Best Restaurants for Waterfront Dining in South Florida

February 22, 2021

Finding a place in The Palm Beaches to grab a meal overlooking the water is a breeze with this locals-approved list.

The Palm Beaches' tropical climate and 47 miles of coastline mean one thing: endless opportunities for dining with a view. We asked locals for recommendations – this time, for their favorite al fresco eateries. From come-as-you-are beach bars with sand on the floor to open-air restaurants overlooking intracoastal waterways, you can’t go wrong with these breezy waterfront dining spots in The Palm Beaches.

Old Key Lime House, 300 E. Ocean Ave., Lantana, FL 33462

Open since 1889, this lime-green Lantana institution is reportedly the oldest waterfront restaurant in Florida. Order a slice of the award-winning Key lime pie and soak up one of the best sunset views in South Florida on the spacious waterfront patio, complete with a tiki bar serving up punchy tropical cocktails.

Deck 84, 840 E. Atlantic Ave., Delray Beach, FL 33483

Deck 84 at night

Nothing beats basking in the sun while watching boats pass by on the Intracoastal Waterway – well, nothing except enjoying it on an air-conditioned patio with a plate of succulent fish tacos in front of you. Deck 84 specializes in upscale-yet-affordable seafood fare, with an inviting atmosphere of swaying palms, pastel lights and tropical music that just screams “vacation.”

Benny’s On the Beach, 10 S. Ocean Blvd., Lake Worth, FL 33460

For many of us locals, a day at the Lake Worth Pier isn’t complete without a meal at Benny’s on the Beach. The ample outdoor seating area gives you panoramic views of the Atlantic Ocean while you dine on everything from piled-high pancakes to fried seafood platters fit for a sea captain. Take a tip from Facebook user Sabrina James and order paella (available after 5 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays only) and a piña colada served in a fresh pineapple, which she aptly calls “a vacay in my mouth!”

Al Fresco, 2345 S. Ocean Blvd., Palm Beach, FL 33480

Al Fresco

We hope the locals don’t mind us giving away one of the best-kept secrets in The Palm Beaches. Al Fresco is an Italian restaurant located at the beachfront Palm Beach Par 3 golf course, with an elegant menu of classics like eggplant rollatini and Al Fresco “Golf Balls” (that is, veal and beef meatballs in spicy tomato sauce). But the best part is the open-air terrace, which offers swoon-worthy views of the manicured fairways and azure Atlantic Ocean.

Banana Boat, 739 E. Ocean Ave., Boynton Beach, FL 33435, and Two Georges, 728 Casa Loma Blvd., Boynton Beach, FL 33435

Two Georges

These two dining and nightlife fixtures are located across the water from each other at Boynton Harbor Marina, but so close you could toss a coconut (not that we’ve tried). Both have bustling bars, live music and seafood-heavy menus—think conch fritters and crab cakes—but Two Georges tends to be a bit more mellow. Banana Boat, on the other hand, keeps the party going until 2 a.m. every night of the week. 

Guanabanas, 960 N. Hwy. A1A, Jupiter, FL 33477

Guanabanas

Sitting on a quiet offshoot of the Intracoastal Waterway across from a lush park, Guanabanas is a hidden gem that feels like paradise. The palm-fringed patios, stone walkways and illuminated waterfalls will make you feel like you’ve discovered a secret jungle retreat. The super-tasty menu is filled with Caribbean-flavored local catches that will hit the spot after a day in the sun, from blackened fish to tequila-lime shrimp.

Waterway Cafe, 2300 PGA Blvd., Palm Beach Gardens, FL 33410

Waterway Cafe

Locals have been flocking to this waterside restaurant for more than 30 years, so they must be doing something right. The sun-drenched deck gives you a front-row seat to the Intracoastal, while colorful awnings, thatched tiki huts and umbrellas offer plenty of shade. Order everything from steak and seafood to sandwiches and pizza. Call it in from your boat and take it to go for an authentic taste of life in The Palm Beaches.

Dune Deck Cafe, 100 N. Ocean Blvd., Lantana, FL 33462

“The only thing we overlook is the ocean” is the motto at Dune Deck, which truly does offer some of the most breathtaking beach and ocean views in The Palm Beaches. The casual, crowd-pleasing breakfast and lunch options make a perfect bookend for your day at Lantana Park and Public Beach. (FYI: Dune Deck doesn’t accept credit cards, but there is an ATM on the premises.)

Dive Bar Restaurant, 318 S. US 1, Jupiter, FL 33477

Located at the Jupiter Yacht Club Marina along the Jupiter Riverwalk, Dive Bar’s popular patio offers dreamy views of the water (but let’s face it, boats are the real eye candy here). There’s a raw bar with sushi and sashimi, plus lots of hearty lunch and dinner entrees. If you don’t snag an outside table, don’t worry: The open-air bar features a giant saltwater aquarium, with TV screens showing underwater videos. 

Eau Palm Beach Resort, 100 S. Ocean Blvd., Manalapan, FL 33462

Breeze Ocean Kitchen at Eau Palm Beach

Even locals love to play tourist for a day (or night) at the swanky, stylish Eau Palm Beach Resort. Reserve a table at restaurants such as Breeze Ocean Kitchen or Temple Orange to enjoy waterfront ambiance and chef-driven fare, and be sure to share a pre-dinner craft cocktail on the plush sofas of Stir Bar & Terrace

So there you have it – the go-to Palm Beaches waterfront dining spots for soaking up the South Florida sun and salt air. There are also plenty more outdoor dining spots up and down the coast and inland that have a sun-soaked chair with your name on it.

For even more restaurants and nightlife, explore our Food & Drink page.

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