When most people think of Florida, they’re likely to conjure up images of the tourist traps and dizzying roller coasters in Orlando or the notoriously sweltering beach parties of Miami. But the truth is that Florida has so much more to offer. Blessed with 24 miles of gorgeous shores and the state’s famously sunny weather, Fort Lauderdale has become an exciting destination in its own right (via Visit Fort Lauderdale). In fact, according to Forbes, Fort Lauderdale is experiencing an unprecedented boom of economic development that’s giving rise to a thriving scene with an abundance of cutting-edge entertainment, art, and dining options.

But let’s face it — the real star of the show here is the beach. It doesn’t get much better than staring out at those mesmerizing turquoise waves that shimmer with sparkles of sunlight while you enjoy fresh, local seafood plucked straight from those very same waters. That said, with so many different waterfront restaurants to choose from, narrowing it down to the best options can be a challenge. That’s where we come in. Here are some of the best Fort Lauderdale restaurants for waterfront views.

1. Shooter’s Waterfront

Shooter’s Waterfront is an iconic South Florida restaurant that has been open since 1982. Guests can arrive by car or boat, and there are tons of fresh seafood dishes on the menu like lobster rolls and brown butter scallops (via Visit Lauderdale). The restaurant also hosts fun events for guests like sushi classes and yoga sessions.

The eclectic weekend brunch menu offers a wide range of tasty treats like blue crab benedict, huevos rancheros, and challah French toast with maple cinnamon sugar and whipped cream. If you wake up with a big appetite, there’s also a brunch buffet option to fill your belly with that includes waffles, omelets, and crepes — which plenty of diners rave about.

For lunch, there are even more great choices like a Cuban sandwich, Cajun shrimp fettuccine, and seared brown butter scallops. And when it comes to dinner, you can’t lose with dishes like St. Louis-style ribs with fried potato salad, and herb honey lavender roasted chicken. Thanks to its full bar of specialty cocktails, beer, and wine, you can wash everything down with the booze of your choice and enjoy the picturesque views of the shoreline.

2. Rivertail

Open for dinner service and brunch on the weekends, Rivertail’s celebrated food is the creation of James Beard-nominated chef José Mendín. Sitting on the edge of the New River, checking out Rivertail’s brunch would be a wise decision, considering choices like lobster benedict with yuzu hollandaise, chicken and waffles with Korean BBQ syrup, and red shrimp with cheddar grits and charred onions. If you’re just in the mood to snack, there are smaller plates like crab donuts on brioche with spicy honey, cotija cheese cornbread, and smoked fish dip with corn chips made in-house. With creatively delicious dishes and killer views like these, it’s no wonder that the Miami New Times awarded Rivertail the distinction of Best Restaurant in Fort Lauderdale in 2020.

When it’s time for dinner, there’s even more succulent fare to pick from on the menu. The Rivertail chowder — teeming with white clams, crab, smoked bacon, and potato — is a great way to kick off the meal. If you’re in the mood for a sandwich, you can’t go wrong with the beer-battered cod that comes topped with yuzu tartar sauce, butter lettuce, and American cheese. Of course, there’s also more extravagant offerings like the crispy whole snapper, garlic parmesan crusted trout, and clams carbonara. Between the amazing food on it’s inventive menu and the scenic riverside, there’s no doubt that Rivertail is one of the best restaurants in Fort Lauderdale.