Having dinner outside is great, but do you know the best South Florida restaurants that offer al fresco dining on the water? Listen in for all the details...
In this episode of the Sunshine Republic podcast, let's take a look at a dozen over the best waterfront restaurants in the Gold Coast down in southeast Florida. Without further ado, let's jump right in going from south to north.
Monty’s in the grove. Montes raw bar is certainly one of Miami's most well-known and respected waterfront restaurants. Any of you who've been down there in Coconut Grove know that Monty’s and the surrounding locale has been the backdrop for a multitude of TV series and music videos. And in fact, Miami Vice, Burn Notice, Marley and Me were all had film scenes over at Montes raw bar. It has a huge waterfront Tiki hut allowing you to forget about life for a while as you just watch the water and enjoy a really great meal. They also have an indoor space for air-conditioned dining events, and certainly they have ample Dockage so you can easily arrive by boat too and partake of a refreshing beverage or dinner.
Next up is another Monty’s which is Monty’s over at over in Miami Beach. Monty’s Sunset, and it's located poolside and waterfront on the docks of the Miami Beach Marina. It is another casual dining place where they serve fresh caught local seafood. Have a very large raw bar very often live music, and frankly some of the best sunsets in Miami. They're open for lunch, dinner, Happy Hour and special occasions and very often have loved music. So, if you're in Miami Beach, I know there's a great variety of super restaurants in Miami Beach, but Monty’s Sunset is someplace that you really should check off your bucket list.
Number three has us moving up to Fort Lauderdale, and Coconuts! Coconuts is a small raw bar right on the water just alongside Bahia Mar and slip F 18 of John McDonald and Travis McGee fame. Scooby Snacks are a special here they are crab claws dipped in garlic butter and they are certainly not to be missed. The beer is cold, and the food is great, and the services is superb as well. That certainly is a spot that you should consider visiting if you are in downtown Fort Lauderdale.
Next up is Shooters. Shooters, as we, as many of us know, is a landmark in Fort Lauderdale. Some of the background history you might not know is that back in the early 80s, a former TGI Friday’s executive wanted to branch off from his old company, and he wanted a more memorable name. So, with his passion for hunting, he called his new restaurant Shooters, and it opened in 1982. And of course, since then, it's been memorialized in a number of movies and as a Spring Breakers paradise. I believe it was in the movie spring break 1984 - It’s been neighborhood eatery and just a legacy waterfront restaurant in in Fort Lauderdale.
In 2014 it was purchased by Megan Lackey and her and her dad, William McIntyre and went through a multimillion-dollar overhaul, and it really transformed what was a somewhat tired party spot into a beautiful, elegant dining destination. It's no longer crowded; it's spread out and it's very elegant. It's a large facility welcomes over half a million visitors annually. It really is a premier restaurant. Get a reservation there and you're welcome to come by small boat or even by Mega yacht. Shooters is just west of A1A and just south of Oakland Park Boulevard. Well worth a trip as a destination
Next, moving up to Pompano Beach and the redeveloped Pompano Beach Pier area. The first on our list is the Oceanic restaurant. It's one of the few listed today that is actually on the ocean. It's high up above the dunes. So, there's a tremendous view of the ocean and the pier. While not an incredibly formal restaurant it is sophisticated and is certainly more formal than the Oceanics’ Tiki hut that's located just south of the pier whereas the oceanic is north of the pier. Lucky fish is an outdoor very large Tiki hut with bands outside and it is it is more casual and offers typical, more handheld fare than Oceanic but both are superb and they're both well worth a visit.
Now, our next entrant is next door actually and is the beach house. This is a two-level restaurant and I'd suggest sitting upstairs for an even higher-level overlook over the pier and over the ocean. The bars upstairs and the beach house is well known for some very unique dishes, including a very unique grilled Caesar salad. Certainly, these pair of these pair restaurants oceanic and beach house, as well as lucky fish are superb updates to downtown pompano. And you might want to sample all three in the same evening. Maybe you start with a cocktail at Lucky Fish, dinner upstairs at The Beach House and a slice of Elvis pie at Oceanic.
Moving up to Delray Beach and Deck 84 is on the intracoastal up in Delray on Atlantic Avenue. It's been voted one of the top 100 alfresco dining restaurants in America by Open Table and is directly adjacent to that Atlantic Avenue Bridge and does offer great views of Intracoastal Waterway. It offers local and seasonally inspired dishes including the Baja fish tacos, very special signature Mahi dish and the special blend Deck 84 burger. There are two bars, one air conditioned one outside under the tiki hut and it really is a great gathering spot that is right on the water in Delray Beach.
Next restaurant up is Prime Catch in Boynton Beach. Prime Catch shares ownership with Banana Boat also in Boynton – Banana Boat started actually years earlier in the late 70s. Down in in Fort Lauderdale, near commercial Boulevard, but Prime Catch on opened in 2004 and Zagat at that time rated it with the best new restaurant in Palm Beach County. Since then, it's only gotten better it has an incredible bar dock out up a little ramp so you actually can have dinner seated at a high top or at the covered bar out in the Intracoastal itself. It certainly is a destination in itself, but the site is not overshadowed by the quality of the food. The food is excellent. And it certainly is a great location. I know I've been there for Father's Day and among other special occasions as well.
Our next waterfront restaurant is Frigates in North Palm Beach right on route one. It's well known for drink specials as well as a huge Sunday brunch. Get there early and make sure you're hungry for the Sunday brunch because it is one to be seen. Very tropical environment and great tables up and down the canal. It's a great place to place to go particularly if you're very close to North Palm Beach.
Lastly, similar to the three companion restaurants in Pompano being Lucky Fish, The Beach House and Oceanic forming an evening sequence of appetizers, dinner and dessert - there's a similar situation in Jupiter. There's a couple of landmarks there in Jupiter
The Square Grouper is probably the largest Tiki Bar beach combination you're going to come across in South Florida. For a little bit of history, it opened in 2003. And as the owners say it's become one of the most popular watering holes in the United States. It has been the home of several music videos, including one we all may know - Alan Jackson's It's Five o'clock somewhere with Jimmy Buffett. It truly is a little hidden gem nestled among the palm trees at the end of Love Street. There’s stunningly beautiful waterfront views of the Jupiter inlet lighthouse and boats coming and going. It also has a 19-slip marina where if you'd like to drive up by boat, you can come in there. They have another outlet another Square Grouper tiki bar on the Fort Pierce Inlet, which you could visit as well. Square grouper also contributes back to the community. They host numerous fundraisers each year. They do have live music onstage seven days a week. From local bands to some very famous artists. It is a 21 and over location at all times. And it's very laid back there is no server service. There is no dress code. It's simple but great food and you will truly feel like you're somewhere else.
Right near the square grouper is a tremendous upscale restaurant, Lucky Shuck oyster bar and tap house and as they say on their website, both upbeat and relaxing. From their website, they set “a fun-loving tone with a light hearted atmosphere. Indulge in the fruits of the sea from the showcase raw bar, kick back over a beer or libation of choice while watching the sunset. It really is one of the best restaurants in the area and it’s right in downtown Jupiter and it is on the water. They have a range of you name it foods from shellfish to ceviche starters and handhelds, smoked ribs fried chicken, Cajun grilled steak, you name it. However, it's not to be outshone by the third in our triumvirate here in Jupiter which is…
Guanabana! The beloved guanabana It was opened by Jupiter surfers as a sandwich shop in 2004 - it quickly grew to become an institution in Palm Beach County because of the extremely lush tropical setting, the great cuisine and the cocktails. No longer is there a sandwich shop here. They do have live music from both national acts and popular names in South Florida. It is 100% Open Air with woven Tiki huts and banyan trees towering overhead. Sunlight typically doesn't shine because the trees are just so thick - the walkways are hand chiseled cocina. It truly is a laid back Island atmosphere that's like no other. Keep an eye out for music and your favorite bands that play there. The food is astounding. The music is great.
A really nice visit to Jupiter might start with a beer at the square grouper. maybe dinner at Lucky Shuck and a walk over to Guanabana for some late-night music and after dinner drinks.
That concludes our cool very quick look at a dozen restaurants waterfront restaurants in the Gold Coast area of Miami Dade, Broward and Palm Beach County.
And just to review we quickly went through Monty’s in Coconut Grove, Monty’s Sunset in Miami Beach, Coconuts and Shooters in Fort Lauderdale; the Oceanic. Beach House and Lucky Fish tiki bar right in Pompano Beach, Deck 84 in Delray Beach, the Prime Catch and its related partner Banana Boat in Boynton and Frigates in North Palm Beach. And then the Square Grouper, Lucky Shuck and Guanabana at the Jupiter inlet. All of these are tremendous locations and really remind you why we are all in Florida. So, thank you very much for listening to this episode of the Sunshine Republic podcast. We look forward to seeing you on a on our next episode very soon.