The greater Marion County region is home to wide open agricultural spaces, with a plethora of options for outdoor recreation and entertainment. The beauty of our region is that residents can enjoy a day in the great outdoors, and an evening of dining in downtown Ocala!
These are certainly unusual times, but the team at Ocala Horse Properties is proud of our Ocala community and how we have rallied around local businesses. We are fortunate that our local restaurant scene offers up an array of outdoor dining options, ranging from casual cocktails and finger foods to upscale French cuisine. So for those of you who want to take a night off from the kitchen or backyard BBQ, we’ve taken a poll, and the following our some of Ocala’s local favorites!
TRENDY & NEW
Happy to report that Bank Street is featuring a steady stream of live music at their gorgeous outdoor space in downtown Ocala! Bank Street, which opened last October, went through extensive renovations to offer an amazing outdoor space to dine and unwind.
Bank Street’s menu is diverse; featuring very reasonably priced dishes which vary from typical American cuisine – such as burgers, chicken dishes and flatbreads – to interesting seafood dishes such as tuna poke bowls, muscles and fries, lump crab cakes, etc. Of course, there is a full bar with creative concoctions, featured craft beers and wines by the glass.
Best to keep an eye on their social media channels to see the schedule for live music (which is plentiful) and weekly specials, such as Three Dollar Thursdays appetizer and drink specials! With the tagline, “Fueling your body with fresh, locally sourced, healthy food”, a visit to Bank Street is a must on your outdoor dining list!
Morevino Restaurant and Wine Bar
Located in Ocala’s Historic Downtown Square – Morevino’s is family owned and just recently opened in February, offering clientele an extensive wine list, new outdoor space, and dishes from their scratch kitchen. Owners Brian and Deanna Morey are originally from Michigan but have lived in Florida for the past 30 years. Their love for an equestrian lifestyle led them to a horse farm in peaceful Ocala.
Their highly knowledgeable wine sommelier and owner Brian Morey, is constantly offering wine pairings/dinners and wine education classes with limited seating to ensure your comfort. Brian also makes home made bread each day for their patrons!
Refined atmosphere, exceptional service, outdoor seating an extension of interior and ample parking make Morevino’s a home run. The recent opening of Morevino’s has been a labor of love for this couple, and their restaurant is a new gem – so if you’re idea of a night out includes being treated like family – this is the spot for you!
CASUAL & FUN
Mojo BBQ at Brick City Southern Kitchen
Although relatively new to the historic downtown square, Brick City has become a staple! Owned by MOJO BBQ, which started in 2003 as a small barbecue restaurant, this restaurant group has grown into eight locations in North and Central Florida. They offer smoked meats, scratch made sides, one of Florida’s largest curated whiskey collections, and full-service catering for special events and weddings.
The downtown location is casual, has a great whiskey bar and offers outdoor seating with a view of the square. They also offer curbside pickup!
Ivy on the Square
With a menu that include bacon wrapped dates, fried green tomatoes, southern grilled mozzarella and an impressive line-up of burgers – you know that the Ivy House lives up to it’s moniker “Southern Comfort Food at its Finest!”. The staff at Ivy House truly know how to have fun and to serve up some of the best local sourced food in our area.
They were recently featured in Ocala Main Street’s Downtown Burger Tour Stop and the video tour gives an inside glimpse into the restaurant’s wonderful charm and ambiance. In addition to the mouth watering burgers, they also have a variety of seafood dishes with a southern twist. They’re also creative in entertaining the locals, with a series of dinner cinema events, with limited seating and by reservation only!
They’re website is currently getting a facelift https://www.ivyhousefl.com so perusing their FB page is a great source of information. https://www.facebook.com/IvyontheSquare
La Cuisine French
La Cuisine has been a dining staple in Ocala since 2009. Owned by Patrice and Elodie Perron, natives of Lyon, this special dining destination is a reflection of their lifetime love of the art of food. Recipients of four Golden Spoon Awards from Florida Trend Magazine, La Cuisine should certainly be top of your list for a special evening out.
Their expansive menu reflects a delectable range of french dishes including escargot, frog legs, calamari, cheese and charcuterie boards. Entries include a broad array of chicken, filet, lamb and seafood, but the beauty of french cooking lies in the mouth watering sauces – black truffle, burgundy, zesty orange, au poivre to name a few!
They do have outdoor seating and limited indoor capacity at 50% in the dining and bar area – curbside pickup as well. They also spark some fun with local musical artists on Fridays and Sunday brunch with les crepes, les oeufs and of course, french toast!
Mark’s Prime has always been a mainstay for the team at Ocala Horse Properties. Their filet is world class, and stopping for a martini at their bar has always been a treat.
Mark’s Prime, which is located on the corner of SW Broadway and SE Magnolia, is an upscale steak house with a welcoming feel. Cindi Nicholson, the Proprietor of Mark’s Prime, opened the restaurant in 2008 with partners Billy Shields, Randy McCoy, and Louis Saig. Since the opening, Mark’s Prime has become a mainstay in downtown Ocala, known for their hand cut, mouth watering steaks, comfortable atmosphere, exceptional service and friendly bar.
This incredible restaurant just received the 2020 Travelers’ Choice Award through TripAdvisor – so their patrons have spoken! They offer outdoor and indoor seating, reservations are taken, but walk-ins welcome, and valet parking is free!