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Saturday, August 13, 2022

Outdoor dining in Ocala

Cooler weather means outdoor patios across restaurants in Ocala are open for business.

Although the weather in the Sunshine State generally permits outdoor dining year-round, we thought we’d highlight the many restaurants in downtown Ocala and other parts of the city that offer outdoor dining experiences.

One of the many downtown restaurants with outdoor options available, Stella’s Modern Pantry is located at 20 SW Broadway Street, across the street from the Brick City Center for the Arts. In addition to specialty sandwiches, salads and gourmet desserts, the restaurant operates a shop that sells gourmet goods and boutique wines, among other items.

Outdoor dining in Ocala Crab eggs benedict at Stellas Modern Pantry
Outdoor dining at Stella’s Modern Pantry in downtown Ocala

Outdoor dining in Ocala Dessert at Stellas Modern Pantry

Stella’s is just a couple doors down from the Lodge Brick City Craft Pub and Eatery, which offers a variety of craft beers, cocktails, and a menu filled with pub favorites including a pretzel with beer cheese, speciality cheeseburgers, and wings. The Lodge offers outdoor seating options to its diners as well.

The Lodge Brick City Pub and Eatery in downtown Ocala Florida
The Lodge Brick City Craft Pub and Eatery in downtown Ocala

Just down the road, Bank Street Patio Bar recently celebrated its second anniversary in downtown Ocala. Its location is primarily outdoor seating with a variety of arrangements. The business also offers a large, outdoor, private patio that may be reserved for events.

Bank Street Patio Bar outdoor dining
Bank Street Patio Bar, which offers outdoor dining, recently celebrated its second anniversary

The list of downtown eateries doesn’t end there. Fine dining eateries like La Cuisine and Mark’s Prime Steakhouse offer patios to accommodate their elegantly decorated interior dining rooms. Mark’s is located at 30 S Magnolia Avenue, while La Cuisine is located at 48 SW 1st Avenue.

Outdoor dining in Ocala Marks Prime Steakhouse
Deviled Eggs appetizer at Mark’s Prime Steakhouse in downtown Ocala
Charcuterie at La Cuisine French Restaurant in Ocala
Charcuterie at La Cuisine French Restaurant in Ocala

Both establishments offer a variety of upscale appetizers, entrees and cocktails. In addition to their fine dining neighbors, Harry’s Seafood, Ivy on the Square, Big Hammock Brewery, Molly Maguire’s, Sayulita Taqueria, The Keep Downtown, and Sushi Bistro all offer downtown patios for one to enjoy a meal.

Outdoor dining in Ocala Patio at Sayulita Taqueria
Patio at Sayulita Taqueria in downtown Ocala

The patio at Sayulita is decorated and features outdoor ordering options.

Outdoor dining in Ocala Molly Maguires
Molly Maguire’s offers cafe style outdoor seating at its downtown Ocala location

Moving through the city, a variety of new additions over the past several years have complemented mainstays like Las Margaritas and Mojo’s in southwest Ocala. Those include Shuckin’ Shack, El Mezcal, and Culver’s, which opened its doors on October 11.

Culvers offers outdoor patio dining at its new Ocala restaurant
Culver’s offers outdoor patio dining at its new Ocala restaurant, which opened on October 11, 2021

The Gathering Cafe opened its doors in early 2020 and offers seating around its circular building, located at 2601 SW 19th Avenue Road. The cafe features a variety of coffees and drinks, baked goods, sandwiches, and salads, among other items.

Also in southwest Ocala, a Cody’s Original Roadhouse is being developed along SR 200 and has plans to open in January 2022. That restaurant, like the ones similarly owned in The Villages, will feature outdoor dining. 

Cantina Tex-Mex and Restaurant has plans to open its new restaurant in downtown Ocala soon and will offer patio dining, in addition to two stories of indoor space. 

Newly painted exterior of Cantina Tex Mex
Cantina Tex-Mex and Tequila restaurant will offer outdoor dining at its new downtown Ocala location

Do you have a favorite place that you like to dine outdoors in Ocala? Share your thoughts in a comment below, through social media, or by writing a letter to the editor.