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Some hotel restaurants serve little purpose other than to fortify guests, providing serviceable meals that carry them through a day of tourist fun or business meetings.
Others serve fabulous food, creative cocktails or tons of fun. They’re places that draw in tourists and locals alike.
These 18 Florida hotel restaurants are like that.
Our list runs the gamut, from once-in-a-lifetime meals that cost as much as a mortgage payment to waterfront hangouts with burgers, cheap drinks and local bands on stage.
Related:The best hotel restaurants and bars in Daytona Beach
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Whether you’re hoping for sea breezes and ocean (or Gulf) views, romantic settings, elegant brunch or the possibility of dining with an astronaut, we’ve got you covered with our favorite Florida hotel restaurants.
La Playa Beach and Golf Resort, 9891 Gulf Shore Drive, Naples, 239-598-5707,laplayaresort.com. Hours: 7-11 a.m., noon-2:30 p.m., 5:30-9 p.m. daily.
Baleen is among the top romantic restaurants in Naples and is considered one of the best beachside dining spots. Gulf breezes and views make it a favorite and one to surely try while in town.
Entrees include roasted cauliflower, blackened Gulf grouper and custom cut steaks.
Baleen was shuttered after Hurricane Irma tore through Southwest Florida in September 2017, but the restaurant reopened better than ever with a more modern, coastal look. There’s inside and outside dining, including a terrace, a nice upscale beach restaurant option compared with many casual ones in Naples. – Dave Osborn, Naples Daily News
Blue Flame, Daytona Beach
The Daytona, 1870 Victory Circle, Daytona Beach; 386-323-9777, blueflamedaytona.com. Hours: 11 a.m.-11 p.m. daily.
You don’t have to love cars for Blue Flame restaurant and bar to rev your engine, but it might be a good start.
Blue Flame is in the lobby on the second floor of The Daytona hotel, which is part of the Autograph Collection. With views of the Daytona International Speedway, the restaurant captures the NASCAR theme in an elegant way, with history-rich race cars and menu items named after the city’s signature sport. Serving breakfast, lunch and dinner, the menus have something for everyone.
Fun appetizers include the Blue Flame nachos and jumbo pretzel, with both benefiting nicely from the restaurant’s beer cheese. Entrée options please the entire crowd with crispy flatbread-style pizzas, sandwiches such as the well-seasoned blackened mahi-mahi and classic traditional dishes like the pan-seared filet ($38).
The drink menu offers handcrafted cocktails as well as signature “moonshine drinks,” a sly reference to NASCAR’s outlaw heritage. The restaurant also offers happy hour from 4:30 to 7 p.m. with deals on beer, wine and select cocktails. – Caroline Hebert, The Daytona Beach News-Journal
Burlock Coast Seafare and Spirits, Fort Lauderdale
The Ritz-Carlton, 1 N. Fort Lauderdale Beach Blvd., Fort Lauderdale, 954-302-6460, BurlockCoast.com. Hours: 7 a.m.-4 p.m. and 5-10 p.m. daily.
Here’s an oceanside hotel restaurant that’s located at The Ritz but is proudly non-ritzy. Open since 2015, Burlock Coast takes its vibe inspiration from the Prohibition era and its flavor focus from the sea.
The menu is in the hands of new chef de cuisine Ryan Fisch and the resort’s executive chef Paula DaSilva, a “Hell’s Kitchen” series alum and acclaimed Broward County chef.
Expect plenty of fresh fish and seafood on the coastal menu that speaks the flavor languages of South Florida. Expect plenty of seasonal specials and events at the restaurant and bar as well. And there’s a bonus to it all in the form of an ocean view. – Liz Balmaseda, The Palm Beach Post
Café Boulud, Palm Beach
Brazilian Court Hotel, 301 Australian Ave., Palm Beach, 561-665-7740, CafeBoulud.com/palmbeach. Hours: 7-11 a.m. daily, noon-2:30 p.m. Monday-Friday, 5:30-10 p.m. Monday-Sunday, 11 a.m.-2:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.
This stylish Palm Beach café by Michelin-starred chef/restaurateur Daniel Boulud has no ocean view or splashy resort setting. It’s tucked into a stately, 1926-era hotel that’s nestled on a residential street. But gastronomes, local and visiting, have had no trouble finding the destination-worthy restaurant that made its Palm Beach debut in 2003.
With a menu that’s modern French and an attention to detail that defies the idea of casual island living, Café Boulud continues to refresh itself while resisting fads.
“We have to be consistent in what we do. We don’t try to be a trendy place. We want to be a quality place,” Boulud told The Palm Beach Post after he revamped the café in 2016. The same holds true today.
The menu changes seasonally. The restaurant offers wine dinners, tastings and other events pretty often and keeps its website, CafeBoulud.com/palmbeach, updated. If it’s summer, watch for prix-fixe specials – they’re among the best in town. There’s a cozy lobby bar and lounge, indoor and outdoor seating and al fresco views of the hotel’s courtyard and fountain. – Liz Balmaseda, The Palm Beach Post
Four Seasons Resort Orlando at Walt Disney World Resort, 10100 Dream Tree Blvd., Orlando, 407-313-7777, fourseasons.com. Hours: 5-11 p.m. daily.
Michelin-starred Capa is the place to book for special occasions or whenever you want to treat yourself. There are two large outdoor terraces that offer views of the resort’s gorgeous grounds.
All this while dining on such delicacies as caviar and A-5 Wagyu beef. There also are plenty of small plates and tapas starting at $5. Make a reservation and bring the little ones.
The kids menu includes classics like mac and cheese and chicken fingers, as well as a petite filet served with charred corn and creamy polenta.
A Spanish guitarist performs from 6-9 p.m. Wednesday-Saturday.
This rooftop restaurant on the 17th floor of the Four Seasons Orlando gives the quintessential view of fireworks from Walt Disney World theme parks. – Michelle Spitzer, for FLORIDA TODAY
Élevage SoHo Kitchen & Bar, Tampa
Epicurean Hotel, 1207 S. Howard Ave., Tampa; 813-999-8726, epicureanhotel.com. Hours: 7 a.m.-3 p.m. and 5-10 p.m. Monday-Friday; 10 a.m.-3 p.m. and 5-10 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.
The most famous food-focused boutique hotel in Florida, Epicurean Hotel opened in 2013 in South Tampa as a collaboration with legendary Bern’s Steak House located across the street.
Part of Marriott’s upscale Autograph Collection, Epicurean is where guests stay between luxurious meals and wine tastings at Bern’s, its sister restaurant Haven, or right on-site at the hotel’s Lobby Bar, at EDGE Rooftop Cocktail Lounge, or back on the ground floor at Élevage SoHo Kitchen & Bar.
One of 16 Tampa restaurants – along with Bern’s and Haven – to be recently honored with a “recommendation” by the venerable Michelin Guide, Élevage finds executive chef Jon Atanacio serving classic cuisine with a contemporary twist, his culinary influences ranging from Indian to Mediterranean to Asian.
Essential large plates include the duck leg pot pie with pomme puree, toasted sourdough and lemon; the Florida red snapper with roasted turnips, chervil and Calabrian chile butter, and the beloved Homage to Bern’s steak sandwich that finds premium shaved ribeye covered in caramelized onions and Swiss and served on focaccia with tamarind jus for the win. For starters, you’ll want to consider the smoked wings with Alabama sauce and pickled okra; the beef tartare enhanced by whipped blue cheese, fermented honey and sea salt; or the signature Caesar salad topped with hard-boiled egg, heirloom tomato, parmesan, bacon and a black garlic and anchovy puree.
The hotel, by the way, will soon be able to accommodate even more of us food folks. In May, Epicurean announced a $21 million expansion project that will include 51 new guest rooms and suites, a private lobby, meeting space and rooftop terrace found in the same posh Hyde Park district, right across South Howard Avenue from the 137-room main hotel. – Wade Tatangelo, Sarasota Herald-Tribune
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H20 Grill, Pensacola Beach
Hilton Pensacola Beach, 12 Via De Luna Drive, Pensacola Beach, 850-343-6791, h2opensacolabeach.com. Hours: 6:30 a.m.-10 p.m. daily, brunch 11:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. Sunday.
Locals describe Sunday brunch as “to die for,” but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t check Gulf-front H2O Grill out on other days of the week.
With a menu inspired by land and sea, you can start your meal with wild salmon tartare or maybe a burrata salad, then move on to lobster linguini or lamb ragu with fettuccine.
Indulge a sweet tooth with one of H20’s over-the-top milkshakes, with garnishes that include donuts, tiramisu, ice cream cones and chocolate cake. Guests also can enjoy a craft cocktail (or a Gulf Coast favorite, the frozen Bushwhacker) and listen to music at the outdoor bar. – Suzy Fleming Leonard, FLORIDA TODAY
Havana Beach Bar & Grill, Rosemary Beach
The Pearl Hotel, 63 Main St., Rosemary Beach, 850-588-2882, thepearlrb.com/dining. Hours: 8 a.m.-2 p.m. and 5-9 p.m. daily; bar is open 11 a.m.-2 p.m. and 4-10 p.m. daily.
Inspired by its old-town Cuba namesake, Havana celebrates the 30A attitude with award-winning dining in a family-friendly atmosphere.
A Wine Spectator Award of Excellence and AAA Four Diamond restaurant, Havana offers three dining experiences: in the main dining room, on the veranda or on the rooftop.
Enjoy brunch daily until 2 p.m., with Hemingway Shrimp & Grits or the Havana Cuban, or linger over locally caught grouper or a 14-ounce certified Angus Delmonico steak. A children’s menu features seared Gulf fish and a grass-fed beef cheeseburger. – Suzy Fleming Leonard, FLORIDA TODAY
Jack Dusty, Sarasota
The Ritz Carlton, 1111 Ritz Carlton Drive, Sarasota; 941-309-2266, ritzcarlton.com. Hours: 7 a.m.-11 and 11:30 a.m.-11 p.m. daily.
A name synonymous with luxury, The Ritz-Carlton has welcomed guests to its downtown Sarasota location since 2001 and has been credited with sparking the development of hundreds of condominium units and luring millions of tourists.
It wasn’t until the 2013 opening of Jack Dusty, though, that the hotel became more accessible to locals. Offering covered outdoor and indoor seating on the first floor overlooking a channel that flows into Sarasota Bay, Jack Dusty manages to be effortlessly trendy with a friendly Florida feel, thanks to its nautical-themed setting and stylish bar.
The seafood restaurant is perhaps best known for its take on cioppino containing Gulf shrimp, bay scallops, Cedar Key clams, Prince Edward Island mussels and Gulf fish. The ceviche and shrimp and grits, are also listed among the dinner menu “classics.”
Regardless if you’re visiting for lunch or dinner, you’ll want to consider starting your meal with the grouper spread paired with Croccantini crackers, as well as the blistered shishito peppers, which are showered with beautiful orange bottarga harvested from local mullet and accompanied by a seared lemon half for squeezing.
In addition to lunch and dinner, you can stop by Jack Dusty for breakfast or just drop in for a drink at the bar, which for nearly a decade has ranked as one of Sarasota’s top destinations for craft cocktails. Contemplating a hotel bar pub crawl? Jack Dusty shares a water view with the Hyatt Regency and its Currents Bar and on the other side is neighbored by the Westin hotel, which includes one of our favorite rooftop bars, the 19th floor The Roof Bar and Eats. – Wade Tatangelo, Sarasota Herald-Tribune
Related:Best hotel restaurants and bars in Sarasota and Bradenton for food, drinks, views and fun!
La Mar by Gastón Acurio, Miami
The Mandarin Oriental hotel, 500 Brickell Key Drive, Miami, 305-913-8358, MandarinOriental.com. Hours: 7-11 a.m. daily, 6-11 p.m. Sunday-Thursday, 6 p.m.-midnight Friday and Saturday.
Acclaimed Peruvian chef and restaurateur Gastón Acurio is a ceviche poet. His reverence for the majestic flavors of his homeland resound throughout the waterfront restaurant he debuted in Miami’s Brickell Key neighborhood in 2014.
One comes to La Mar to be transported to Peru. One also comes to La Mar to be reminded of Miami’s own magical setting.
The Michelin-listed restaurant, which sits on the waterside level of Mandarin Oriental hotel, offers sweeping city views. – Liz Balmaseda, The Palm Beach Post
Oak & Stone, Bradenton
Springhill Suites, 1201 First Ave. W., Bradenton; 941-357-4306; oakandstone.com. Hours: 11 a.m.-11 p.m. Sunday-Thursday, 11 a.m.-midnight Friday and Saturday.
Featuring a rooftop bar dubbed The Deck, Oak & Stone offers dining and drinks atop the eight-story Springhill Suites hotel in downtown Bradenton, overlooking the Manatee River with vistas of the Palmetto shoreline, Tampa Bay and the Sunshine Skyway Bridge.
The open-air space features several seating areas with low-top tables and three fire pits. There’s also the covered rooftop bar section and adjacent beer wall with self-serve taps for craft brews, cider and wine selections – plus craft cocktails available at the actual bar.
The Bradenton Oak & Stone, which opened in late 2019, also has a full restaurant and bar on the first floor, offering an even larger selection of self-serve beers (48 rotating taps including plenty of local brews made right in Bradenton and neighboring Sarasota).
The menu of comfort food classics with creative twists includes super-thin, stone-fired pizzas such as the Sweet Heat with pepperoni, spicy capicola, pizza sauce, pickled jalapeno, mozzarella, and Mike’s Hot Honey or the Winger topped with Buffalo chicken tenders, cheddar, ranch, hot sauce aioli, scallion and crumbled blue cheese. And then there are the famed slow-roasted oven wings, which are some of the best wings around. Soaked overnight and teeming with savory flavor through and through, they’re topped with a Buffalo-style wing sauce and a generous serving of blue cheese crumbles, with a side of ginger honey mustard sauce for dipping. – Wade Tatangelo, Sarasota Herald-Tribune
Related:Best waterfront restaurants in Bradenton, Palmetto, Ellenton and what to eat, drink there!
RumFish Grill, St. Pete Beach
RumFish Beach Resort, 6000 Gulf Blvd., St. Pete Beach; 727-329-1428, rumfishgrill.com. Hours: 5-10 p.m. daily.
After a day soaking up the sun on world-famous St. Pete Beach, locals and tourists alike love experiencing the under-the-sea thrills of RumFish Grill.
Occupying a standalone building right out front of the RumFish Beach Resort that’s part of the TradeWinds Island Resorts located on 40 acres of sugary white sand, RumFish Grill features a 33,500 gallon-aquarium built by the folks from the Animal Planet series “Tanked.”
Taking the place of an entire wall in the main dining room, the pool is populated by tropical fish including many indigenous to Florida waters. At least one giant stingray enjoys swimming over people’s heads in the adjacent viewing room, a place you will definitely want to visit while waiting for a table.
RumFish Grill specializes in seafood with cleverly prepared entrees such as grilled ahi tuna, seared sea scallops, jerked swordfish and iron skillet grouper served with beluga lentils, lump crab and green onion emulsion. There are also premium steaks, and for any vegetarians in your party, grilled cauliflower “steaks.”
For starters, consider the chilled fish appetizers such as the Florida snapper ceviche, smoked fish dip or fresh-shucked oysters.
In addition to the main dining room and shop offering various name-brand clothes and even a dressing room, RumFish Grill includes an inside bar area with table seating and another aquarium filled with fascinating sea creatures plus an outdoor bar overlooking bustling Gulf Boulevard. On the bar menu, you’ll find faves such as the calamari as well as a grouper sandwich with the same fabulous pepperoncini aioli. – Wade Tatangelo, Sarasota Herald-Tribune
Salt, Amelia Island
The Ritz-Carlton Amelia Island, 4750 Amelia Island Parkway, Amelia Island, 904-277-1100, ritzcarlton.com/en/hotels/florida/amelia-island/dining/salt. Hours: 5-10 p.m. Wednesday-Sunday. Reservations recommended.
If you’re looking for an award-wining dining experience with a view – and a little extra flavor – consider Salt.
The restaurant is part of The Ritz-Carlton Amelia Island, though you don’t have to stay at the resort to go. Salt “uses more than 40 salts from around the world to add depth and flavor to coastal-inspired cuisine,” according to The Ritz-Carlton.
The restaurant’s awards include the AAA Five Diamond designation each year from 2012-2014, and the restaurant had 665 πexcellent” and 113 “very good” reviews out of 858 on Tripadvisor as of June 10.
It is easy to cross the $100-per-person mark eating at Salt, but the experience includes intriguing options for appetizers, dinner, desserts and drinks.
Main courses include the beef tenderloin with confit and smashed fingerling potato, black trumpets and sauce Périgourdine. To warm up the appetite, consider the foie gras with terrine, port fig chutney and tarragon mignonette. Salt also offers dessert cocktails and non-drinkable desserts, such as the gingersnap souffle with vanilla ice cream and bourbon anglaise.
Guests can also pay to “Dine with the Chef.” – Sheldon Gardner, The St. Augustine Record
The Sandbar, Sebastian
Capt. Hiram’s Resort, 1580 U.S. 1, Sebastian, hirams.com, 772-388-8588. Hours: 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Sunday-Thursday, 11 a.m.-midnight Friday and Saturday.
The Sandbar is such a popular local hangout, with its lively concerts, laid-back attitude and Indian River views, some might not even realize it’s attached to a resort. Overnight guests have their choice of jacuzzi suites, riverfront rooms with balconies and bunk bed rooms that sleep four.
Capt. Hiram’s guests can choose to dine at Blackfins Restaurant, with its Dirty Oysters (freshly shucked and topped with caviar, sour cream, diced red onions and hot sauce) and the option to sit inside. But the action is at the Sandbar.
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The menu includes a fried shrimp po’boy, Cheeseburger in Paradise and steamed Sebastian littleneck clams.
Or, just order a Category 4 Hurricane Hiram, and enjoy the music, the river breeze and the people watching. Staying the night? Up that to a Category 5, and stumble back to your room.
Bonus: Leave the car at home and arrive by boat. – Suzy Fleming Leonard, FLORIDA TODAY
Seagar’s Prime Steaks & Seafood, Sandestin Beach
Hilton Sandestin Beach Golf Resort & Spa, 4000 Sandestin Blvd. S., Miramar Beach, 850-622-1500, seagars.com. Hours: 5:30-9 p.m. Sunday and Tuesday-Thursday, 5:30-10 p.m. Friday and Saturday.
With a Four Diamond rating from AAA and a Best of Award of Excellence from Wine Spectator, Seagar’s, which opened in 1998, has earned its reputation as a destination restaurant on the Northwest Gulf Coast.
A pianist sets the tone at Seagar’s, playing relaxing music that accents, but doesn’t overwhelm, conversation. The restaurant features an open-theater kitchen, and servers prepare dishes such as steak Diane, Dover sole and bananas Foster tableside.
Seagar’s is known for its wine list, with more than 600 labels and 3,700 bottles on site.
The menu, which changes seasonally, includes custom-cut steaks, South African cold-water lobster tails and a Caesar salad for two, prepared tableside.
Celebrating a special occasion? Reserve one of Seagar’s private dining rooms, which seat up to 40 guests. – Suzy Fleming Leonard, FLORIDA TODAY
The Space Bar, Titusville
Courtyard Titusville-Kennedy Space Center, a Marriott hotel, 6245 Riverfront Center Blvd., Titusville, 321-966-9200, spacebarusa.com. Hours: 4-10 p.m. Sunday-Thursday, 4 p.m.-midnight Friday and Saturday.
The Space Bar isn’t subtle when it comes to intergalactic references. First, there’s the name. A larger-than-life photo of an astronaut walking on the moon greets guests as they step off the elevator. Cocktails have monikers like Sky Rockets in Flight and the Space Shuttle.
But kitsch factor aside, this is the real deal. The sixth-floor rooftop bar and restaurant, which can be reached from an express elevator just outside the hotel lobby, opened April 8, offering sweeping views of Kennedy Space Center, including the Vehicle Assembly Building and launch pads.
More:‘We want to be the happening spot.’ Titusville-Kennedy Space Center hotel readies for launch
Need more convincing? On a recent Wednesday, one giant television was tuned to baseball. No one was watching it. A cadre of rocket scientists stood around the bar cheering as NASA TV showed the chutes deploy on the Boeing CST-100 Starliner. Another cheer erupted when the capsule touched down at the U.S. Army’s White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico.
Executive chef Chris Chadwick describes the small, but interesting, menu as elevated bar food with sandwiches including a Cubano, bowls such as the Korean BBQ short rib and snacks such as Space Bar nachos. Locals, as well as hotel guests, are welcome to watch launches from the Space Bar, as long as they happen during normal operating hours. – Suzy Fleming Leonard, FLORIDA TODAY
Victoria & Albert’s, Orlando
Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa, 4401 Floridian Way, Orlando, 407-939-3862, victoria-alberts.com. Reopening July 28.
Get dressed up and prepare to be treated like royalty at Victoria & Albert’s, which ruled the Central Florida dining kingdom from 1988 until 2020, when it closed amid pandemic lockdowns.
The grand dame reopens July 28 with an updated Victorian-style dining room inspired by Queen Victoria’s Jubilee celebration.
Victoria & Albert’s has earned AAA Five Diamond, Forbes Travel Five Star and Florida Trend Golden Spoon Hall of Fame awards, as well as Wine Spectator’s Best of Award of Excellence, and diners are willing to pay for the privilege of enjoying a meal there. Although subject to change, the prix-fixe menu begins at $295 per guest, with optional wine pairings starting at $150 per person, according to disneyworld.disney.go.com.
Victoria & Albert’s Chef de Cuisine Matthew Sowers and his team have created dishes such as Colorado lamb with pickled blueberry and violet mustard and line-caught turbot with fennel fondue, and Pernod beurre blanc, according to the Disney Parks blog.
Guests can choose from the Dining Room under the grand rotunda dome; Queen Victoria’s Room, limited to four couples per night; or the Chef’s Table, for up to six guests.
The restaurant has a dress code; semi-formal attire is required. This is a special occasion place, so dress the part. – Suzy Fleming Leonard, FLORIDA TODAY
The Wave Kitchen and Bar, Vero Beach
Costa d’Este Beach Resort & Spa, 3244 Ocean Drive, Vero Beach, 772-569-9919; costadeste.com. Hours: 8 a.m.-5 p.m. and 5:30-10 p.m. daily; bar is open 3-11 p.m. daily
Singer Gloria Estefan and her husband, Emilio, opened the $50-million Costa d’Este Beach Resort & Spa in June 2008 on Ocean Drive on the barrier island in Vero Beach.
Its oceanfront restaurant, The Wave Kitchen and Bar, is designed to make diners feel like they’re at an intimate dinner party. It serves classics like center-cut filet mignon and pork tenderloin, fresh and local seafood and produce, and Cuban specialties developed by the owners from their Estefan Kitchen Cookbook.
The hotel also has a poolside cabana bar with a daily happy hour. – Laurie K. Blandford, TCPalm/Treasure Coast Newspapers
More:Tale a peek at the Wave Kitchen and Bar in Vero Beach
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