Water, water everywhere: Heaven knows Brevard has it, from the Atlantic Ocean to the Indian River Lagoon and its tributaries, to the lakes in the west. So, what restaurants offer the best views of sunrise, sunset and other things natural?
Some of the best-loved such venues throughout Brevard are:
Yellow Dog Café, 905 U.S. Highway 1, Malabar.
Yellow Dog has a casual, arty-rustic atmosphere with stunning waterfront vistas on multiple levels, as well as a covered porch, tended grounds and a private dock that extends 400 feet into water where dolphins and manatees play. It’s a special place for special events as well as a dining experience, because Chef Stuart Borton serves fine American cuisine — steaks, lamb, seafood, poultry and salads — and prizewinning desserts as well as cocktails, spirits and wines.
“Yellow Dog Cafe is a very relaxing place to dine with delicious food and an east-facing view of the Indian River,” said Jim Neil, a frequent diner and member of FLORIDA TODAY’S Facebook group, 321 Flavor: Where Brevard Eats. “Both the inside and outside seating is up high, giving you a bird’s eye view. The service is always on point (and) white cloth tablecloths are always a plus. It’s a lovely place to enjoy a leisurely meal.”
Go to yellowdogcafe.com or call 321-956-3334.
Café Coconut Cove, 4210 S. State Road A1A, Melbourne Beach
“I love Cafe Coconut Cove for the food, and the beautiful river view is the added bonus,” said 321 Flavor member Diane Dobish. It has has been called one of the most romantic restaurants in Brevard with reason.
Built on the old Grey’s Landing and dock, its views of the Indian River Lagoon feature spectacular sunsets and gentle breezes, and you can stroll as well as dine. Its cuisine is no less worthy: European, with emphasis on German, as prepared by members of the Himmeroeder family, who were respected restaurateurs in Aachen.
Go to cafecoconutcove.com or call 321-727-3133.
Chart House, 2250 Front St., Melbourne.
Chart House may be the quintessential, American higher-end chain restaurant, with its thick steaks, its nicely plated seafood and its monstrous salad bar. But locals love it for the riverfront views near downtown Melbourne.
“(I) love watching the dolphins and boats, great drinks, food and service, (and) valet parking,” group member Laura Diamond said.
Go to chart-house.com/locations/melbourne or call 321-729-6558.
Pier 220, 2 Max Brewer Causeway, Titusville:
Set on an island at the foot of the Max Brewer Causeway with beautiful outlooks on the Indian River Lagoon, going toward Playalinda Beach and Kennedy Space Center, Pier 220 has a chill attitude and the seafood dishes that go with it.
“My husband and I just went to Pier 220 the other night,” Holly Knight said. “It was good! I love the view out there just as the sun is setting. It’s beautiful! The food was pretty good and they had quite a few different options too. … And then after dinner, walking along the pier in the evening is so pretty!”
Find Pier 220 on Facebook or or call 321-269-0007.
Tie: Junkanoo Island Kitchen and Rum Bar, 626 Glen Cheek Drive, Grills Seafood Deck and Tiki Bar, 500 Glen Cheek Dr.; Fishlips, 610 Glen Cheek Drive; and Rusty’s Seafood & Oyster Bar, 628 Glen Cheek Drive, Port Canaveral.
In the short period that it has been open, colorful, island-style Junkanoo has established itself as one of the finer venues-with-a-view at the port. It also has a distinctly informal, Caribbean-style party atmosphere and lots of rums for those who love the trend.
“The atmosphere was great (with a) very friendly staff,” Jonathan Barrons wrote. “We sat out back on the deck; it was fully covered with ceiling fans to keep you cool and an excellent view of the cruise ships in the port.”
“We love to go to Rusty’s, especially with out of town guests,” said Peggy Shipp Stickney. “Sitting on the deck and watching the ships and enjoying live music is the best. The food is not bad and we have always had great service.”
Bonus 1: Westgate Resorts Cocoa Beach Pier, 401 Meade Ave., Cocoa Beach
See a rocket launch or a surf contest, toss a line into the water or celebrate a special event: This is as oceanfront as it gets. The 800-foot long, 57-year-old pier has the laid-back Pelican’s Bar & Grill (burgers and seafood), Keith’s Oyster Bar (sandwiches, burgers and seafood buckets too) and Sea Dogs (hot dogs and sausages), as well as Rikki Tiki Tavern and the Boardwalk Bar, primarily for beverages.
Visit cocoabeachpier.com or call 321-783-7549.
Bonus 2: The Dock at River Rocks, 6485 US 1, Rockledge
The expansive, shady back deck gets cool river breezes, even in the summer. Enjoy casual seafood dishes and colorful salads while watching dolphins play. Two restaurants in one, the River Rocks dining room has a separate menu a room for private parties. Inside or out, the view of the Indian River is terrific.
Visit riverrocksrestaurant.com or call 321-757-7200.