- Food with a side of panoramas
- Boat House Waterfront Dining, Tiverton, Rhode Island
- Legal Harborside, Boston, Massachusetts
- Jake’s Del Mar, Del Mar, California
- Blue Moon Over Avila, Avila Beach, California
- The Strand House, Manhattan Beach, California
- Little River Inn, Mendocino, California
- Latitudes, Key West, Florida
- A-J’s Dockside Restaurant, Tybee, Georgia
- Boathouse on the Bay, Long Beach, California
- Dry Dock Waterfront Grill, Longboat Key, Florida
- The River Café, Brooklyn, New York
- The Mill at Simon Pearce, Quechee, Vermont
- Sea Level, Pass Christian, Mississippi
- Salty’s Seafood, Portland, Oregon
- Coast Guard House, Narragansett, Rhode Island
- Pilot, Brooklyn, New York
- Dauphin’s, Mobile, Alabama
- Salty’s Seafood, Seattle, Washington
- Bartolotta’s Lake Park Bistro, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
- Marker 88, Islamorada, Florida
- M.C. Perkins, Ogunquit, Maine
- Miller’s Waterfront Restaurant, Nag’s Head, North Carolina
- The Oasis at Lake Travis, Austin, Texas
- Nepenthe, Big Sur, California
- La Mar by Gaston Acurio, Miami, Florida
- Bon Appetit, Dunedin, Florida
- The Spot, Galveston, Texas
- The Beach House, Kauai, Hawaii
- COAST, Watch Hill, Rhode Island
- Brown’s Beach House, Puako, Hawaii
Food with a side of panoramas
There’s hardly a better pairing than delicious food and great views. Luckily, the US is packed with places to snag an excellent meal accompanied by beautiful waterside panoramas. These vistas are so good that they can even dazzle diners through a window, though we always prefer to dine alfresco when the weather will allow. Due to ever-changing COVID-19 restrictions, be sure to check if you’ll need a reservation before heading out.
Boat House Waterfront Dining, Tiverton, Rhode Island
Anyone looking for an all-senses taste of New England should make a beeline for Boat House Waterfront Dining. Rhode Island may be America’s smallest state, but this restaurant goes big when it comes to New England menu classics and picturesque bluff-top views over Mount Hope Bay. Arrive by car or boat and take a seat on the wrap-around outdoor deck – there truly isn’t a bad seat in the house.
Legal Harborside, Boston, Massachusetts
Think Boston is all about cream pies and sports? Think again. Legal Harborside is here to remind you that Boston can also show you a wicked good time on the waterside. Here, you’ll have your pick of three floors, all underneath one big retractable roof. The third floor promenade terrace is ideal for catching fireworks on Fourth of July, or just admiring the sky on a clear day. The menu here focuses on classic seafood dishes with a Boston twist, fresh catches from the in-house seafood market and an oyster bar. Where do we sign up?
Jake’s Del Mar, Del Mar, California
Jake’s Del Mar is located right off the beach in sunny San Diego County. And chef Duvinh has loaded up the menu with vibrant dishes full of fresh seafood, top-quality meats and seasonal produce that are almost as seductive as the view. We especially love coming here on Sundays for brunch – because who doesn’t want an excuse to drink a delicious cocktail moments from the sand?
Blue Moon Over Avila, Avila Beach, California
The beautiful beaches of Southern California may get the bulk of the attention, but those who travel to California’s Central Coast are rewarded with laid-back vibes and dramatic (and we mean dramatic) coastline views. With a Mediterranean-bistro charm and a menu to match, Blue Moon Over Avila on Avila Beach is a go-to for sunset drinks, celebrations and classic French dishes, from salad Niçoise to steak tartare.
The Strand House, Manhattan Beach, California
Opened in 2011, The Strand House was the collective effort of a few local families who wanted to create a space where people could enjoy fine food, wine and, of course, views. Be sure to stretch your neck before you arrive, so you can take full advantage of the 180-degree Pacific Ocean views. Chef Craig Hopson serves up Coastal California cuisine in an upscale atmosphere. Grilled Spanish octopus, caviar, ceviche and pan-seared branzino are just a few of the dishes worth tucking into.
Little River Inn, Mendocino, California
Lucky diners at Little River Inn have reported seeing whales from their tables. Even if you strike out with the whales, the experience here is always a win. Views of the Pacific Ocean (which is right across the road, by the way) are Instagram worthy, though we do hope you’ll put down your phone long enough to appreciate the impeccable seafood menu on offer. It includes cioppino, a fish stew with crab and clams.
Latitudes, Key West, Florida
Being a peninsula, Florida has its fair share of stunning waterfront locations – but locals know that some of the best sunset views can be seen from a table at Sunset Key Cottages’ restaurant, Latitudes. Expect a delicious seasonal menu with breakfast, lunch and dinner dishes focused on tropical fruits and fresh-caught local seafood – all perfectly paired with a balmy breeze from the Gulf of Mexico.
A-J’s Dockside Restaurant, Tybee, Georgia
Simple decor and a straightforward, seafood-forward menu are hallmarks of this modest Tybee restaurant. Tybee is a small town near Savannah that’s big on independent businesses and food – there are no chain restaurants here. The result is places like A-J’s Dockside Restaurant, where you can catch Tybee Creek views with a side of Southern specialties like shrimp and grits and hushpuppies.
Boathouse on the Bay, Long Beach, California
Steak, seafood, sushi, live music, good drinks and great views – it’s easy to see why Boathouse on the Bay is a favorite. Rock out to nightly live music, while you soak in the SoCal vibes from Alamitos Bay. This contemporary seafood restaurant rests right up against the water’s edge, giving guests an unobstructed front-row seat to some of the best sunsets in town. Don’t worry, the menu is just as beautiful, with crunchy fried fish, creamy chowders and local seafood.
Dry Dock Waterfront Grill, Longboat Key, Florida
There’s a reason that Dry Dock Waterfront Grill has made it onto OpenTable’s “Best Al Fresco” and “Most Scenic” restaurants list – it delivers on the hype. As you may have guessed, alfresco dining is the main attraction here and on busy nights you may find a decent waitlist. Make no mistake, Dry Dock is worth the wait. Casual, lively and romantic all at the same time, this seafood restaurant hits the spot every single time. Treat yourself to some local stone crab claws (if they’re in season).
The River Café, Brooklyn, New York
New York City has no shortage of great restaurants, but the best ones pair stellar food with water views. What better place to dine than under the iconic Brooklyn Bridge? At The River Café, you’ll get sweeping vistas of that famous NYC skyline, lovely East River panoramas and a menu that helped start up the East Coast American cuisine scene.
The Mill at Simon Pearce, Quechee, Vermont
A glass design house might seem an unlikely entry on our list – but one glimpse at the gorgeous setting and you can understand why it made the cut. The Mill at Simon Pearce has a breathtaking backdrop featuring the Ottauquechee River waterfall and a covered bridge. The menu here is equally as romantic, with New American dishes like lamb burgers, duck ravioli and horseradish-crusted cod.
Sea Level, Pass Christian, Mississippi
At Sea Level, you can make your waterside dining experience even more immersive by actually slipping off your shoes and digging your toes into the sand. Don’t worry, it’s totally casual here – you’ll dine on picnic tables set right up in the sandy cove. Menu items feature classic beach favorites like fish tacos, burgers, hot dogs and freshly-squeezed lemonade. Rustling palm trees and a warm Gulf breeze is icing on the cake.
Salty’s Seafood, Portland, Oregon
A beloved gem along Oregon’s Columbia River, Salty’s Seafood in Portland calls to us in our dreams. Fresh seafood, superb river and mountain views right from your seat, and a lively happy hour make this our happy place. We also love the wall of windows, live shellfish tank and the sheer amount of choices. Salty’s is sure to be a crowd pleaser.
Coast Guard House, Narragansett, Rhode Island
This New England restaurant started out life in the early 1800s as an official US Coast Guard station. Today, the Coast Guard House faces out toward Narragansett Bay, giving guests uninterrupted water views and offering them a space to enjoy fresh seafood and good friends. The menu was revamped along with the restaurant after Super Storm Sandy in 2012, and now features selections from land and sea, plus a raw bar including treats like lobster tail cocktail.
Pilot, Brooklyn, New York
It’s hard to beat the waterside experience of wining and dining on a repurposed historic wooden schooner anchored on New York City’s Hudson River. Pilot is just one of four restaurant-on-a-boat experiences from Crew in New York, and we couldn’t be more smitten. This is 147 feet (45m) of pure fun-in-the-sun, relaxation, dips and bobs on the water. The sustainably sourced seafood and craft cocktail menus are almost as stunning as the view.
Dauphin’s, Mobile, Alabama
Alabama may not be the first place you think of when looking for ocean views, but this well-elevated restaurant on the 34th floor of a skyscraper will give you a whole new perspective. Dauphin’s diners get to take in bird’s-eye views of not only Mobile Bay, but the Gulf of Mexico too. You’ll also savor some seriously tasty Southern-style seafood loaded up with smoke and spice and everything nice.
Salty’s Seafood, Seattle, Washington
Salty’s Seattle gets a lot of praise – both for its location and its food. That’s how you know it’s a winner worth visiting. It’s located on Alki Beach, and guests here can dig into an all-you-can-eat weekend brunch, pick out their own lobster and crab from the lobby tank, and take an after-meal stroll by the water. It’s mostly seafood here, but you’ll also find stuff for meat lovers, and for music lovers too.
Bartolotta’s Lake Park Bistro, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
One meal at Barlotta’s Lake Park Bistro will have you smitten in the mitten that is Michigan. This bistro serves up rustic, authentic French dishes ranging from tartare to foie gras to filets – all with a side of the city’s best Lake Michigan views. Plus, you’ll get free parking and a beautiful nature setting to boot. Life doesn’t get much more carefree than this.
Marker 88, Islamorada, Florida
The Florida Keys are packed with excellent waterside dining experiences, but Marker 88 is one of the only ones where you’ll find tables in the sand. We don’t know if it’s the incredible fresh seafood, ice-cold fruity cocktails or ridiculous ocean views, but we can’t get enough of this place. Plus, the laid-back atmosphere (flip flops are the norm) makes the experience that much sweeter. They’ve even got gluten-free and vegetarian items marked on the menu.
M.C. Perkins, Ogunquit, Maine
M.C. Perkins offers up an eye-full of the Atlantic Ocean. And you can take it in while downing a mouthful of incredible Maine seafood specialties, like plates of whole-fried trout, oysters and buckets of world-famous Maine lobster. The vibe here is relaxed, intimate and memorable with the light sizzle of seafood on your table and softly crashing waves around you. Thanks to three walls of picture windows, you’ll be able to catch an ocean view from pretty much any place you plop down.
Miller’s Waterfront Restaurant, Nag’s Head, North Carolina
We would be doing you a disservice if we neglected to mention this family-owned favorite in North Carolina’s Outer Banks. Miller’s Waterfront Restaurant is one of the only true waterfront dining experiences in the area. Get your fill of southern seafood and specialities like hot crab dip, fried green tomatoes, fish and grits, and peel-and-eat shrimp covered in Old Bay Seasoning. Might as well check out the stunning water views, too (you know, since you’re here).
The Oasis at Lake Travis, Austin, Texas
Everything is bigger in Texas, and when it comes to The Oasis at Lake Travis it’s especially true. This waterfront venue is the largest outdoor restaurant in the state. Find the perfect spot to watch the sunset on one of the many decks (which all seem to spill out towards the lake) and get your Tex-Mex fix with staples from enchiladas and tacos to burgers and salads. You can enjoy some of that famous Austin live music too.
Nepenthe, Big Sur, California
Nepenthe has been drawing people to its clifftop location for over 70 years. Most people flock here to watch the sun sink into the treetops and below the horizon of the Pacific from the terrace – though the view from the picture windows in the dining room isn’t bad either. While the menu features typical American fare like burgers and seafood, the experience is, in fact, anything but typical.
La Mar by Gaston Acurio, Miami, Florida
Miami’s Mandarin Oriental hotel is hiding one of the city’s top-notch restaurants right in plain sight. La Mar, helmed by acclaimed Peruvian chef Gastón Acurio, is perched right above Biscayne Bay, giving lucky diners views of both the beautifully blue waters of the Atlantic Ocean and the glittering Miami skyline. Grab a pisco sour and toast to the finer things in life from this privileged POV, while noshing on bright ceviche and savory empanadas.
Bon Appetit, Dunedin, Florida
Downtown Dunedin’s Bon Appetit restaurant has been earning acclaim for its menu for decades, which says a lot considering the view here is worth a million bucks. Seriously: there aren’t many places where you can grab a spectacular menu full of dishes that range from a lobster roll to steak tartare and ahi tuna, and watch dolphins play in the Intracoastal Waterway from your seat. Bon Appetit offers an unpretentious vibe in a sophisticated setting.
The Spot, Galveston, Texas
A family-friendly atmosphere and a casual dining experience make The Spot one of Galveston’s favorite waterfront restaurants. We love it because you can practically taste the love that goes into every made-to-order menu item, from the hand-battered onion rings to the grill-flipped burgers. Nestled right up against Seawall Boulevard, The Spot gets you so close to the water that you might not even need the salt rim on your margarita. It really hits – you guessed it – the spot.
The Beach House, Kauai, Hawaii
Part romance, part fun-in-the-sun, The Beach House is a favorite among tourists and locals alike – a testament to how special this place truly is. Nestled along the beach of Kauai’s South Shore, this restaurant is a treat, day or night. Day time feels fresh and flirty, perfect for sampling the bright, locally sourced dishes full of Hawaiian flavors with the sun on your face and the waves in your ears. Come nighttime, moonlight twinkling on the water and a sky full of stars makes it ultra romantic.
COAST, Watch Hill, Rhode Island
The name of this Ocean House resort restaurant says it all. COAST is a frequently lauded oceanfront spot with out-of-this-world views of the Atlantic Ocean. Cottage-style decor is punctuated by large windows that act as frames for the beautiful views. A seasonal four-course menu is tied to the freshest-available regional ingredients, like scallops from Nantucket Bay. We recommend dining out on the terrace for an extra relaxing meal.
Brown’s Beach House, Puako, Hawaii
Is it possible for a restaurant to have too good of a view? At Brown’s Beach House, part of the Fairmont Orchid hotel on Hawaii’s Big Island, it just might be. It’s not uncommon to see people focused on the sunset or whipping their phones out to capture the quintessential tropical landscape shot. Expect a menu as refreshing, comforting and colorful as the setting – think ahi poke and imaginative meat dishes like five-spice duck breast.