Best Outdoor Dining in Miami Beach

Oliver’s Bistro

Before the Morgan’s Hotel Group expanded their luxury holdings on South Beach with the opening of their first west side venture – the giddy Marcel Wanders confection that is the Mondrian Hotel – finding a quiet sidewalk table at Oliver’s Bistro was as simple as ducking under a market umbrella and tethering your dog to a chair leg. Many local residents long for those simple times because Oliver’s is their go-to spot for a leisurely brunch, a quiet cocktail or a simply grilled supper.

Chef Ed Malloy’s late breakfast (served until 2:30pm) and brunch menu is perhaps the most popular with sleepy regulars who tuck into egg filled popovers, classic corned beef hash and extra thick French toast. Champagne cocktails spiked with fresh orange juice, peach nectar or creme de cassis add just the right note to a fruit topped Belgian waffle or caramelized Dutch apple pancake.

Lunchtime crowds enjoy mainplate salads, a variety of pastas and pizza-style flatbreads topped with smoky bacon, portabello mushrooms and cheese. Malloy grills fresh local seafood, chcken and beef and adds Asian accents like jasmine rice, udon noodle salad and spicy mango chutney to the mix. Reasonably priced, simply prepared and always flavorful, Oliver’s Bistro definitely deserves to be popular no matter how much the regulars wish they could keep it all to themselves.

Oliver’s Bistro
959 West Avenue
Miami Beach, Florida 33139

Smith & Wollensky Miami Beach Restaurant

Travel to the Southern-most point of South Beach, and located right on the water, you will find a dining gem: Smith & Wollensky.

Smith & Wollensky
Smith & Wollensky in South Pointe Park

The stand-alone restaurant sits in the picturesque South Pointe Park, one of the last areas in South Beach that has not given way to high-rise condominiums that have recently taken over the skyline.

The restaurant’s large picturesque windows lend perfect views of the magnificent sights of the cruise-liners and barges that make their way in and out of the Port of Miami throughout the day.

Head out to the waterfront patio seating and grab a seat at the bar with the rest of Miami’s in-crowd and enjoy the sites and sounds, as you take a glimpse at how the other half lives.

While the waterfront location alone is enough to guarantee the success of this restaurant, rest assured, the cuisine is one of the best in South Beach. If you have never had a taste of Smith’s dry-aged meats, you are missing out on a culinary experience like no other.

A warning: One bite of the Filet Mignon dipped in their exquisite béarnaise sauce will leave every other steak for the rest of your life tasting sub-par.

With a Smith and Wollensky’s location open in almost every major city throughout the US, it is no question why the restaurant group enjoys such success: The food and service are five star, and lend themselves to a dining experience that should not be missed.

Smith & Wollensky is located at 1 Washington Avenue in South Pointe Park, Miami Beach, Florida, 33139. Phone: 305.673.2800

DiLido Beach Club

The beachfront promenade that runs behind many Collins Avenue hotels provides a front row seat to one of the most beautiful stretches of sand in the world. To maximize your ability to combine a relaxing day by the sea with cool tropical cocktails, tasty small plate tapas and great company, the Ritz Carlton South Beach opened the DiLido Beach Club; a seaside oasis serving the public both day and night.

Ritz-Carlton South Beach Hotel
DiLido Beach Club at the Ritz-Carlton South Beach Hotel

Under the watchful eye of Chef Josh Becker, this casual lounge serves cocktails and light bites from noon to sunset and hosts a monthly Full Moon Party with complimentary hookah pipes under the stars. The Ritz mixologists craft signature cocktails like watermelon and peach sangria and a DJ helps create an ideal mix of lounge music and live percussion to set the mood. Mediterranean and North African snacks including grilled meat or seafood kebabs, falafel, crisp flat breads and a number of vegetarian options comprise the Chef’s unique “Sun Cuisine.”

While a visit to the club should be on the short list of any South Beach holiday, to experience the luna cocktails, high powered telescopes and fabulous moon gazing out on the sand, be sure to check the hotel website to see when the next event is scheduled. Few clubs on South Beach offer this kind of chic and sensual fun with no cover, no velvet ropes and (best of all) no shoes!

DiLido Beach Club
1 Lincoln Road
Miami Beach, Florida 33139


AltaMare is a popular South Beach sidewalk cafe which recently expanded operations to double its seating capacity thanks to new chef Simon Stojanovic who brought considerable firepower to the restaurant following a successful stint at Michael’s Genuine Food & Drink. While the still-evolving menu reflects a dedication to fresh local produce, organic meats and sustainable seafood, the Mediterranean flavors that attracted so many locals to the original restaurant seem bolder and brighter than ever.

AltaMare Restaurant on Lincoln Road
AltaMare Restaurant on Lincoln Road

Located on the residential west side of the city, AltaMare is two streets past the end of the busy Lincoln Road pedestrian mall which requires a sense of adventure to actually find the place. As counter-intuitive as it might seem to open a sidewalk cafe so far off the tourist track, owner Claudio Giordano’s original incarnation achieved great success in spite of the fact that it was little more than a few plastic tables lining the sidewalk outside an office supply shop.

The elegant new dining room by Columbian designer Juan Carlos Arcila-Duque (Latin Style) is a quantum leap away from the sidewalk shuffle with gleaming dark woods, audio/video lighting by AVLI, plus an exhibition kitchen and a chef’s table to showcase Stojanovic’s craft.

Start with a citrusy ceviche, a deftly composed salad, a rustic pasta and grilled octupus or gently seared fresh local grouper. Long considered a seafood spot, AltaMare’s expanded meat offerings are some of the best new additions to the menu. And while tiramisu may have passed its dessert heyday long ago, the reinvented version that caps off your meal is definitely worthy of a comeback.

1223 Lincoln Road
Miami Beach, Florida 33139

Cecconi’s Restaurant at the Soho Beach House

In the mad dash to gain admission to one of the hottest private clubs on Miami Beach, locals and visitors should rest assured that Soho Beach House does allow restricted public access to it’s ultra-romantic dining courtyard, Cecconi’s Restaurant.

Cecconi's at the Soho Beach House Hotel
Cecconi’s at the Soho Beach House Hotel

While scoring a reservation for one of the twinkle-lit tables by night is nearly impossible, a taste of the rustic Italian fare is available by day when members and hotel guests favor the off-limits pool deck for their al fresco lunch. If you simply must dine in the heart of the Soho scene, contact the club’s concierge desk to see when they might accommodate your party.

Chef Sergio Sigala left his post at tony Casa Tua to run the breathtaking open kitchen where his culinary team crafts simple Italian fare redolent of good olive oil and fresh local produce. Standouts like roast branzino, salmon with fennel or seared black cod are smartly seasoned, not overwhelmed with sauce or garlic.

Carnivores will thrill to a perfect rack of lamb, a toothsome seared NY steak or a choice of veal chop or veal osso buco that is slow braised and fork tender.

Try not to fill up on the tempting bread basket or starters of tuna or beef tartare, a crisp selection of thin crust pizzas or simply charred octopus in a lemony tomato and caper toss. Opt instead for a half order of the house made pastas with sauces from hearty Bolognese or gorgonzola to the sublime sage brown butter.

With transcendent dishes, elegant surroundings and the cache of dining in a private club, Cecconi’s promises to be the hottest ticket of the season.

Cecconi’s Restaurant serves breakfast, lunch and dinner from 8am to midnight Monday through Wednesday, 8am to 1am Thursday through Saturday, and 8am to 11pm Sunday. Reservations are strongly suggested at 786-507-7900.

Cecconi’s Restaurant at the Soho Beach House
4385 Collins Avenue
Miami Beach, FL 33140

Lido Bayside Grill

Andre Balazs’ Standard Hotel and Spa might well be considered “the antidote to South Beach” with its Zen-like simplicity, its yoga-centric guests and the quiet quality of the Lido Bayside Grill where the Mediterranean menu is fresh and healthy but by no means tastes like health food. Credit Chef Mark Zeitouni’s passion for seasonal and organic ingredients, his simple preparations of deftly grilled meat and seafood paired with a variety of flavorful sauces and small plate sides.

Enjoy a mix and match lunch of small composed salads like classic Greek, tuna Nicoise or field greens topped with ceviche or creamy burrata cheese. Add on a few mezze like lemony hummus, baba ghanoush and mixed olives and you’ll feel transported to the shores of Santorini. The dinner menu expands on that rustic simplicity with a variety of just-charred seafood, steak, and chicken entrees plus a marinated tofu with raw coconut chutney that will keep the vegetarians smiling as well.

Sides of sauteed broccoli rabe, shaved brussel sprouts and chick pea fries just might convert a die-hard carnivore to eco-conscious dining. While the Standard Hotel offers a variety of do-it-yourself spa treatments, a co-ed hammam and a serene atmosphere just minutes away from club land, there is no pressure to give up bad habits more convincing than delicious fare in a breathtaking setting to help diners make better choices. Simply put, the Lido Bayside Grill is all about uplifting cuisine.

Lido Bayside Grill
40 Island Avenue
Miami Beach, Florida 33139

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