Dock and Dine Favorites
Traveling by water is part of the local lifestyle, and with one of the largest recreational harbors on the West Coast, it’s no surprise boating is a popular activity in Newport Beach. The best part? You can pull your boat up dockside and dine by the bay! Here are some dock and dine favorites for stunning harbor views, cool ocean breezes and delectable cuisine.
Driving an electric boat is easy (compare it to a golf cart on water) and most places only require a driver’s license to rent. The below boat rental companies will make your cruise around the harbor a breeze!
Stationed at Lido Marina Village, Vision Electric Boat Rental offers a dynamic and colorful fleet of boats for your summer enjoyment. Each one can even be customized with a balloon arch for special occasions like birthdays, anniversaries or holidays!
Located in the Fun Zone at Balboa Village, Newport Beach Boat Rentals is a convenient place to reserve a boat for the day. Experience a relaxing self-guided tour of Newport Harbor in your choice of a high-quality electric or power boat, a stand-up paddleboard or brand new kayak.
Cruise the bay in style by renting an original Duffy electric boat from Duffy Electric Boat Company. With this rental company’s central location on Mariner’s Mile, you’ll have plenty of nearby places to dock and dine.
Most harborside restaurants offer public dock spaces, and some even have a dockhand to help you pull up. There are currently 11 public docks available in Newport Beach, and each one is marked with a blue-and-white finial-topped piling, making them easy to spot! And whether it’s casual fare or fine cuisine you crave, these waterfront restaurants (and their views) are sure to please. Snag a seat on one of the charming patios, or take your meal to-go to enjoy on the water.
If you’re looking for all-day nibbles, Lido Bottle Works offers catering packages for all of your boating needs. Simply place your order online for pick-up, pull up to the dock and you’re on your way! Choose between the seasonal veggie platter or the cheese and charcuterie platter, and don’t forget to pick up some craft beer or wine from their on-site bottle shop.
Not only does The Cannery keep it fresh with an assortment of wild, line-caught fish, but the restaurant also has its own boat! Diners can rent their 22-foot, bay-island Duffy for a fun cruise around the bay. Play captain during brunch (on Sunday) or head out for an early cocktail cruise before dinner and enjoy seafood specialties like grilled octopus, calamari, crab cakes and cioppino.
Pull up to A+O’s beautiful waterfront patio at Balboa Bay Resort for a taste of fresh, coastal cuisine. Snack on everything from Tuna Ceviche and Herbed House Focaccia to Salt & Pepper Shrimp and more. Soak up the sunshine and sip on one of their signature smoked cocktails or local craft beers!
After a multimillion-dollar renovation, Bluewater Grill is officially welcoming guests back just in time for summer. This 26-year-old restaurant in Cannery Village now features a “contemporary but classic” feel, according to owners Jim Ulcickas and Rick Staunton. And lucky for boaters, Bluewater Grill offers a Cruise & Dine experience, featuring platters that feed eight to 10 people. Choose between the Crab & Artichoke Dip, Ahi Poke Platter, “Hollywood Bowl” Platter, Gourmet Cheese Platter and more.
When it comes to the dock and dine experience, nobody does it quite like Billy’s at the Beach. This island-inspired locale offers a taste of the tropics with its world-famous mai tais, waterfront setting and stellar seafood. Pull up dockside and order your food to-go so you can have your very own picnic on a boat! Billy’s even offers canned mai tais, so you can sip while you sail.
Located within the charming center of Lido Marina Village, Zinqué boasts a rustic ambiance and French-inspired dishes like Tuna Tartare Tartine, Steak Frites and Asparagus Niçoise. After dining al fresco on the bayside patio, take a stroll through the village and browse nearby boutiques like Stoney Clover Lane, Jenni Kayne and Eberjey.
Locals love Buddha’s Favorite, and for good reason! Featuring a menu of creative rolls and fresh sushi combinations, few seafood restaurants compare to this hidden gem. Pull up your boat dockside and pick up one of their Spicy Night for Four bundles, which comes with a selection of tasty appetizers and signature rolls.
Experience a taste of old Newport at The Dock! Here, continental fare and a global wine list combine to make this a must-visit dock and dine destination. Snack on innovative classics like Blue Crab Beignets and Red Wine Poached Pears, and take in views of the harbor as the boats cruise by.
Baja-style eats and marina views? Yes, please! Located just off Mariner’s Mile, SOL Mexican Cocina whips up specialty cocktails and south-of-the-border bites in a festive setting. Place a catering order online, and pick up your very own burrito platter, tray of shrimp taquitos or party-size margarita pitcher!
Sweeten your summer with a trip to Nobu Newport Beach. When it comes to an upscale Japanese dining experience, Nobu does not disappoint. This two-story restaurant resides in Lido Marina Village, offering dock-and-diners a stunning waterfront view. Make a reservation for date night and indulge in a selection of fresh sushi and Newport Beach-inspired cocktails.
Located on Balboa Peninsula across from Balboa Pier, the historic Balboa Fun Zone is home to a range of restaurants, including Newport Landing, Jane’s Corndogs, Cruisers Pizza Bar Grill and more. Dockers will also find a sweet selection of dessert shops like Cowafornia Ice Cream, Balboa Beach Treats and Balboa Bakery & Donuts. Dock your boat and take a ride on the Ferris wheel, or hit Newport Landing for happy hour. The Fun Zone is the perfect place to spend a summer day!
Written by: Kaylin Waizinger