Contrary to popular belief, we have bad weather in Miami, so we really do appreciate those absolutely perfect 75-degree days when we nearly shed a tear every time we open the door. When that happens, eating outside is basically mandatory, and the 27 places on this guide are where you should go to do it. These are the restaurants where sitting outside is the whole point - places that are going to make you look around and mumble a prayer of gratitude that you’ll never have to learn what black ice is.
You can’t eat much closer to Biscayne Bay than at Amara - unless you own a boat or are a manatee. But if you are not a herbivorous marine mammal, then this is a really good choice because both the view and food are great. The menu is pretty much all seafood, with a small raw bar and a great grilled snapper. Come during the day if you really want to see the view in all its glory - and make a reservation if you want a guaranteed outdoor table.
Tigre is a beautiful Argentinian restaurant in the Upper East Side where you can bring a date or a few friends or, really, anyone who appreciates interior design and the color green. The outdoor seating is organized along a little canal that - despite being just a baseball toss away from the hectic intersection of Biscayne and 79th - feels peaceful and secluded. The aesthetics are the selling point here, but the food is also good. There are some solid veggie options, like a simple, crunchy hearts of palm salad or tender roasted beets, but you’ll find bigger steak and fish entrees too. Whether you want to eat buñuelos or just have a few apéritif cocktails while looking for manatees - Tigre is a good choice next time it’s so nice out that you feel guilty being inside.
Paradis Books & Bread is an excellent little North Miami spot that straddles the line between wine bar and restaurant. You can certainly come here just to drink, read, and chat. But it’d be a shame if you didn’t order at least something to snack on, like the tinned sardines served with seaweed butter and slices of fresh bread. The square pizzas (which they start serving at 6pm) are outstanding as well, and have a delicious light brown crust that tastes like whole wheat dough that just got back from a delightful vacation with a loaf of sourdough. Inside, Paradis is only one room, with a few tables and bar seating. But there’s a much larger outdoor area with some round cement tables, which is where you want to be on a nice night.
Itamae is located in the Design District and serves the best Nikkei food in the city. Right now, they only have outdoor seating, and it’s a spacious layout great for Design District people watching. But the food - not the view - is the main attraction here. The menu changes almost daily, but every sushi roll, ceviche, tiradito, and any other special they happen to be offering that day will be the best thing you’ve eaten in recent memory. And you’ll be glad you’re sitting outside so you can look towards the sky and mumble a prayer of gratitude for what just happened to your taste buds.
Mimi’s is a casual Edgewater restaurant with some very pleasant (and shaded) outdoor seating right along Biscayne Boulevard. During the day, this place operates as a cafe, serving coffee, pastries, and breakfast sandwiches. But at 6pm, they transition to dinner, offering a straightforward menu of salads, crudo, crispy skin branzino, and one of Miami’s best burgers. They do have some indoor seating, but most of the tables - as well as a circular bar that looks a bit like a gazebo - are located on the front patio. It’s easy to keep things casual here, but they also serve a pretty extravagant dish called “chicken & eggs” - a platter of four beautifully crispy pieces of fried chicken, crème fraîche, chives, and an ounce of Ossetra caviar for $75. It’s worth ordering if you’re a caviar fan.
Luca Osteria is a Coral Gables Italian restaurant along the pedestrian-only Giralda Plaza. It has lots of spacious outdoor seating where you can watch a steady stream of dogs and people. But as soon as the food hits the table, you won’t pay attention to anything but the plate in front of you. Pasta is the main event here, and every version is just outstanding. But there are some excellent non-pasta dishes too. Specifically, the patate fritte. It’s little fried potato balls covered by a creamy layer of parmigiano fonduta, black truffle, and a single egg yolk in the center - and it’s one of the best dishes in the entire city.
There aren’t a ton of reliably good restaurants with spacious outdoor seating in Wynwood. But Doya fills that gap wonderfully. Plus, they have a really nice patio with a decent amount of seating and umbrellas for shading. It’s a good place to come with a group, because they have a big menu full of very good meze plates perfect for sharing. The octopus in the octopus salad is as tender as fresh mozzarella, the lamb kebab is beautifully cooked, and the huge mussels are served in a perfectly balanced wine and garlic sauce.
Abbalé Telavivian Kitchen is a very good Israeli restaurant in South of Fifth open for lunch, dinner, and Sunday brunch. There are two ways to do Abbalé: come for some wine and snack on their salatim selection, which includes nearly a dozen tasty dips and veggies, or, have a proper sit-down meal. The Moroccan-spiced local fish is perfectly cooked, and served in a hot skillet of braised tomatoes. The shawarma-spiced wagyu picanha is also a really delicious and tender piece of meat. But, whatever you end up ordering, be sure to sit on their outdoor patio. It’s a pleasantly isolated space where no drunk tourists will stumble by asking for directions to the Versace Mansion.
Thanks to a big renovation and expansion, Chug’s is cooler than ever. The Coconut Grove Cuban spot feels like a completely new restaurant than when it first opened in 2019. And, in addition to an updated interior that has the DNA of a classic diner, Chug’s also revamped their patio seating. The big courtyard is now filled with shaded tables and plants, and it’s exactly the kind of setting where you want to be sipping a guava gimlet on a 70-degree night. The excellent food is familiar, mostly Cuban dishes and some great sandwiches. But there are plenty of unique twists on the menu, like medianoche pierogis filled with ham and lechón, an incredibly flavorful meatloaf, and dessert that should be mandatory to order.
Verde has one of those views that’ll make it hard to get up even after you’ve paid the bill. This surprisingly casual restaurant in the back of the PAMM gives you a wide-open look at Biscayne Bay, and lunch here feels like eating in the biggest, fanciest backyard in Miami. Though they stay open for dinner on Thursday, Verde is best for brunch or lunch, when you can eat pretty good pizzas, sandwiches, and salads while trying to guess how much each passing yacht costs.
Though it’s sometimes tough to get a table on a very nice day, it’s still easier than buying a plane ticket and flying to Greece - which is what having lunch here kind of feels like. Mandolin is in Buena Vista, and it’s about 90 percent outdoor seating. The tables are shaded by trees and canopies, and the grilled octopus, whole Mediterranean sea bass, and grilled halloumi are the exact kinds of things we want to eat on a sunny day. White wine is optional, but highly encouraged.
Kush Hospitality seems to be incapable of producing a bad restaurant, and MiMo’s Cafe Kush is further proof of this theory. This restaurant feels like the original Kush in Wynwood if it took a French vacation. They have some burger options, but also steak frites, a croque monsieur, and a great double-cut pork chop. Their outdoor seating is really lovely, too. It offers a view of Little River, which isn’t a huge body of water but does give you an above-average chance of spotting a manatee - especially in the winter.
From the street, Naomi’s just looks like a little take-out spot. But after you order from their menu of Haitian and Carribean dishes, walk around to the side of the building and find the garden seating. It’s a casual space with plenty of tables, a couple of loud roosters, a small stage for occasional live music, and a few hammocks you’re welcome to use in case you overdid it with their great jerk chicken. Naomi’s is one of the best restaurants in Little Haiti, but it’s such a relaxing space that we’d come on a pretty day just to read a book and have a passion fruit juice.
There is really only one rooftop space in Miami where we actually want to eat the food. And that’s at The Citadel, a food hall in Little River. There are some stellar vendors downstairs, and you can order right from your table. Options include one of Miami’s best burgers from United States Burger Service, great Laotian food from Lil’ Laos, some outstanding seafood from The Shores, and Frice, one of our favorite ice cream shops in Miami. Ash Pizza, Manjay (Caribbean), and Yuzu (Japanese) aren’t bad choices either. They accept reservations for the rooftop as well.
Yes, Lagniappe is more a place to drink than eat, but the mostly outdoor wine bar in Edgewater does have a small food menu that’s good enough to justify coming here for dinner even though the silverware is plastic. After you grab a bottle of wine inside, head to the backyard to order something from the grill: churrasco, mahi, salmon, chicken, and sautéed veggies are all solid options in addition to the very good meat and cheese plates. Come on the earlier side and you won’t have to compete for a table with a thousand first dates.
Ironside Kitchen Pizza & Coffee Co
An outdoor table at Ironside is going to be lovely no matter when you come. At lunch, the courtyard is sunny and bright, with lots of trees, plants, and occasional live music during the weekend. At night, string lights hang over the tables and create an ideal mood for a pizza date, which is usually what we end up ordering here even though the pasta is pretty tasty too. This place is BYOB (with a $10 corkage fee), so pick up some beer or wine before you come.
This Australian brewery in Coral Gables is a great place to drink and eat outside. Their front patio is really spacious and laid out over a stretch of astroturf, so you can feel like you’re having a little picnic. This place is equal parts brewery and restaurant, and you can certainly come here to just drink - they’ve got some crisp, refreshing day-drinking brews. But if you did that, you’d be missing out on what are quite possibly the best fish and chips in town. There are other tasty things to eat here that pair excellently with a cold beer, like sausages and smoked salmon rangoons.
Shore to Door is a fish market that also operates as a restaurant on the weekend for lunch. There’s no menu here. Instead, the chef - who might be in the middle of cleaning a fish - will tell you what came in off the boat that morning. It could be fried corvina bites, whole yellowtail snapper, wahoo fish dip, or a dozen other sea creatures. But it will be delicious, and you can eat it in their fantastic backyard, with mismatched furniture and an atmosphere that feels very Key West. If you want a beer, just pop open the cooler and help yourself. But a head’s up: call first to make sure they’re open. We’ve tried to come here before, only to learn that they sold out of seafood the day prior.
As with pretty much all hotel restaurants in South Beach, you can expect higher-than-average prices and a slightly touristy crowd at Osteria Morini. However, it’s still possible to have a very enjoyable meal here, especially if you sit outside. All the outdoor tables are arranged along a narrow little canal that can make you feel like you’re in Venice, if you squint hard and have had more than two negronis. Pasta is the move here, and it’s solid - especially the torcia nera and cappelletti.
Heartland is an outdoor restaurant and music venue in Little Haiti with a couple dozen tables spread out underneath a massive tree in a big empty lot. Pretty much every seat is facing the stage, where there’s usually a band jamming out. While you watch that band, you can order a bottle of wine, a ribeye, roasted eggplant, and lamb chops. None of it will blow your mind. The food isn’t the main attraction here, but Heartland has a great atmosphere and is a wonderful place to bring a date or a couple of friends who are down to drink some wine and listen to a saxophone.
Even though MiMo’s Andiamo is right next to the busy Biscayne Boulevard, eating under the roof of this retro building still feels secluded. You’re boxed in by lots of plants and tiki torches - and there’s also a big projector screen that’s usually playing whatever local sport happens to be on TV. Everyone here is eating pizza because it’s pretty much the only thing they serve and it’s a very good pie - especially if you prefer a thicker crust and lots of toppings.
North Beach’s Rouge probably has the smallest outdoor space on this guide, but it’s every bit as romantic as you’d expect from a little French spot. The tiny courtyard is covered in vines, lights, and could easily work as the setting for a scene where two spies who eventually fall in love meet for the first time over foie gras and wine. The food is decent but pricey - and the dishes are pretty heavy, with things like creamy escargot in a flaky puff pastry, quails with couscous, and black truffle risotto. So you’ve got to be in the mood for a big, luxurious French meal to come here. Still, it’s a really beautiful space and worth a trip the next time you want to pretend like you’re a foreign agent putting true love before duty.
There aren’t any great waterfront views or remarkable things to stare at with 27′s outdoor seating, but we like it because it’s got the same house-party feel as the dining room inside. And before or after you eat (preferably both), you can take about 15 steps to 27′s sister cocktail bar, Broken Shaker, where the lush, tropical outdoor seating is absolutely gorgeous.
Eating outside in Coconut Grove is an easy thing to do since just about every restaurant here has at least a few sidewalk tables. But few of them do outdoor dining as well as Monty’s, which is located along a marina on Biscayne Bay so you can convince yourself that maybe you should buy a boat. Come here for fried seafood you can eat with your fingers and strong frozen drinks that make both the seafood and the idea of boat ownership seem better.
Every table at Shuckers is technically an outdoor table because this place doesn’t have walls. And that is a good thing because it’d be a shame to block this good of a waterfront view. A lot of people come here to watch sports, but we go to Shuckers to just stare out into the blue horizon while occasionally breaking eye contact with the ocean to eat a perfectly fine chicken wing or fried calamari.
Doce Provisions serves Cuban fusion food a block north of Calle Ocho - and their Cuban sandwich and vaca frita tostones are both reason enough to come here if you’re looking for some good food in Little Havana. But if you’re also trying to eat outside, then Doce is absolutely the place to go. They have a very pretty back patio, with string lights, picnic benches underneath a pergola, and some murals you can stare at while you try to decide between the very good Cuban sandwich or fried chicken and plantain waffles.
The food at Lido is not as good or as cheap as it should be, but these are the sacrifices we make for one of the best waterfront views you can have while eating an OK $20 cheeseburger. This place is located in The Standard Spa, which means you also have an above-average chance of seeing a celebrity or overhearing a conversation about someone’s recent luxury ayahuasca retreat.