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Savor elevated cuisine in a tropical setting at these beachside dining destinations

There’s something incredibly romantic about eating by the ocean, and these beachside dining experiences deliver on that promise. | By Paul Oswell | June 28, 2023

The sea air can stimulate our appetites and our senses, and beachside dining on fresh seafood — perhaps caught that very day — is an experience that stays with you. The flavors, views and breeze mix with the aromas from the kitchen to make for one unforgettable meal. Here are our top recommendations for elevated beachside dining experiences:

  • Culinary Cancun: From lobster croquettes to freshly grilled whole fish, there’s more to Cancun’s dining scene than you might imagine

  • Appetizing Anguilla: Surrounded by the bounty of the Caribbean Sea, the island’s quirky and artistic restaurants exceed expectations

  • Perfect Punta de Mita: One of the fastest-growing dining scenes in Mexico is mixing authentic food with beautiful backdrops

chef preparing food
 Expertly crafted dishes elevate your beachside dining experience at Waldorf Astoria Cancun.

Cancun, Mexico

Cancun is one of the most popular resort towns in Mexico, and it has an elevated and eclectic dining scene just waiting to be discovered. You can look out over an expanse where the Gulf of Mexico meets the Caribbean Sea from many restaurants, and the local seafood is incredibly fresh.

Open since 1979, Lorenzillo’s is one of Cancun’s oldest and most exclusive seafood restaurants, specializing in lobster dishes. Relax on the outdoor terrace to enjoy marina views and sample their famous lobster croquettes.

Fred’s Seafood and Raw Bar takes the beachside dining experience even further, with private waterfront cabanas that can accommodate small groups. Enjoy their outstanding fresh seafood selection while the sun sets over the lagoon.

Malpeque is the flagship restaurant at Waldorf Astoria Cancun, with a terrace overlooking the expansive Caribbean Sea. Dip into the delectable choices from the raw bar or share a freshly grilled whole fish before lingering by the firepit with a digestif. The views, coupled with the salt-kissed sea air are hard to beat.

Beachfront Dining
Soak in exquisite views during a private dining experience on the beach at Zemi Beach House, LXR Hotels & Resorts.

Anguilla, West Indies

Caribbean cuisine is packed with bold flavor thanks to the variety of indigenous spices, and the island paradise of Anguilla’s cuisine is no exception. Lobster, mahi-mahi and red snapper are all widely available throughout the island — and are as fresh as you might expect. Among the best beachside restaurants on the island is Blanchards, which opened its bright teal shutters in 1994. Since then, owners Bob and Melinda Blanchard have welcomed guests to the airy dining room overlooking Meads Bay. The grouper niçoise and grilled crayfish are particular favorites, and for a more casual, sand-in-the-toes experience, try their beach shack.

Hibernia Restaurant & Art Gallery opened in 1987 and expertly combines French cuisine with Thai and Japanese flavors while also providing striking views over the Caribbean Sea. Art hangs from the walls of this charming, wooden-beamed cottage and their organic menu includes the signature crayfish, sauteed out of the shell and served with mushrooms and oven-dried heirloom tomatoes.

In addition to the stunning on-site restaurants at Zemi Beach House, LXR Hotels & Resorts, there are some very exciting private options. Bask in the views at 20 Knots or The Bohio Bar & Sushi Lounge or book a private dining experience directly on the beach. This could be a tented three- to five-course beach dinner surrounded by torches with an optional live saxophonist, a group picnic or a family bonfire and s’mores night. The resort staff will cater to your every need and return the beach to its pristine natural condition afterwards.

people at an outdoor bonfire by the beach
Create unique and lasting memories on the golden beaches of Punta de Mita.

Punta de Mita, Mexico

Fresh seafood is a running theme at the best oceanside restaurants, and the dynamic, quickly growing dining scene in Punta de Mita is no exception. Located in the region of Nayarit, Punta de Mita boasts golden beaches and spectacular views of the Sierra Madre mountains. Sea bass, shrimp and oysters are plentiful, and the region grows some of the best bananas and mangoes in the country.

The contemporary coastal decor of beachfront Lobster Paradise creates a suitably maritime atmosphere, and the open layout means that you can see and hear the ocean from every table. It shouldn’t come as a surprise to learn the kitchen’s specialty: succulent lobster served many ways, including on pizza.

The elegant yet relaxed seaside setting of Tuna Blanca by Thierry Blouet enhances the unique flavors of the restaurant’s fresh, organic ingredients. The menu consists of elevated Mexican cuisine, with vegetarian and gluten-free options, which can be enjoyed a la carte or as part of a five-course tasting menu with optional wine pairing. Confit suckling pig tacos, charcoal artichokes, Blue Bay tuna tostadas and chargrilled octopus are just a sampling of the delicacies on offer.

You’ll find yourself surrounded by amazing ocean views at Conrad Punta de Mita, and its dining rooms are no exception. At Mezquite, you can dine under palm trees and canopies right on the sand, savoring dishes ranging from baked oysters to yellowfin tuna or a supremely fresh catch of the day.

A memorable meal isn’t just conjured up by the menu alone, the setting plays an equally important role. With some of the world’s most beautiful coastlines as a backdrop, you’ll come away from these elevated beachside dining experiences with a fully rounded sense of satisfaction, enhanced by the freshest ingredients and warm sea breezes.

Paul Oswell is a British award-winning journalist and published travel author based in New Orleans, Louisiana in the United States. His books include Bucket List North America and The Great American Road Trip, as well as New Orleans' Historic Hotels. He has also been an editor of and contributor to several guide books/editions published by Dorling Kindersley (owned by Penguin), including New Orleans, Florida, Orlando, Los Angeles, California and The United States. His work has appeared in Conde Nast Traveler, Travel & Leisure (both of which he has written multiple online travel guides for) and The Guardian, as well as dozens of international newspaper and magazine titles, and inflight magazines for major airlines.

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