Orlando's Best Outdoor Dining

Walt Disney World Tickets , Orlando , Expert View Column
Terrace with brown chairs and glass tables on, there are two groups of two people sat to the left of the image and a couple stood up overlooking the view of the terrace.
By AttractionTickets.com’s Florida Experts, Susan and Simon Veness
Dining al fresco is one of Florida’s great pleasures. And we have the recipe for some of the very best.

When it comes to dining out in Central Florida, your choice is suitably wide-ranging and totally tempting. It’s hard to go anywhere in this vast destination without encountering a great place for breakfast, lunch or dinner.

Even better, Orlando especially excels at outdoor dining, with an array of patios, verandas and courtyards that all serve as ideal places to kick back and enjoy the view, as well as the food.


Terrace with multiple long tables with four cushioned chairs along each side, long cornered sofa with space to seat approximately 7 people on wrapping around a circular white table. Lights hanging overhead and view of the city in the background.


We often think of it as the ultimate mark of a blissful holiday experience, whether it be in Greece, Spain or, in this case, the Theme Park Capital of the World.

So we thought it was worthwhile highlighting some of our favourites and other notables where the al fresco appeal is high and the fare is equally impressive. Let’s take it area by area:


International Drive

In many ways, this is prime people-watching territory as it is simply one of the main tourist corridors in Florida, and there are more hotels and restaurants packed in here than anywhere else, from the likes of the big chain restaurants such as TGI Friday’s and Buffalo Wild Wings, to the highly distinguished bastions of Del Frisco’s Double Eagle Steakhouse, with its lovely first floor patio.

The whole outdoor dining ethos is summed up in the shape of The Hampton Social, where the fresh, nautical style of this elegant restaurant at Pointe Orlando is just the starting point for a casual lunch, special dinner or weekend brunch, with seafood always a speciality.

Also at Pointe Orlando, JoJo’s Shake BAR is both a wonderfully kitsch modern reincarnation of a diner and modern party place, with its distinct bar culture, fab comfort food and idyllic outdoor terrace, which comes into its own at night.

At the nearby entertainment centre of ICON Park, you will find The Yard House, a gastropub that features both great beer and fine food, and all offered with the opportunity to sit in their outside terrace and soak up the views and style of the high-energy surroundings of this exciting complex.


Large wooden beams holding up an orange roof and a mosaic blue wall winding around the terrace. There are speakers, heaters and people stood on the terrace and there is blue and orange lighting.


Café Tu Tu Tango is an absolute riot of colour and artwork inside, but it also boasts a splendid covered patio overlooking the Drive, where you can savour their tapas-style menu and soak up the open-air vibe with equal enjoyment. It is especially attractive in the evening, with some moody lighting.


Walt Disney World

While the majority of restaurants at Walt Disney World Resort in Florida tend to be indoors, where they can turn on the style with elaborate theming and clever design, there are still a handful that offer our idea of dining delight.

At the Disney's Animal Kingdom Theme Park you can take your pick from two outstanding but contrasting choices, both of which get our full seal of approval. The ideal spot for us is Flame Tree Barbecue, the counter-service eatery that is all about taking your food into the open-air picnic areas, with laid-back views over the park waterways.

Alternatively, that more sophisticated, grown-up vibe is fully in evidence at the outdoor terrace of the Nomad Lounge (at the entrance of Pandora - The World of Avatar section of the park), where the cocktails are suitably creative and the small-plate menu is simply superb (Hot tip – try the Korean Barbecue Mushroom Bao Buns for a true taste sensation).


Terrace with a small, orange tinted wooden table with copper lantern on it surrounded by a white cushioned sofa with two corners. Sat in front of three large glass windows with wooden beams. In the background is more tables and trees.


Over at EPCOT, our current go-to remains the lakeside covered terrace of Spice Road Table, providing both a delicious taste of the Middle East as well as sweeping views of the park’s central lagoon, which hosts the eye-popping Luminous The Symphony of Us show each night.

For Disney’s Hollywood Studios, you simply can’t beat the cocktails and small-bites menu at the Hollywood Brown Derby Lounge, which is not indoors at all, as it sounds, but on a lovely terrace outside the main restaurant where you can watch all the theme park hustle-bustle without actually being in it.

There is also plenty of distinguished outdoor dining at Disney Springs, where The Boathouse has an unparalleled position next to the lake, where its own amphicars take regular trips, while Asian restaurant Morimoto’s has a stylish first floor terrace and Paddlefish serves up superb seafood as well as lofty views from its top-deck lounge.


White tables with 6 wooden chairs around them on a terrace with lake in the background and lights hanging overhead. Also a large bell on the terrace and circular building to the right.


Of course, if you really want to push the boat out, head for the Four Seasons hotel in a secluded part of Walt’s World, where rooftop restaurant Capa is both a Michelin-starred sensation and a great spot from which to watch the fireworks at the Magic Kingdom Park. Ta and Da!


Terrace with group of 4 sat around circular table, with a man smiling looking at the others as they watch fireworks being launched in the night sky in the far distance.


Winter Park

While I-Drive and Disney are definitely no slouches when it comes to the al fresco choice, there is one cultured suburb of Orlando that really takes the outdoor vibe totally to heart. Winter Park is very much the ritzy northern neighbour of downtown, and one of its trademarks is the pavement café culture along Park Avenue.

This is where you’ll find our Fab Four of open-air dining delectation, a quartet of utmost refinement when you want to enjoy a meal sans roof.

One that has passed the test of time since it opened in 1980 is Briarpatch. This is the big local choice for breakfast, lunch or weekend brunch, with a fresh, inviting menu and an elegant outdoor patio in front of the restaurant. Famous for waffles and pancakes, it also specialises in delicious breakfast sandwiches, French toast and egg scrambles.


Row of cream coloured buildings with multicoloured shops and restaurants alongside. The central restaurant (Briarpatch) has bright yellow umbrellas outside with white chairs and tables.


By contrast, Prato is bustling, lively and boats a happening gastropub style in both menu and pavement café vibe. You may well need a reservation here as it is a popular choice at weekends in particular, and you’ll be hard-pushed to decide between their hand-tossed pizzas, pastas and shareable antipasti dishes.

Then there’s Bosphorous, where excellent Turkish cuisine is on the menu at a corner venue on a high-profile section of Park Avenue. Pavement tables are always at a premium here, which make the ideal people-watching opportunity while you enjoy their delicious array of lamb, chicken and vegetarian dishes, all served up in high style.

Finally, Hamilton’s Kitchen is the signature restaurant at the super-chic Alfond Inn on New England Avenue. Along with some of the best food in town, it comes with a graceful inner courtyard that is the perfect setting for lunch or dinner al fresco. The regular menu is impressive enough, but visit for weekend brunch and you can enjoy stand-out dishes like the Flat Iron Angus Steak, Hogfish Tacos and classic Shrimp and Grits. Sheer dining Nirvana.


OK, those are our choices, but do YOU have a favourite outdoor dining spot in Orlando? Tell us about it on the friendly AttractionTickets.com Community Facebook page, on Twitter or Instagram.

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Walt Disney World Tickets , Orlando , Expert View Column