20 places for outdoor dining in Orlando

Temperatures dip just a few degrees and diners begin to scramble for outdoor tables at restaurants. Al fresco dining in fall, winter and spring is one of Central Florida's strong suits. Here are some restaurants to consider:

Antonio's La Fiamma Ristorante: 611 S. Orlando Ave., Maitland; 407-645-1035; A recent renovation created an opportunity to expand the bar with more seating and open a second-floor balcony overlooking Lake Lily.

Cedar's Restaurant, 7732 W. Sand Lake Road, Orlando; 407-351-6000; Cedar's is a striking independent among the chains of Orlando's Restaurant Row. Sandwiched between two corporate superstars, the family-owned Lebanese restaurant has been a culinary standout since 2001. The covered patio area is a popular spot in the evenings.

Citrus, 821 N. Orange Ave., Orlando; 407-373-0622; Comfortable outdoor furniture makes this location great for lingering long after dinner.

Cityfish, 617 E. Central Blvd., Orlando; 407-849-9779; The wraparound patio offers lots of shade.

Ember, 42 W. Central Blvd., Orlando; 407-849-5200; Ember opened in 2008 as a bar with food. But don't think the menu gets little attention here. And the setting — especially the outside courtyard — is marvelous for meals and cocktails.

Gargi's Lakeside, 1414 N. Orange Ave., Orlando; 407-894-7907; Great Italian food on Lake Ivanhoe. And arguably the best place to watch the sunset in Orlando.

Julie's Waterfront, 4201 S. Orange Ave., Orlando; 407-240-2557; An ultra-casual hidden gem on Lake Jennie Jewel that locals like to keep to themselves.

K Restaurant Wine Bar, 1710 Edgewater Drive, Orlando; 407-872-2332; The porch is a prime spot to dine this time of year at awarding-winning chef Kevin Fonzo's place.

Milliken's Reef, 683 Dave Nisbet Drive, Port Canaveral; 321-783-0100; The front deck at the water's edge offers views of massive cruise ships waiting in port. Around the side of the building is another deck with an assortment of high-top and regular tables.

Norman's, 4000 Central Florida Parkway, Orlando; 407-393-4333; Norman Van Aken and the Ritz-Carlton have teamed up to present a fine-dining experience seldom seen in Orlando. It's pricey, but worth an occasional splurge. The terrace seating is lovely.

Pisces Rising, 239 W. Fourth Ave., Mount Dora; 352-385-2669; Combine the energy of Key West and the bounty of the Gulf of Mexico, add just a touch of Cuba, and you have three divergent culinary scenes that play well together in the kitchen. Choose a table on the deck for a tropical al fresco experience.

Relax Grill, 211 Eola Parkway, Orlando; 407-425-8440; This is the place on Lake Eola to enjoy when you're not in a rush. The ambience lives up to its name.

Rocco's Tacos, 7468 W. Sand Lake Road, Orlando; 407-226-0550; The lakefront setting has an exterior bar and covered patio seating spanning the full exterior.

Spice Modern Steakhouse, 407 E. Central Blvd., Orlando, 407-481-9533. Located on Lake Eola, the lushly landscaped patio fills up fast.

Tap Room at Dubsdread, 549 W. Par St., Orlando; 407-650-0100; A consistent reader favorite for outdoor dining with nice views of the golf course.

The Grille at Riverview, 101 Flagler Ave., New Smyrna Beach, 386-428-1865; Tucked close to the north causeway bridge on the Indian River, the outdoor patio is expansive and comfortable.

310 Lakeside: 301 E. Pine St., Orlando; 407-373-0310; Management has created a lush tropical setting with a nice view of Lake Eola.

Urban Flats, 55 W. Church St., Orlando; 321-251-4578; Happy hour is packed with the downtown crowd sipping wine and munching on the signature flatbreads on the patio.

White Wolf Cafe, 1829 N. Orange Ave., Orlando; 407-895-9911; Bohemian locale in the heart of the theater and antiques district. The plant boxes around the outdoor seating make the setting cozy.

Wildside BBQ Bar & Grill, 700 E. Washington St., Orlando; 407-872-8665; This place could be called the Thornton Park welcome center. Good food and drink, too.

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