Best Waterfront Restaurants in Miami 2022

No marriage is perfect, but there is always an exception. Take, for example, the flawless combination of stunning water views and amazing meals.

This kind of fusion – harmonious and infinitely enchanting – is surprisingly rare in Miami. After all, food has a lot to live up to when a deadly setting is its counterpart. But luckily, there are a handful of eateries nestled on winding canals, busy coves and blue oceans that offer the whole package.

Just travel downtown to Garcia’s long-standing Seafood Grille & Fish Market, overlooking the Miami River, and enjoy freshly welded scallops and mahi-mahi fingers. Or enjoy great ocean views while enjoying a good steak at South Pointe Parks Smith & Wollensky.

There’s no better way to change lunch or dinner than to eat outdoors with Magic City’s sparkling skyline and waterways as a backdrop. Below, in alphabetical order, are ten of the best restaurants to do just that.

click to enlarge Amara at Paraiso is chef Michael Schwartz's "love letter to Miami," is located on Biscayne Bay.  PHOTO AUTHORIZATION OF AMARA AT PARAISO

Amara at Paraiso is Chef Michael Schwartz’s “Love Letter to Miami,” located on Biscayne Bay.

Photo courtesy of Amara in Paraiso

Amara and Paraiso

3101 NE Seventh Ave., Miami
305-702-5528
amaratparaiso.com

James Beard award-winning chef Michael Schwartz will be the first to tell you that he has a special place for his Edgewater establishment, a place he calls his “love letter to Miami.” Sunsets give a golden glow to the buildings across Biscayne Bay to the east. And the food is fantastic, blending Latin American flavors and local ingredients into dishes that change weekly to highlight specialties cooked on a wooden grill and Josper charcoal oven.

click to enlarge For more than half a century, Garcia's has served some of Miami's finest seafood on the banks of the Miami River.  - PHOTO GOING FROM GARCIA'S SEAFOOD GRILL & FISH MARKET

For more than half a century, Garcia’s has served some of Miami’s finest seafood on the banks of the Miami River.

Photo courtesy of Garcia’s Seafood Grille & Fish Market

Garcia’s Seafood Grille & Fish Market

398 NW N. River Dr., Miami
305-375-0765
garciasmiami.com

For almost half a century, the same family has run Garcia’s Seafood Grille & Fish Market overlooking the Miami River. Since opening, the casual restaurant just west of downtown has remained a hit with locals for the freshest fresh seafood and beautiful views. Choose from a cornucopia of catches, from swordfish and sea bass to yellowtail and shrimp. Combine your choice with a relaxing view and you have a taste of old Miami that is second to none.

click to enlarge La Mar by Gastón Acurio enjoys a prime location overlooking the Bay of Biscay from the Mandarin Oriental.  - PHOTO PERMITTED FROM LA MAR BY GASTÓN ACURIO

La Mar by Gastón Acurio enjoys a prime location overlooking the Bay of Biscay from the Mandarin Oriental.

Photo courtesy of La Mar by Gastón Acurio

The Sea by Gastón Acurio

500 Brickell Key Dr., Miami
305-913-8358
mandarinoriental.com/miami

Mandarin Oriental’s distinctive waterfront restaurant offers a prime location overlooking Biscayne Bay and the Miami skyline. It is the perfect backdrop for La Mars’ distinctive ceviches, freshly grilled anticuchos and specialty cocktails. Reinforced by spacious indoor and outdoor seating along with three bars, each offering distinctive culinary experiences, the menu ranges from exclusive Andean food to Asian-Peruvian fusion and traditional ceviches.

click to enlarge As the name suggests, Ocean Social offers views of the Atlantic Ocean from Eden Roc.  - PHOTO PERMITTED BY OCEAN SOCIAL

As the name suggests, Ocean Social offers views of the Atlantic Ocean from Eden Roc.

Photo courtesy of Ocean Social

Ocean Social

4525 Collins Ave., Miami Beach
786-961-6043
edenrochotelmiami.com

This newcomer to the Miami stage by the waterfront offers tall coastal dining done in classic Miami style. Located in the iconic Eden Roc Hotel with unrivaled views of the ocean and sky, Ocean Social is the perfect place to enjoy an upscale dinner, a casual lunch by the ocean or an aperitivo at sunset. The atmosphere is warm and inviting, the menu filled with welcoming, feel-good dishes that highlight local ingredients. Firewood chunks, colorful salads, well-made cocktails – both dishes and drinks are fresh, ingredient-made, satisfying and designed to be shared between friends and family.

click to enlarge Petralunga offers views of Miami Beach near North Bay Marina.  PHOTO PERMIT OF PETRALUNGA

Petralunga offers views of Miami Beach near North Bay Marina.

Photo courtesy of Petralunga

Petrolunga

7601 E. Treasure Dr., North Bay Village
305-397-8676
petralunga.com

This Italian establishment offers a quiet respite from tourists and crowds plus stunning views of Biscayne Bay, with North Bay Marina and Miami Beach as a backdrop. Enjoy the chef’s offerings of modern gourmet pizzas – there is even one topped with caviar – and Mediterranean dishes that cover salads, fish, pasta and meat.

click to enlarge Redfish by chef Adrianne is a hidden gem.  PHOTO PERMISSION OF REDFISH BY COOKER ADRIANNE

Redfish by chef Adrianne is a hidden gem.

Photo courtesy of Redfish by Chef Adrianne

Redfish by chef Adrianne

9610 Old Cutler Rd., Miami
305-668-8788
redfishmiami.com

Redfish in Matheson Hammock Park is known far and wide for its breathtaking location. This is where you come to celebrate the extra special date nights, anniversaries, birthday milestones … and these days simply to get out of the house. The waterfront property is no stranger to closures; it was closed by hurricane damage in 2017, but reopened under the vision of chef Adrianne Calvo, who transformed the room to suit dishes like ahi tuna sashimi with crispy shaved Brussels sprouts and pear, topped with ponzu aioli, soy and truffle; and herbal-filled branzino flavored with lemon and garlic.

click to enlarge Rusty Pelican is a go-to restaurant overlooking the water along the Rickenbacker Causeway.  PHOTO PERMISSION OF RUSTY PELICAN

Rusty Pelican is a go-to restaurant overlooking the water along the Rickenbacker Causeway.

Photo courtesy of Rusty Pelican

Rusten pelican

3201 Rickenbacker Cswy., Key Biscayne
305-361-3818
therustypelican.com

It’s hard not to be surprised by Rusty Pelican’s beautiful views when you stare out of the clear bay windows or sit outdoors. The view pulls, but there is a touch of magic in the air at sunset when splashes of pastel pink, orange and purple color the sky. Then again, the brunch menu is a must-try. Order scallops and eggs for a day boat for a solid serving of wild-caught, seared scallops, large eggs with the sun side up, hash browns and bacon mimosa Brussels sprouts. Then set off along the Rickenbacker Causeway.

click to enlarge Seaspice's Miami River views are second to none.  - PHOTO PERMITTED BY SEASPICE

Seaspice’s Miami River views are second to none.

Photo courtesy of Seaspice

Seaspice

422 NW N. River Dr., Miami
305-440-4200
seaspicemiami.com

Located right on the Miami River, this chic white boat house with wood accents offers cool breezes that are as peaceful as you could imagine. But Seaspice staff know how to turn up the party mood – especially on Sundays. Raw selections, seafood plates, pizzas, pastas and wood-fired stews fill the food menu, and there is an extensive cocktail menu to match.

click to enlarge South Pointe Park is home to Smith & Wollensky - and panoramic water views.  PHOTO PERMISSION OF SMITH & WOLLENSKY

South Pointe Park is home to Smith & Wollensky – and panoramic water views.

Photo courtesy of Smith & Wollensky

Smith & Wollensky

1 Washington Ave., Miami Beach
305-673-2800
smithandwollensky.com

Located on the southern tip of Miami Beach in South Pointe Park, Smith & Wollensky is the perfect place to enjoy the sunset to the west and the views of Government Cut and the ocean to the south and east. People and boat keep an eye out for serious plates of dry-aged steaks and impressive wines. After a glass or two, Fisher Island will seem closer than ever, and the $ 69 you spent on an 18-ounce New York strip will seem like pocket money. But soon you will see – as with everything else at Smith & Wollensky – it’s worth it. And you deserve it.

click to enlarge Dine on Argentinian food and enjoy views of the Little River Canal at Tigre Miami.  PHOTO PERMIT OF TIGRE MIAMI

Dine on Argentinian food and enjoy views of the Little River Canal at Tigre Miami.

Photo courtesy of Tigre Miami

miami tiger

620 NE 78th St., Miami
305-456-9540
tigre.miami

On the banks of the Little River Canal – and surprisingly out of earshot of the bustling traffic on Biscayne Boulevard and 79th Street Causeway – this Argentinian restaurant offers swordfish steaks, a 36-hour beef rib and front row seats for watching manatees and paddleboarders drives passively past. The intimate dining room is a three-dimensional Pinterest board of geometric tiles, whimsical wallpapers, wood paneling and a curved ceiling. Outside, everything is green: the tiles, the tables, the ferns spilling out of their pots, the bougainvillea crawling up the espalier. Borrowers lucky enough to grab tables by the canal get dinner and a water show with plunging seabirds in the lead roles, jumping fish and sun-kissed fishermen sailing with their dinghies.

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