The Top 15 Must-Try Boat Restaurants in the U.S.

What better way to elevate a night out than having dinner at a floating restaurant? (Spoiler alert: there’s nothing better.) 

As experts in all things boating, we're revealing the top 15 must-try boat restaurants in today’s blog post. Keep reading to find one located near you!

15 Best Restaurants on Boats

Interested in cruising while you dine? (Let’s be honest – who isn’t?) Pay a visit to one of our favorite floating restaurants in the U.S.

1. Grand Banks in New York City

First up on our list of the best restaurants on boats is Grand Banks in New York City. This celebrated oyster bar is situated aboard the historic wooden schooner Sherman Zwicker, and it features sustainably harvested oysters, nautically inspired cocktails, and breathtaking views.

The concise menu of ingredient-driven seasonal plates is curated by nationally acclaimed chef Kerry Heffernan, who was featured at our Discover Boating New York Boat Show Opening Night Party. 

2. Chowder Barge in Los Angeles Harbor

This hidden gem is the only floating restaurant in the Los Angeles Harbor Region. Beloved by locals for its rustic interior and whimsical charm, this floating restaurant serves all your favorite seafood comfort dishes. Not to mention, there are gorgeous waterfront views that you have to see to believe. 

3. Cru Classé in Washington D.C. 

Tenured chef and sommelier Troy Knapp launched his private boating experience, Cru Classé, in March 2022. With elegant, all-day offerings, including French wines, Champagnes, surf-and-turf specials, and delicate soufflés, this is a nautical dining experience like no other. The open cockpit accommodates six guests at a time, so reservations are necessary.

4. Anne Bonny’s Bar and Grill in Wilmington, North Carolina

Anne Bonny’s Bar and Grill is the only floating restaurant in Wilmington, North Carolina. Located on the Riverwalk in Downtown Wilmington, this local favorite serves Calabash-style comfort seafood, shareable appetizers, and other pub fares. And, of course, the outdoor bar is renowned for its handmade cocktails and frozen tropical classics.

5. Paddlefish in Orlando, Florida


Paddlefish is one of the best boat restaurants near Disney World, making it a must-visit for families and vacationers. Not only do you eat atop a docked steamboat with gorgeous waterfront views, but its rich seafood menu features a Daily Catch, Whole Maine Lobster, King Crab, Scallops, and Filet Mignon for those who prefer turf with their surf. 

6. Reef Burger at Crab Island in Destin, Florida

Are you craving a swim-to restaurant selling scrumptious burgers, hot dogs, and daiquiris? If so, Reef Burger might be the drive-through restaurant of your dreams. Located in the middle of a sandbar, this floating burger joint is ready for anyone to swim up and snag a bite. 

Read Next: Top Dock and Dine Restaurants

7. Sandbar Joe’s Floating Food Boat in Cape May, New Jersey

In the mood for food afloat (delivered to your boat)? Well, Sandbar Joe’s in Cape May, New Jersey, is exactly that. This floating food boat runs its route from Thursday to Sunday from 11 am to 7 pm, serving a simple menu (think: four to six items) with rotating specials. 

8. IDLER Riverboat & Dockside in South Haven, Michigan

The IDLER Riverboat & Dockside is a floating restaurant, bar, and local hangout spot in South Haven, Michigan. Built in 1897, this ship has historic charm and timeless touches. Additionally, the refreshing and delicious drink selections — accompanied by a delicious array of seafood comforts — can’t be beaten. 

9. Ollie’s Pub at The Dredge in Breckenridge, Colorado

Ollie’s Pub at The Dredge is the world’s highest floating restaurant. Located in the heart of Downtown Breckenridge, Ollie’s Pub is situated atop a replica of one of the largest and longest-operating mining dredges. Ollie’s Pub is beloved by locals for its classic sports bar grub and atmosphere. And we recommend that everyone stop in for steaks, wings, seafood, pasta, and cocktails after hitting the slopes. 

10. Odyssey Lake Michigan

The Odyssey Lake Michigan dinner cruise is genuinely magical. Not only do guests dine aboard an elegant, tri-deck yacht — with an outdoor observation deck, might we add — but the freshly prepared three-course meal is mouthwatering.

Enjoy wine, beer, and cocktails from the cash bar while enjoying those gorgeous skyline views. And because the decks are climate-controlled, dinner cruises occur year-round. 

11. Pier 81 in New York City

As a prime destination for visitors and locals alike, Pier 81 in New York City is an experience like no other. It features a fleet of floating restaurants and entertainment venues, though our favorite is the award-winning North River Lobster Company. Visitors can step aboard, grab their famous lobster rolls, and soak up the incredible sunsets and views as they sail down the Hudson River.

12. The Pilothouse Restaurant on the Delta King Riverboat in Sacramento, California 

Step aboard The Pilothouse Restaurant (on the Delta King Riverboat) for a taste of the authentic glory of paddlewheel riverboats. Diners are whisked back in time as they enjoy a mouthwatering meal in the ship’s original grand dining room. And, of course, the locally sourced, seasonal dishes and craft cocktails come with spectacular city views.

13. Tall Ship in Boston, Massachusetts

Tall Ship is an oyster bar anchored at Pier One in East Boston. The 245-foot ship features three custom-built bars where visitors can enjoy oysters, Alaskan king crab claws, and shrimp and lobster cocktails. 

But – that’s not all. Next door lies an impressive 40,000-square-foot outdoor entertainment space. And throughout the season, diners are greeted by live entertainment, retail and food vendors, pop-ups, and food trucks galore. 

14. Steamboat Natchez in New Orleans, Louisiana 


Steamboat Natchez in New Orleans boasts a buffet-style Creole dinner featuring all the classic dishes. (Think: Southern Fried Fish, Creole Creamed Spinach, Roast Steak Loin, bread pudding, and more.) And, of course, this two-hour dinner cruise also has live jazz performances by the world-famous Dukes of Dixieland. 

15. DiMillo’s on the Water in Portland, Maine

This stunning floating restaurant is located on what was once a car ferry between Delaware and New Jersey. And able to seat more than 600 guests at a time, DiMillo’s on the Water is one of the largest restaurants on boats in the U.S. There are dining rooms on the first and second decks that serve delicious seafood entrées, such as baked lobster stuffed with crab meat.