Best Outdoor Restaurants In Miami

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By Shayne Benowitz

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 too and it’s no wonder why Miami is home to many idyllic outdoor restaurants. From sweeping rooftops to cozy courtyards and sidewalk cafés, 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 with an expansive outdoor patio on Biscayne Bay for water views reflecting Downtown’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 tenderloin lomo saltado. You can’t go wrong with the chef’s tasting menu at $85 to sample a little bit of everything.

    Glass & Vine

    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 and large plates, highlights include broccoli fritters, wagyu beef tartare and snapper a la plancha—and don’t skip a side of carbonara fries made with black truffle crema, bacon and Grana Padano cheese.

      Juvia

      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, the Chilean sea bass with maple glazed eggplants 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. 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 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 and vegetarian options to choose from.

          Green Street Café in Coconut Grove

          Coconut Grove is another haven of outdoor dining with sprawling sidewalk cafés near the CocoPlum outdoor shopping center. Green Street 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 and clams, Greek salads and skirt steak. Pro tip: Don’t skip the chorizo mac ‘n cheese and share for the table.

            The Lido Bayside Grill at The Standard

            Fresh Mediterranean fare, bright yellow umbrellas, a beautiful crowd and sweeping views of Biscayne Bay make The Lido Bayside Grill at The Standard the stunning waterfront destination that it is. The menu features a variety of small plates and entrees—some with a healthy bent, some with a Latin flair—and creative cocktails, to match. Opt for the chicken empanadas, Providence-style crispy calamari or the roasted veggie Buddha bowl made with tofu, broccoli, cauliflower, avocado, cucumber, quinoa and tahini dressing. Come for the sunset and enjoy happy hour pricing until 7 p.m.

              Cecconi’s at Soho Beach House

              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, 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. Popular amongst Miami’s fashion set, 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 in South Beach

                  This South Beach hidden gem is found at the western end of Española Way. A laidback French café specializing in homemade crepes, sandwiches and salads, snag a table on the sidewalk at A La Folie 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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