Despite living in a city surrounded by water, I have on more than one occasion found myself stumped about where to go when I crave enjoying a meal or cocktail and an ocean view at the same time (which is often). In a city where it’s summer year round, it’s always outdoor-dining friendly weather, and you can count on an ocean breeze to provide the perfect ambiance for when the al fresco mood strikes. And while we’re talkin’ primo views–let’s not forget that iconic Miami skyline. But there are also plenty of alternative spots with elevated views so you can appreciate Miami from unexpected angles. So where can you go to enjoy them? Here’s a roundup of our favorite spots to escape the air-conditioned tundras of the office and enjoy the best views our city has to offer.

ROOFTOPS

Upper Buena Vista is quickly becoming one of the hippest new neighborhoods around. Its landmark restaurant, Vista (by the same folks that brought us Fratelli Milano), features yummy italian eats and boasts a comfy and cozy rooftop full of greenery where you can dine or have a cocktail. For more city views and good eats you can visit the freshly opened food hall and rooftop at The Citadel in Little River, where they have a little bit of something for everyone. It hasn’t been around for long but it’s quickly becoming one of our most beloved spots; you can check out our favorite eats from the food hall here.

Photo courtesy of East Miami

If downtown is more your vibe, you can climb up to Bloom Skybar at the top of the Langston Hotel, which offers an incredible view of downtown Miami and creative cocktails. There’s also Sugar in Brickell, another rooftop bar and restaurant that combines upscale elegance with casual relaxed hangout vibes and fun music.

OCEAN VIEWS

If you’re craving classic ocean views and utter relaxation, The Lido Bayside Grill at the Standard is the place to be. This Miami Beach spot serves organic Mediterranean fare for the health and environmentally conscious, even featuring biodynamic wines. This spot sits right on Belle Isle, overlooking Biscayne Bay, making for a prime sunset-watching spot with a 360 view of Miami.

Photo courtesy of Ocean Drive

For more casual hangs at a more conventionally beachy spot, you can always trust Shuckers to deliver. A beloved Miami classic, with fresh seafood, casual eats and cocktails, and a wide open patio with the best ocean breeze, it’s no wonder it’s a mainstay favorite. There’s nothing quite like enjoying fresh seafood right next to the sea, and you can get that experience at Grove Bay Grill too. With its casual beachy vibes, no-fuss food, and unbeatable oceanside view, this is a charming beachy-vibes Coconut Grove gem.

UPSCALE DINING

From empanadas to parrilladas, Amara at Paraiso has you covered for succulent Argentinian bites. With an elegant dining room adorned by a prime view of the sea, and a kitchen presided over by James Beard Award-winning Chef and restaurateur Michael Schwartz, you’re sure to feel like Miami royalty here. In the same vein of restaurants by acclaimed Chefs, you can also get excited about Jeremy Ford’s upcoming A-fish-o-nado in Coconut Grove, a seafood-centric refined dining restaurant that will overlook Biscayne Bay.

Photo courtesy of La Mar

For slightly more casual but still elegant vibes and great views, we love La Mar, a charming Peruvian spot overlooking Brickell Key, and Verde, a small restaurant nestled right next to PAMM. La Mar features delicious ceviche (a seaside classic), and serves many of its seafood offerings in quaint little boat-shaped serving dishes. Verde offers fresh light American fare and shares its backyard with PAMM’s, providing a sweeping seascape view of Biscayne Bay and the MacArthur Causeway bridge. This is a striking sight during the day, but it’s especially breathtaking at night when the bridge lights up with jewel toned lights–making this one of the best views of Miami at any time of the day. Checking out any of these spots is the easiest way to remember everything we love about Miami.

Photo courtesy of PAMM

Cover photo courtesy of Vista.


Barbara is a bi-coastal city dweller, splitting her time between Miami and Los Angeles (but forever loyal to the 305). A fan of all things fun, food, fashion, and film, she’s passionate about exploring the best that the city has to offer and she’ll never decline an invitation to dance. Find her on IG & Twitter @barbaragrrr.