Walt Disney World Orlando Restaurants
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Walt Disney World Orlando Restaurant Reviews
You'll find the all-American-standby burger-and-fries combo everywhere in Orlando, yet the ambitious chefs behind Orlando's theme-park and independent restaurants provide loads of better options—much better. Locally sourced foods, creative preparations, and clever international influences are all the rage here, giving even die-hard foodies surprisingly satisfying meals. Theme-park complexes have some of the best restaurants in town, although you may opt for a car rental to seek out the local treasures.
The signs of Orlando getting it—of moving beyond its menu mediocrity—is most evident in the last place one would look: Disney's fast-food outlets. Every eatery on Disney property offers a tempting vegetarian option, and kiddie meals come with healthful sides and drinks unless you specifically request otherwise.
Around town, locals flock to The Ravenous Pig, a gastropub where the menu changes every day; Luma on Park, a suave home of thoughtfully created cutting-edge meals; and any number of dining establishments competing to serve the very finest steak. Orlando's culinary blossoming began in 1995, when Disney's signature California Grill debuted featuring farm-to-table cuisine and wonderful wines by the glass. Soon after, celebrity chefs started opening shop.
Orlando's destination restaurants can be found in the theme parks, as well in the outlying towns. Sand Lake Road is now known as Restaurant Row for its eclectic collection of worthwhile tables. Here you'll find fashionable outlets for sushi and seafood, Italian and chops, Hawaiian fusion and upscale Mexican. Heading into the residential areas, the neighborhoods of Winter Park (actually its own city), Thornton Park, and College Park are prime locales for chow. Scattered throughout Central Florida, low-key ethnic restaurants specialize in the fare of Turkey, India, Peru, Thailand, Vietnam—you name it. Prices in these family-owned finds are usually delightfully low.
Walt Disney World Area
Dining options in the Magic Kingdom are mainly counter service, with a few delightful exceptions, and every land has its share of fast-food places selling burgers, hot dogs, grilled-chicken sandwiches, and salads. Each has a different regular and children's menu. The walkways are peppered with carts dispensing smoked turkey legs, popcorn, ice-cream bars, lemonade, bottled water, and soda. The Magic Kingdom's no-liquor policy fits the theme park most suited for little kids, but it does not extend to the rest of Walt Disney World.
Epcot's World Showcase offers some of the finest dining in Orlando. Every pavilion has at least one and often two or even three eateries. Where there's a choice, it's between a relatively expensive full-service restaurant and a more affordable, ethnic fast-food spot, plus carts and shops selling snacks ranging from French pastries to Japanese ices—whatever's appropriate to the pavilion.
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