Have you ever had a meal by the ocean? Not a sandwich pulled from a picnic basket, but a full meal served up by someone else. If you've ever done that, then you know what it's like to listen to waves crashing against the shoreline as you eat something brought in fresh from those waters earlier that day. And if you have never had the pleasure of dining by the sea, it is something that you should seriously look into.
Whether you have experienced seaside dining before or it is something that is new to you, this list of the top 20 places to dine by the sea should give you either a place to get started or a new dining experience that you have been longing to try. Each place on this list offers something that varying diners will find appealing, whether you are in the Mediterranean, the New World, or Western Europe.
Of course, this list does not cover every restaurant in the world, but it does provide future diners with a starting point to get out there and try some of the best seaside dining around the world.
20 Sunrise Gazebo, Bali
Imagine waking up in your room at the Four Seasons, Bali and stepping into your own private gazebo overlooking the Pacific Ocean for breakfast as the sun rises in the east, casting its reddish orange glow across the white table cloth. Sounds pretty amazing, does it not? Where else but the Four Seasons would you get an experience like this? And, WOW, what an experience it would be! Forget for a moment that you are drinking champagne and eating lobster for breakfast and marvel at the sun rising over the ocean, warming you as you watch from the privacy of the gazebo. Hard to beat that.
19 Pilu At Freshwater, Sydney
Connected directly to the beach and the ocean by a lush green garden, Pilu at Freshwater in Sydney has repeatedly won awards from some of Australia's greatest food critics. And as you gaze out over the waves crashing against the shore, you will indulge in foods that have roots in Sardinia and have been carefully crafted as though for your dinner, specifically. With a decade of experience behind them, the chef owners of Pilu at Freshwater are looking to the future for their next great dish and the next great dining experience. But to be certain, it will be difficult for them to enhance on what they have in this particular location with this particular restaurant.
18 The Beach House Restaurant, Marbella, Spain
The owners of the Beach House Restaurant in Marbella, Spain know that their restaurant has a great location on the ocean. But they also know that this is not what makes them a great restaurant. Yes, dining on the ocean goes a (very) long way, but if you are eating great food and drinking amazing cocktails, that dining experience is going to be enhanced so much more. And the Beach House Restaurant offers it all. So, for one of the greatest oceanfront dining experiences in Spain, and possibly the world, make a reservation for the Beach House Restaurant and you are unlikely to be disappointed.
17 L’Épuisette, Marseilles, France
L’Épuisette is one of those high-end restaurants that people think are synonymous with French cuisine. But if you can look past the small plates and the high-class atmosphere, you will find that you are enjoying the dining experience immensely. And really, the reason you are enjoying it so much is likely because of the view of the ocean. While this list is all about ocean-view dining, L’Épuisette offers a unique perspective on dining by the sea. So if you are looking for a gastronomic adventure by the sea and you feel that you are able to put aside your stereotypical views of French cuisine, make a reservation for L’Épuisette.
16 Chowpatty Beach, Mumbai
Chowpatty Beach is just that—a beach. So what is it doing on a list of great beachfront restaurants? The food at Chowpatty rivals some of that at the finest restaurants around the world. It is street food at its finest—food trucks and stalls that have perfected the very art of serving scores of people in a hurry to get back to walking on the beach at sunset as the sun goes down, casting long shadows across the sand. There is a plethora of dining options to choose from at Chowpatty Beach, and all of it is great. For those reasons, we had to put it on our list of best beachfront dining.
15 The Pier Head, Kinvara, County Galway
The Pier Head is touted as Kinvara's finest restaurant, and for good reason. With views of both Kinvara Bay and Dunguaire Castle, diners are virtually surrounded by majestic sights. And with an a la carte menu of locally-caught fresh fish, those same diners are treated to some of the best seafood that Ireland has to offer, while still being free to sample from a variety of foods specially prepared each day. If you are in Ireland, be sure to make the trip to County Galway and Kinvara to visit The Pier Head with all that it has to offer those seeking a beautiful seaside dining experience.
14 Parador La Huella, José Ignacio, Uruguay
Parador La Huella, in Uruguay has been touted as chic beach eating at its finest, and that is saying a lot. Located in South America, Parador La Huella primarily serves grilled seafood, which is harvested daily from the nearby ocean. Imagine sitting seaside, hearing the crash of the waves against the shore as you feast on fresh grilled sea bass. The unique dining experience that is to be had at this restaurant is second to none in Uruguay, and there are a few seaside dining establishments in the world that can live up to the quality that Parador La Huella puts forward for its diners on a regular basis.
13 Bleu, Casablanca
"Bleu's cutting-edge décor is inspired by Casablanca’s coastline and the ocean." That is how The Four Seasons describes this restaurant overlooking the Atlantic Ocean and Casablanca. The restaurant specializes in fresh seafood procured locally each day, which contributes highly to the quality of the dining. But the quality of the dining is second only to the quality of the views over Casablanca and the Atlantic. Combined, the food and the view provide diners with a one-of-a-kind experience that is only to be had at an establishment such as Bleu. Dining on the Mediterranean has never been like this.
12 The Surf Lodge Restaurant, Montauk NY
The Surf Lodge Restaurant in Montauk, New York features sustainable local seafood, something unique on the list so far. While it is easy to just harvest seafood, The Surf Lodge takes the time to ensure that the seafood used in the restaurant is only harvested with practices that ensure that the seafood will continue to be there for generations to come. But a visit to The Surf Lodge is more than just eating great seafood. Diners are sure to be impressed by the expansive views of the Atlantic Ocean. Serving brunch on the weekends and snacks all day long, this dining establishment is more than just a wonderful place to enjoy dinner.
11 Mill Privee, Nevis, West Indies
Mill Privee is just what the name says it is, a private mill. Enjoy a private candle light dinner in a 300-year-old sugar mill in the town of Nevis in the West Indies. The opening to the mill looks out on the ocean, and diners are treated to majestic views of white sands and crystal water. Each meal is a multi-course extravaganza, with everything from the soup to the dessert carefully prepared on a special menu for each dining party. As is to be expected, seafood plays a central role in the menu, and the fish is as fresh as it comes. Mill Privee is a very unique dining experience, unlike anything else in the world.
10 La Sponda, Positano, Italy
La Sponda, near Naples, Italy, specializes in light Mediterranean cuisine. And they have it down to an art form. With unique dishes inspired by the sea and the region, diners at La Sponda are sure to be more than satisfied with the quality of the dishes. As you look out over the Mediterranean Sea, you will lose yourself in a world of culinary delight that only the Italians can create. With fish and other seafood fresh from the ocean, your meal will be unlike anything else you have experienced on your vacation to Italy. And whether your dining experience at La Sponda is expected to be only a dinner or you plan something special, the visit will be memorable.
9 Fish House In Oahu
Fish House, at the Four Seasons in Oahu, makes this list for several reasons. Featuring sea-to-table cuisine and panoramic beach and ocean views, diners to Fish House are treated to fresh seafood catches and local brews and wine. Where else in Oahu are you going to find these views and this quality of seafood. Many places may state that they offer the best seafood dining experience in Oahu, but only Fish House has perfected the craft of combining fresh seafood with beautiful vistas and on-the-beach dining. For a truly one-of-a-kind seaside dining experience, be sure to make time for Fish House in Oahu.
8 Pantelis Marathi, Marathi, Greece
Pantelis Marathi, in Marathi, Greece, is more than just a seaside dining experience. Situated on a dry, rocky outcropping, Pantelis Marathi has become an oasis, with its lush green garden space at the center of the restaurant. From breakfast through dinner and everything in between, this seaside restaurant serves robust dishes inspired by the region and the sea. Whether you are looking for a way to start your day or a romantic way to end it, there is sure to be a dish on the comprehensive menu at Pantelis Marathi that will suit your needs. And one cannot beat the views of the beach and ocean as they dine under the greenery of the garden.
7 Baoase Culinary Beach Restaurant, Curaçao
Baoase Culinary Beach Restaurant in Curaçao offers both a beach experience and a dining experience that is hard to find elsewhere in the world. The well-trained dining staff stars with a breakfast buffet first thing in the morning and wraps up the day with small bites well into the night. For fresh seafood and a special dining experience surrounded by ocean views and sweeping beach vistas, Baoase Culinary Beach Restaurant should definitely be a destination for you to consider if you are going to plan a vacation or visit to Curaçao. While anyone can make sushi, no one does it quite the way Baoase Culinary Beach Restaurant does.
6 Hive Beach Cafe, Burton Bradstock, UK
Hive Beach Cafe in Burton Bradstock, United Kingdom touts itself as having "iconic coastline, fantastic food." But what does that mean, coming from a small restaurant in the United Kingdom? For Hive Beach Cafe, it means that they offer some of the best oceanfront and beach views in the UK, while still delivering great sea-to-table food. But, they offer more than crab cakes and fish dishes. The cafe also serves traditional sweet cakes or a cup of tea to those just looking to take in the views of Lyme Bay. An all-around lovely little place to visit, Hive Beach Cafe has a lot to offer anyone looking for outstanding seaside dining.
5 Lido Bayside Grill, Miami
Lido Bayside Grill, in Miami, provides diners with a healthy take on seaside dining, coupled with the atmosphere of Miami, which combine to provide a very unique seaside dining experience. This is the only 100% certified organic restaurant on the list, and that is saying something about this particular establishment. They are serving up a traditional Mediterranean diet in the heart of southern Florida, which gives diners a chance to sample cuisine that is not necessarily common in the region. But one thing is for sure: the fresh caught fish will delight anyone looking for seafood that is not only tasty but nutritious, and that is Lido Bayside Grill to its core.
4 Phil’s Fish Market, Moss Landing, CA
Phil’s Fish Market, in Moss Landing, CA, is a quirky little place, like so many one-of-a-kind seafood restaurants around the world. But what sets Phil's Fish Market apart from the rest is that it has been family-owned and serving fresh seafood for over 30 years. That makes it an institution in Moss Landing and should be seriously considered as a place to eat seafood in California while looking out over the ocean beyond. While the family has won numerous awards over the years, the dedication to the craft of delivering a quality seafood dining experience speaks for itself when it comes to the accolades of the repeat customers.
3 Bloody Mary’s, Bora Bora
Bloody Mary’s in Bora Bora offers diners more than just the seafood that one would expect from a seaside restaurant. Serving lunch and dinner, the staff will gladly prepare you the fresh catch of day. But they will just as likely whip up a fantastic burger or sandwich to go with one of their signature cocktails. Bloody Mary's may be right on the beach, but it is definitely more than just a beach restaurant. With a dinner buffet that is not to be missed and flavor and freshness that is second to none in Bora Bora, this particular dining establishment had to make the list of seaside restaurants.
2 The Cliff, St. James, Barbados
The Cliff in St. James, Barbados epitomizes fine dining by the sea. When you first arrive, you may be taken aback by the minimalist exterior, but once you are seated inside and dining on the freshest seafood in the Caribbean while gazing wistfully out at the crashing waves, you will realize that The Cliff really is an outstanding place to be having that special dining experience. Featuring a multi-course meal focused around a handful of fresh ingredients, diners at The Cliff are swept through a culinary dreamscape that is only matched by the atmosphere. Is this truly the finest dining in the Caribbean? You decide.
1 Club Dauphin, French Riviera
Club Dauphin on the French Riviera sits right on the beach that is so famous. This grill restaurant, only open during warm spring and summer months, offers fine Mediterranean dining, everything from freshly-caught seafood to salads and sandwiches. While certainly to be recognized for the location, on the French Riviera, the overall dining experience at Club Dauphin puts it at the top of the list of places to enjoy a meal by the seaside. Dining is twofold: food and atmosphere. This dining establishment has both, with its simple but delicious fare and rich dining atmosphere. Diners at Club Dauphin are experiencing some of the best dining in the world, and it is evident with each bite.
That rounds out our list of 20 seaside restaurants that you should try at least once. While all establishments on this list offer the experience of dining by the ocean or beach, they each have something unique and special about them that put them on this list.