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When you visit Ocala and stay at the Golden Ocala Golf & Equestrian Club, you’ll feel like you’re in the Old South. Here are some reasons why we love this charming Florida town. Some of the best restaurants are in Ocala. There’s always something to do here. And there’s always something good to eat. 

Some refer to Ocala as the heartland of the Sunshine State, and it’s easy to see why. It’s located in the middle of Florida. Its simple pace and farming and equestrian lifestyle make it easy to feel like you’ve stepped back in time. And the stately oak trees with Spanish moss hanging from them complete the picture. 

In no particular order, here are the top 10 restaurants in Ocala: 

  1. Mark’s Prime Steakhouse & Seafood
  2. La Cuisine French Restaurant
  3. Ivy on The Square
  4. Braised Onion
  5. Harry’s Seafood Bar & Grille
  6. Brick City Southern Kitchen & Whiskey Bar
  7. Big Lee’s Serious About Barbeque
  8. The Mojo Grill & Catering Co. 
  9. Brooklyn’s Backyard
  10. Tony’s Sushi

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Mark’s Prime Steakhouse & Seafood

This is one of the most talked about restaurants in Ocala. Reminiscent of an old steakhouse, Mark’s Prime Steakhouse & Seafood is truly one of the best restaurants in Ocala. The restaurant will give you a unique dining experience complete with mouthwatering entrées and premium wines. Perfect for a date night, Mark’s Prime is located in The Square,  the heart of downtown Ocala.

Why Plan a Visit:

  • Visit Mark’s Prime Steakhouse & Seafood if you love fine dining and appreciate a great meal in an elegant atmosphere. This is one of the only fine dining restaurants in Ocala and perhaps the only one in downtown Ocala.

What to Order:

  • Any type of steak from Mark’s is outstanding. We recommend the Delmonico. The loaded baked potato is also delicious. 

Visit Mark’s Prime Steakhouse & Seafood at 30 South Magnolia Avenue, Ocala, Florida, 334471.

La Cuisine French Restaurant

La Cuisine French Restaurant is located in the heart of downtown Ocala, just one block from The Square. You’ll feel like you’re in a café in Paris. Enjoy authentic French fare and La Cuisine’s old world charm. This is a treat the whole family can enjoy.

Why Plan a Visit:

  • Visit La Cuisine French Restaurant if you’re craving French food, want to try something different or appreciate a meal in a high-end atmosphere. 

What to Order:

  • You can’t go wrong with the classics when La Cuisine makes them so well! Be sure to try escargot, duck a l’orange, French onion soup and ratatouille. 

Visit La Cuisine French Restaurant at 48 SW First Avenue, Ocala, Florida, 34471.

Ivy on The Square

This popular local favorite is a must if you have a hankering for some delicious homemade southern food. Most of the meals are made with homemade recipes, too, so you know it has to be good!

Why Plan a Visit:

  • Perfect for lunch or dinner, Ivy on The Square is one of the best restaurants in Ocala because no matter when you go, the entrées and the service will always be good. There is also seating outside on the gorgeous patio, complete with lush landscaping. 

What to Order:

  • Be sure to try the krispy chicken and shrimp po boy. They are also known for their southern fried lobster and hand-cut steaks. After all, Ivy on The Square’s motto is “Come on home, it’s suppertime!”

Visit Ivy on The Square at 53 South Magnolia Avenue, Ocala, Florida, 34471.

Braised Onion

Their motto is comfort food with an attitude. The atmosphere is fun and casual, so it’s great for a small, low-key gathering or a larger family reunion. 

Why Plan a Visit:

  • Any entrée is going to be great. If that’s not a reason to try the Braised Onion, we don’t know what is!

What to Order:

  • Online reviewers praised the shrimp and grits, braised onion soup and fried green tomatoes.

Visit Braised Onion at 754 NE 25th Avenue, Ocala, Florida, 34470.

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Harry’s Seafood, Bar & Grille

Located in the historic Marion Block building constructed in 1884, this is one of the best restaurants in Ocala. Its menu is Cajun-inspired and the décor doesn’t disappoint. 

Why Plan a Visit:

  • Whether you have a taste for Cajun and southern food or you just want to try something different, you can’t go wrong with Harry’s Seafood, Bar & Grille.

What to Order:

  • Enjoy classic New Orleans favorites like jambalaya, Cajun seared ahi tuna and crawfish.

Visit Harry’s Seafood & Grille at 24 SE First Avenue, Ocala, Florida, 34471.

Brick City Southern Kitchen & Whiskey Bar

Brick City Southern Kitchen & Whiskey Bar has an atmosphere and a vibe that is celebrated throughout Ocala’s downtown Square. The custom-built smoker in the kitchen, variety of whiskey available and the rustic, brick and wood décor will put you at ease. This is a great option for a laidback meal or a larger get-together. 

Why Plan a Visit:

  • Visit one of the best restaurants in Ocala if you love smoked food and whiskey. There are over 400 different kinds of whiskeys available! 

What to Order:

  • Online reviewers praised the buttermilk fried chicken, banana pudding and Kansas City burnt ends appetizer. 

Visit Brick City Southern Kitchen & Whiskey Bar at 10 South Magnolia Avenue, Ocala, Florida, 34471.

Big Lee’s Serious About Barbeque

Owner of Big Lee’s Serious About Barbecue, Rashad Jones, is a little bit of a local celebrity. He won a show on the Food Network, called “Guy’s Big Project,” hosted by Guy Fieri. Jones also has his own show on the popular culinary channel as well. Be sure to check out “Eat, Sleep, Barbeque.”

Why Plan a Visit:

  • If you’re serious about good barbeque, you don’t want to miss a chance to try Big Lee’s. Sometimes—due to the food truck’s popularity—the delicious barbeque sells out quickly. Plan to get here early. If you want to bring some food home, don’t forget to grab a thermal bag or a cooler. Not only is it one of the best restaurants in Ocala, it’s one of the best barbeque spots in the country. 

What to Order:

  • Many online reviewers praised the brisket, ribs and burnt ends. Many even referred to it as the best barbeque they’ve ever had.

Visit Big Lee’s Serious About Barbeque at 3925 SE 45th Court, Ocala, Florida, 34480.

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Mojo Grill & Catering Co.

The minute you walk into this eclectic establishment, you know you’re going to have a good time. It’s bright, colorful and there’s rock ’n’ roll memorabilia everywhere. Who doesn’t love that?

Why Plan a Visit:

  • Plan a visit to Mojo Grill & Catering Co. for delicious food and good vibes. The food has a Cajun flair and it also channels the founder’s Cuban-American heritage. It’s said that people travel from all over the Sunshine State for Mojo Grill’s secret mojo sauce. 

What to Order:

  • You can’t go wrong with any of their tacos. The shrimp and grits also got high praise from online reviewers. Also, be sure to try the Slap Yo’ Momma wings.

Visit Mojo Grill & Catering Co. at 2015 SW 17th Street, Ocala, Florida, 34471 or 4620 East Silver Springs Boulevard, Ocala, Florida, 34470.

Brooklyn’s Backyard

This casual joint serves up American-style cuisine. This is where you go if you’re craving a mouthwatering burger and fries.

Why Plan a Visit:

  • Visit Brooklyn’s Backyard if you want a casual night out. You don’t have to wear anything fancy, and the menu is varied and delicious. It doesn’t get better than this.

What to Order:

  • The St. Croix burger is a big hit. The Key West smothered fries and Calypso shrimp and mac are popular as well.

Visit Brooklyn’s Backyard at 2019 East Silver Springs Boulevard, Ocala, Florida, 34470.

Tony’s Sushi

Not only is Tony’s Sushi one of the best restaurants in Ocala, it is one of the most popular sushi restaurants in Central Florida. Meals are made with fresh ingredients and entrées also enjoy attention to detail that’s evident in the taste.

Why Plan a Visit:

  • In addition to great, fresh food, you can also watch the chefs cook your entrées. If you enjoy a show with your meal, we recommend Tony’s Sushi. 

What to Order:

  • Online reviewers praised the teriyaki chicken, spicy tuna sushi roll and tempura shrimp. 

Visit Tony’s Sushi at 3405 SW College Road, Ocala, Florida, 34474.

Stay at Luxurious Rentals at Golden Ocala While you Enjoy the Best Restaurants in Ocala

You can try all of these mouthwatering restaurants or just choose a handful of them. It’s up to you! There’s something here for everyone and, who knows? You may even discover your new favorite. 

When you stay at any of our luxury vacation rental homes at Golden Ocala Golf & Equestrian Club, you’ll also have access to three onsite restaurants, after you pay an amenity fee. 

Golden Ocala restaurants include:

  • Raspberry’s – Upscale dining on the clubhouse’s second floor, open for lunch and dinner
  • Knickers – This casual spot is across from the golf shop, conveniently located at the clubhouse, and is open for lunch whenever the golf course is open
  • Café On the Green – Find Café On the Green at the spa and fitness center, open for breakfast and lunch including poolside service

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