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By: Shayne Benowitz

There are few better destinations in which to dine al fresco than in Greater Miami & Miami Beach, known for plentiful sunshine, postcard-perfect views and, of course, ultra-fresh seafood and innovative global cuisine. From rooftops with panoramic vistas to cozy courtyards and sidewalk cafes, there are countless places here to enjoy a memorable meal outdoors.

La Mar outdoor dining at Mandarin Oriental
Enjoy sparkling water views of Biscayne Bay on La Mar's patio

La Mar by Gastón Acurio

For upscale Peruvian food, look no further than La Mar by Gaston Acurio at the Mandarin Oriental, Miami. Its expansive outdoor patio on Biscayne Bay offers water views with the glittering reflection of Downtown Miami's skyline. Indulge in a variety of ceviches, tiraditos, whipped potato causas and anticucho grilled meats. Highlights include the clasico ceviche made with fluke; the Nikkei made with both tuna tataki and candied tuna in tamarind leche de tigre; and the stir-fried lomo saltado tenderloin. Or, try the chef’s tasting menu to sample many of the restaurant’s signature items.

Glass and Vine outdoor dining
Experience inventive fare at Coconut Grove's Glass & Vine

Glass & Vine

Set in Coconut Grove's Peacock Park near Biscayne Bay, Glass & Vine has a sprawling outdoor deck where you can enjoy Chef Giorgio Rapicavoli’s inventive fare. It’s a popular spot for lunch, dinner, happy hour and weekend brunch. Filled with creative small and large plates, highlights include broccoli fritters, local fish crudo and snapper a la plancha. Don’t pass up a side of carbonara fries made with black truffle crema, bacon and Grana Padano cheese.

Juvia Rooftop dining
Appreciate spectacular views from Juvia's rooftop

Juvia

Perched at the top of South Beach’s 1111 Lincoln Road building, designed by Pritzker Prize-winning architects Herzog & de Meuron, Juvia offers spectacular scenery along with a winning menu. With both indoor and outdoor seating, a vertical garden and 280-degree views 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 brown butter bok choy; and Korean-inspired short ribs.

The Café at Books & Books

Another lovely choice when it comes to al fresco dining is The Café at Books & Books in Coral Gables. A charming experience awaits at this legendary independent bookstore with oodles of character and book-lined walls. Coral Gables is the mini-chain’s original location, with wrought iron chairs and tables situated inside a Spanish-style courtyard. Chef Allen Susser has designed the menu highlighting local and seasonal ingredients with fresh sandwiches, salads and entrees with plenty of vegan and vegetarian options to choose from.

Greenstreet Café outdoor dining
Greenstreet Cafe is a Grove institution and serves hearty portions

Greenstreet Cafe in Coconut Grove

Coconut Grove is a haven of outdoor dining, with welcoming sidewalk cafes near the CocoWalk outdoor shopping center. Greenstreet Cafe is a Coconut Grove institution, serving breakfast, lunch and dinner. Snag a sidewalk table in the shade and enjoy the bohemian ambiance of The Grove, a historic neighborhood founded in the 1870s by artists, intellectuals and adventurers. The cafe serves hearty portions of plenty of classics, including cheeseburgers, linguini with shrimp, Greek salads and skirt steak. Pro tip: Try the chorizo mac ’n cheese, which offers a portion large enough to share with the whole table.

Lido bayside grill at The Standard
Lido Bayside Grill at The Standard is a stunning waterfront destination

The Lido Bayside Grill

Bright yellow umbrellas, a vibrant crowd and sweeping views of Biscayne Bay make The Lido Bayside Grill at The Standard a stunning waterfront destination. The menu focuses on fresh, local ingredients, with lots of vegetarian and vegan options. Start the meal with the grilled sourdough bread basket and edamame with cool ranch spice. Move on to main dishes such as the blackened grouper sandwich with truffle fries or the vegetarian Impossible Melt on an everything bun.

Cecconi's outdoor dining
Spark up the romance at Cecconi's at Soho Beach House

Cecconi’s at Soho Beach House

Tucked away in the chic digs of Soho Beach House in Mid BeachCecconi’s is a lovely Italian eatery set in an outdoor courtyard with sea foam, cream-striped tile floors and ivy-draped trellises. With cozy 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 dishes such as zucchini blossoms; truffle and goat cheese pizettes; beef carpaccio; and spaghetti with Maine lobster.

Mandolin Aegean Bistro
Mandolin Aegean Bistro in the Miami Design District

Mandolin Aegean Bistro

Hidden behind a blue picket fence and shaded by white awnings and umbrellas, Mandolin Aegean Bistro is an al fresco gem in the Miami Design District. It’s popular among Miami’s fashion set, who like to swing by for Mediterranean fare after a morning of shopping. Start with a sampler of homemade hummus and tzatziki with fresh pita and the Greek village salad. Indulge in whole Mediterranean sea bass or a lamb burger, and don’t leave without ordering baklava with Turkish coffee.

A La Folie Cafe

This hidden gem is at the western end of Española Way in South Beach. A La Folie Cafe is a laid-back French spot specializing in homemade crepes, sandwiches and salads. Grab a table on the sidewalk and you’ll be transported to a charming French village. The cafe boasts an extensive menu of savory and sweet crepes filled with everything from salmon and brie to coconut and white chocolate. Or, try the spicy habibi lamb sausage sandwich and French-style Caesar salad. For dessert, the chocolate fondant with vanilla ice cream is heavenly.

Amare on South Beach
Amare Ristorante on South Beach serves the flavors of Naples and the Amalfi Coast

Amare Ristorante

Amare Ristorante is perfectly nestled on a spacious corner in the South of Fifth neighborhood of South Beach, welcoming guests with its 4,000-square-foot outdoor terrace. It’s a multi-sensory destination, dotted with the colors and scents of bougainvillea and lemon trees. Michelin-starred Chef Cosimo Cassano has curated a menu inspired by the flavors of Naples and the Amalfi Coast, with savory specialties such as the pasta di gragnano with a one-pound Maine lobster; agnello al Moscato di trani grilled Colorado lamb chops; and branzino al sale, whole salt-baked Mediterranean sea bass. Save room for dessert with housemade pastries, specialty cakes and coffee creations.

Naomi’s Garden Restaurant & Lounge

Surround yourself in the colors, sounds and flavors of the Caribbean at Naomi’s Garden Restaurant & Lounge near Liberty City. The family-owned restaurant’s outdoor area features colorful murals, lush gardens and patio seating. Naomi’s is known for its goat tassot, jerk chicken and fried snapper, as well as conch stew. Make sure to load up on delicious side dishes such as plantains, spicy macaroni au gratin, collard greens and pumpkin soup. Vegetarians have lots of options here, from tofu stroganoff to plant-based curry chick’n. Sip a refreshing glass of passion fruit juice with your meal.

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