10 Great Restaurants with a View

Via readers share their top spots around the West for dramatic scenery and fine food.

Waterbar diners seated outdoors under umbrellas at twilight along the Embarcadero next to the Bay Bridge in San Francisco
The evening scene at San Francisco’s Waterbar.
Courtesy Waterbar

"We love the Wayfarer in Cannon Beach, Oregon. No matter the time of year, you can watch the sun shine off Haystack Rock outside. It's a wonder to behold. And the Wayfarer has some of the best chowder anywhere, plus a whiskey bar." —Paul Donohoe

"I can't think of any place like Nepenthe in Big Sur, California. I love the drive down there; the journey is just as amazing as the destination. Once you arrive, you are virtually hanging over the cliffs above the vast Pacific. If you're lucky enough to score a table at sunset, do it!" —Nancy Domich

"Elevation 486 in Twin Falls, Idaho, towers 486 feet above the Snake River—so high that you can see the Perrine Bridge in the distance. The trout is some of the freshest around; it's fished just a few miles away." —Beth Landis

"At the Spinnaker in Sausalito, California, sailboats glide past, seemingly within inches of the windows. Outside, seals pop up their heads to look at diners, as coots and seagulls cavort nearby." —Rudolph Frey

"Perched above downtown Vancouver, B.C., Salmon House on the Hill gives you a bird's-eye perspective on Burrard Inlet and the city below. Arrive before sunset for the daylight view, then wait and watch as the sun fades and lights illuminate the streets downtown and the ships in the harbor." —Paul Alley

"In summertime, I could sit for hours at the Silver Dollar Bar in Cody, Wyoming, watching families from around the world venture into Yellowstone. I love seeing the excitement on their faces each time the old Cadillac with the megaphone drives past, announcing the night's rodeo." —Jen Vollmer

"Settle in at Parma Ridge Winery, just southeast of Parma, Idaho, and on a clear day you might be able to see nearly 60 miles from east to west—a panoramic view of the whole lower Boise River Valley." —Nathan Leigh

"At 5 Palms Restaurant in Kihei, Hawaii, you'll see crashing waves, towering palms, and—occasionally— a wedding just yards away on the beach. Sit back and soak it in: This is what Maui is all about." —Pete Culcasi

"Whether you're sitting near the floor-to-ceiling windows or out on the patio, every seat at the Mariposa in Sedona, Arizona, offers expansive views of the famous red rocks. Come sunset, they practically glow." —Sandy Barber

"With grand trees, rocky cliffs, and wave breaks just outside, Moonstone Grill in Trinidad, California, feels as though it's at the end of the earth. Sitting there sipping an old fashioned, slicing into the filet mignon, and watching the sun dip behind the waves is the perfect way to end the day." — Bridget Hand

Bonus Pick: True to its name, San Francisco’s Waterbar sits steps from the bay. Nab a seat by twilight and watch as 25,000 lights begin their nightly dance across the San Francisco–Oakland Bay Bridge.

This article was first published in Spring 2019. Some facts may have aged gracelessly. Please call ahead to verify information.