Outdoor Holiday Dining in Orlando
The Holidays are here at Vista Cay and our friends from across the country are gathering here in Orlando to celebrate the season in our magical destination.
Outdoor Holiday Dining in Orlando
The Holidays are here at Vista Cay and our friends from across the country are gathering here in Orlando to celebrate the season in our magical destination. Christmastime is always busy here in Orlando, and while the crowds are lighter this year, it’s still essential to make reservations in advance if you want to share a meal out with your family. This year we have the added challenge of making sure where we dine is safe in the age of social distancing. Because of this we appreciate our outdoor dining spots more than ever. To help you sift through the options and pick the perfect restaurant for your holiday dining, we’ve put together this list of great places to enjoy meals everyone will love while enjoying Florida’s legendary warm and sunny winter weather. All are within an easy thirty minute drive from Vista Cay, making them perfect family outings for the merry season.
1300 S Orlando Ave, Maitland
This all-outdoor restaurant and bar connected to Enzian Theater is one of the best spots for cocktails and light bites. The ambiance is particularly festive at night, thanks to twinkling lights throughout the forest. You can even stick around for a Holiday movie after dinner and drinks or support the theater from home by streaming select movies part of the Enzian on Demand service.
Luke’s Kitchen and Bar
640 South Orlando Ave, Maitland
Sparkling lights, cozy patio seating, great food and cocktails…what more could you want for a holiday dinner? This restaurant in Maitland is a great spot to stop for brunch or a fantastic dinner that will impress the whole family.
Chroma Modern Bar + Kitchen
6967 Lake Nona Blvd, Orlando
Chroma is a stylish Lake Nona staple with a bright interior, colorful accents, a spacious outdoor patio and tapas-style menu perfect for sharing. Pair your tapas with one of their refreshing seasonal cocktails. For the art lovers in the family, visit on a Friday evening to catch Lake Nona’s weekly Art After Dark event from 6-9pm.
The Glass Knife
276 S Orlando Ave, Winter Park
This dessert-centric restaurant serves up some of the most photogenic sweets in town alongside savory food items available all day. For a real treat, visit during the weekend brunch available on Saturdays and Sundays. Arrive early so you can get your hands on the eatery’s infamous donuts. The covered patio is a great place to safely enjoy their delicious desserts.
À La Cart
609 Irvington Ave., Orlando
Looking for something a little more casual? This outdoor mini food truck park has dining options for even the pickiest eaters. Your group can explore and pick their favorite truck or you can order from all the trucks and create an awesome family style sampler to delight your palates.
Teak Neighborhood Grill
6400 Times Square Avenue,Orlando
This MetroWest hangout has all of the elements for a stellar night out: a rotating craft beer list, a famous burgers list and a great outdoor seating area. The patio is currently spaced for a safe, socially distanced dining experience. It’s also pet-friendly, so feel free to bring along your furry family members.
Maxine’s on Shine
337 N Shine Ave, Orlando
The entire parking lot of this neighborhood favorite has been transformed into a cluster of socially distanced outdoor dining cabanas. The cabanas are covered, and each includes a fan to keep you cool. You’ll also find a few curbside tables out front. There’s live music on the weekends and the popular brunch is served Fridays-Sundays. Dinner is served Wednesday-Saturday from 5-9 p.m. Don’t leave without snapping a pic with your loved ones in front of the “Love You to the Moon and Back” mural on the side of the building.
Ole Red Orlando
8417 International Dr, Orlando
Blake Shelton’s eatery recently arrived at ICON Park and is an amazing spot to enjoy Southern fare and daily live music. While the main stage is located indoors, the restaurant features multiple outdoor dining areas upstairs and downstairs. And, because the music from the main stage is piped through the speaker outdoors, you won’t miss any of the entertainment by sitting outside. Visit on Wednesday evenings for the lively Battle of the Bands.
Eola Wine Company
This local wine bar is located just steps from Lake Eola Park. Pull up a seat on the curbside, covered patio to watch the comings and goings in Orlando’s Thornton Park District. Come for the extensive list of boutique wines and craft beer, stay for hearty charcuterie boards and weekend brunch (with mimosa flights!) on Saturdays and Sundays.
Yellow Dog Eats
1236 Hempel Ave, Windermere
This charming, off-the-beaten-path venue is charming and rustic, evocative of some diamond-in-the-rough surprise you'd stumble upon while road tripping. Its food is surprising, too. Sandwiches, salads, scrumptious starters and a whole lotta barbecue. And for the vegans in the family there are loads of truly exceptional options! Live music in the restaurant's outdoor beer garden adds ear candy to the menu, Thursday through Saturday.
215 S Orlando Ave, Winter Park
Take in a stunning sunset on the banks of Lake Killarney at Winter Park’s Hillstone. Whether you choose a table on the covered patio or waterside on the lawn, you’ll be able to unwind from the comfort of a reclining chair. Sit back, enjoy a glass of wine or signature cocktail, and soak in the atmosphere. Save room, because you won’t want to miss Hillstone's decadent desserts.
Canvas Restaurant & Market
With a rotating menu of New American cuisine and a breathtaking lakeside setting, Canvas has made Lake Nona's rapidly expanding culinary scene tastier and prettier. Influenced by Florida’s Southern and Latin American roots, Chef Bryan Thoman dreams up delectable, new American dishes with an emphasis on seasonal and regional produce, not to mention an ocean of fresh Florida seafood. You can savor it all from Canvas’ tranquil deck, which offers a dynamite view of beautiful Lake Nona, just 20 minutes from Orlando International Airport. The patio dining area features an assortment of tables overlooking the water so there isn’t a bad seat in the house.
Soco Thorton Park
629 E Central Blvd, Orlando
Soco offers up loads of plated Southern comfort, though its name is actually a representation of Southern contemporary, which means you'll find some down-home diner favorites that have undergone an evolution into something more upscale. As appealing for dinner as it is for Sunday brunch or happy hour cocktails. Best of all, their brunch puts you just steps from Lake Eola's Sunday Farmer's Market. Hit Soco for eats then walk it off around the lake before checking out the sellers' wares.
We hope this list makes your holiday dining decisions a lot easier! If you have any other suggestions for great outdoor dining experiences in Orlando, please leave a comment below!