Get us in your inbox

Search
La Cote
Photograph: Moris MorenoLa Cote

The best waterfront bars in Miami for boozy cocktails and sunset views

Here’s where to find Miami’s best waterfront bars, from Key Biscayne to Brickell and South Beach.

Written by
Falyn Wood
Contributors
Jackie Gutierrez-Jones
&
Sara Liss
Advertising

Not to brag, but Miami’s waterfront bars really have it all. Whether you’re seeking tropical dive-bar vibes, a swanky spot with flowing champagne and stacked seafood towers, calming pastel bay views for some romance or a lively Miami happy hour before setting out to enjoy a proper meal, we have you covered. Craving fresh air, warm breeze and a little sunshine on your face as you sip your cocktail? No need to wait ‘til summer here! No matter the season, we’re free to sun on Miami’s best beaches, imbibe atop the city’s many rooftop bars and, perhaps best of all, bear witness to its stunning Atlantic sunsets from the best waterfront bars in Miami.

RECOMMENDED: The best bars in Miami

Best waterfront bars in Miami

  • Restaurants
  • Overtown
  • price 2 of 4

The Wharf has been packed with well-dressed Miamians since it opened on the Miami River back in 2017—it even spawned a Fort Lauderdale sibling that opened in 2020. In addition to booze, the outdoor bar is dotted with a selection of food stalls including outposts of Spris Artisan Pizza and La Santa Taqueria. The casual atmosphere wins every time: astroturf and picnic benches encourage mingling. There’s boat parking available for nautical folk too but anyone is welcome to enjoy some champagne during the day or liquor and dancing at night.

  • Restaurants
  • Seafood
  • North Bay Village
  • price 3 of 4

A complete renovation of the sea wall and deck in 2014 gave this 30-year-old North Bay Village standby a new lease on life. Patrons here can kick back with a pitcher of beer, wings and oysters while taking in unobstructed views of the Miami sunset over the water. Umbrellas and palms provide a fair amount of shade for sports fans taking in the latest match on one of the flatscreen TVs. Plus, unlike many spots on this list, the onsite marina offers boat docking free of charge.

Advertising
  • Restaurants
  • Mediterranean
  • Belle Isle
  • price 2 of 4

The bayside deck of The Standard Spa, Miami Beach plays host to a hippie-chic bar scene with unrivaled views of the water. The bar menu here is as light as the vibe, with fresh salads and veggie snacks like buffalo cauliflower “wings” and grilled carrots with tahini sauce. It isn’t rare to spot a school of dolphins frolicking in the bay while downing a few glasses of sangria and frosé—that is, if you’re not too distracted people-watching at this enclave for the ultra-hip.

  • Restaurants
  • Seafood
  • Coconut Grove
  • price 2 of 4

Located on a marina, this popular Grove hangout is a sweet spot for cold beers, stiff drinks and casual seafood. Thatch-roofed, open-walled miniature tiki huts surround a stage from which reggae and calypso bands do their damnedest to persuade the diners and drinkers to dance. On Friday afternoons find a rowdy happy hour crowd (heavy with thirsty UM kids) eagerly slurping up strong frozen drinks. For a more family-friendly vibe, come on the weekends, order a basket of fried seafood and a pitcher of beer for yourself and send the kids off to dance to the live music.

Advertising
  • Restaurants
  • Greek
  • East Little Havana
  • price 3 of 4

This Greek dream makes its home along the Miami River in a 100-year-old converted fish market. A partially covered deck with tied-back white curtains and ivy-wrapped columns sets the scene for the simple, yet rustic Mediterranean fare that’ll accompany date night rounds of ouzo tinged with fresh-pressed juices. While the main bar is tucked inside the charming rustic environs of the restaurant, the view from the outside bar makes the decision to take your cocktail al fresco a no-brainer.

Nestled in Edgewater, Amara boasts spectacular bayfront views and a sprawling deck dotted with tables, sofas and low-slung lounge chairs. The beachy, mid-century setting is secondary only to chef Michael Schwartz’s menu of hyperlocal, Latin-inspired fare. On weekdays, warm up your evening with Amara’s rooftop happy hour from 5 to 7pm. A glass of sunset-ready frosé made with grapefruit-rose vodka, Aperol and rosé wine will set you back $8.

Advertising

Located inside Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park and helmed by the same family from the adjacent dock-and-dine destination Boater’s Grill, the Cleat is the blissfully laidback yet chic waterfront bar Key Biscayne was missing. Whether you’re perched at the thick terrazzo slab horseshoe bar or slung back on an Adirondack chair with your toes in the sand, every seat is the best seat in the house to enjoy panoramic ocean views with your boozy piña colada or ice-cold beer. Though there is limited covered seating, the entire place is outdoors, so do mind the weather if you’re making a trek out to the Cleat.

  • Restaurants
  • Mediterranean
  • South Beach
  • price 3 of 4

As part of a $20 million dollar property-wide transformation, the Mondrian South Beach recently unveiled this polished stunner of a pool deck with a restaurant, bar and lounge that features eye-popping views of Biscayne Bay (and the mega-yachts that float by). The oversized thatched hut is festooned with rattan lanterns and cushioned chairs making it the ideal backdrop for drinks like the Beehive made with No.3 Gin, yellow chartreuse, lavender honey, butterfly pea and lemon. Pro tip: make sure to settle in a half-hour before sunset.

Advertising
  • Bars
  • Sports Bars
  • Eastern Shores / Oleta
  • price 2 of 4

Sure, they’ve got more than 20 TVs posted up around the joint—but none of them hold a candle to the view of the Intracoastal Waterway at this laid-back watering hole in North Miami Beach. Dive-bar delicacies like chicken wings and potato skins sidle up to beer and frozen adult beverages, making this a favorite spot to catch a Heat or Marlins game. This isn’t just any sports bar—the 700 seats, fifty-space boat dock and a sunny pool deck (did we mention there’s a pool?) make sure of that.

  • Restaurants
  • American
  • Brickell
  • price 2 of 4

Classic Americana on the water—that pretty much sums up the feeling at this lively Brickell joint. Red, white and blue adorn the outdoor patio that overlooks the Miami River. Beer is the way to go here, with an impressive roster of craft brews on tap—and if you can tear yourself away from the waterfront view, there are self-serving beer tap tables inside and house-made soft pretzel bites once the munchies strike.

Advertising
  • Restaurants
  • Seafood
  • South of Fifth
  • price 3 of 4

Floating on the waterfront docks of the Miami Beach Marina, this longtime favorite gets lively during happy hour and on the weekends. The straw-thatched tiki hut bordering the pool offers a stunning view of yachts docked on the Atlantic while their infamous frozen Pain Relievers and Miami Vice cocktails take the sting out of a tough day at work. On weekends, enjoy a rotating lineup of live music with your peel-and-eat shrimp, oysters and clams.

  • Restaurants
  • Seafood
  • East Little Havana
  • price 4 of 4

Nestled within a post-industrial warehouse next to Kiki on the River, this waterfront enclave features an outdoor lounge on a wood-lined deck that juts out onto the Miami River. Here, a see-and-be-seen crowd watches the sun set on the Downtown skyline with glasses of champagne and white cranberry Blossom Martinis in hand. Live DJ music echoes throughout the deck as boats cruise the river and plates of thinly sliced crudos accompany the cocktails coming out from behind the bar.

Advertising
  • Restaurants
  • American
  • Miami
  • price 2 of 4

Perched on the waters of Biscayne Bay right off the Rickenbacker Causeway is a massive tiki hut that beckons thirsty locals with hurricane glasses filled with frosty rum runners, margaritas and Mai Tais. Looking for a nosh to soak up some of the boozy concoctions? The menu is replete with bar favorites—nachos, wings, quesadillas—with items like gator bites and coconut mahi nuggets offering a twist to the usual fare. A deck festooned with faux parrots, brightly painted wood and the odd carved coconut or two provides a breezy lookout for enjoying the tipples while the bay ripples beyond.

  • Bars
  • Hotel bars
  • Miami Beach
  • price 3 of 4

This lively, bi-level spot in the Fontainebleau Miami Beach channels a sun-splashed, South of France vibe—crisp whites, vibrant teals and an ocean view that’s hard to beat. The upper level overlooks both the pool and the ocean—the perfect spot for lounging back with a crisp glass of rosé (or a pitcher of their eponymous punch) and a plate of oysters while watching the bar scene light up with chic patrons chatting amidst DJ-spun tunes.

Advertising
  • Restaurants
  • Seafood
  • Omni

This waterfront bar and seafood grill might be housed inside a Marriott Hotel, but the relaxed vibes and expansive views of Biscayne Bay and the Miami skyline will make you feel like you’ve made it to paradise. Daily until 6pm, enjoy happy hour specials like $6 well cocktails and media noche sliders for $9. Your view from the waterfront deck also offers prime people-watching, as drunken passengers return from their boat days and attempt to regain their land legs.

Recommended
    You may also like
      Advertising