Break free from the dining room and escape to a secret garden or courtyard in Orlando.
There's something about sitting outside in a secluded space that makes date night feel extra special. I knew of a few Orlando restaurants with secret gardens and courtyards, but when I asked around it turns out that there are more than a dozen. Bookmark this list for those nights when you're looking to turn up the romance dial and dine under the stars.
Post updated January 2021
Rocco's Italian Grille
400 South Orlando Avenue , Winter Park
Let chef/owner Rocco Potami share his passion for authentic Italian food as you sit sipping champagne by a bubbling courtyard fountain under strings of twinkling lights.
463 W New England Ave, Winter Park
Enjoy rustic-chic Italian fare in the outdoor courtyard or al fresco along the brick lined street in Hannibal Square.
825 N Magnolia Ave, Orlando
Intimate Italian cafe set in a converted home with dining inside or in two outdoor courtyards.
The Old Jailhouse
113 S Palmetto Ave, Sanford
(407) 548-6964; theoldjailhousesanford.com
Dine behind bars – literally – at this delectable eatery located in the former home of Sanford’s Old Jailhouse. The secluded outdoor courtyard is complete with string lights, perfect for your next fancy night out.
East End Market
3201 Corrine Dr, Orlando
Pick from scores of healthy, gourmet offerings from East End's merchants then grab a seat in the outdoor courtyard where live music plays on select afternoons and evenings.
Read our Outdoor Dining Guide: 75+ Places to Eat Outside in Orlando for even more ideas
The Ravenous Pig
565 W Fairbanks Ave, Winter Park
(407) 628-2333; theravenouspig.com
This Winter Park mainstay's brand new outdoor beer garden is the perfect place for a low-key date. Sip craft brews at picnic and bistro tables under twinkling lights. Check the calendar for periodic dinner and a movie nights. There are heaters for those chilly Florida nights.
Hamilton's Kitchen at The Alfond Inn
300 E New England Ave, Winter Park
Cozy couches, fire pits and a pristine stretch of lawn make this hotel courtyard in Winter Park a lovely place to enjoy food and drinks day or night.
Barnie's Coffee & Tea Co.
118 S Park Ave, Winter Park
Serving breakfast, lunch and some of the best coffee in Central Florida, Barnie's features a delightful bricked courtyard with a bubbling fountain and lots of shaded seating.
Eden Bar at Enzian Theater
1300 S Orlando Ave, Maitland
This all-outdoor restaurant and bar connected to Enzian Theater is a favorite for cocktails and light bites. The ambiance is extra romantic at night, thanks to twinkle lights setting the towering live oaks aglow.
Yellow Dog Eats
1236 Hempel Avenue, Gotha
Step inside the charming courtyard of Yellow Dog Eats to enjoy cafe fare (salads, sandwiches) and wine/beer plus live music on select nights.
8060 Via Dellagio Way, Orlando
Pharmacy is a true speakeasy with a secret unmarked entrance and impressive menu of handcrafted cocktails. The outdoor patio, complete with twinkling lights and chandeliers, oozes European charm.
Teak Neighborhood Grill
6400 Times Square Avenue, Orlando
(407) 313-5111; teakorlando.com
Nestled into southwest Orlando, this neighborhood favorite features more than 30 hand-crafted burgers and 60 different varieties of beer on tap and by the bottle.
Imperial Wine Bar & Beer Garden
1800 N Orange Ave, Orlando
Order a charcuterie platter and a glass of wine before stealing away into the cozy beer garden at this Ivanhoe Village exotic furniture store.
42 W Central Blvd, Orlando
Known most for its late-night bar scene, Ember also serves a full menu (including Sunday brunch) in its Mediterranean-style courtyard.
6000 Universal Blvd, Orlando (CityWalk)
Sip a Fuzzie Leprechaun or Mint Julep in a setting that pays homage to New Orleans. A full menu, including wings and Creole chicken, is available.
OUTSIDE OF ORLANDO
330 Dora Drawdy Way, Mt Dora
Arguably Mount Dora's best restaurant, this eclectic bistro offers an international elevated menu in quaint digs, including a lush, secluded courtyard.
Third Wave Café
204 Flagler Ave, New Smyrna Beach
A cozy eatery with gourmet coffee, brick-oven pizza, global wines and craft beers, Third Wave boasts a spectacular garden patio.
Feature image credit: Goblin Market