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

    This massive restaurant offers a Beauty and the Beast theme, French flair, and the Magic Kingdom's first wine and beer served with a prix-fixe menu...Read More

  • 2. Boma–Flavors of Africa

    $$$$ | Animal Kingdom Resort Area

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

  • 3. California Grill

    $$$$ | Magic Kingdom Resort Area

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

  • 4. Capa

    $$$$ | Magic Kingdom Resort Area

    The menu at this chic, modern dining room atop the luxury Four Seasons resort highlights the culinary culture of Spain, starting with authentic tapas and...Read More

  • 5. Flying Fish

    $$$$ | EPCOT Resort Area

    One of Disney World's finest restaurants has a menu heavy on seasonal seafood as well as steaks. Options include oak-grilled salmon, swordfish and exotic fare...Read More

  • 6. Jiko–The Cooking Place

    $$$$ | Animal Kingdom Resort Area

    "Jiko" means "the cooking place" in Swahili, and this restaurant is certainly that, offering a menu that is more African-inspired than purely African, as well...Read More

  • 7. Liberty Tree Tavern

    $$$$ | Magic Kingdom

    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...Read More

  • 8. Monsieur Paul

    $$$$ | EPCOT

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

  • 9. Takumi-Tei

    $$$$ | EPCOT

    Hidden in the back of the Japan Pavilion, intimate Takumi-Tei is split into five rooms inspired by different things: water, wood, earth, stone, and washi...Read More

  • 10. Tiffins

    $$$$ | Animal Kingdom

    Inspired by the worldwide journeys of Disney Imagineers, this wildly popular, upscale restaurant is possibly the best theme-park eatery—period. The menu is international, the inventive...Read More

  • 11. Tusker House

    $$$$ | Animal Kingdom

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

  • 12. Victoria & Albert's

    $$$$ | Magic Kingdom Resort Area

    A well-polished service team anticipates your every need, providing a truly sophisticated dining experience, one in which children under 10 aren't on the guest list....Read More

  • 13. 1900 Park Fare

    $$$$ | Magic Kingdom Resort Area

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

  • 14. Akershus Royal Banquet Hall

    $$$$ | EPCOT

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

  • 15. Biergarten Restaurant

    $$$$ | EPCOT

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

  • 16. Cape May Cafe

    $$$$ | EPCOT Resort Area

    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 buffet meals....Read More

  • 17. Chef Mickey's

    $$$$ | Magic Kingdom Resort Area

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

  • 18. Chip 'n' Dale Harvest Feast at Garden Grill Restaurant

    $$$$ | EPCOT

    Family-style dinner fare is served here as the restaurant revolves, giving you an ever-changing backstage view of the Living with the Land boat ride. Offering...Read More

  • 19. Cinderella's Royal Table

    $$$$ | Magic Kingdom

    Cinderella and other Disney princesses appear at this eatery in the castle's old mead hall, offering prix-fixe Fairyland dining as only Disney can supply. The...Read More

  • 20. Citricos

    $$$$ | Magic Kingdom Resort Area

    With an ambitious menu that's fundamentally American—with influences of Tuscan, Provençal, and Spanish-Mediterranean cuisine—this Grand Floridian restaurant is one of the resort's best dollar-to-dining options....Read More

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