The 10 Best Orlando Restaurants by the Water Where Every Bite Comes with a View

Sep 11, 2023

The 10 Best Orlando Restaurants by the Water Where Every Bite Comes with a View
By Westgate Resorts

The 10 Best Orlando Restaurants by the Water Where Every Bite Comes with A View [2024]

The Sunshine State isn’t just known for its theme parks and sunny beaches. No matter where you find yourself on the peninsula, Florida is a culinary paradise, and Orlando is no exception.

Home to some of the most famous theme parks in the world, like Walt Disney World and Universal Studios, the city is also packed with incredible bites and outdoor dining Orlando locals love. Many places also come with a waterside view. From restaurants on International Dive to the best food trucks in Orlando, the options for restaurants, especially by the water, are endless.

From the famous Florida gator tail to classic burgers and fries, and even vegan food Orlando locals recommend, these spots will not disappoint. So, grab your fork, put on your sunglasses and sunscreen and get ready to explore the 10 best Orlando restaurants by the water.

Orlando Restaurants by the Water

When it comes to waterfront dining, Orlando might not immediately make the top of your list. The city may not be steps from the ocean, like in Tampa or Miami, but Orlando’s got its own unique charm. With stunning lakeside venues and picturesque riverside settings, you’re in for a treat with some incredibly scenic waterfront dining experiences.

Across the city, you can bask in the glow of natural waterways like Lake Killarney and the Lake Conway chain of lakes or the magic of man-made waters like Seven Seas Lagoon at Walt Disney World. It’s no surprise that Orlando has made a name for itself for lakeside dining.

From classic American fare to Mexican delights, you’ll love eating at all these Orlando restaurants by the water. Spending the day on the water? Some of these restaurants are boat-friendly, making them easy stops on your Orlando water adventures.

We promise that this list of waterfront restaurants will make a splash in your Orlando dining plans, so let’s dive right in!

1 | Smokehouse on the River | The latest and greatest in Orlando waterfront dining is located right at Westgate River Ranch Resort and Rodeo, just south of Orlando. From horseback riding to glamping, and now dining on the Kissimmee River, this resort does it all.

Smokehouse on the River is making a name for itself with grab-and-go barbecue bites. The expert pit masters will have your choice of meat smoked to perfection on the grill. With quick service and an expansive menu, it’s the perfect place to stop and enjoy a delicious meal without cutting into precious vacation time.

If you’re staying at River Ranch, you can easily take your meal back to your campsite. Otherwise, hop on over by boat or car! And don’t forget to check out the huge range of activities on the ranch on your way out. Horseback riding, skeet shooting or airboat rides anyone?

We promise that you won’t want to miss out on this spot the next time you’re in Orlando because this restaurant is smoking hot.

WHERE: 3200 River Ranch Boulevard River Ranch, FL 33867 | WHO: 863-692-1321



10 Dessert Places in Orlando to Die For!

21 Awesome Places That Serve the Best Brunch Orlando Locals LOVE

15 Orlando Restaurants with Outdoor Seating

2 | The Boathouse | A trip to Orlando isn’t complete without a trip to the iconic Disney Springs. The Boathouse is an elegant dining option right on the water. Enjoy your dinner indoors or on the beautiful open-air dock.

The Boathouse has earned itself the spot of the number one restaurant in Disney Springs for good reason. The nautical-themed restaurant not only boasts a perfect waterfront view overlooking Lake Buena Vista but also a spectacular menu. From perfectly grilled steaks to market fresh fish, there’s something on the menu for everyone. The truffle fries, in particular, have garnered rave reviews from diners, so make sure to add some to your order!

At the Boathouse, you don’t just have to look at the water views. You can hop right in on an amphicar! Right next door to the Boathouse are Disney’s amphicar tours. These unique land and water vehicles drive you straight off the dock and right into the water. With less than 400 amphicars left in the world, this one-of-a-kind experience is the perfect way to cap off your meal and take in the water views from a different perspective.

WHERE: 1620 E Buena Vista Drive, Lake Buena Vista, Florida 32830 | WHO: 407-939-2628


3 | Colibri Mexican Cuisine | Off the shore of Lake Baldwin is Colibri, a hidden gem that combines authentic Mexican and Tex-Mex flavors with stunning lakefront views. The food is delicious, and the outdoor waterfront seating is plentiful.

You’ll feel like you’ve been transported to the beaches down south in Mexico, making Colibri the perfect spot to enjoy a margarita and your favorite tacos underneath the palm trees. You can also escape the heat by nestling into one of the eatery’s window booths, giving you a lovely view of the water.

Colibri offers a diverse authentic menu featuring dishes like tacos, enchiladas and ceviche. The lunch menu is amazing for those who need a midday meal. The restaurant has done a fantastic job making the interior feel like you’ve stepped into a top-notch location in the heart of Mexico, making it a beloved spot for both locals and visitors looking for a taste of Mexico in Orlando.

Need a mid-afternoon break? Stop by for the restaurant’s happy hour specials, featuring unique margarita flavors.

WHERE: 4963 New Broad St, Orlando, FL 32814 | WHO: 407-629-6601


4 | Hillstone | When it comes to lakeside dining in Orlando, there are few restaurants that can top the ever-popular Hillstone restaurant. Perched on the picturesque shores of Lake Killarney in Winter Park, Hillstone offers classic American fare in an upscale but comfortable setting.

Whether you choose to sit on the restaurant’s outdoor patio or inside the restaurant, every seat in the restaurant offers a prime view of the lakeside foliage and glistening waters. The restaurant also has limited seating on the patio that extends to a gazebo and deck right over the water. We recommend visiting Hillstone at sunset, so you can enjoy a cocktail and your meal while watching the sun light up the sky behind the lake.

Of course, the exceptional views are only made better by the menu, featuring a modern take on American classics. The burgers are phenomenal, and there is also a lovely selection of seafood that feels perfect for the waterfront setting.

You really can’t go wrong with the culinary experience and gorgeous views at Hillside. It’s no surprise that it has several outposts around the country. Be aware that while the restaurant doesn’t take reservations for the patio, you can always book a spot inside ahead of time to guarantee a table.

WHERE: 215 South Orlando Avenue, Winter Park, Florida 32789 | WHO: 407-740-4005


5 | Paddlefish | We all know that Disney does dining well, and it’s clear that Paddlefish made lakeside dining a Disney dining staple. Docked just around the corner from the Boathouse at Disney Springs is Paddlefish. Yup, you read that right, docked!

Paddlefish isn’t just any old restaurant. It’s an anchored steamboat that offers seafood delights and views across the water in Disney Springs. With the riverboat theme, it comes as no surprise that the menu is centered around fresh seafood, but with a southern twist. You can even watch the culinary experience come to life in the open kitchen on the main floor.

Paddlefish is a relatively new addition to Disney Springs, but it has quickly become a fan favorite for both locals and theme park visitors alike. The moment you step aboard Paddlefish, you’ll feel like you’re on a luxury yacht.

Enjoy one of the best views in Disney Springs right from one of the tables on the rooftop deck and patio, containing one of the best rooftop bars Orlando has to offer. Or you can take in the views in the indoor dining room as if you were dining on a riverboat – without the motion sickness. The three-story restaurant also has event spaces for those celebrating a special occasion.

WHERE: 1670 Buena Vista Dr, Lake Buena Vista, FL 32830 | WHO: 407-934-2628


6 | Grills Lakeside Seafood Deck & Tiki Bar | The name says it all. Tucked on the shore of Lake Fairview is the waterfront haven known as Grills Lakeside Seafood Deck and Tiki Bar. Come here for a laid-back atmosphere and diverse, yet seafood-packed menu. The restaurant gives a beachy, surfer vibe with both indoor and outdoor dining with a front-row seat to the sparkling waters of the lake.

Grills serves up delicious eats all day, from breakfast to dinner. From the succulent snow crab benedict to the tune poke, the menu is large but thoughtfully put together. The menu and experience have become such a Florida staple that the restaurant expanded to three locations across the state.

Visiting with the little ones? Make sure to check out the onsite playground. It’s guaranteed to be a hit among the kids while you sit back and enjoy the live entertainment. Extend your visit and take the Grills party to go with the signature Grills Grand Hurricane cocktail. The drink is bursting with tropical flavors and comes in a souvenir cup for your collection.

WHERE: 4301 N Orange Blossom Trail, Orlando, FL 32804 | WHO: 407-291-8881


7 | Canvas Restaurant & Market | Sail over to Lake Nona and you’ll find the Canvas Restaurant and Market. This Laureate Park staple is so stunning that you’ll often find weddings hosted at the restaurant by the rainbow glass house outside.

The restaurant is built almost over the lake, complete with a beautiful (dog-friendly) patio and indoor seating that lines the floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking the water. You can enjoy these views all day because Canvas serves everything from breakfast to after-dinner drinks.

The menu takes inspiration from southern and Mexican cuisine, and there are dining selections for every tastebud. For dinner, you’ll find everything from classic steak frites to the restaurant’s decadent Chipotle Meatloaf. The restaurant’s breakfast burrito paired with freshly brewed coffee is also a lovely morning treat. If you find yourself at Canvas on the right day, you’ll even find freshly shucked oysters on the menu.

Based on reviews, the service here is always exceptional, and you might even get to watch the cows graze by the water while you enjoy your meal. Canvas Restaurant and Market can get busy at times, so make sure to plan ahead!

WHERE: 13615 Sachs Avenue, Orlando, FL 32827 | WHO: 407-313-7800


8 | Narcoossee’s | The third time’s clearly a charm because another Disney-property restaurant is a must-visit if you’re looking for an Orlando meal with a gorgeous view. This time, we’re heading over to the shores of Seven Seas Lagoon at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort.

Narcoossee’s prime location is just a short monorail ride away from the Magic Kingdom and all that it has to offer. But this restaurant on its own is worth a drive into The Most Magical Place on Earth.

The picture-perfect location offers a prime view of Cinderella’s Castle and even the Magic Kingdom fireworks in the evening. Unlike many other restaurants on this list of best Orlando restaurants by the water, there’s no patio seating here. But we promise you won’t feel like you’re missing out, since the restaurant was carefully designed to offer panoramic views from every table.

But it’s not just the views that deserve accolades here. The menu is self-described as coastal and brings southern influence to its flavors. Start your meal off with classic Shrimp and Grits or an ocean-inspired charcuterie board. For mains, you’ll find perfectly grilled steaks, like pork ribeye or a New York strip steak. There are many fresh fish options for seafood lovers. And if you’re feeling extra indulgent, get the best of both worlds with the surf and turf.

Narcoossee’s elegance is a perfect choice for celebrating a special occasion. Sit back, enjoy your meal and enjoy a view of the spectacular Disney fireworks without the Main Street crowds. Remember: Disney restaurants can get busy, so make sure to make a reservation to guarantee a spot.

WHERE: 4401 Floridian Way, Orlando, FL 32836 | WHO: 407-939-5277


9 | The Waterfront Orlando | Foods, brews and views are how The Waterfront describes the dining experience, and we couldn’t agree more. The Waterfront is just south of Downtown Orlando on the serene Lake Jennie Jewel.

This relaxed and peaceful waterfront spot is the perfect place to escape the Orlando hustle and bustle. It’s no surprise that The Waterfront boasts being the best alfresco dining spot in Orlando by USA Today, according to its website. There is a ton of dog-friendly outdoor seating here to enjoy a drink and a meal under the Florida sun.

The ambiance is simple and unassuming, but don’t be fooled, the food is anything but that. From the crab cake sliders to its po’boys, the modern menu is packed with flavor. You’ll love the restaurant’s take on American classics, like its burgers, but the southern-inspired dishes, like the collard greens, is where The Waterfront really shines. On the weekends, The Waterfront also serves up a mean brunch.

WHERE: 4201 S Orange Ave, Orlando, FL 32806 | WHO: 407-866-0468


10 | Enzo's on the Lake | North of Downtown Orlando, off of HWY 17 in Longwood, is Enzo's on the Lake. Open since 1980, Enzo’s is a lakeside treasure overlooking tranquil Lake Fairy, offering a taste of Italy in the heart of Florida. Staff claim that Enzo’s on the Lake isn’t just a restaurant, it’s an experience, and it’s clear that the loyal clientele agree.

Stepping foot in the elegant dining room at Enzo’s feels like you’ve been transported to Italy. From the carpaccio and fresh seafood to homemade pasta, you’ll find nothing but authentic Italian cuisine on the menu. The exquisite food, romantic setting and exceptional wine selection have earned it recognition as one of Orlando's top Italian restaurants.

Celebrating a special occasion? Enzo’s has a selection of indoor and outdoor private event spaces where you can enjoy the water views while celebrating with your loved ones.

If you’re heading up to Enzo’s on the Lake, keep in mind that the restaurant is closed on Sunday and Monday. To avoid a wait, make a reservation ahead of time to guarantee your table. But if there is a wait, the beautiful sunset views across the lake will certainly more than make up for it.

WHERE: 1130 S US Hwy 17 92, Longwood, FL 32750 | WHO: 407-834-9872



The 10 Best Taco Restaurants in Orlando to Taco Bout (Talk About!)

The 20 Best Food Trucks Orlando Locals Lunch At!

14 Top Vegan Restaurants Orlando Vegetarians Like

Use Our Handy Map to Find Your Way Around!

Orlando Restaurants by the Water with Great Views

Now that you’ve learned about the best restaurants in Orlando with a view, are you ready to eat a great meal and relish in the scenic backdrops? Orlando is full of diverse places to eat. You can never go wrong!

For more foodie guides and travel tips, visit our Westgate Resorts Travel Blog.


The 12 Best Restaurants in Orlando Florida

At Westgate Resorts, when you Check-In, there’s a LOT to Check-Out! Your vacation awaits! Start planning your next vacation today or talk with a vacation planner at 888-852-2959 or 407-355-2690.

* Westgate Resorts is in no way affiliated with the attractions featured in this article. Items or places listed are current as of the publishing date of this article. Please call or visit the respective website for the most up-to-date offerings and details.

When You Check-in, There's a Lot to Check Out

Sign up for our newsletter and check-in to great offers, secret stuff, and special events.

Thank You for Signing Up!

Exciting things are headed your way soon!