9 U.S. Restaurants Where the Views Are as Amazing as the Food

From Hawaii to Wyoming to Maine, these fine eateries serve tasty food and even better scenery.

A glass-walled restaurant on a wildflower-covered hillside with rugged coast in the background

By day, Sierra Mar in California offers sweeping views of the Pacific, while nighttime brings stargazing with an impressive telescope.

Courtesy of Post Ranch Inn

Going out for dinner and drinks is nice as a stand-alone activity, but add an open-air patio or a dining room with floor-to-ceiling windows, and you’ve elevated the evening. Maybe it’s because the presence of awe-inspiring scenery reminds us of the tremendous scale of life, but somehow a meal always tastes better when consumed in a restaurant with panoramic views.
At these nine restaurants across the United States, you can watch ocean waves crash, marvel over mountaintops, or observe a city skyline while you enjoy a remarkable dining experience.

Sierra Mar

Big Sur, California

The menu at Sierra Mar features influences from all over the world, but the view from the Post Ranch Inn’s award-winning restaurant is purely Pacific. And we mean that in a literal sense: The restaurant’s clifftop setting, with its floor-to-ceiling windows and comfortable open-air balcony, offers sweeping, uninterrupted views of the ocean.

Besides looking onto a vast expanse of water, dinner guests are also treated to a close-up of the night sky; the Post Ranch Inn’s balcony, home to one of the largest hotel telescopes in the nation, is a prime spot for stargazing.


Photo by Mikkel Vang

Welina Terrace

Kauai, Hawaii

Welina Terrace is the perfect place to catch an island sunset. Located within Kauai’s luxurious 1 Hotel Hanalei Bay, the restaurant boasts spectacular views of Mount Makana and Hanalei Bay, along with a menu of Japanese-inspired shared plates, Hawaiian rums, Japanese whiskeys, and more.

Every night, the terrace hosts a sunset hula performance, and on Thursdays through Saturdays from 6 to 9 p.m., local bands provide the perfect sunset soundtrack.

Barrel House Tavern

Sausalito, California

There are plenty of classic waterfront dining options in San Francisco, including the Cliff House and Beach Chalet. But the Barrel House Tavern in Sausalito offers a different view of the bay that’s well worth driving across the Golden Gate Bridge to obtain.

The restaurant’s deck, perched on the water’s edge, looks out over local landmarks such as Treasure Island and the Bay Bridge. Head here for classic California scenery and tasty cocktails, but stick around to snack on fresh wood-fired flatbread and seafood-focused fare.

Left: An open bar with high-top tables and stools looking out over the mountains. Right: Bar food and cocktails on a table, as seen from overhead.

For incredible mountainous landscape views, head to the Montford in Asheville.

Courtesy of The Montford (left), Photo by Chelsea Lane Photography (right)

The Montford

Asheville, North Carolina

To see one of Asheville’s signature dusty blue sunsets, there are few better vantage points in town than the Montford. The lounge offers a sleek outdoor patio with views of the surrounding Blue Ridge Mountains, and the bar offers tasty small plates like the pretzel baguette, sourced from nearby West End Bakery, and North Carolina cheddar fondue, plus a dizzying selection of craft cocktails. Try the Montford Mule, which puts a twist on the classic with spiced honey liqueur, local Devil’s Foot ginger beer, and North Carolina–distilled vodka.

Piste Mountain Bistro

Jackson Hole, Wyoming

Food always tastes better after a mountain gondola ride, doesn’t it? At the top of the Bridger Gondola in Teton Village, Piste Mountain Bistro has floor-to-ceiling windows that overlook Jackson Hole Mountain Resort and the valley beyond.

The restaurant is open for lunch in the winter and dinner in the summer, and its menu showcases regional producers through dishes like American wagyu from Idaho’s Snake River Farms and an extensive local beer list.

The Tiller sits in a refurbished 19th-century building overlooking Maine’s Atlantic coast.

The Tiller sits in a refurbished 19th-century building overlooking Maine’s Atlantic coast.

Courtesy of Tiller Restaurant

The Tiller

Cape Neddick, Maine

Although the Cliff House has been a Southern Maine icon since the late 1800s, over the years this classic New England inn has been transformed into a stylish retreat. The hotel’s primary restaurant, with floor-to-ceiling windows, is no exception.

Much like the Sierra Mar’s uninterrupted views of the Pacific, The Tiller offers sweeping views of the Atlantic from a cliff’s craggy edge. Taking down a lobster roll while watching the sunset has never been so luxurious.


Sedona, Arizona

At the upscale Latin-inspired Mariposa, tapas, wood-grilled steaks, and dry-aged pork chops are served with a side of 360-degree views. Perched on a bluff surrounded by red-rock canyons, the restaurant and grill highlights its surroundings with a dining room that has floor-to-ceiling windows.

This spot also boasts an expansive outdoor patio from which alfresco diners can admire the natural landscape, observe large-scale art on the property grounds, and even partake in some world-class stargazing when the hot Arizona sun goes down.

Laser Wolf is an Israeli restaurant with a Williamsburg vibe.

Laser Wolf is an Israeli restaurant with a Williamsburg vibe.

Photo by Michael Persico

Laser Wolf

Brooklyn, New York

In New York City, countless rooftop bars, lounges, and restaurants offer awe-inspiring views: Some look out over man-made landmarks like the Empire State Building and the Brooklyn Bridge, others over natural beacons such as the Hudson River. Of the city’s many standout spots, Laser Wolf is the rare rooftop restaurant where the food operates at the same high level as the views.

Here, on the roof of The Hoxton, Williamsburg, you can feast on a bountiful salatim platter—featuring hummus and fresh pita and pickled vegetables galore—and enjoy grilled lamb kofta or beef skewers as you watch the sun set over the Manhattan skyline. The creative cocktail list incorporates Levantine ingredients, too, like arak or za’atar-spiced cocktail onions.


Chicago, Illinois

This Chicago restaurant and bar is an all-around hit (in fact, it’s one of our favorite rooftop bars in the United States). Cindy’s is relatively free of snobbery, the food is thoughtful and tasty, and the sky-high location provides unbeatable views of some of the city’s greatest icons, like the Bean in Millennium Park, the Art Institute, and Lake Michigan. Even locals admit to loving this heavily touristy place, on the roof of the Chicago Athletic Association Hotel. The restaurant and bar sit inside an elegant glass atrium, but Cindy’s also offers a patio with fire pits and tables for drinks and mingling galore.

A version of this article originally appeared online in 2018; it was updated on May 10, 2024, to include current information.

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