Ten Best Restaurants for Outdoor Dining in Miami 2020


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There is no denying that the coronavirus pandemic has hit Miami’s food service industry hard. And while the closings and restrictions imposed on Miami restaurants are hindering dining with friends, it doesn’t mean that city residents (and about 45 percent of Americans) are not eager and willing to get socially distant seating in restaurants visit – especially outside seating.

Even in Florida’s infamous summer heat, alfresco dining has never been cooler (or more socially distant). Here you will find the best places to safely share a meal, drink a cocktail and still be at least three feet away from your fellow guests.

The terrace with garden motif by Astra brings you to the Mediterranean.EXPAND

The terrace with garden motif by Astra brings you to the Mediterranean.

Photo courtesy of Astra

Are you in a distant Mediterranean town or … Wynwood? The owners of Astra will bet you won’t know the difference thanks to their garden-themed terrace adorned with Mykonos flair. Here you can groove to the DJs while enjoying a sea-inspired menu that highlights dishes like grilled octopus carpaccio, ceviche and seafood risotto while enjoying cocktails and succulent Greek specialties like mastika and ouzo. Sure, Greece would be great to travel to, but Astra’s 10,000-square-foot space with lushly planted walls, AstroTurf floors, and a thatched wooden seating area lit by whimsical basket lamps does a good job.

Bakan's cactus-lined outdoor deck in the heart of Wynwood.EXPAND

Bakan’s cactus-lined outdoor deck in the heart of Wynwood.

Photo by Kathleen Lam for Bakan

Every time you visit Bakan, take a trip to Mexico via Wynwood. Here, a resort-style ambience has enhanced the typical alfresco dining experience. The restaurant’s cactus-lined outdoor bar and terrace have been ornately decorated with inverted wooden pyramid canopies and a lighted brown and green hanging basket to take you straight onto the streets of Tulum. During the day, the shaded area offers an open-air experience, while soft light at night creates a dreamy escape. Sit back and enjoy a selection of colorful cocktails and equally lively dishes – for example the Tulum Vive (made with mezcal, triple sec, lime juice and homemade cucumber syrup) and the Vuelve a la Vida (a mixture of prawns and calamari), squid , Scallops, avocado, guajillo and ancho chilli as well as avocado, doused with a citrus mixture of lemon and orange.

The terrace in the Jaguar was referred to as EXPAND

The terrace in the jaguar has been called an “outdoor living space” because of its lush foliage.

Photo by Kathleen Lam for Jaguar

Jaguar’s terrace, better known as the “outdoor living space”, is quickly becoming the perfect place for lunch, post-work happy hour, a romantic date, ladies night, dinner or Sunday brunch. The restaurant’s chef, Oscar del Rivero, has turned the space into a mini jungle so diners can enjoy the view with a cocktail or three. The entire outdoor terrace has been adorned with dozens of flowering plants from the nearby Creative Garden, bringing guests into a true jaguar habitat in the heart of Coconut Grove. The “Hora Jaguar” happy hour is available Monday through Friday from 3pm to 6pm. Here you can combine the menu’s Latin-inspired cuisine with $ 4 beer and $ 5 glasses of wine, plus a large selection of small bites for $ 5 each. If you’re particularly thirsty, full pitchers of sangria are available for half price at $ 30 each or $ 17 for half a pitcher during happy hour.

Dine al fresco with great views of Biscayne Bay and Miami at La Mar by Gastón Acurio.EXPAND

Dine al fresco with great views of Biscayne Bay and Miami at La Mar by Gastón Acurio.

Photo courtesy of the Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group

The signature waterfront restaurant at the Mandarin Oriental offers a first class al fresco atmosphere with views of Biscayne Bay and the Miami skyline. It is the perfect setting for the typical ceviches, freshly grilled anticuchos and cocktails. The menu offers a mix of spacious indoor and outdoor seating and three bars, each offering a distinctive dining experience. The menu ranges from fine Novo Andean cuisine to Asian-Peruvian fusion and traditional seafood ceviche. What more could your socially distant heart ask for?

Macchialina expanded its outdoor dining area to accommodate more guests.EXPAND

Macchialina expanded its outdoor dining area to accommodate more guests.

Photo courtesy of Macchialina

For anyone who has visited, Macchialina is the intimate, dimly lit Italian spot on Alton Road that is almost always full. Because of this, the restaurant recently reopened with a new alfresco dining room to accommodate many very widely spaced, socially distant noses. The new experience is thanks to a covered outdoor terrace, which the owners affectionately called il giardino or “the garden”.

Monty's has expanded its outdoor space to create more space for socially distant dining.EXPAND

Monty’s has expanded its outdoor space to create more space for socially distant dining.

Photo by Deyson Rodriguez for Monty’s Raw Bar

Monty’s Raw Bar

2550 S. Bayshore Dr., Coconut Grove

Since 1969, Monty’s Raw Bar has served not only the food and the view, but also the setting for TV series, music videos, and films including Miami Vice, Burn Notice, and Marley & Me. These days, the waterfront tiki hut is the place to be for life Forgotten for a while while soaking up the air on the bay and enjoying a meal with friends and family. Since reopening in June, the restaurant has rearranged its outside deck to allow safe distancing. Visitors can also take advantage of Monty’s new high tables with umbrellas that stretch out onto the boardwalk. Now is the perfect time to indulge in Monty’s infamous Pain Remover cocktail. A mug costs $ 45 and pours up to a dozen drinks (depending on the strength you order).

The lantern-lit terrace at Phuc Yea is an alfresco dining paradise.EXPAND

The lantern-lit terrace at Phuc Yea is an alfresco dining paradise.

Photo by Jackie Zayas for Phuc Yea

Phuc yes

7100 Biscayne Blvd., Miami

Nobody can turn down an evening on Phuc Yea’s eclectic veranda. The lantern-lit dining area gives everyone the chance to dine with a view, and the lush foliage goes well with the Vietnamese-Cajun-esque cuisine on the menu, created by Chef Cesar Zapata and co-owner Aniece Meinhold. Enjoy weekly specials like oysters worth $ 1 (5pm to 7pm daily and all day on Sundays). Pho Wednesday if $ 25 gets you a three-course meal; and a new roast chicken special every Thursday. (Specials apply for dinner only.)

The Redfish Grill in Matheson Hammock Park is well known for its breathtaking location. Here you come to mark those special dates, anniversaries, birthday milestones, etc. to celebrate and now just go out of the house. The waterfront property is no stranger to closings. It closed after a hurricane damage in 2017 but recently reopened under the vision of Chef Adrianne Calvo, who redesigned the restaurant to offer her creative dishes like poached Beaujolais pear salad with arugula, goat cheese, crispy ham and pistachios. Ahi tuna sashimi with crispy shaved Brussels sprouts and pear, garnished with ponzu aioli, soy and truffle; and lemon and garlic flavored branzino filled with herbs.

The outdoor dining area at Villa Azur is more like an outdoor dinner party thanks to its chic decor. A culinary and fun destination inspired by the south of France, it features a magical open-air courtyard where guests can dine in style under the stars. Plush sofas and luxury lounges in combination with the service for white tablecloths ensure that you have the feeling of dining on a Mediterranean terrace. The menu changes every month. Right now there are dishes like braised carrots in orange reduction, grated pistachios and goat cheese fondue. Shrimp Ceviche with Roasted Tomato Sauce, Coriander, and Smoked Popcorn; and classic wild mushroom risotto. Combine your meal with a tailor-made cocktail and top it off with a sweet treat like the cake trio or the Arroz con Leche foam.

If you’re craving the atmosphere of your decadent bowl of fiocchi pasta filled with pear and Taleggio cheese in a creamy butter and sage sauce, Vista is the place for you. The restaurant of the husband-wife team Fiorella Blanco and the Milan-born chef Roberto Bearzi is a feast for the eyes and the appetite. The two-story space in Miami’s up and coming Upper Buena Vista neighborhood offers a unique amalgamation of culture and cuisine with its Italian and globally inspired cuisine. Enjoy it while you sit on tufted cushions in the midst of low-hanging plants on the spacious outdoor terrace. For extra enchantment, request a spot under the wooden pergola, which is lit by twinkling lights.

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