Orlando Restaurants

Dining in Orlando ranges from fast food and national chains to celebrity chefs—both international and local—serving locally sourced foods, creative preparations, and clever international influences. The theme parks now have some of the best restaurants in town, although you may opt for a rental car to seek out the local treasures.

The signs of Orlando's dining progress are 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. Chefs at Disney’s table-service restaurants consult face-to-face with guests about food allergies. And big-name chefs are now well represented in Disney Springs, though less so at Universal's CityWalk.

Around town, locals flock to the Ravenous Pig, the Rusty Spoon, and other gastropubs where the menu changes regularly; 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 up shop. Disney has since completely revamped California Grill so it's a trendsetter once again.

Orlando's destination restaurants can be found in the theme parks, as well as 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 Lebanese. 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.

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  • 1. 4 Rivers Smokehouse

    $ | Barbecue

    What started as a tiny business in a former tire repair shop has turned into a multistate dynasty. The popular 4 Rivers, now with over a dozen...Read More

  • 2. Hawkers

    $ | Mills 50 District | Asian

    Hipsters, families, and business groups dine side by side at this popular restaurant, a laid-back spot that specializes in Asian street food...Read More

  • 3. The Ravenous Pig

    $$$$ | Modern American

    The first local restaurant to break into the gastro-pub category, the Pig is one of the area's most popular foodie destinations and has spawned...Read More

  • 4. Briarpatch Restaurant

    $$ | American

    Enjoy a decadent brunch on the outdoor patio of this local hot spot while taking in the sights and sounds of inviting Park Avenue. Southern...Read More

  • 5. Café Tu Tu Tango

    $$$ | International Drive | Eclectic

    The food here is served tapas-style, and although everything is appetizer-sized, it's plentiful and relatively inexpensive. The restaurant is...Read More

  • 6. Luke's Kitchen and Bar

    $$$ | American

    It's worth driving a few miles north for the American staples at this contemporary neighborhood eatery. The spacious dining room has a covered...Read More

  • 7. Seasons 52

    $$$ | Sand Lake Rd. Area | American

    It's hard to believe that a chain restaurant can offer healthful yet hearty and very flavorful food, but the innovative Seasons 52 does just...Read More

  • 8. Taverna Opa Orlando

    $$$ | International Drive | Greek

    In addition to excellent Greek staples and a nice selection of meze (small plates), this restaurant has a fun, high-energy ambience. The ouzo...Read More

  • 9. K Restaurant

    $$$$ | College Park | American

    K is a hot spot for locals, serving upscale, eclectic American and Italian cuisine in an intimate, neighborhood setting. Besides happy-hour...Read More

  • 10. The Rusty Spoon

    $$$ | Downtown Orlando | American

    Lovingly raised animals and locally grown produce are the menu foundation at this Downtown gastropub owned by chef Kathleen Blake, a multiple...Read More

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