South Florida Waterfront Dining: 10 Reasons to Start Planning Your Weekend Now!

South Floridians have so many options when considering a great place to dine with a waterfront view. Whether you arrive on your own boat, a chartered boat, by car or even by the local water taxi, you’re sure to find a place for relaxing, socializing and gastro-satisfaction at top South Florida waterfront dining spots.

Following is a list (very, very non-comprehensive) of a few favorites that you may or may not have frequented. Whether it’s a cold Corona to wash down a paper basket of Old Bay Shrimp or upscale dining that includes seared Ahi Tuna paired with a nice glass of Sauvignon Blanc, South Florida’s waterfront dining scene has it covered. Check it out and we recommend whichever culinary destination you choose, go by boat. It’s the only way to travel.

Top South Florida Waterfront Dining Spots

  1. Lighthouse Café & Boaters Grill – Located at the Southern end of Miami’s Key Biscayne inside Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park, you’ll find the Lighthouse Café and neighboring Boaters Grill.Lighthouse Café is inside the oldest man made structure in Dade County (the county Miami is in) and along with a slice of history offers an unrivaled scenic ocean view. Boaters Grill is one of those word of mouth places that boaters who love a cold beer, good music and a nice fish-themed meal know about.
  2. Sailfish Resort – Located in West Palm Beach, just a short boat ride from the popular Peanut Island Sandbar is Sailfish Marina & Resort whose restaurant is a true slice of Florida. Whenever possible the fish is bought from local fisherman and cooked fresh and favorites include: stone crabs when in season, Florida lobster and blackened Mahi. It’s good fish served with a view.
  3. Alabama Jack’s – Deep in the heart of the Conch Republic, also known as the Florida Keys, you’ll find the infamous Alabama Jack’s. A bit of advice if this is your destination, bring your boat, bring your appetite and bring you sense of humor! Located in Key Largo since 1947, Alabama Jack’s is a festive and laid back stop for boaters.
  4. Rusty Pelican – Miami’s skyline is the backdrop for seared scallops topped with mango salsa at Biscayne Bay’s Rusty Pelican. The view of the Magic City comes alive at this spot frequented by celebrities, tourists and locals alike. Situated right on the Rickenbacker Marina, it’s the ultimate in Miami chic.
  5. Pelican’s Landing – Attention sunset lovers…we found a spot for you! Tucked away near the docks across from the Hyatt at Pier 66 in Fort Lauderdale, this is a true local spot. Casual atmosphere and South Florida flavors are in order and on weekends steel drums often seal the deal on a relaxing good time.
  6. Southport Raw Bar – Southport’s motto: Eat Oysters, Live Longer is on the free bumper sticker for patrons and accurately sums up what the Raw Bar that’s been in existence since 1970 stands for. It’s rustic and ultra-casual but the steamers and fresh oysters are hard to beat. Couple it all up with a basket of Old Bay Shrimp and a chilled Kalik and you’ll be living like a Fort Lauderdale local.
  7. Bahia Cabana – Located across from Fort Lauderdale’s South Beach, Bahia Cabana is a South Florida institution. With a pool for diners and waterfront seating, it is a great spot for weekend fun. Attracting locals and tourists alike, Fort Lauderdale’s Bahia Cabana is known for great Happy Hours and a stellar view of the Atlantic Ocean.
  8. 15th Street Fisheries – Boaters love this spot for Happy Hour that offers rustic eats downstairs by the docks or fine dining upstairs – both with a waterfront view. Located in Fort Lauderdale’s Historic Lauderdale Marina just north of the 17th Street Bridge, boaters can fuel up their boats and whet their whistles.
  9. Carmen’s at the Top of the Bridge in Boca Raton – Sharing a view of the Atlantic Ocean with the Intracoastal Waterway, Carmen’s offers a glimpse into the beauty of Boca Raton. Locals visit for Champagne Brunch and Continental Cuisine in addition to the ambiance.
  10. Seaspice Miami – Located on the banks of the Miami River, Seaspice is waterfront upscale dining with the beautiful backdrop of Miami’s Skyline. The décor is simple elegance with nautical touches and a menu that’s unique and sophisticated…this is the spot where locals in Miami step out to see and be seen.

 So that’s the list to get you started. It’s time to plan your weekend, right? Of course, it is. Have any little known or super popular South Florida waterfront dining spots to share with us? Please do. Variety is the spice of life and boaters are always on the hunt for a great spot to tie up and chow down!


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