20 Best South Florida Waterfront Restaurants
Your South Florida Dining Guide
A getaway in South Florida is the ultimate time-out, with its glorious beaches, enticing nightlife, and dining options that make vacationers extend their stay whether they want to hit up one more raw bar and sip on one more rum punch. There are a boatload of great restaurants in South Florida, from Jupiter and Boca Raton to the always happening Miami area —so we’ve reeled in a collection of the best for you to catch without having to go deep sea fishing to find them.
1. Amara at Paraiso, Miami
One of the hottest spots in the Miami area, Amara at Paraiso offers stunning vistas of Biscayne Bay, where people can enjoy the views while dining on cuisine from James Beard-award restaurateur Michael Schwartz and executive chef Michael Paley. Enjoy a rum drink served inside a fresh cut Florida coconut, while dining on favorites like chicken empanadas, grilled red snapper, or grilled skirt steak.
2. Shuckers Waterfront Bar and Grill
This local institution has been welcoming guests by land and sea for three decades. Famous for its grilled wings and fresh seafood, as well as a full service bar with several signatures cocktails and local beers on tap, Shuckers is a great destination with something for everyone. For those who want to catch up with their favorite sports team instead of taking in the water views, the restaurant boasts 30 flat screen tvs indoors. Shuckers also has docking accommodations for vessels up to 65 feet.
3. Garcia’s Seafood Grille, Miami
The restaurant has been an institution in the Miami area for nearly 50 years, owned and operated by the Garcia family, which originally emigrated from Cuba, for generations. For lovers of fresh seafood, it’s hard to do better than Garcia’s. The family first began its business with a fresh fish market, which it still operates today. Lobster mac and cheese, grilled mahi mahi, seafood creole, grouper and more are always on the menu. It’s a seafood lover’s dream.
Move over to SALT’s adjacent Shipwreck Bar and relax with a mint julip or frozen cocktail while listening to live music. It’s not uncommon to spot celebrities, like Jimmy Fallon, at this popular waterfront gem that also happens to have Shelter Island’s only wine tasting room.
4. Joia Beach Restaurant and Beach Club, Miami
This hidden enclave on Watson Island is designed as an oasis with an emphasis on the beauty of nature,and offers a retreat from the hustle and bustle of the city. Freshly sourced seasonal ingredients are at the heart of the European-inspired menu, including a baba ghanoush appetizer, raw bar, wood-grilled branzino, greek-inspired chicken breast, and more.
5. The Lido Bayside Grill at the Standard Spa, Miami Beach
Frose, anyone? The Lido Bayside Grill offers the quintessential summer wine in frozen form, and that’s just the start. The Lido Bayside Grill takes its inspiration from coastal cuisine, showcasing locally sourced ingredients and featuring sustainably caught seafood. It also offers vegan, vegetarian, and gluten-free options.
6. Kiki on the River
For those interested in Greek-inspired fare, and who might be looking for a party atmosphere, particularly on the weekend, Kiki on the Water is the perfect waterfront dining destination. The restaurant boasts that “Mykonos comes to Miami” on Friday nights, with a DJ and other Greek-inspired entertainment.
Seaspice Brasserie and Lounge, located on the Miami River, is a high end restaurant frequented by celebrities, boasting “gastro-classic” dining options. Globally inspired dishes, with an emphasis on seafood, make up the menu at this high end establishment, which was transformed into a luxurious space from a post-industrial warehouse.
8. Ill Gabbiano
For fans of fine Italian dining, Ill Gabbiano, on the waterfront in the heart of Miami, is the obvious choice. The expansive menu includes all the Italian classics, from antipasto to risotto, fish, steaks, and everything in between.
9. La Mar by Gaston Arcurio
Authenic Peruvian flavors are the star at this restaurant, run by world-reknowned chef Gaston Arcurio. It offers views of both Biscayne Bay and the Miami skyline, and features signature ceviche dishes and a menu that promises “upscale novo-Andean fare” and “Asian-Peruvian fusion.”
10. Guanabanas, Jupiter
This North Palm Beach County institution had humble beginnings, opened as simple sandwich shop by a group of surfers in 2004. But it has evolved into a much sought-after spot. The 100 percent open air restaurant boasts a Tiki-hut aesthetic, with a laid-back, island atmosphere. Locally and sustainably sourced Florida seafood is a big feature on the menu. Live music is a big part of the atmosphere at Guanabanas, which has a reputation for hosting the best local, regional and even national artists.
11. The Rusty Pelican, Miami
This waterfront restaurant and lounge is another solid choice for dining with a view in Miami. The lively atmosphere includes views of the Miami skyline, and entertainment acts from fire dancers to live music. The menu is seafood-heavy and extensive, with plenty of fish dishes as well as sushi, plus an expansive bar. If you’re looking for a lively, action packed night out, the Rusty Pelican will deliver.
12. La Canita, Miami
Caribbean and “pan-Latin” flavors abound at Miami hotspot La Canita, which celebrates the food and flavor of countries like Cuba, Jamaica, Haiti, and more, along with live music Thursdays through Sundays. From plantain and coconut crusted shrimp, to empanadas, ropa vieja, and more, La Canita is can’t miss for lovers of Latin and Caribbean inspired food.
13. Verde at Perez Art Musuem, Miami
Located in the Perez Art Museum, with views of Biscayne Bay, this modern but casual restaurant offers both indoor seating and outdoor seating on a wide terrace. Locally inspired dishes, specialty cocktails, and more are on the offer at this restaurant, a great stop for art lovers.
14. Monty’s Raw Bar
If this iconic waterfront tiki hut looks familiar, that’s because it has been the backdrop for several films and tv shows, including Miami Vice, Burn Notice, and Marley and Me. Guests can arrive by land or by boat, and the restaurant boasts a fresh seafood and island-inspired dishes, as well as live music.
15. The Cove Waterfront Restaurant and Tiki Bar, Boca Raton
This Deerfield Beach restaurant has been serving up seafood and local cuisine with views of the intracoastal for more than 40 years. The lively atmosphere has something for everyone; views of the water, and also several flat screen tvs inside for sports lovers.
16. Seaspray Inlet Grill at Waterstone Resort and Marina
Seaspray offers “casual dining with a definitive Boca flare,” and a “light, airy atmosphere with spectacular views.” A menu with coastal classic, and a relaxed vibe are part of the allure. The restaurant, open all day, offers everything from blackened mahi tacos to arugula and watermelon salad, as well as several mouth-watering signatures cocktails, such as fresh blackberry and mango margaritas made with muddled fruit.
17. Latitudes, Delray Beach
This oceanfront restaurant and lounge, located at Delray Sands Resorts, boasts five separate dining and social spaces, with ocean views. Coastal cuisine is offered in “beach chic luxury,” with a mesmerizing but elegantly stated “under the sea” decor motif.
18. Seasons 52 Fresh Grill and Wine Bar
This Palm Beach Gardens establishment features seasonal cooking and 52 wines by the glass. The emphasis is on oak-fire grilling and brick-oven roasting, and the restaurant prides itself on not having “a fryer in sight.” From wild Alaskan salmon to Florida stone crabs, the menu changes with the season, assuring a wide range of options.
19. Tigre Restaurant and Bar, Miami
Nestled by a manatee sanctuary off Biscayne Boulevard, this restaurant features a modern take on Argentinian cuisine, and is inspired by traditional Buenos Aires cafes and neighborhood bistros. The menu features an array of small plates based on Argentinian classics, from croquetas to mojo-verde mussels.
20. Jetty’s Waterfront Restaurant, Jupiter
A South Florida staple for 25 years, Jetty’s offers views of the Jupiter Inlet Waterway and Jupiter Lighthouse. Classics like fresh fish and shellfish, steaks, ,and more make for a classic Florida dining experience.