K.C. was a featured writer for Yahoo! Travel before joining trips to discover in 2013. She is the author of Best Travel Guide for First Time Visitors to Ireland, an Amazon bestseller every year between 2013 and 2016. She has been a featured expert on Newsweek, Travel + Leisure, Travelocity, among others.
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When it comes to dining, there are few things better than enjoying a memorable meal and a beautiful view. While there are many restaurants with views of all types throughout the U.S., there are some that are definite standouts. Whether you’re looking to dine with an ocean, city skyline, lake, or mountain view, you’ll find it all among these fantastic eateries.
Enjoying one of the most spectacular locations along the Mendocino Coast, the Albion River Inn Restaurant and Bar offers panoramic views of the Pacific, Albion Cove, and magnificent sunsets. While it’s worth it for the vista alone, dining here has been called “perfect” with the chef whipping up memorable “coastal cuisine” like chicken cordon bleu, filet mignon, and shrimp marsala. The bar has one of the best selections of Scotch whisky outside of Scotland and the service is exceptional.
One of the best romantic restaurants with an ocean view in the San Diego area, if you dine at high tide you’ll enjoy your meal while the waves crash against the windows. The Marine Room was built in 1941, made to withstand the force of the ocean, and sits right on the sand, with diners separated only from the dramatic surf by the sturdy, custom-built glass. It’s a place to come dressed to the nines, with a strict formal dress code that makes for a fun night out and worth it for the extraordinary experience. Every one of the seafood dishes is exquisite, but the lobster tail is a top pick, while the lobster bisque is a must for the starter.
In Key West, seaside dining is a must and Louie’s Backyard is the crowd favorite. In fact, it first became well-known thanks to a Jimmy Buffet tune it was featured in, Tryin to Reason with the Hurricane Season. An upscale restaurant serving Caribbean/American fare with everything locally caught, it’s been the spot for alfresco dining for over a half-century with the food as spectacular as the ocean view. The weekend brunch is to-die-for with everything from coconut-lime eclairs to Key West pink shrimp Benedict. The extended deck that overlooks the Atlantic will tempt you to order just one more mimosa or margarita.
One of the most beautiful waterfront restaurants in Florida, the Bayfront Bistro is often ranked among the country’s best waterfront eateries, bringing the chance to watch dolphins dance through the surf and the manatees swim by while dining on the outdoor terrace. After dark, the views are impressive too, with the moonlight shimmering across the water. The menu features dishes like Citrus Grouper and Asian Calamari that can be enjoyed with wine from the impressive list or one of the bartender’s outstanding classic cocktails. As it sits above a marina, you can even arrive by boat.
53 By The Sea was meant for special occasions, with its breathtaking setting, a glass-walled dining room, and a terrace with sweeping views of Diamond Head, Waikiki, and the bay. The terrace has the most coveted tables overlooking the harbor which is even more picturesque at sunset with the golden and pink hues splashed across the water. Colorful blooms are strewn throughout adding to the beauty of the place and the food doesn’t play second fiddle either. The menu features everything from seafood platters to juicy steaks with chocolate mud pie for dessert.
The Oasis on Lake Travis is not only one of the most beautiful restaurants in Texas, but it’s also the largest outdoor restaurant in the state. It sits on a cliff 450 feet above the water and includes multiple dining decks with views of the lake and spectacular sunsets, with some calling it the best sunset view in the state. The menu is focused on Tex-Mex fare, with everything from salads and quesadillas to fried shrimp and burgers, all of which can be enjoyed with live music on two stages. Plan to arrive just before dusk and don’t forget your camera.
Nestled in the forested hills above Boulder at an elevation of 6,000 feet, the Flagstaff House Restaurant offers one of the most memorable dining experiences in Colorado. Here for over 50 years, it’s been lauded with many awards and includes walls of windows for taking in a magnificent mountain view, and occasionally you’ll see wildlife, including bears, staring back at you. The menu is focused on New American dishes with local, seasonal ingredients, and you can also choose a three-course or Chef’s multicourse tasting menu. Expect a world-renowned wine list and above-and-beyond service too.
Located atop Snoqualmie Falls in the Cascade Mountain foothills, the Salish Lodge & Spa is one of the world’s most stunning mountain resorts. Its romantic restaurant is just as impressive with the cuisine as classically Northwest as the view. There are private alcoves for dining that offer the very best vantage points of the falls for dining on dishes that feature high-quality ingredients, all sophistically presented. Entrees have included items like lamb loin with caramelized garlic and foraged mushrooms and fennel pollen-dusted halibut. There’s a chef’s tasting menu if you want to sample a range of dishes, all of which come with optional wine pairings.
Cap’s on the Water must be one of the world’s best places to watch a sunset, with tables spread around its vast outdoor deck and jetty which sit along the Intercoastal Waterway. The outdoor oyster bar, which is often called the sunset bar, is one of three here that offers beer, cocktails featuring local spirits, and award-winning wine. If it’s chilly out, there are heaters around the tables that will keep you cozy and warm. If you want to dine indoors, enjoy the views through large paned-glass windows. The menu starts with appetizers like a cheese platter and raw oysters on the half shell, with entrees featuring the daily fresh catch, served crusted, seared, or blackened.
Located in Wrightsville Beach, a town in the Outer Banks with five miles of wide, sandy beaches, Oceanic offers dining on the oceanfront with a deck that extends right into the water. It’s the only one in town that enjoys this incredible vantage point, guaranteeing an exceptional view and food that lives up to it. The menu is focused on coastal cuisine, including lots of locally caught seafood like oysters, littleneck clams, Mahi Mahi, and tuna. Other dishes utilize the bounty from local and regional farms, with dishes featuring fresh produce, pork, and poultry.
Sierra Mar is located at the Post Ranch Inn, one of the best beachfront hotels in California. It sits along the Big Sur coastline, which twists and turns along the western flank of the Santa Lucia Mountains. Precipitously suspended at the side of a cliff overlooking the Pacific, the menu can rival the floor-to-ceiling ocean view. It’s been named among the top food destinations across the globe, with dinner showcasing a four-course prix fixe menu that changes daily, and an a la carte menu is available too. Many dishes are inspired by the chef’s own garden and the region, such as Monterey red abalone and Morro Bay oysters. An award-winning wine list complements it all.
The Osage offers fine dining and sweeping Ozark Mountain views from floor-to-ceiling windows or outdoors, nestled on The Top of the Rock. It’s a fantastic place to enjoy cocktails at sunset followed by mouthwatering American fare. You might start with the crab cakes or St. Louis-style fried ravioli, followed up by everything from fried chicken to bone-in ribeye. Save room for dessert, with the turtle cheesecake a favorite. Down on the lower level, the Buffalo Bar is the place to go for open-air dining on more casual bites like wood-fired pizza, while the End of the Trail is the wine cellar which includes a wine bar and whiskey room.
While there are plenty of restaurants in New York City with memorable views, you can’t really see the Manhattan skyline while you’re in it, so the best way to enjoy it is from a restaurant at more of a distance. The Chart House delivers in spades, with tables that boast one of the best views of the Big Apple you’ll find anywhere. It overlooks the Hudson River and includes huge windows for soaking up the views of the water and the skyscrapers beyond. The menu is “posh surf ‘n’ turf” with meals and service to rival the view.
Originally a historic US Coast Guard Station built in 1888, The Coastguard House is an iconic waterfront eatery in Narragansett, recognized on state and national levels as a premier dining destination. It’s been a favorite here for decades, opened in the early 1940s in this unique building on the rocky coast. Fresh seafood is the star of the menu alongside fresh local produce but you’ll find dishes featuring locally raised meats too. The dining room is lined with windows, but on a sunny day, you’ll want to take advantage of the outdoor dining space.
For unparalleled views of Sedona’s red rocks, it’s hard to beat Mariposa Sedona, an upscale Latin-inspired grill that sits atop a scenic bluff. It features floor-to-ceiling windows and an outdoor patio, with meals focused around the highest quality of meats, fish, and produce, using only Arizona-grown, all-natural organic products.