The best places to eat in “The City Beautiful”
From fine dining in theme parks to speakeasy cocktails on Restaurant Row to modern Italian in Winter Park, these Orlando restaurants are bringing their A-game. Be sure to reserve a table on your next vacation to Orlando.
These days, Orlando attractions are serving up more than just burgers and fries. Opt for top-notch dining options, in cuisines ranging from Cuban to Cajun.
Le Cellier Steakhouse
Located in EPCOT® at the Walt Disney World® Resort, this eatery features tender steaks, fresh seafood, cheesy poutine fries and more regional cuisine inspired by the provinces of Canada. Enjoy such signature dishes as the Canadian cheddar cheese soup and the “Le Cellier” mushroom filet mignon.
Guy Fieri’s Chicken Guy!
The Mayor of Flavortown is at it again, expanding his tasty empire in Orlando. Guy Fieri’s new chicken-tender restaurant, named, appropriately, Chicken Guy! has just opened in the friendly confines of Planet Hollywood at Disney Springs. On-the-go visitors can look forward to enjoying savory chicken-tender entrees and sides like fries, slaw and pickle chips and, of course, 22 flavors of dipping sauces curated by the Mayor himself.
Sharks Underwater Grill
What’s it like to dine under the sea? Find out at SeaWorld® Orlando’s upscale restaurant where you can enjoy world-class entrees overlooking a picture window into the world of sharks. Plus, the eatery boasts several accolades including the 2013 Silver Spoon Award from Orlando Life Magazine and Outstanding Ratings in the Zagat 2014 Orlando Restaurant Survey.
Gloria and Emilio Estefan’s lively hotspot at Disney Springs features authentic Cuban cuisine like the “Cubano” sandwich, seafood paella and Cuban-style skirt steak. Live entertainment adds to the 1950s Havana nightclub vibe.
Flying Fish Cafe
This whimsical restaurant on Disney’s BoardWalk serves up succulent specialties like potato-wrapped red snapper, crispy crab cakes and char-crusted strip steak. Plus, guests staying at the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort (available through the Marriott Bonvoy™ program) can walk or take a short ferry ride to dinner.
Flying Fish Cafe, ©Disney
A short drive from the attractions, this area on Sand Lake Road boasts over two dozen restaurants in just a two-mile strip. With so many options ranging from low-key to lavish, there’s sure to be a cuisine to suit your taste.
Christini’s Ristorante Italiano
Don’t be surprised if Chris Christini, owner of this upscale AAA Four-Diamond restaurant, greets you at the door or stops by your table to check on the meal. He takes pride in his establishment, with an emphasis on top-notch service and quality northern Italian cuisine, including homemade ravioli, prime filet mignon and the signature veal chop.
This hidden gem is a bit hard to find — the entrance is disguised as a tucked-away lone elevator. Enter, push the green button and when the doors open you’ll be transported to a secretly happening, prohibition-themed spot. In true speakeasy style, their specialties are craft cocktails (called “elixirs”) like Manhattans, smashes and fizzes, plus homemade, locally sourced fare, like Cape Canaveral rock shrimp, Bolognese pasta and Neapolitan pizza.
More edgy than traditional, this Mexican joint features a lively party atmosphere, thanks in part to the 225 varieties of tequila on the menu. In addition to the namesake tacos, the menu features handmade corn tortillas, tableside guacamole service and modern takes on classic dishes, like the Brooklyn Taco: pork belly topped with padron peppers, tomatillo jam and smoky peanut salsa caccahuate.
Voted one of the top 10 restaurants in Orlando by the 2013 Zagat survey, this family-owned establishment has been a staple among locals since 1988. House specialties include jumbo lump Cajun crab cakes, Florida grouper in pecan butter, rack of lamb in rosemary au jus and center-cut filet mignon with a peppercorn cognac sauce.
A cozy sushi bar that takes its rolls seriously, treating their innovative creations as works of art. Their pride shows in the enticingly named signature offerings: Love at First Bite, Lobster Explosion, Orgasm Roll. Patrons seem to agree, as the restaurant was voted one of the top 10 restaurants in Orlando by the 2013 Zagat survey.
Up for a drive? Trust us: the renowned restaurants of the nearby town of Winter Park are worth the trip, about 30 minutes from the theme-park area.
The Ravenous Pig
Chef owners (and James Beard Award semifinalists), James and Julie Petrakis, are passionate about locally sourced cuisine, evident in their classy gastropub. In addition to handmade pastas and charcuterie, the ever-changing menu highlights fresh Florida seafood and seasonal offerings from local farmers. Don’t miss the year-round Canaveral shrimp ’n grits, pairing your meal with a craft beer — brewed on site. And be sure to save room for specialty deserts like the Plant City strawberry-rhubarb crisp or Zellwood corn crepes with Florida blueberry compote.
The atmosphere alone is enough to book a table at this refined-but-not-pretentious restaurant. The inviting lakefront setting is perfect for pre-dinner cocktails in Adirondack chairs or a lovely al fresco meal. The menu is seasonal and includes house specialties like jumbo lump crab cakes, miso-glazed Atlantic cod and center-cut filet mignon.
A newer edition to Winter Park’s restaurant scene, Bulla (pronounced “boo-ya”) is making waves with its take on Spanish cuisine. The restaurant’s festive vibe and energy complement delicious dishes like churrasco skirt steak, seafood paella, and wide selection of small plates, along with inventive cocktails from the full bar. A worthy stop for brunch, lunch, dinner or anytime tapas.
Luma on Park
As the name suggests, this popular bistro can be found on Winter Park’s iconic Park Avenue. Executive Chef Brandon McGlamery, a James Beard Award semifinalist, takes great pride in the farm-to-table approach in the daily-changing seasonal menu. Small plates might include dishes like Wagyu beef tartare, hazelnut black-truffle tortellini or a foie gras parfait; main dishes might feature local Mahi Mahi with basil aioli or flank steak from a nearby farm with golden raisin chutney.
Two blocks from sister restaurant Luma on Park, you’ll find McGlamery’s delicious foray into Italian cuisine. The spot’s decor is rustic yet modern, while the daily changing seasonal menu puts a fresh twist on classic dishes: homemade pastas like sweet potato gnocchi, fresh paninis with house-cured meats and pizzas topped with inventive ingredients like sage pesto and spiced acorn squash.
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