Best Outdoor Restaurants In Miami

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By Shayne Benowitz

With sunshine, sea breezes and the mellow shade of palm trees, Miami is the kind of place where you want to be outside as much as possible. This, of course, goes for dining too and it’s no wonder why 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.

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La Mar by Gaston Acurio at the Mandarin Oriental

La Mar by Gaston Acurio is an upscale Peruvian eatery at the Mandarin Oriental, Miami. Its expansive outdoor patio on Biscayne Bay offers water views reflecting Downtown Miami’s glittering skyline. Indulge in variety of fresh fish ceviche, tiraditos, whipped potato causas and anticucho grilled meats. Start with the chaufa aeropuerto, a traditional pan-fried rice dish made with Chinese sausage, shrimp omelet and egg noodles. Other 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. You can’t go wrong with the chef’s tasting menu to sample a little bit of everything.

    Glass & Vine

    Set in 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 and large plates, highlights include broccoli fritters, local fish crudo and snapper a la plancha. Don’t skip a side of carbonara fries made with black truffle crema, bacon and Grana Padano cheese.

      Juvia

      Situated at the top of South Beach’s 1111 Lincoln Road building, designed by Pritzker Prize-winning architects Herzog & de Meuron, Juvia offers spectacular views. 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, the Chilean sea bass with brown butter bok choy and Korean marinated short ribs.

        The Café at Books & Books

        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 for the Performing Arts. 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 inside a Spanish-style courtyard. Enjoy sidewalk cafe seating at the South Beach location on Lincoln Road, or at tables along Biscayne Boulevard at the beautiful performing arts venue in Downtown Miami. Chef Allen Susser has designed the menu at each location, highlighting local, seasonal ingredients in fresh sandwiches, salads and entrees with plenty of vegan and vegetarian options to choose from.

          Greenstreet Café in Coconut Grove

          Coconut Grove is another haven of outdoor dining, with sprawling sidewalk cafés near the CoCoWalk outdoor shopping center. Greenstreet Café 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, the most historic neighborhood in Miami. The menu has plenty of American classics to choose from in hearty portions, like cheeseburgers, linguini with shrimp, Greek salads and skirt steak. Pro tip: Try the chorizo mac ‘n cheese and share for the table.

            The Lido Bayside Grill at The Standard

            Japanese-inspired fare, bright yellow umbrellas, a beautiful crowd and sweeping views of Biscayne Bay make The Lido Bayside Grill at The Standard a stunning waterfront destination. The menu features an izakaya residency with recipes by chef Daniel Herget. Opt for the kurobuta pork chop, kimchi fried rice and the okonomiyaki fries topped with bonito flakes. Come for the sunset and enjoy happy hour pricing until 7 p.m.

              Cecconi’s at Soho Beach House

              Tucked away in the 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 ivy-draped trellises. 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, beef carpaccio and spaghetti with Maine lobster.

                Mandolin Aegean Bistro

                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. It’s popular among Miami’s fashion set, who like to swing by 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 definitely don’t leave without an order of baklava with Turkish coffee.

                  A La Folie Café

                  This hidden gem is found at the western end of Española Way in South Beach. A La Folie is a laidback French cafe 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 the extensive menu of savory and sweet crepes, but if you feel like trying something different, the habibi lamb sausage sandwich and French-style Caesar salad are both hits. For dessert, the chocolate fondant is heavenly.

                    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 animated 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 like the Pasta Di Gragnano with a one-pound Maine lobster; Agnello al Moscato di Trani grilled Colorado lamb chops, moscato wine, potatoes and fresh herbs; and Branzino al Sale, whole salt-baked Mediterranean sea bass. Indulge before the end of your meal with the homemade pastries, specialty cakes and coffee beverages available at the espresso bar and dessert station.

                      Naomi's Garden Restaurant & Lounge

                      Rich in Caribbean flavors and culture, Naomi’s Garden Restaurant & Lounge is beautifully surrounded by colorful murals, gardens and patio seating, with live music in the evenings. This family-owned restaurant in Little Haiti is known for its goat tassot, jerk chicken and fried snapper, as well as conch stew. Make sure you load up on delicious side dishes like plantains, spicy macaroni au gratin, collard greens and pumpkin soup. If you’re looking for something lighter, there are plenty of vegetarian options ranging from the tofu stroganoff to the vegan curry chick’n that will not disappoint. Tip: Wash down your meal with the passion fruit juice.

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