By Foodable Contributor Jessica Patiño
Let’s face it, we secretly enjoy hearing that our friends up north are complaining about the cold. It allows us to fully appreciate – and post on Instagram – the paradise we call home. That’s also why we are listing some of our favorite al fresco dining establishments in Miami this month. This time of year just happens to be one of the most enjoyable times to spend outdoors when you won’t melt into a puddle or be devoured by mosquitoes.
What do you think makes a good outdoor dining experience? For us, it’s the view, the ambiance, and for lack of a better word, the scene. There are a number of places that fit the bill, but here are a few favorites.
Soaking in the Local Gems
We’re all accustomed to the sunny beaches and mega yachts resting in their marinas, but for those who aren’t, you’ll be happy to check out Monty’s in South Beach. Whether relaxing in the on-site pool or downing a Painkiller #3 at the bar, you’ll be able to soak in the colorful hues of a Miami sunset. (Enjoy Monty’s incredible happy hour and you’ll be dancing with the tourists in no time.)
Another bayfront beauty is Scotty’s Landing in Coconut Grove. You’ll find this local hangout nestled in the back of a marina. Scotty’s is an outdoor-only restaurant and bar that boasts scenic views and fresh seafood. Picture yourself driving your boat up to the dock, dining on some conch fritters and listening to live music. This relaxed restaurant is a local gem.
Lounging on Lincoln
A common pastime in this city is to sit back, have a meal and just watch the passersby. Lincoln Road, which hosts a slew of great al fresco selections, is a prime location. One of our Lincoln Road picks is Doraku, a popular sushi joint, conveniently located right on the strip. Doraku offers an excellent menu with fan favorites like the Doraku Roll with lobster, crab, cream cheese and spicy garlic aioli. On various nights, Doraku also has a seasoned DJ mixing sounds that will nicely complement your bottle(s) of sake.
If city views are more your thing, then you can have the best of both worlds at Juvia. Perched on the penthouse floor of the famed 1111 building in South Beach, Juvia is the epitome of architecture, cuisine and design. The restaurant is constantly flowing with beautiful people. DJ Savy Fontana is their resident DJ who keeps the vibe hip and fun with house, lounge, disco and electronic. (There isn’t a dance floor, but you wouldn’t be the first person getting out of your seat to jam.)
Tried & True
We can’t forget about the tried and true Smith & Wollensky. This steakhouse is well-known around the country, but is unique to South Beach in its location. You can grab a table right along the intercoastal and watch the massive cruise ships float on by, or you can be entertained by the hectic happy hour at the large outdoor bar.
We are certainly a lucky bunch of locals considering all of the outdoor dining that is available to us. If you haven’t sat outside at one of these restaurants yet, you better do so before we’re halfway through April and committing ourselves to air condition only.
What's your favorite outdoor restaurant/bar in Miami? Let us know in the comments below!