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. Black Rooster Taqueria

    $ | Central Orlando

    Nestled in the funky Mills 50 neighborhood, this small, casual, award-winning taco place serves corn tortillas and fresh guacamole with every dish. Tacos like the...Read More

  • 2. Cask & Larder

    $$ | Airport Area

    People have been known to check their bags at the airport and then go back through security and change terminals just to eat at C&L....Read More

  • 3. Ethos Vegan Kitchen

    $$

    Ethos has been vegan for so long (it opened in 2007) that if feels as if the rest of the culinary world has simply caught...Read More

  • 4. Hawkers

    $ | Mills 50 District

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

  • 5. Luke's Kitchen & Bar

    $$$

    At this restaurant, award-winning, James Beard–nominated chef Braden McGlamery emphasizes innovative American dishes. Sophisticated barbecue might find a place on the menu next to Florida...Read More

  • 6. Peperoncino

    $$$ | Sand Lake Rd. Area

    You'll be transported to Calabria at this comfortable Italian restaurant, which is divided into a trattoria and a pizzeria. Chef-owners Barbara Alfano and Danilo Martorano...Read More

  • 7. Prato

    $$$

    Progressive Italian cuisine in a casual, bustling, wood-and-brick setting immediately made Prato a local favorite. Every item, from the pancetta to the amaretti, is crafted...Read More

  • 8. Primo

    $$$$ | South Orlando

    Chef Melissa Kelly cloned her Italian-organic Maine restaurant in an upscale Orlando hotel and brought her farm-to-table sensibilities with her. Homemade pasta, Florida meats, and...Read More

  • 9. Reyes Mezcaleria

    $$$ | Central Orlando

    Standing out in a town saturated with taco places, Reyes brings authentic (read: real Mexican) cuisine in the form of Michoacán-born chef Wendy Lopez, who...Read More

  • 10. Se7en Bites

    $$ | Central Orlando

    Trina Gregory-Propst and her team of bakers and cooks make the biggest and most satisfying breakfasts, lunches, and sweet treats in town. Try a from-scratch...Read More

  • 11. Seito Sushi and New Japanese

    $$$ | Central Orlando

    The epitome of modern Japanese cuisine, Seito offers crowd-pleasing traditional and contemporary ramen bowls as well as unique, handcrafted sushi combinations and Japanese "kitchen food."...Read More

  • 12. Soco

    $$$ | Thornton Park

    In the talented hands of executive chef Greg Richie, Southern staples get mighty fancy at Soco, and both the menu and the decor mesh classic...Read More

  • 13. Susuru

    $ | Sand Lake Rd. Area

    A retro-themed Japanese bar–suburban rec room, Susuru serves memorable charcoal-grilled skewers, ramen, chicken karaage (deep fried in oil), tempura, and tofu bowls. Bar bites, craft...Read More

  • 14. The Ravenous Pig

    $$$$

    The Pig established the gastro-pub category in Orlando and then went on to spawn several offshoots. Run by James and Julie Petrakis, a husband-and-wife chef...Read More

  • 15. Boxi Park

    $$ | Lake Nona

    With nine permanent food and drink vendors, all housed in colorful repurposed shipping containers, Boxi Park is like a big, stationary, food-truck park, just with...Read More

  • 16. Dragonfly Robata Grill & Sushi

    $$ | Sand Lake Rd. Area

    Sleek and stylish, Dragonfly is a bit of everything the young and beautiful people want: a pretty space featuring sushi, colorful martinis, and modern, izakaya-style...Read More

  • 17. Kabooki Sushi

    $$$ | Sand Lake Rd. Area

    Sushi-ya Henry Moso makes hip, modern day variants of old school sushi, with everything from standard spicy tuna rolls to tempura-fried St. Louis sticky ribs....Read More

  • 18. Luke's Kitchen and Bar

    $$$

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

  • 19. Maxine's on Shine

    $$$ | Downtown Orlando

    A holdover from when neighborhood restaurants were actually in a neighborhood, award-winning Maxine's is casual, hip, local, and friendly. The menu ranges from sophisticated seafood...Read More

  • 20. Nona Blue

    $$$ | Lake Nona

    Part tavern, part bistro, and part sports bar, Nona Blue has a little something for everyone. Kettle chips smothered in blue cheese or Buffalo chicken...Read More

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