From sea to shining sea and everything in between, restaurants across the U.S. and Canada boast stellar water views. And though summer is often the prime season for soaking in sunshine on an oceanfront or lakeside deck, there are plenty of ways to enjoy the outdoors year-round, courtesy of floor-to-ceiling windows, heaters, and fire pits. Here are 14 of OpenTable’s most standout waterside restaurants, where the vistas are just as delicious as what’s on the menu.
Plumeria Beach House – Honolulu, HI
This secluded, ocean-facing stunner in the 50th state draws seafood lovers and curry fanatics for its bountiful buffet. Acclaimed executive chef Jonathan Mizukami, a Hawaii local, spotlights local ingredients and bounty from the sea in a casual setting where sundresses and shorts are the norm. Feel the ocean breeze inside, thanks to open-air construction, or outside on the terrace—with an umbrella drink in hand.
Salty’s on Alki Beach – Seattle, WA
The stunning views of Puget Sound at Salty’s deserve a toast or two, and there are plenty of ways to do so here. The Northwest-focused wine menu—featuring varietals from Washington and Oregon—has won Wine Spectator’s Award of Excellence several times over, and cups here also runneth over with creative cocktails. They’re all perfect for pairing with a locally-inspired menu that includes king salmon with red pepper almond aioli, and harissa-roasted fingerling potatoes. Want to savor the picturesque panorama even longer? Opt for the dessert course—the white chocolate mousse cake is a fan favorite.
The River Cafe – New York, NY
Whether you’re a native New Yorker or Big Apple neophyte, River Café serves up some of the most awe-inspiring views of the Statue of Liberty and the Manhattan skyline. Nestled under the Brooklyn Bridge, this MICHELIN-starred fine-dining hideaway has dished out elegant American plates since 1977; must-orders include a Brooklyn Bridge mousse—a social media favorite— fashioned from layers of chocolate. Toast the cityscape with a classic Manhattan cocktail, or opt for a glass—or two—from the superb wine list.
Pinched on the River – Chicago, IL
The beignet bar alone is reason enough for a visit to Pinched on the River, but for those looking for a healthy meal before dessert—with some escapist vibes—this is the place. Mediterranean-inspired cuisine is served up on the Ogden Slip, away from the hustle and bustle of the street above. Whether you’re shaded under a canopy of trees or the illuminated patio overhang, enjoy a leisurely European-style meal, complemented by a full wine and craft beer bar. Pick your own protein—shawarma, kebabs, or falafel—to top salad, rice, or toasted couscous bowls.
Legal Sea Foods – Harborside – Boston, MA
Boston is renowned for its seafood, so it’s befitting that one of the restaurants with the most iconic waterside views serves up fresh catch in abundance. Each of the three floors is a different dining experience at Legal Sea Foods’s flagship location. The third-floor promenade deck includes an all-weather rooftop lounge and bar with retractable glass walls and a roof. In the warmer months, the space is lit with flames from a copper-clad fireplace. Outside patios include the West Deck, with lounge seating overlooking Boston Fish Pier; East Deck includes table seating and a drink rail, plus entertainment from an adjacent concert pavilion.
Canoe – Atlanta, GA
Canoe’s rustic-chic interior sets it apart from Atlanta’s other restaurants—as does its tranquil waterfront setting. Its impeccably manicured lawn hugs the Chattahoochee River, and offers the perfect space to enjoy farm-to-table cuisine and pretty foliage underneath a canopy of wood-hewn beams. Guests are welcome to stroll the grounds after dinner—a great way to work off decadent dishes such as Gulf red snapper and roasted Springer Mountain chicken.
Fisherman’s Wharf – Galveston, TX
For decades, this storied spot was the site of a shrimp preparation company, responsible for priming mountains of Gulf crustaceans to be shipped across the country. Today, the seafood comes in Texas-size portions at Fisherman’s Wharf. The ultimate shrimp combo feast here is prepared four ways—bacon-wrapped, fried, and grilled and sautéed; other menu favorites include a stellar po’boy and the signature “shrimp kisses” (bacon-wrapped and stuffed with jalapeño Jack cheese). Grab a seat and watch the ships come in at Galveston Cruise Terminal or admire the 1877 tall ship Elissa, a floating National Historic Landmark that’s just next door at the Texas Seaport Museum.
Sierra Mar – Post Ranch Inn – Big Sur, CA
There’s no angling for the optimal view of the Pacific Ocean here—they’re all great, thanks to tiered-floor construction. Floor-to-ceiling windows on the jagged cliffs afford wide-open panoramas—and often, whale-watching—for diners who’ve snagged one of the few prix fixe dinner reservations available to non-hotel guests. In the evening, executive chef Reylon Agustin’s Californian four-course feast includes dishes inspired by the chef’s on-site garden, and what’s locally foraged from the nearby coastline and mountains; there’s also a family style lunch menu. Both pair well with a bottle of vino from Sierra Mar’s 3,000-bottle-plus cellar – it’s won the Wine Spectator Grand Award for 10 years in a row.
Amara at Paraiso – Miami
This restaurant, from Miami native and James Beard Award-winner Michael Schwartz, is one of the city’s most romantic perches. In fact, there’s a decent chance that those who’ve snagged a table here have seen a proposal or two. With unbeatable Biscayne Bay views, Amara often hosts those who want to marry beautiful settings with spectacular moments. Fittingly, there are plenty of rotating meals for two here—often surf and turf or whole-grilled fish—that teem with Schwartz’s signature bold Latin American flavors.
Harborview Restaurant & Bar San Francisco
San Francisco has no shortage of stellar Asian food restaurants, not the least of which is Harborview Restaurant & Bar’s panoramic spanse of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge. Guests can feast on dim sum and other Cantonese classics from a 4,000-square-foot outdoor terrace that also features glimpses of the landmark clock tower at the Ferry Building along the Embarcadero – making this among San Fran’s most ideal selfie spots during dinner or lunch service.
The Beach House – West Vancouver
With breathtaking Howe Sound vistas and a heated patio that’s open year-round, it’s no surprise that the Beach House is one of Vancouver’s waterside dining stars. The seafood towers here are as impressive as the soaring views of Lionsgate Bridge—and downtown Vancouver. The menu pays homage to all that’s seasonal and local, with favorites that include Pacific salmon Caesar salad and Salt Spring Island mussels.
Boat House Waterfront Dining – Tiverton, Rhode Island
Forget about cracker crumbs piled on white fish—Boat House isn’t your Grandma’s seafood restaurant. Contemporary interpretations of classics include mussels Mozambique, swimming in saffron-tinged beer broth, a za’atar marinated swordfish gyro, and char-grilled salmon served with chickpea hash and olive relish. While almost every seat in the house includes a view of Mount Hope Bay, the newly renovated heated patio, available during all seasons but winter, offers up some of the most stunning panoramas in Rhode Island. And that’s saying a lot, given the Boat House’s proximity to Newport. For guests who arrive via boat, there’s an on-site dock. Cap off your meal with a stroll along the pier, complete with sailboat and sunset views.
1 Pico – Santa Monica, CA
Southern California’s coastline—visible from your table—inspires the plates at this beachfront beauty. Food and beverage director Franck Savoy, whose fine-dining menu hits all the right notes—don’t miss the day boat scallops. Luckily, this is a spot equipped for all seasons: opt to keep the Pacific Ocean-facing windows open in the summer, and choose a seat near the roaring dining room fireplace in the cooler months.
Amsterdam Brewhouse & Restaurant – Toronto
It’s all location, location, location when it comes to this 14,000-square-foot brewery and restaurant—to wit, it’s just steps away from attractions such as the CN Tower, Ripley’s Aquarium, and the Blue Jays’ home field, the Rogers Centre. But the ultimate showstoppers are the four sprawling outdoor patios, with views of the Toronto Islands. Fortunately, there’s something for everyone to sip and savor here, with an extensive menu that suggests house-made craft brews to pair with curries, salads, barbecue, and beer-battered fish and chips.
Carley Thornell-Wade is a Boston-based food, travel, and technology writer who’s been to more than 70 countries and delighted in tasting the regional delicacies of each.