Top 20 Restaurant Views in America Slideshow
January 9, 2012
#20. The Central Park Boathouse (New York City)
If New Yorkers had to choose just one restaurant to be described as a New York landmark, a good percentage of people could agree on The Central Park Boathouse. Perched right on the edge of the lake in Central Park, it offers the best seats in the house for enjoying the serene charm of the lake and the park beyond. The opulent view pairs perfectly with the sumptuous food, including steak tartare, lobster and truffle cavatelli, and roasted salmon with caramelized root vegetables.
#19. NoMI Kitchen (Chicago)
NoMI, the Chicago institution embedded in the Park Hyatt Hotel, is known citywide for both its breathtaking view and its expertly prepared food. To focus on one, say, the beautiful view of the Water Tower and bustling downtown Chicago, would push one to also include chef Ryan LaRoche’s roast chicken, which is quickly becoming a critic’s darling.
#18. Pier W (Cleveland)
This chic and stylized Cleveland landmark is placed right on the edge of scenic Lake Erie and across the lake from a stunning city skyline. Enjoy Pier W's romantic view as you sample the New American cuisine focused on seafood, especially the crab cakes and the bouillabaisse with fresh fish, mussels, clams, and shrimp.
#17. The Getty (Los Angeles)
After a full day of enjoying beautiful works of art at the Getty Museum in Los Angeles, there is no better place to eat than at the restaurant where the view is a work of art in itself. Visit The Getty Restaurant for the stark, minimalist design; the lovely spanning view of Southern California; and the critically acclaimed food, including stuffed quail with wild mushrooms and local halibut with pancetta and a white bean ragu.
#12. Peaks Restaurant (Palm Springs, Calif.)
Take a sightseeing trip up the majestic Chino Canyon in the dramatic Palm Springs desertscape, and once you reach the top of the sheer cliffs, be sure to stop by Peaks Restaurant at the well, you know, top. Stare out over gorgeous Palm Springs as you enjoy their Tram Burger and the knowledge that the beautiful desert sunset is only a few minutes away.
#14. Sutro's at the Cliff House (San Francisco)
This famous San Francisco landmark is known all across the city for its amazing view and long history. Placed right on a scenic beach cliff, the Cliff House has been serving fresh seafood to San Francisco natives since for more than a century. Be sure to watch out for waves of tourists while enjoying this landmark restaurant.
#13. SkyCity (Seattle)
In 1962, architect John Graham Jr. was approached and asked to design something monumental for the Seattle World’s Fair. The result was the signature contribution to the skyline known as the Space Needle, and placed atop it is SkyCity, the restaurant with what is easily the best view one can hope to find of Seattle. Not only is the restaurant perched above all of downtown Seattle, but the fact that it rotates gives diners a chance to see every inch of majesty the Northwest has to offer. Be sure to try the short ribs and enjoy the extremely local wine list.
#16. Slanted Door (San Francisco)
With celebrity fans such as Mick Jagger and Quentin Tarantino, and a miraculous location in the foodie heaven of the Ferry Building in San Francisco, it’s no wonder the Slanted Door continues to accrue the fame it has in the Bay Area food scene since its start in the Mission. Of course, the awe-inspiring view of the Bay Bridge never hurts, and neither does the critically acclaimed food (be sure to try the cellophane noodles with crab).
#11. River Café (New York City)
This is a New York classic that has the rare quality of being just as loved by locals as by tourists. The River Café is in the DUMBO section of Brooklyn, placed on a barge right on the water with a stunning view of the Brooklyn Bridge. The restaurant maintains old-school class by insisting that all the male patrons wear jackets and all the waiters wear tuxedos. The food is far from “New York-challenging” but is still definitely designed to please; especially the oysters with bacon and caviar.
#10. Yamashiro (Los Angeles)
This Los Angeles superstar, designed in homage to Japanese mountain palaces, was built in 1914 and has been used from everything from a display home for Japanese antiques to an apartment complex. These days, however, the building is in top form. In fact, it's never been better. The building is a restaurant, Yamashiro, which serves Asian fusion to go with its perfect view of all of Los Angeles from the Hollywood Hills. Choose to either sit in the magical courtyard with the koi pond, or out on the balcony, with what could easily be called the best view in the city.
#9. Azul (Miami)
Azul restaurant in the Mandarin Oriental Hotel in Miami has a dining room equipped with floor-to-ceiling windows, and at the restaurant, they know how to use them. Located in Brickell Key, this restaurant not only has a perfect view of Biscayne Bay and the Miami skyline, but also possesses a menu that wows patrons. Azul’s menu has a focus on Mediterranean and Asian fare, and is starting to branch out more into fresh seafood. Be sure to find the raw bar, if you can pull your eyes away from the gorgeous Miami sunset.
#8. La Mer (Honolulu)
La Mer not only has a view worthy of being on a list of the top 20 in America, but it is also considered the best French restaurant in Hawaii. Situated in the Halekulani Hotel, this restaurant has mastered creating the perfect Hawaiian atmosphere. While the food here is French, it is made using local Hawaiian ingredients, including onaga, opakapaka, and macadamia nuts, and goes perfectly with the warm ocean breeze coming in through the open windows, the music from the traditional hula dancers below in the courtyard, and the breathtaking view of Diamond Head.
#7. Per Se (New York City)
It makes sense that Per Se, which is essentially the perfect restaurant, would have one of the most country's most perfect views. Overlooking the buzzing Columbus Circle, the glowing-green Central Park, and rising skyscrapers beyond, it is truly a view that cannot be missed. The food isn’t half bad, either.
#6. Terra Steakhouse (Bigfork, Mo.)
This is not a local place. This restaurant is not nearby, and you can’t hop in a cab to get there. Terra Steakhouse is attached to the Bigfork Mountain Lake Lodge in secluded Montana. And in this case, "secluded,” of course, also happens to mean “wonderful.” Here, you can take in the fresh Montana air, watch over the rapturous mountain ranges, and enjoy a delicious steak made by people who know how.
#5. Sierra Mar (Big Sur, Calif.)
People come from all over the California coast to visit the small town of Big Sur, and it might have something to do with the town's beautiful scenery, as well as its fine dining options. The best of both can be found at Sierra Mar, a restaurant perched on the picturesque Big Sur seaside with an immaculate view of the Pacific. New American cuisine is there to be enjoyed along with the view (don't miss the ahi tuna tasting).
#4. Seven Glaciers (Alaska)
At 2,300 feet above sea level, on towering Mount Alyeska in Alaska, and only accessible by a small aerial tram, Seven Glaciers is a special, if remote dinner reservation. The restaurant is outside of Anchorage, and boasts one of the most stunning views The Great White North has to offer. The dining room overlooks seven glaciers, giving a breathtaking view to go with what is easily the freshest king crab you’ve ever had.
#3. Cité (Chicago)
Chicago is a beautiful and expansive city, and to take in all of it there's no better place than the 360-degree view from Cité, the luxurious restaurant occupying the 70th floor of the looming Lake Point Tower. From here, all of Chicago is on display, as well as a gourmet menu featuring inventive new takes on classics like lobster gnocchi and tuna-salmon tartare with avocado mousse and a yuzu vinaigrette.
#2. Sarento’s Top of the Ilikai (Waikiki, Hawaii)
Sarento’s is located in beautiful Hawaii, on the 30th floor of the beautiful Renaissance Ilikai Waikiki, with a 360-degree view of all of the stereotypically Hawaiian beauty of Waikiki and nearby Diamond Head. This restaurant makes sure not to waste its perfect view, adding to the romantic atmosphere with a dressed up staff, a menu of rustic Italian classics such as osso bucco and seafood fra diavola, and a swanky piano bar. Toss in the fact that they have an expertly prepared wine cellar of more than 3,000 Italian bottles, and it becomes hard not to fall in love with somebody.
#1. El Tovar Dining Room (Grand Canyon, Ariz.)
For sheer majesty, the view from the El Tovar Dining Room, attached to the El Tovar Hotel takes the top spot. The hotel is in the Grand Canyon. No, not near the Grand Canyon, not a quick drive away, but right there on the edge. The view is as good as it can get, but in addition to that, they also serve modern, inventive Southwestern cuisine that is just as unmissable as the view. Be sure to try the cherry-merlot-glazed duck with roasted poblano black bean rice, and for breakfast, the polenta corncakes with prickly pear-pistachio butter.
#15. Signature Room (Chicago)
With an unparalleled view of Chicago and Lake Michigan beyond, the Signature Room at the 95th is known for supplying natives with romantic and awe-inspiring moments for every occasion. The view of the city from atop the John Hancock Center is impressive, as is the food, especially the shellfish risotto and the roast chicken. The locals all know, however, that the best time to enjoy the atmosphere is to come in for lunch.