated wine list—because who doesn’t want to be sipping a killer rose by the bay (all day)—plus Empanadas, Crab Tostadas, and a Grilled Skirt Steak with pumpkin mole, grilled escarole, toasted sesame, and vinaigrette.

Available for Reservations

Make your way over to The Standard for waterfront vistas like no other. Located between the mainland and Miami Beach—with views of both—Lido Bayside Grill is one of those places you head to when you want a spritz (or two), a sandwich, and a chat until the sun goes down. If you’re not a member, you can still take advantage of the stunning restaurant space or treat yourself to a spa day with access to the pool.

Available for Reservations

Kiki On The River

Downtown
$$$$

It’s always a party at Kiki on the River. This super vibey spot perched right on the Miami River is one of those see-and-be-seen kinda joints where you can never be too dressed up or over the top. It’s not where you’re headed for a chill quiet meal, this is your very Miami, bottle-service-at-every-other-table kinda place, and we’re not mad at it. The food is pretty solid too—think seafood towers, Lamb Chops, Chicken Souvlaki, Lobster Pasta, and so much more. Pull up in your car or your casual boat—if you can snag a spot at the dock, that is.

Available for Reservations
Rusty Pelican
Photo courtesy of Rusty Pelican

Rusty Pelican

Key Biscayne
$$$$

Key Biscayne’s most well known dining destination, the Rusty Pelican, is the ideal setting for a waterfront dining experience. A reliable spot to take out-of-towners for a good meal and even better views, the menu features surf n’ turf, sushi, and tons of raw bar options. Happy hour is really where it’s at—taking place Monday through Thursday from 4 to 6:30 pm, drinks start at just $5 and there’s loads of bites available for half-off. Throw in a cotton candy-hued sunset, and you’ve got yourself the start of a fantastic night.

Available for Reservations
American Social
Photo courtesy of American Social

American Social

Brickell
$$$$

Located smack-dab on the Miami River, American Social is an easy stop-off if you’re traveling by boat or just hanging in the Brickell area and looking for something super casual and chill. There’s nothing pretentious about this one—unless you stumble into that one group of Brickell frat boys that think they’re way too cool, of course. Stop in on a Monday for burgers and bourbon starting at $7 each, or Tuesdays for Taco Tuesday, where $16 gets you all-you-can-eat tacos all damn night.

Available for Reservations
Amber Love Bond is a contributor for Thrillist.