The 10 Best Riverfront Restaurants in Florida With Awesome Water Views

Sep 28, 2023

The 10 Best Riverfront Restaurants in Florida with Awesome Water Views
By Westgate Resorts

The 10 Best Riverfront Restaurants in Florida with Awesome Water Views

Florida is known for many things – the warm weather, awesome attractions, and of course, beautiful beaches! But did you know that as a peninsula, Florida has access to some of the freshest seafood in the country? These riverside restaurants and lake-view eateries are home to the most unique (and delicious) outdoor dining Orlando has to offer.

Check out the top spots to enjoy fresh seafood, delicious bites, and great waterfront views. Many also host regular live music events! Whether it's a special occasion or you're exploring the city on vacation, upgrade your adventure and follow up your dining experience at one of the many rooftop bars in Orlando.

The 10 Best Riverfront Restaurants in Florida with Awesome Water Views

Plunge into our list of the 10 best waterfront restaurants in Florida featuring breathtaking views, amazing food, and outdoor seating that will elevate your meal. Whether you soak up the sun during the day, or enjoy the tranquility of a lakeside dinner, one thing is certain – you’ll fall even more in love with Florida after enjoying a waterfront meal!

1 | Smokehouse on the River | Open Fridays - Mondays, Smokehouse on the River is a boat-friendly griller’s paradise serving meat by the pound prepared by pit masters. Its menu offers up tasty barbecue dishes and smoked meats with a grab-and-go experience that provides quick and convenient service to boating patrons who can dock their boats and enjoy the hassle-free pick-up-and-go experience.

From the picturesque setting with scenic lakeside views to feast the eyes, barbecue delicacies and quick service, this innovative concept makes it easy to take your food to your campsite or enjoy it on your boat — there’s nothing like fresh-smoked dining in the open air.

WHERE: 3200 River Ranch Blvd, River Ranch, FL 33867 | WHO: (863) 692-1321



The 10 Best Orlando Restaurants by the Water Where Every Bite Comes with A View

The 15 Best Beaches Near Orlando [Directions and Highlights included]

The 8 Best Karaoke Bars Orlando Has to Offer

2 | The Waterfront | On the shimmering shore of Lake Jewell, The Waterfront restaurant is the ultimate brunch spot in Orlando. Voted the best al fresco dining spot by USA Today, its scenic outdoor seating is the brunch hotspot on weekends from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

During the rest of the week, you can stop by for fresh seafood delights like crab cake sliders, crispy fried shrimp, and ahi tuna nachos. There are also plenty of salads, burgers, and entrees to choose from. Don’t forget to try a Florida foodie favorite — hush puppies!

WHERE: 4201 S Orange Ave, Orlando, FL 32806 | WHO: (407) 866-0468


3 | Rikki Tikki Tavern | What sets Riki Tikki Tavern apart from the favorites on our list is the spectacular ocean views, open-aired seating and all your favorite specialty drinks served at the end of the 800-foot-long pier, directly over the ocean under a thatched roof covering. Rikki Tiki Tavern includes table and bar seating for 100 guests along the entire deck and delightful food service that doesn't disappoint. So whether you want to cool off in the shade or enjoy the salty ocean breeze while sipping on a refreshing tropical drink, Rikki Tikki Bar is a top spot to try at the Cocoa Beach Pier!

WHERE: 401 Meade Ave, Cocoa Beach, FL 32931 | WHO: (321) 783-7549


4 | Boardwalk at Cocoa Beach Pier | At Westgate Cocoa Beach Pier, you can find plenty of awesome restaurants ranging from a tiki oyster bar to a family-friendly shaved ice truck. One of our favorite picks is Pier 62, an oceanfront restaurant bar and grill that offers a full sushi bar and sake cocktails overlooking the water.

Meanwhile, Ohana Subs delivers delectable sandwiches and deli delights that are bound to make your beach day even more spectacular. No matter what you’re craving, you’re bound to find it on the boardwalk. And eating it under the sun as you watch the waves roll onto the shore just makes it even better!

WHERE: 401 Meade Ave, Cocoa Beach, FL 32931 | WHO: (321) 783-7549


5 | Dockside Grill | Tropical smoothie, anyone? We’ll take two! The Dockside Grill offers delicious, fruity drinks, sandwiches, and plenty of healthy snacks and treats to enjoy by the water.

Split a flatbread with the table, loaded with gooey cheese and veggies, then order one of their Power Bowls or Rockin’ Rolls packed to the brim with your choice of protein, toppings like kalamata olives and Roma tomatoes, and delectable sauces like yum yum, and basil pesto.

WHERE: 8615 Florida Rock Rd, Orlando, FL 32824 | WHO: (407) 251-3100


6 | Grills Lakeside Seafood Deck & Tiki Bar | Steaks, lobster, sushi, oh my! We’re hungry just thinking about it. The family-friendly Grills Lakeside Seafood Deck & Tiki Bar features a sumptuous selection of tantalizing bites, like grilled lionfish, pepper-seared tuna, tsunami shrimp, and a variety of burgers and sandwiches.

It’s a kid-friendly, waterfront joint with a playground, so the little ones can have a blast while you enjoy the lake view.

And don’t think vegetarians aren’t welcome. Grillos has some of the best vegan food Orlando has to offer. The restaurant serves a great Costa Rica Rica Burger with a black bean patty and the 100% plant-based Impossible Burger with fries and plant-based provolone cheese. Delish!

WHERE: 4301 N Orange Blossom Trail, Orlando, FL 32804 | WHO: (407) 291-8881


7 | Boondocks Restaurant | This classic marina joint features both indoor and outdoor dining in a scaled-back, outdoorsy setting. You’ll be able to listen to the sounds of the water and boats as you dine on fresh seafood, including snow crab legs, oysters, and local fish.

The signature steamed seafood menu is a crowd-pleaser, featuring a wide lineup of recipes like U Peel ‘Em spiced steamed shrimp, clams, and mussels. You can also try a house chowder, thick sandwich, or even tacos with a side like deep-fried onion rings or crispy, wavy French fries.

WHERE: 3948 S Peninsula Dr, Port Orange, FL 32127 | WHO: (386) 760-9001


8 | Canvas Restaurants & Market | Along the shore of Lake Nona lies Canvas Restaurant & Market, where you can savor delicious community fare, seasonal seafood, and delicious desserts. For breakfast, the restaurant makes a mean pancake, and you absolutely don’t want to miss their loaded breakfast burrito with eggs, chorizo, caramelized onions, and cotija cheese.

On Mondays, the restaurant displays live music and serves up oysters, so it’s a great date night spot or dinner party location.

WHERE: 13615 Sachs Avenue, Orlando, FL 32827 | WHO: (407) 313-7800


9 | Rick’s on the River | Along the Hillsborough River, you’ll find Rick’s, a grill and bar serving up fresh oysters, buffalo wings, and even a catfish basket with house coleslaw and French fries.

Treat yourself to a popcorn shrimp dinner, or try their famous beer-battered onion rings, which come with a creamy remoulade sauce. Happy Hour here is an all-day ordeal! It runs every Monday – Friday, 11:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m., and features live music daily and lunch and dinner specials. Don’t forget to ask your server about them!

WHERE: 2305 N Willow Ave, Tampa, FL 33607 | WHO: (813) 251-0369


10 | 310 Lakeside | Live music and amazing views await at 310 Lakeside, the youthful New American restaurant that dishes out fantastic recipes that will leave you wanting more. On the weekends, they’re a hot brunch spot thanks to offerings like their signature California scramble, three-egg omelets, and tenderloin benedict.

For lunch and dinner, you can try starters like tomato bruschetta and boneless buffalo bites, then follow it up with a juicy burger, loaded sandwich, hearty pasta bowl, or one of their many entrees.

WHERE: 301 E Pine St, Orlando, FL 32801 | WHO: (407) 373-0310


BONUS #1 | The Osprey | For an upscale modern coastal dining experience, book a table at The Osprey in Baldwin Park. The elegant eatery features a bar with a refined wine list, as the general manager is a WSET-certified sommelier.

Dishes rotate seasonally as the restaurant is committed to using local, sustainable seafood. Examples you may find on offer include oysters, marinated mussels, shrimp carbonara, and local catch served with roasted eggplant, black lentils, beet agrodolce, pinenut, and golden raisin.

WHERE: 4899 New Broad St, Orlando, FL 32814 | WHO: (407) 960-7700


BONUS #2 | Relax Grill | On your next visit to the famous Lake Eola, stop by the Relax Grill and unwind as you’re served a delicious American-Mediterranean meal. The restaurant offers both lunch and dinner, including an array of sandwiches, wraps, and kabobs.

Their pita with falafel and tzatziki is a great change of pace from the usual lunch fare. There are also plenty of signature Relax Grill Combos to try, like the Mediterranean wrap, blackened chicken Caesar salad, and gyro.

WHERE: 211 Eola Pkwy, Orlando, FL 32801 | WHO: (407) 425-8440


BONUS #3 | Swamp House Riverfront Grill | For live music, great water views, and a relaxed atmosphere, head to DeBary, FL, and stop by the Swamp House. This lively American joint on the St. John’s River serves up “only in Florida” meals like gator tail tacos, along with some southern-inspired meals like homemade gumbo, chilled blue crab dip, and fresh pork rinds made with their own bacon bourbon jam.

If you want a family-friendly riverfront restaurant, Swamp House is a great option. Kids and adults alike love the fun atmosphere, unique menu, and chance to try some Florida-infused Southern cuisine.

WHERE: 488 W Highbanks Rd, DeBary, FL 32713 | WHO: (386) 668-8891


BONUS #4 | Russell’s on Lake Ivanhoe | Some waterfront restaurants in Florida are decidedly elegant, but this can feel a bit too formal to some people. When you want something more casual, head over to Russell’s on Lake Ivanhoe.

The restaurant is upscale but far from being stuffy. On the menu, you’ll find an array of dazzling cocktails and exciting dishes like an artisan charcuterie platter, pepper-crusted tenderloin, and Russel’s Royale with cheese, which was voted the best burger in Orlando. Is that true? You’ll have to try it for yourself to find out.

WHERE: 1414 N Orange Ave, Orlando, FL 32804 | WHO: (407) 601-3508


BONUS #5 | Hillstone Restaurant | Along the shoreline of Lake Killarney, you’ll be able to pull up a seat at the Hillstone Restaurant. This Winter Park restaurant serves comforting American cuisine. House specials include Ahi tuna tartare, rotisserie chicken, and pan-roasted salmon with a lentil vinaigrette and seasonal green vegetables.

The restaurant offers an intimate dining atmosphere for pairs, so be sure to call ahead for reservations if you are a party of three or more.

WHERE: 215 S Orlando Ave, Winter Park, FL 32789 | WHO: (407) 740-4005

BONUS #6 | The Sail Plaza | Welcome to a dog-friendly, waterside paradise! The Sail Plaza is home to Big Ray’s Fish Camp, serving up amazing seafood like their award-winning Grouper Sandwich.

Throughout the month, the plaza hosts live music and a cocktails event, making it the perfect spot to stop by for a meal, followed by a walk along the waterfront. Yes, please!

WHERE: 333 S Franklin St, Tampa, FL 33602 | WHO: (813) 274-8954



The 10 Best Cocoa Beach Surf Lessons You Need to Try

The 12 Best Restaurants in Orlando Florida

10 Reasons to Visit the Myrtle Beach Boardwalk

Use Our Handy Map to Find Your Way Around!

Discover Florida’s Dining Scene

Winter, spring, summer, fall – Florida has a wide variety of great seafood available year-round, so you never have to go far to satisfy your craving. A good meal with a great view is the perfect way to cap off a family beach day, start date night, or just enjoy one of Florida’s finest delicacies. Whether you’re a sushi foodie or always on the lookout for an amazing burger, you won’t be disappointed when you chow down in the Sunshine State.

To SEA more food inspiration, visit the Westgate Travel Blog!


10 Top Places to Watch Space Coast Launches

At Westgate Resorts, when you Check-In, there’s a LOT to Check-Out! Your vacation awaits! Start planning your next vacation today or talk with a vacation planner at 888-852-2959 or 407-355-2690.

*Westgate Resorts is in no way affiliated with the attractions featured in this article. Items or places listed are current as of the publishing date of this article. Please call or visit the respective website for the most up-to-date offerings and details.

When You Check-in, There's a Lot to Check Out

Sign up for our newsletter and check-in to great offers, secret stuff, and special events.

Thank You for Signing Up!

Exciting things are headed your way soon!