Enjoy dining outside along the waterfront at these restaurants in metro Detroit
Story by Max White
In Michigan and in metro Detroit, you’re never too far from the water, and that means you’re also never too far from dining on the waterfront.
In metro Detroit, there are plenty of places to grab a drink and a bite to eat while soaking up the sun and sitting near the water. From fresh fish to burgers, sandwiches, salads, and more, we have a list of the best places to dine along the waterfront in metro Detroit.
This list also takes you on a tour from south to north throughout metro Detroit, along the Detroit River, and then up and around Lake St. Clair. No matter where you are, you won’t be far from any of these restaurants.
Brownies on the Lake in St. Clair Shores
As you move north along the Detroit River, it opens up to Lake St. Clair where you can try plenty of places along the water. Brownies is one of a few restaurants on what’s called the “Nautical Mile” and has great views of Lake St. Clair.
The restaurant has three full bars and live entertainment nightly. There are no reservations and seating is first-come, first-serve, so you may have to wait.
They have house-made seafood chowder, and their fried garlic cheese curds are a great way to start your meal.
Their huge outdoor patio includes a full bar and beautiful views of the water.
Mike’s on the Water in St. Clair Shores
This is another restaurant located along the Nautical Mile in St. Clair Shores. Mike’s is described as “cool, comfortable, casual and cozy!”
The restaurant has boat docs for those coming up on the water and is known for their lobster rolls. They’ve sold tens of thousands of them over the years, and the restaurant keeps track.
Their rooftop deck also features great views of the water and will get you out in the sun!
Waterfront Restaurant in Wyandotte
About 20 minutes south of Detroit by car or by boat, The Waterfront Wyandotte is perfectly named. It sits along the Detroit River, and they have 20 docks available for those arriving by boat.
Inside, you get a great lounge feel with delicious food and drinks. The Waterfront Burger is a must-try, and The Michigan’s Own salad is delicious.
If you want to sit outside, they have a large deck and rooftop deck with great views of the river.
Smugglers Run on the River & Tiki Bar in Wyandotte
Also located along the Detroit River south of the city, Smugglers Run will give you that tropical tiki bar feel right in metro Detroit.
You can arrive by car or by boat, and the restaurant is open every weekend with live music, a full bar, and a beautiful view of the Detroit River and Downtown Detroit skyline.
The massive outdoor yard in the back includes several cornhole stations, picnic tables, an entertainment stage, and a bar serving up frozen drinks, beer, cocktails, and more.
More beautiful views from Wyandotte - this one from H2O Seafood!
Joe Muer Seafood in Detroit
Joe Muer Seafood has been offering fine dining in Downtown Detroit for more than 90 years, and they have a great patio outside of the Renaissance Center with great views of the Detroit Riverfront and Windsor.
The menu features delicious seafood including oysters Rockefeller, deviled crab balls, Lake Superior whitefish, lobster, and more.
They also have a great happy hour with a menu offering Baja-style fish tacos, steamed mussels, parmesan & white truffle fries, and more.
Joe Muer Seafood, @epicfitcouple
Andiamo Italia in Detroit
If seafood isn’t your thing, Andiamo is also located along the Detroit Riverfront inside the Renaissance Center, with a patio and outdoor dining showing off great views of the river.
They have a huge wine list to go with their Italian menu.
Make sure to try the handmade pasta, which is made fresh every day in-house. The Pasta all’ Andiamo lets you create your own by choosing your choice of pasta, sauce, and protein.
Sinbads in Detroit
Sinbads has been serving up great food along the Detroit River for decades. It’s in an old site of a Prohibition-era speakeasy!
The menu is huge with a variety of seafood, sandwiches, burgers, and more.
They are famous for their house-made Clam Chowder, perch, pickerel, shrimp, and scallops.
Guests can arrive by car or by boat, and they have free guest wells for those who want to cruise in for a meal.
Coriander Kitchen & Farm in Detroit
You may not think of farm-to-table dining when you’re in the city, but that’s exactly what Coriander offers in Detroit.
Located along the historic canals of Detroit, you’ll get a view you may not know existed when dining at Coriander. Their menu features seasonal produce from their farm, so it changes regularly.
Their burger features grass-fed, dry-aged beef from Marrow in West Village, and they also have falafel with a Fattoush salad.
Coriander has a full bar with delicious cocktails, draft beer, wine, and more.
Coriander Kitchen and Farm, @ogrenbrown
Bumper’s Landing in Harrison Township
Bumpers Landing is on the western part of Lake St. Clair as you follow the road along the lake, and is a waterfront sports bar and grill.
They have great views of the water and a full bar with beer and wine.
You can build your own pizza for food, or order off the menu, which includes calamari, sesame-encrusted Ahi, a crab cake po'boy, and more.
Bumper's Landing, @detroit.designhouse
On The Rocks in Clay Township
On the Rocks is another tiki bar on the water in metro Detroit, located on the northern area of Lake St. Clair.
The smokehouse and bar serve up delicious food and drinks. Make sure to try the rum runner while you’re there. It’s not often you find a delicious one in metro Detroit!
You can also get breakfast service on Sundays which is a great way to start your day on the water.
Cabana Blue Lakefront in Clay Township
Also located on the northern part of Lake St. Clair, Cabana Blue Lakefront Sports Bar & Grill is a newer restaurant on the water in metro Detroit.
They have a vast menu featuring signature dinners, sliders, burgers, tacos, and more.
For dessert, the Dayn’s Brownie Overboard is a fresh-baked brownie with vanilla ice cream on top and Sanders hot fudge – yum!