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WALDO’S, 3150 Ocean Drive, Vero Beach, 231.7091, www.waldosvero.com

Anyone who’s been to Waldo’s knows that if you get closer to the ocean you’ll be swimming — and that’s no exaggeration. Lunch and dinner guests can simply walk down the dune stairs and wade in the salty water if they choose. The sand comes and the sand goes, depending on the year’s storms, but Waldo’s in Vero Beach remains in place, even when hurricanes like the pair in 2004 give the Treasure Coast a shellacking. On the way to the waterfront tables guests can marvel at the 1937 structure built of local cypress logs and pecky cypress paneling by quirky and legendary Vero Beach entrepreneur Waldo Sexton 75 years ago. The place is an eclectic collection of his found objects, from collectible to antique, from every corner of the globe. A massive collection of bells from locomotives to classy estates starts at the entrance. Relaxing at deck tables, 82 people can be served outdoors. “Ninety percent come for the view and to sit outside,” general manager Lee Olsen says. The food is “American with a little Central American flow,” he says. Baked brie, quesadillas, salads, sandwiches, a burger modeled after a famous Pittsburgh restaurant’s creation with coleslaw and fries in the bun. For dinner, locally caught fish, prime rib, baby back ribs, marinated chicken, New Orleans pasta and more offer diners a good choice. There’s a child’s menu as well. “We like to say they come for the view and stay for the food,” Olsen says.


"The ocean is right there food is good prices good friendly people. Some days there’s a band. We’ve been going for over 35 years. The best!"

"Large deck and stairs to walk down to beach. You are practically dining right on the ocean."