There’s nothing quite like dining with friends and family alongside a stunning coastline, beach or lake view. Whether your favorite part is sampling fresh seafood or drinking cold beers or cocktails, we’ve hand-picked six of the best waterfront dining experiences from East to West. With locally-sourced seafood, hand-crafted beers and organic offerings, we’ve got you covered from coast to coast.
Westward is a water-inspired restaurant and bar located at the north end of Lake Union in Seattle. While you wait for your table, kick back on the Adirondack chairs on the deck overlooking the lake, dig into the clam dip and potato chips, and take advantage of the scenery.
Speaking of that view, it’s pretty tremendous. Look south and you gaze across the water onto Seattle’s iconic skyline. While sitting at wooden communal tables, feast on Chef Zoi Antonitsas’ bespoke cuisine that balances contemporary Northwest and Mediterranean flavors, offering everything from Moroccan fish stew to grilled halloumi. (Would you expect anything less from a former Top Chef contestant? Didn’t think so.) Another bonus is Westward’s wood-burning oven (organic wood only), the magical touch behind many of the dishes.
Before you go, stop by the sister restaurant, Little Gull Grocery, a 22-seat oyster bar and grocery located onsite. Sample the fresh and locally harvested oysters with an icy cold beer as you soak up the evening light.
What to order: The smoked manila clam dip, the Spanish sardine bruschetta or the wild salmon tartine with beet and apple salad. And the oysters. Obviously.
Photo Credit: Sharon Amos
Geoffrey’s Malibu is a bit of an oceanside institution. Previously, the restaurant was the infamous Holiday House, the watering hole of famous Hollywood stars like Frank Sinatra, John F. Kennedy and Marilyn Monroe. Now known as “Geoffrey’s” (pronounced Joffrey’s) it’s a beautiful spot against the gorgeous backdrop of the Pacific Ocean and every table has an ocean view. Take advantage of the sun and go for lunch.
Oh, and as you dig into your (locally-sourced) lobster salad, you might want to wear your most glamorous shades and your finest boat shoes given the restaurant’s star-studded history.
What to order: Prawn and scallop ceviche, the summer watermelon salad, or the Aloha Kobe Burger with pineapple and bacon for those looking for something more substantial. The lump crab cakes are pretty ace, too.
Interested in trying out some award-winning house-made ales? Federal Jack’s waterfront pub is the ideal spot to gather with friends after a long day at work and just sit back and enjoy the picturesque views of the Kennebunk River. As one of Maine’s first ever brew pubs, Federal Jack’s is actually the birthplace of Shipyard Brewing company’s line of hand-crafted ales.
For food, feast on fresh Maine seafood, their award-winning clam chowder and other classic pub favorites like fish and chips. Stay late because the live music starts at 10.30pm on Fridays and Saturdays.
Not only can you eat and drink here, but Federal Jack’s also offers free brewery tours as well as a hands-on brewing experience.
What to order? Seeing as you’re in New England, check out the Old Thumper, a British Grand Champion beer and a non-traditional English bitter brewed in the US solely by Shipyard. A twist on an English bitter in a waterfront bar. What more could you ask for?
(San Juan Islands near Seattle)
Enjoy a tranquil meal at the Doe Bay Cafe, a waterfront resort on the Salish Sea that spans across 38-acres on Orcas Island in the San Juan Islands. The one catch is you’ll have to take the Washington State Ferry after driving 90 minutes from Seattle, but it’s worth it. Whether you’re looking for a rustic cabin, a campsite, or a hike, the Doe Bay Resort has it all. Go for a wander in the hills or walk across the sandy beaches with friends and family before spending a few hours at the waterside cafe. The tree-lined scenery along the water has been described has some of the most peaceful terrain in the world.
And when it comes to food, let the chefs spoil you with their fresh, local organic fair - all veggies are grown onsite.
What to order: We suggest the black cod with Israeli couscous and roasted cauliflower or indulge in the five-course tasting menu.
For an unforgettable experience, visit the special spot, My Place By The Sea, that has a stunning view with a deck that juts over the rocks of the Atlantic and offers sweeping views. Hideaway is the best term that describes this restaurant in a town known for being an artist community and local seaport. Set over three stories, it’s a prime spot to indulge in fresh seafood whether inside next to the large glass windows or outside on the deck.
What to order: Begin with their signature Blue Martini and then partake in the fresh lobster and the New England clam chowder (when in Massachusetts…)