Living in the sunshine state provides endless opportunities for soaking up the beauty of the great outdoors, and it doesn’t end at dinnertime. Central Florida restaurateurs have taken full advantage of the area’s near-perfect weather by including fun, vibrant patios to their seating areas. These are some of our favorites around town.
1. Canvas Restaurant & Market
The modern, stained-glass greenhouse just outside the front door of Canvas sets the stage for what the restaurant is all about: modern looks with a slightly industrial feel. The new American cuisine menu features a multi-cultural medley of tastes and ingredients with a touch of Latin America, New Orleans and southern comfort. Also enjoy the market, where breakfast and lunch items, a selection of books, housewares and local goods are available.
Why we love it: Perfectly positioned on the lakefront at the Laureate Park Village Center, Canvas’ outdoor area provides picture-perfect views with stunning sunset backgrounds for any occasion.
2. Chroma Modern Bar + Kitchen
The cornerstone restaurant of the Lake Nona Town Center features a contemporary, relaxed atmosphere where you can connect, dine and unwind. Chroma serves a modern American fare in a tapas style, as well as craft beer, fine wine on tap, and specialty cocktails designed to inspire connectivity. Chroma has not failed to live up to its promise of big tastes with its selection of shareable, scratch dishes and colorfully created plates.
Why we love it: An outdoor meal can be had on the covered patio, at the outdoor lounge or in the modern solarium that opens further to the peaceful courtyard with a view of Lake Nona’s community art installation called “The Beacon,” which is lit with artful displays at night.
3. East End Market
This neighborhood market and cultural food hub brings together Central Florida’s local farmers, food artisans and start-up businesses into a type of permanent farmer’s market setting. It’s easy to lose yourself in the industrial feel and community atmosphere as the shops work together to bring culture and fresh food to the height of innovation. Walk the market hall and choose from a vast array of vendors in one marketplace, from bakers to pasta and cheese makers to coffee roasters.
Why we love it: While you can sit among the shoppers inside, your best bet is to gather your items picnic-style and enjoy the relaxing outdoor seating areas among gardens, shrubs and succulents.
Nestled among the high rises, corporate buildings and the City of Orlando’s Fire Station One in downtown Orlando, this Mediterranean courtyard wouldn’t be out of place on a countryside hill. Varied New American fare with Hand-Crafted Artisan Flatbreads, and Smoke House plates and sandwiches make Ember the perfect place for lunch or dinner.
Why we love it: Ember offers an elegant setting both inside and out with a gorgeous patio that takes you away from the city’s hustle and bustle.
5. Luke’s Kitchen + Bar
As 2017 began, Chef Brandon McGlamery was busy opening his third Central Florida restaurant concept in Maitland. Luke’s Kitchen + Bar joined Prato and Luma on Park on McGlamery’s impressive resume, introducing a focus on classic American cuisine that is inspired by culinary traditions from coast to coast. The menu features a raw bar, ceviches, sandwiches and steaks, and there is also a reserve cart for those interested in splurging on proteins and seafood items that are a bit on the pricier side. Bold flavors can be found on the food menu and at the bar, with its selection of hand-crafted cocktails.
Why we love it: You can settle into an enclosed, intimate patio dining area on a sunny Florida day and enjoy a meal and beverages from the indoor-outdoor bar. Even better, the patio offers happy hour from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. on weekdays.
6. Plant Street Market
Plant Street Market is a local community food hub and indoor artisan market located in historic downtown Winter Garden that features local merchants, a brewery and an assortment of delicious eats. Large oak trees form a canopy over the market, shading the patio deck that runs the length of the building, which has plenty of umbrella-covered tables and chairs for eating and drinking.
Why we love it: The outdoor area also hosts live entertainment and family fun events. There is even a play area for the kids.
STK Orlando, located at Disney Springs, is a two-story restaurant that embodies a hip, energetic vibe and creates a unique departure from the typical American steakhouse. Theatrical lights illuminate each table, while a DJ creates a vibrant feel throughout the entire space – artfully blending the modern steakhouse and the chic lounge. As anticipated, steak is the main attraction but STK’s menu also features fresh seafood.
Why we love it: Don’t miss the outdoor rooftop terrace, a unique spot where you can unwind with a craft cocktail, a variety of shareable bites and views of bustling Disney Springs below.
8. Teak Neighborhood Grill
Nestled between gated communities and a condominium complex, Teak Neighborhood Grill in MetroWest is known for its bold burger offerings – 37 of them to be exact. While only some are on the regular menu, be sure to ask for the secret menu to see all the rest.
Why we love it: There’s no better place to bite into one of those burgers than the restaurant’s spacious patio with fans and TVs scattered throughout. Whether you’re there to watch the big game or have a night out with friends to play trivia and drink beer, kicking back on Teak’s patio provides the perfect atmosphere for any occasion.
9. The Capital Grille
This Mother’s Day, treat Mom to brunch at The Capital Grille located at The Mall at Millenia. Reserve a seat on the patio to enjoy a special Mother’s Day Brunch menu featuring a choice of soup, salad or smoked salmon to start; entrée selections such as Shrimp and Grits, The Grille’s Lobster Frittata or Bone-In Dry Aged NY Strip with Fried Egg; and the Flourless Chocolate Espresso Cake, Classic Crème Brulee or Strawberries Capital Grille for dessert. Of course, wash it all down with a Classic Mimosa, Peach Bellini or complimentary juices, coffee or soda.
Why we love it: Not only do patio table views allow you to enjoy the Florida sunshine but you can also do some serious people watching over a special meal.
10. The Hammered Lamb
The Hammered Lamb is your friendly neighborhood pub nestled in the up-and-coming Ivanhoe Village Main Street District. A lively pub with ping-pong tables, live music and an outdoor bar area, the food menu features lamb items, and the kitchen is open until 2 a.m. daily. The restaurant’s popular brunch is the perfect option for Mother’s Day with its huge mimosas and one of the best Bloody Mary bars in Orlando.
Why we love it: Located across from beautiful Lake Ivanhoe, you can relax on The Hammered Lamb’s covered patio while waiting for the train to come along and watch the sun set over the lake.
11. The Porch
The menu is stocked with Chicken and Waffles, Mac n’ Cheese topped with crushed Goldfish crackers, craft beers and “Sultry Spirits” in Mason jars, making The Porch in Winter Park exactly what you would expect from an airy sports tavern in a converted garage. The restaurant offers American pub grub in a southern beach state. As with any sports pub, game days can be loud and boisterous, but the overall vibe is comfortable, fun and celebratory.
Why we love it: The garage doors can be easily lifted to open up the patio area and truly turn this restaurant into a covered porch where you can eat, drink and stay awhile.
While Vines is known for being a high-end steakhouse, it also has one of the best happy hours in town, which happens from 4-7 p.m. daily. With an award-winning wine list and nightly jazz performances, Vines offers the perfect atmosphere to sit back and relax both inside and outside.
Why we love it: After a long day, there’s nothing better than settling into one of the comfy couches on the patio and indulging in half-priced glasses of premium wine or champagne and a selection of specially priced light bites.
13. Yard House
This high-end sports bar chain is as refreshing as its seasonal ales. With an extensive list of draft beers and a huge menu of innovative New American fare prepared by a scratch kitchen, everyone can find something to enjoy.
Why we love it: Located at the I-Drive 360 entertainment complex, the patio provides views of the Coca-Cola Orlando Eye as it as it spins 400 feet above International Drive. While it’s a sight to see in the daytime, watch it light up against the night sky over dinner on the patio.
14. Yellow Dog Eats
This eclectic, pet-friendly hangout is located in a historic building in beautiful downtown Gotha. While the inside offers cozy seating upstairs, the outside garden area is the perfect spot to devour house-made BBQ, sandwiches, soups, salads and homemade desserts. Experience the quirky atmosphere that floods from the kitchen, right out the back door – where an eclectic array of tables and chairs sit between potted plants and shaded trees. If you’re there for dinner, you will enjoy your meal under the stars and the glow of strings of globe lights.
Why we love it: The quirky atmosphere floods from the kitchen, right out the back door, where an eclectic array of tables and chairs sit between potted plants and shaded trees. At dinnertime, you will dine under the stars and the glow of strings of globe lights.