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Bayshore Club
Photograph: Courtesy Grove Bay Hospitality Group

The 21 best waterfront restaurants in Miami

Enjoy a meal in paradise: the best waterfront restaurants in Miami offer up great food and views

Falyn Wood
Virginia Gil
Written by
Falyn Wood
Contributor
Virginia Gil
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Unlike other big cities on the edge of the Atlantic, Miami has a bit of everything when it comes to dining on the water. Lively dockside dives, glamorous Mediterranean-inspired lounges and wellness-focused options abound. From seafood towers and $1 oysters to dog-friendly decks where piña coladas flow like water, Miami has that and more. Sure, we might be spoiled by the abundance of pristine Miami beaches, and our Miami rooftop bars offer their own spectacular views. But if you’re not taking every opportunity to eat at one of Miami’s many waterfront restaurants, you’re doing something wrong.

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Best waterfront restaurants in Miami

  • Restaurants
  • Peruvian
  • Brickell Key
  • price 4 of 4

Substance and style: La Mar isn’t the kind of restaurant that’ll sweep you off your feet with its killer views and then leave you hanging with mediocre food. Nope, the food is equally as impressive as the scenery. The modern Peruvian-Asian restaurant doles out interesting ceviches (15 of them, to be exact), complex seafood dishes and traditional South American flavors. At the Anticuchos bar, explore La Mar’s take on popular Peruvian street food made with Wagyu beef, chicken, octopus, whole jumbo prawn and Peruvian asparagus.

  • Restaurants
  • Fusion
  • Design District
  • price 4 of 4

Michael Schwartz’s Edgewater restaurant boasts spectacular waterfront views and deck seating, for that only-in-Miami kind of dining experience. A hyper-local menu designed by a James Beard-winning chef, featuring tender octopus, Argentine-style empanadas and cheesy yuca bread, among the delectable bites. Pop up to the rooftop deck for happy hour snacks and drink specials from Mon–Fri 4–7pm.

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From the same team behind Michelin-starred Stubborn Seed, Bayshore Club takes over the former Scotty’s Landing space along Biscayne Bay near Dinner Key. The historic Coconut Grove locale was once home to Pan American’s first seaplane terminal. Today, Bayshore Club nods to its midcentury era with retro details like a massive “Greetings from Miami” postcard mural near the entrance. The whole 300-seat affair is casual yet elevated, with a seafood-focused menu, a 360-degree bar and a sprawling lawn with cabanas, lounge seating and games.

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

Enjoy a Greek feast on the dock at the handsome Kiki on the River, which—as the name so clearly states—is located along the Miami River. Arriving by boat? Order from Kiki’s Mediterranean menu and have it brought to you on board. Though a yacht isn’t necessary to enjoy the waterfront view: there’s no bad seat in the house.

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  • Restaurants
  • Seafood
  • Omni
  • price 4 of 4

Located inside the same building as the historic Miami Women’s Club, Klaw is a new upscale restaurant with indoor-outdoor seating and a rooftop bar overlooking Biscayne Bay. Go here when you want to splurge—starters hover around $20 while a seafood platter starts at $90 and the steaks go for $85 and up. If you’re really looking to impress (or happen to be charging this one to the corporate card), explore Klaw’s Heritage Menu, a selection of premium, locally sourced cuts that pair perfectly with a mignonette martini.

  • Restaurants
  • Argentinian
  • Miami
  • price 3 of 4

This charming bistro and bar tucked away on Miami’s Little River overlooks an active manatee sanctuary and fits right in among its Art Deco-era neighbors. Flanked by layers of tropical foliage, the pastel-hued indoor-outdoor spaces exude understated, Old World glamor while the slow-moving river encourages a relaxed pace. The intimate ambiance and seasonal menu featuring re-invented Argentinian classics, typical aperitifs and boozy cocktails will instantly transport you to a charming Buenos Aires cafe.

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  • Restaurants
  • Contemporary American
  • Downtown
  • price 2 of 4

Verde is the breezy New American restaurant overlooking Biscayne Bay on Pérez Art Museum Miami’s sprawling terrace. Understated and elegant with dishes as trendy as the art crowd wandering the museum’s halls, Verde’s rotating menus focus on seasonal ingredients and are often themed with the exhibitions. Though there are other waterfront options nearby (for instance, Amara at Paraiso or Klaw), Verde is a perfectly worthy stop for a meal with views before or after perusing the galleries at PAMM.

  • Restaurants
  • Seafood
  • Miami
  • price 3 of 4

Key Biscayne’s most famous restaurant is where brunches, anniversary dinners, weddings, baby showers and all kinds of special celebrations regularly go down. Plenty of folks will argue that the Rusty Pelican has the best view in all of Miami. And they’re sort of right. While the solid seafood and classy atmosphere draw folks in, that bay view keeps them coming back.

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  • Restaurants
  • Miami

This buzzy beachfront restaurant and club is on a petite man-made island in Biscayne Bay. An ideal gathering spot for boozy brunches and larger parties, the boho-chic ambiance pairs with bottle service and DJ-spun tunes for a unique, Euro-inspired waterfront dining experience in Miami. Reservations are hard to come by, but the wait is totally worth it once you’ve dipped your toes in the sand.

  • Restaurants
  • French
  • Miami

Another hit from Miami restaurateur Matt Kush, this riverfront spot at the recently refurbished Selina Hotel in MiMo takes its culinary cues from France, sprinkled with a dash of Kush’s signature kitsch and humor. Brunch on the water is the move here. If you’re feeling bold, order the frog legs, or stick to classics like onion soup or coq au vin. Either way, there’s no mistaking the view of the Miami River for the Seine, though your vantage point of the adjacent strip club is pretty remarkable for different reasons.

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  • Restaurants
  • Caribbean
  • Downtown
  • price 2 of 4

Yes, committing to an entire meal at Bayside Marketplace seems like a tall order. But La Cañita is a great reason to venture through the kitschy outdoor mall and dodge all the blank-staring tourists. This Cuban restaurant from the team behind Calle Ocho institution Cafe La Trova serves up an absolutely delish ropa vieja sandwich, super fresh shrimp ceviche and, of course, some of the best mojitos around. The outdoor seating with spectacular downtown views of Biscayne Bay pretty much seals the deal for us.

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

The Mondrian’s recently revamped Baia Beach Club makes excellent use of the South Beach hotel’s expansive and beautiful bay frontage, especially during sunsets. The open-air restaurant and bar features a menu of coastal Mediterranean fare. During the perfectly timed Sundown Happy Hour (Mon–Fri 5–7pm), enjoy discounted bites and a selection of $10 bites and $12 specialty cocktails that will make the glittering views all the more magical.

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

This Downtown waterfront spot is a favorite for sailing celebrities and packs a punch in both scenery and decadence. Blow your budget and feel great doing it. Should you order the $MP wood-fired seafood casserole? Absolutely. Look around—you won’t be the only one tucking into a pricey bowl of crustaceans or mounds of caviar. It’s just how people roll here.

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

This North Bay Village institution draws crowds as much for its waterfront views as its impeccable smoked fish dip, chunky corkscrew fries and festive frozen cocktails. It’s one of the few places in Miami where dining with a view won’t cost you, but don’t expect more than a few notches above a beach shack. It’s a sandals-and-T-shirt kind of place where the vibe is relaxed and the seafood is always fresh.

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  • Restaurants
  • Japanese
  • Downtown
  • price 4 of 4

Downtown’s modern Japanese mecca is accessible by yacht and by land. No matter how you arrive, the palm-tree shaded terrace awaits with views of the Miami River and Brickell Key. It’s a fun people-watching spot as most boats navigate this stretch to get to and from Downtown.

  • Restaurants
  • Seafood
  • East Little Havana
  • price 2 of 4

Garcia’s is a salty, old-school fish joint that’s earned generations of fans with its fresh catch. A must-visit during stone crab season (when claws are cheap compared to other local places), it’s also great year-round. This family-owned spot puts out some of Miami’s best seafood accompanied by home-style Cuban sides. The tostones and whole-fried fish are always a winning combo.

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

For Key West vibes in Coconut Grove, Monty’s is the clear choice. The popular tiki hangout serves strong frozen cocktails and fried seafood, two things that pair perfectly with a boat day. Go for happy hour (Mon–Fri 4–7pm), when a lively mixed crowd comes for the legendary $6 Pain Remover cocktails, $1 oysters and shrimp, and live island music starting at 5pm.

  • Restaurants
  • American
  • Miami
  • price 2 of 4

Unlike some of the more upscale options, sandals are encouraged at Whiskey Joe’s— the beachy, laid-back Key Biscayne attitude is definitely present here. Fresh off the boat? There’s no better way to celebrate a successful day on the water than with a frozen Rum Runner. Just tell the dock attendants (they’re in the blue shirts) that you’re eating at Whiskey Joe’s and docking is free.

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

The buzzy outdoor restaurant takes cues from its bayfront perch, offering up veg-forward coastal fare made with locally sourced ingredients and line-caught seafood like grilled Mahi and rotating selection of fresh fish. An assortment of lighter dishes will leave your body intact, like the grilled carrots with tahini, heirloom tomato salad and plenty of options from the raw bar. Arrive during happy hour (Mon–Thu 4–6pm) for $7 frosé, $8 punch and $2 shrimp cocktail. Docking is first come, first served, and prices vary.

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  • Restaurants
  • Overtown
  • price 2 of 4

The Wharf revived the Miami River, injecting the downtown waterfront with a refreshed nightlife scene, food trucks and outdoor fun. It’s a great option if you want to do a little bit of everything. The bar takes care of the drinks, and a caravan of food trucks (brace for tacos, sushi) ensure everyone is nice and full—plus, you can even kill calories on the dance floor, courtesy of the talented rotating DJs.

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