When in Miami there’s no excuse to hide indoors, especially in the balmier ‘winter’ months. From dapper waterfront decks to lush garden grazers, the Sunshine State’s biggest city is blessed with a bevvy of top outdoor restos and cafes. Have are our faves – ready, set, alfres-go!
Spectacular rooftop dining desti with lush vertical foliage, wow outlooks over Biscayne Bay and a fresh and light menu that combines French, Japanese and Peruvian influences. Sunset is golden hour – just make sure you book ahead or come early to secure a spot.
1111 Lincoln Rd, Miami Beach. +1 305 763 8272. juviamiami.com
La Mar by Gaston Acurio
This deck-situ’d dazzler at the Mandarin Oriental wows with over-water perches wrapped in wham-bam views of Biscayne Bay and the downtown skyline. Add some of Snr Acurio’s mighty fine Peruvian – causa, chaufa and 15+ options from a dedicated ceviche counter – plus perfecto pisco sours for an exquisite open-air gourmet experience. Just say si.
Mandarin Oriental, 500 Brickell Key Dr, Brickell. +1 305 913 8358. mandarinoriental.com
The oh-so southern wrap-around verandah fringed with palm trees is the perfect lunch spot to sample Essensia’s fresh and healthy organic fare, much of which is harvested from their on-site garden. Go for sharable small plates like the grilled octopus with citrus parsley smashed potatoes and signature house-grown herb cocktails. Superb Sunday brunch too.
The Palms Hotel, 3025 Collins Ave, Miami Beach. +1 305 908 5458. essensiarestaurant.com
A Turk and a Greek open a restaurant… and cook up a storm in a homey cottage nestled between Design District galleries. Miamites flock to Mandolin’s rustic white and blue courtyard for a wide variety of Mediterranean dips and spreads, plus the house Aegean sangria spiked with rose water, green apple and Stone IPA.
4312 NE 2nd Ave, Buena Vista. +1 305 749 9140. mandolinmiami.com
River Yacht Club
Frankly, you’re not here for the seafood, but for the stellar yacht- and peep-watching. Sweet-talk your concierge for a club membership then nab a lounge chair on the grass for nibbles and negronis with Miami’s swank set, or sample mod-Med eats on the flower-dappled patio of the open-to-the-public restaurant.
401 SW 3rd Ave, Downtown Miami. +1 305 200 5716. riveryachtclub.com
Glass & Vine
The game is in the name at star-chef Giorgio Rapicavoli’s latest: a stunning, light n’ leafy, semi-open pavilion flaunting high design and panos of pretty Peacock Park. Tuck into local prod-packed plates with fresh n’ zingy global edge on one of the banyan tree-framed terraces.
2820 McFarlane Rd, Coconut Grove. +1 305 200 5268. glassandvine.com
The Lido Bayside Grill
Sunbrellas n’ sunsets, sweeping bay views (punctuated by the occasional dolphin), buffed bods, and fresh Med-American eats – The Lido is the ultimate unfussy waterside hang. Work up an appetite with a game of ping pong then chill out on the deck as you graze from the super-fresh, organic menu. The drinks list spans cold-pressed juices to house cocktails and biodynamic/organic wines. Awesome.
The Standard Miami, 40 Island Ave, Venetian Islands. +1 786 245 0880. standardhotels.com
The romantic garden of this discreet stalwart is the ultimate intimate lovers’ nest – think verdant foliage and twinkly lanterns coupled with top drops and seasonal North Italian dishes like hamachi and zucchini spaghetti. No wonder it’s a fave with in-town celebs.
1700 James Ave, South Beach. +1 305 673 1010. casatualifestyle.com
The Café at Books & Books
Forget beach or bay outlooks, you’re here to spy on the parade of big lads with toy dogs and barely attired pneumatic blondes. This shaded Lincoln Road book store and snacker is the patch to catch some prime people watching – easy on those butt fillers, Brandy.Lincoln Road Mall, 927 Lincoln Rd, South Beach. +1 305 695 8898. thecafeatbooksandbooks.com
For more sizzling dining spots inside or out, nab a copy of the LUXE Miami guide…