Walt Disney World Orlando Restaurants

The dining scene in Orlando was at one time epitomized by a plethora of fast-food fare, but there's been such an explosion of artisanal and locally sourced restaurants over the past five years that there are now seven local chefs and nine international celebrity chefs with James Beard Award nominations around the city. Some of the best restaurants in town can be found in resort hotels and theme-park complexes such as Disney Springs, but if you have the time, explore the local treasures beyond the resorts.

The signs of Orlando's dining progress 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. Chefs at Disney’s table-service restaurants consult face-to-face with guests about food allergies.

Around town, locals flock to the Ravenous Pig, the Rusty Spoon, Artisan's Table, 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. And in 2013, Disney 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 Downtown Orlando 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. Be Our Guest

    $$$$ | Magic Kingdom | French

    This massive restaurant offers a Beauty and the Beast theme, French flair, and the Magic Kingdom's first wine and beer served at lunch and...Read More

  • 2. Boma–Flavors of Africa

    $$$$ | Animal Kingdom Resort Area | African

    Boma takes Western-style ingredients and prepares them with an African twist. You walk through an African marketplace–style dining room to help...Read More

  • 3. California Grill

    $$$$ | Magic Kingdom Resort Area | American

    The view of the surrounding Disney parks from this 15th-floor restaurant—the World's signature dining establishment since 1995—is as stunning...Read More

  • 4. Flying Fish

    $$$$ | EPCOT Resort Area | Seafood

    Flying Fish has maintained its place as one of Disney World's finest restaurants, with a menu heavy on the freshest seasonal seafood as well...Read More

  • 5. Jiko

    $$$$ | Animal Kingdom Resort Area | African

    The name of this restaurant means "the cooking place" in Swahili, and it is certainly that, offering a menu that is more African-inspired than...Read More

  • 6. Liberty Tree Tavern

    $$$$ | Magic Kingdom | American

    Now serving beer and wine, this formerly dry tavern holds a prime spot on the parade route, so you can have a good meal while you wait. Each...Read More

  • 7. Monsieur Paul

    $$$$ | EPCOT | French

    A mere staircase away from EPCOT's busy World Showcase, Monsieur Paul is a subdued, sophisticated (and not very kid-friendly) French restaurant...Read More

  • 8. Raglan Road Irish Pub

    $$$ | Disney Springs | Irish

    If an authentic Irish pub—actually transported from the Old Country plank by plank—is your thing, Raglan Road is the place to go, for superb...Read More

  • 9. Sanaa

    $$$ | Animal Kingdom Resort Area | African

    Most of the flavors are from India, yet Sanaa is really a celebration of the Spice Islands—locales off the coast of Africa that for centuries...Read More

  • 10. Tiffins

    $$$$ | Animal Kingdom | International

    Inspired by the worldwide journeys of Disney Imagineers, Tiffins is the theme-parks' newest upscale sit-down restaurant and possibly the best...Read More

  • 11. Tusker House

    $$$$ | Animal Kingdom | African

    This good-value restaurant offers all-buffet dining three meals a day, and a Donald's safari-themed character crew complements the African-esque...Read More

  • 12. Victoria & Albert's

    $$$$ | Magic Kingdom Resort Area | Modern American

    At this ultraposh restaurant, a well-polished service team will anticipate your every need, providing one of the plushest fine-dining experiences...Read More

  • 13. 1900 Park Fare

    $$$$ | Magic Kingdom Resort Area | American

    Disney characters delight guests throughout the day at this sprawling, though dainty, lobby restaurant. Mary Poppins and friends join guests...Read More

  • 14. 50's Prime Time Café

    $$ | Disney's Hollywood Studios | American

    If you grew up in middle America in the 1950s—or if you're just a fan of classic TV shows like I Love Lucy and The Donna Reed Show —you'll...Read More

  • 15. Akershus Royal Banquet Hall

    $$$$ | Epcot | Scandinavian

    This restaurant has character buffets at all three meals, with an array of Disney princesses, including Ariel, Belle, Jasmine, Snow White, Aurora...Read More

  • 16. Biergarten Restaurant

    $$$$ | Epcot | German

    Oktoberfest runs 365 days a year here, where cheerful crowds and an oompah band set the stage for a buffet of German specialties. The menu and...Read More

  • 17. Big River Grille & Brewing Works

    $$ | Epcot Resort Area | American

    Strange but good brews, like Rocket Red Ale, Southern Flyer Light Lager, Steamboat Pale Ale, and Gadzooks Pilsner, abound here at Walt Disney...Read More

  • 18. Cape May Cafe

    $$$$ | Epcot Resort Area | Seafood

    With the feel of a New England seafood house—the type your grandma might enjoy—this bustling spot in the Beach Club Resort features popular...Read More

  • 19. Chef Mickey's

    $$$$ | Magic Kingdom Resort Area | American

    The fact that the Disney monorail zooms overhead right through the Contemporary Resort, and that Mickey, Minnie, or Goofy hang around for breakfast...Read More

  • 20. Chefs de France

    $$$ | EPCOT | French

    A busy, bustling brasserie with a plush look, this French café maintains its original spirit, which was created by three of France's most famous...Read More

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