Best Outdoor Restaurants in Miami

By Shayne Benowitz | Jun 25, 2018
Glass & Vine outdoor dining
In a glass house overlooking Biscayne Bay Glass & Vine is a popular Coconut Grove spot

Where to dine al fresco in Miami.

With sunshine, sea breeze and the mellow shade of palm trees, Miami is the kind of city where you want to be outside as much as possible. This, of course, goes for dining and it’s no wonder that Miami is home to many idyllic outdoor restaurants. From sweeping rooftops to cozy courtyards and sidewalk cafes, pull up a seat at one of these magical outdoor dining establishments.

Glass & Vine in Coconut Grove

Set in a glass house on Coconut Grove’s Peacock Park overlooking Biscayne Bay, Glass & Vine offers an expansive outdoor deck to enjoy Chef Giorgio Rapicavoli’s inventive fare. It’s a popular spot for lunch, dinner, happy hour and weekend brunch. Filled with creative small plates and entrees, highlights include crispy squid with lemon and zucchini, watermelon salad, beef short ribs and don’t skip a side of carbonara fries made with black truffle crema, bacon and grana padano.

Juvia in South Beach

Juvia outdoor dining

Situated at the top of the 1111 Lincoln Road building designed by Pritzker Prize-winning architects Herzog and de Meuron, Juvia offers some of the most spectacular views in all of Miami. With both indoor and outdoor seating, a vertical garden and 280-degree views of Miami stretching from the beach to Biscayne Bay, you’ll feel like you’re on top of the world. The cuisine at this fine dining establishment combines French techniques with Asian and Latin flavors. Highlights include king crab risotto with aji amarillo lobster stock and green asparagus, Chilean sea bass with maple glazed eggplants and Korean marinated short ribs.

The Café at Books & Books

Books & Books in Coral Gables

You have three lovely choices when it comes to al fresco dining at The Café at Books & Books: Coral Gables, Lincoln Road or the Adrienne Arsht Center. Whichever you choose, you’re in for a charming affair at this legendary independent bookstore. Coral Gables is the original location with wrought iron chairs and tables situated in a Spanish-style central courtyard. Enjoy sidewalk café seating at their South Beach location on Lincoln Road and tables along Biscayne Boulevard at the beautiful performing arts venue Downtown. Chef Allen Susser has designed the menu at each location highlighting local, seasonal ingredients in fresh sandwiches, salads and entrees with plenty of vegan options to choose from.

Green Street Café in Coconut Grove

Greenstreet cafe in Coconut Grove

Coconut Grove is another haven of outdoor dining with sprawling sidewalk cafes near the CocoPlum outdoor shopping center. Green Street Café is a Coconut Grove institution serving breakfast, lunch or dinner, so snag a sidewalk table in the shade and enjoy the bohemian ambiance of the Grove, the most historic neighborhood in Miami. The menu has plenty of American classics to choose from in hearty portions, like cheeseburgers, linguini and clams, Greek salads and skirt steak. Pro tip: Don’t skip the chorizo mac ‘n cheese to share with the table.

Jaya at The Setai in South Beach

Jaya at the The Setai seating in the Zen courtyard

The outdoor dining experience at Jaya at The Setai is in a league of its own. Ask for a table inside their tranquil Zen courtyard featuring Asian-inspired design elements. Banquette seating surrounds onyx reflection pools in a symmetrical layout with tall palm trees and pagoda-like structures overhead. Start with the naan bread and Thali platter, featuring a variety of the chef’s specialties, like tandoor chicken tikka, Peking duck and wagyu strip loin. For a more traditional South Beach outdoor dining experience paired with the sounds of crashing waves, head past the Zen garden to the oceanfront bar and grill where buckets of Champagne are a popular compliment to lunch.

Cecconi’s at Soho Beach House

Cecconis outside dining and bar

Tucked away in the shabby chic digs of Soho Beach House, Cecconi’s is a lovely Italian eatery set in an outdoor courtyard with sea foam and cream-striped tile floors and trellises crawling with ivy. With cushy seating, rough-hewn wooden beams and twinkling lights floating above, it’s a romantic destination for breakfast, lunch or dinner. You can’t go wrong with items like zucchini blossoms, truffle and goat cheese pizettes, handmade burrata and lamb ragu cavatelli.

Mandolin Aegean Bistro in the Design District

Mandolin Aegean Bistro in the Miami Design District

Hidden behind a blue picket fence and shaded by white awnings and umbrellas, enjoy a taste of the Mediterranean while dining al fresco at Mandolin Aegean Bistro in the Design District. Popular amongst Miami’s fashion set, swing by after a morning of shopping. Start with a sampler of homemade hummus, tzatziki and beet puree with fresh pita and the Greek village salad. Indulge in Mediterranean sea bass or a pulled lamb sandwich, but definitely don’t leave without an order of baklava and Turkish coffee.

A La Folie Café in South Beach

La Folie patio dining

This South Beach hidden gem is found at the western end of Española Way. A La Folie is laidback French café specializing in homemade crepes, sandwiches and salads, snag a table on the sidewalk and you’ll be transported to a charming French village. You can’t go wrong with their extensive menu of savory and sweet crepes, but if you feel like trying something different, their habibi lamb sausage sandwich and French style Caesar salad are both hits. For dessert, the chocolate fondant is heavenly.

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