5 Fab Alfresco Dining Spots to Try

We have some stunning water views here on the Treasure Coast, and these open-air restaurants make the most of them

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Breathtaking views of the St. Lucie River at Sailor's Return in Stuart
Breathtaking views of the St. Lucie River at Sailor’s Return in Stuart

Sailor’s Return, Stuart

Owned by Bob and Tracy Davis, with three decades in the business, Sailor’s Return is nestled on Sunset Bay Harbor and Marina with a stunning view of the St. Lucie River. Casual elegance is the watchword here: There is nightly live entertainment, happy hour from 3:30 p.m. to 6 p.m. daily, and a menu that offers something for everyone. Begin with a craft cocktail such as the Porch Swing (Woodford Reserve, honey, Natalie’s raspberry lemonade, and Chambord) or Pusser’s Pain Killer (British Virgin Island rum blended with tropical fruit juices) and accompany your meal with a selection from the carefully chosen beer and wine list. 625 SW Anchorage Way, Stuart; 772.872.7250

Crab cakes at Sauder's Landing in Jensen Beach
Crab cakes at Sauder’s Landing in Jensen Beach

Sauder’s Landing, Jensen Beach

At the only marina setting on Hutchinson Island, the Sauder family serves fresh-caught seafood in a relaxed, friendly environment inside the Nettles Island complex. Burgers and fish tacos at lunchtime give way to mahi, pecan chicken, and steaks in the evening, and every kids’ meal concludes with a Toll House cookie. Don’t miss the award-winning crab cakes. 9815 S. Ocean Drive, Jensen Beach; 772.229.0246

Manatee Island Bar & Grill's original Port Salerno location
Manatee Island Bar & Grill’s original Port Salerno location

Manatee Island Bar & Grill, Stuart and Fort Pierce

Michael Politano and Paul Gonnella (“just a couple of old restaurant guys from the Northeast who swore they’d never move back up to the cold”) opened their first restaurant in 2010 at the end of Manatee Pocket in Port Salerno and followed that with a second location overlooking the Fort Pierce Inlet on Hutchinson Island. Proceed to either site by car or boat and experience artfully prepared food and live music under a tiki roof, along with the glory of having the breeze in your face. 4817 SE Dixie Hwy., Port Salerno; 772.872.7288; 1640 Seaway Drive, Fort Pierce; 772.242.8460

Stuart Boathouse, Stuart

The building saw incarnations as a rooming house, a law office, and an assisted living facility before being moved to its present location in 1949. Now carefully restored, every seat has a view of the St. Lucie River. The wide-ranging menu includes a creative assortment of sushi rolls, along with favorites such as wings, pancetta-crusted diver scallops, and buttermilk-fried chicken. The new Riverwalk extension offers a scenic view of downtown Stuart. 49 SW Seminole St., Stuart; 772.266.4586

TideHouse, Stuart

Perched on the second floor overlooking the Harborage Marina and Yacht Club, TideHouse faces southeast, with views ranging from the quaint village of Rio to the iconic Roosevelt Bridge. The menu is as casual as the atmosphere, and live music fills the air on weekends. Sip a World Famous Cat 5 Hurricane (dark rum, passion rum, 151, and a blend of fruit juices) as you watch passing boats. 915 NW Flagler Ave., Stuart; 772.444.3166

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