For those seafaring locals that need to find somewhere to dock and dine, here are some of the best waterfront restaurants from Palm Beach to Miami-Dade where you and your vessel are welcome.
Tailor-made for the posh set Seaspice Restaurant along the Miami River quickly became the spot to see and be seen. Aside from the ideal waterfront location, it also offers diners unbeatable Downtown Miami skyline views. The menu, billed as globally-inspired with an avaunt-garde twist, is extensive to say the least. Naturally, they’re serving oysters, caviar, stone crabs as well as steak and pasta dishes. And what’s a Miami spot without craft cocktails and premium spirits.
The granddaddy of the bunch is Garcia’s Seafood Grille & Fish Market, where the atmosphere is the antithesis of Seaspice. This place shows the real working Miami River, with fishing boats bringing in their catch as you watch from your waterfront table. Their smoked fish dip is a must and everything on this menu is as fresh as can be, so whatever is to your liking, you’ll be satisfied. A cold beer or sangria is the perfect beverage of choice to wash it all down.
The newest waterfront spot with a completely different view is Deck at Island Gardens, located off the MacArthur Causeway. Their waterfront cabana lounges offer the most unique seating in this posh spot. The menus by Chef Alfredo Alvarez offer a mix of Mediterranean dishes along with Italian specialties like risotto and pizza. Boaters would most likely prefer the raw bar, caviar and other seafood selections best, though.
The groups boating through the Intracoastal can be found stopping in at Duffy’s Sports Grill for not just a meal, but a dip in their pool. This huge restaurant has plenty of indoor as well as outdoor dining and the pool is very close to where boats dock, giving them easy access. Once seated, the wings at Duffy’s are tasty as well as their selection of draft beers.
At Cap’s Place you’ll dine in an establishment that’s been around since the 1920s and is located on an island off Lighthouse Point. Once a casino and rum-running speakeasy, this place is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is Broward’s oldest restaurant. Expect classic favorites like calamari, linguine with clams, seafood platters and Maryland style crab cakes.
One of the newest spots in Broward is Boatyard Restaurant where the 80-seat patio dining area offers prime boat viewing. If you can take your eyes off the very interesting tree that juts out at the center of the patio, you can catch a major sunset here. The 120-feet of dockage is ideal for docking and dining (no dashing please). The menu is seafood-centric and the fresh daily catches are some of the most popular with diners.
Tie off your vessel, step on to the dock and relax with a view of the Intracoastal at Lauderdale-by-the-Sea’s Blue Moon Fish Co. Here’s where award-winning chefs are preparing creative fresh Florida cuisine and the bartenders are busy pouring unlimited Bloody Marys and mimosas or champagne during the Sunday Gospel brunch. By far the most decadent item on the menu is the Raw Bar’s Iced Seafood Tower, a seafood lover’s dream at $94.
A long-time staple for Fort Lauderdale boaters, Shooters is an institution for the boating community. With a recent renovation and 340 feet of dockage, it’s no wonder this place is so popular. Lounging waterfront on chic outdoor furniture surrounding a fire pit is the way to go here. It’s the perfect spot to sip on a cocktail while watching fellow boaters pass by. Inside, the muted tones and nautical theme are evident throughout. Fish tacos, sushi, all kinds of sandwiches, fish and chips and even chicken and waffles are on the menu.
So the name is a bit sketchy, but the atmosphere at Square Grouper Tiki Bar is anything but. Set along the Jupiter Inlet, they’re serious about boating here, giving their location in longitude and latitude readings on their Marina page. Under their massive tiki hut live bands take the stage most nights. Find the bar there and grab a frozen drink like the Creamsicle, a signature cocktail or ice cold beer to go with sliders, conch fritters or coconut shrimp.
Named after a tropical fruit that’s a mainstay of shakes in Miami’s Cuban community, Guanabanas looks like something out of “Swiss Family Robinson.” The tree house atmosphere and walkable waterfront view with lush foliage is the perfect spot for dining. At night, outdoor table umbrellas twinkle with lights and plenty of Florida seafood fills plates with a menu that features lots of fresh catch items along with Florida shrimp. There’s a kid-friendly menu too and live music.
Not wanting to leave out sports fans with boats – you can head to Two Georges Waterfront Restaurant, Lounge and Sports Bar. Dock here just in time to cheer on your favorite team. The legendary spot’s been open more than 50 years and serves up fresh local fish and Maryland style crab cakes, both house specialties. Located on the Intracoastal, live bands perform here regularly.