How You Can Dine at the Most Scenic Restaurants in the Country

Aug 3, 2019

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Let’s be real: Sometimes the view is just as (if not more) important than the food. Fortunately, it’s easier than ever to find great restaurants with even better views.

This month, the restaurant reservation platform OpenTable released its list of the most scenic restaurants in the US.

While the sunniest states (California, Hawaii, Florida, we’re looking at you) easily occupied the top spots, you can find these stunning restaurants all across the country. There were even a few surprising destinations, like Oklahoma, which had exactly one upscale American joint, Vast, rank on the list.

To determine the top, most scenic restaurants, OpenTable evaluated diners’ online reviews for a year and then factored in categories such as overall diner rating, regional rating and the number of times a restaurant had “scenic views” tagged. If you’re curious about your favorite view, the full list of 104 restaurants is available online.

At TPG, we love OpenTable for a few reasons. First of all, it makes booking restaurant reservations a whole lot easier. (We’d prefer a few clicks over a phone call any day.)

OpenTable also has a rewards program: Members earn Dining Points every time they make and honor a reservation booked with participating restaurants. Users can redeem these points for Dining Rewards, Amazon gift cards and, as of this year, even discounts on hotel stays booked through Kayak. (Unfortunately, most hotel chains don’t award points for reservations booked through online travel agencies such as Kayak, and they rarely allow OTA bookings to count toward elite status qualification. But it never hurts to ask.)

In addition to joining OpenTable’s Dining Points program, you can also maximize your lovely scenic dinner by putting your bill on the right card.

Some noteworthy considerations include the Chase Sapphire Reserve and the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card, which earn 3x points and 2x points on dining, respectively. You could also look to a card like the Citi Prestige Card, which offers 5 Citi ThankYou points per dollar spent at restaurants. Since TPG’s latest valuations peg the value of Citi ThankYou points at 1.7 cent each, the Prestige provides an 8.5% return on restaurant spending. The Prestige earns 5x points on dining both in the US and abroad, but it also has a $495 annual fee.

Of course, there’s always the American Express® Gold Card. With this golden (or rose gold) ticket, you earn 4 points per dollar on dining, which is an 8% return based on our valuation of Amex Membership Rewards points. The annual fee is $250 (see rates & fees), but as of June, the Amex Gold has extended the dining benefits to restaurants worldwide.

Gastronomes who plan on checking all 104 restaurants off their culinary to-do list should also consider applying for the Capital One Savor Cash Rewards Credit Card, which offers an unlimited 4% cash back on dining and entertainment. This 4% is the highest cash-back amount currently offered across all credit cards for both dining and entertainment. The Savor has a $95 annual fee, but it’s waived the first year.

Still wondering which dining credit card is best for you? We reviewed our favorite credit cards for dining out (and eating in) here — though you don’t have to worry about the latter if you’re in pursuit of a scenic night out. And if you do try one of these restaurants, please take plenty of photos.

For rates and fees of the Amex Gold, click here.

Bank of America® Premium Rewards® Visa® credit card

This card from Bank of America gets really interesting if you have a BofA checking, savings or investment account. Depending on the value of your combined accounts you can potentially get as much as 3.5x points on travel/dining and 2.625x points on other purchases making it the richest consumer banking bonus out there.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Receive 50,000 bonus points – a $500 value – after you make at least $3,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of account opening
  • Earn unlimited 2 points for every $1 spent on travel and dining purchases and unlimited 1.5 points per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • If you're a Bank of America Preferred Rewards member, you can earn 25%-75% more points on every purchase
  • No limit to the points you can earn and your points don't expire
  • Redeem for cash back as a statement credit, deposit into eligible Bank of America® accounts, credit to eligible Merrill accounts, or gift cards or purchases at the Bank of America Travel Center
  • Get up to $200 in combined airline incidental and airport expedited screening statement credits + valuable travel insurance protections
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees
  • Low $95 annual fee
Intro APR on Purchases
Regular APR
17.74% - 24.74% Variable APR on purchases and balance transfers
Annual Fee
Balance Transfer Fee
Either $10 or 3% of the amount of each transaction, whichever is greater.
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