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. Harambe Market

    $ | Animal Kingdom

    Carved into the walkway leading to the Wildlife Express train, this four-station food mart offers a selection of ribs or chicken bowls and salads. Everyone...Read More

  • 3. 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

  • 4. Maria & Enzo's Ristorante

    $$$ | Disney Springs

    This complex of three restaurants is a haven of authentic Italian cuisine served up by two internationally known chefs (though the Disney "story" tells of...Read More

  • 5. Raglan Road Irish Pub

    $$$ | Disney Springs

    If an authentic Irish pub—actually transported from the Old Country plank by plank—is your thing, Raglan Road is the place. In addition to excellent fish-and-chips...Read More

  • 6. Sanaa

    $$$ | Animal Kingdom Resort Area

    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

  • 7. Satu'li Canteen

    $ | Animal Kingdom

    Situated in the heart of Pandora, Satu'li walks a line between fast-casual and fine dining with counter service and surprisingly sophisticated, internationally inspired dishes. The...Read More

  • 8. 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

  • 9. 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

  • 10. 50's Prime Time Café

    $$$ | Disney's Hollywood Studios

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

  • 11. 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

  • 12. Baseline Tap House

    $$$ | Disney's Hollywood Studios

    This eatery (re)creates a downtown Los Angeles corner pub, serving California wines and craft beers. Charcuterie boards featuring California cheeses and Bavarian pretzels with fondue...Read More

  • 13. 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

  • 14. Big River Grille & Brewing Works

    $$ | EPCOT Resort Area

    Strange but good brews—Rocket Red Ale, Southern Flyer Light Lager, Steamboat Pale Ale, Gadzooks Pilsner—abound at this microbrewery, where you can sip your suds inside...Read More

  • 15. Casey's Corner

    $ | Magic Kingdom

    At Casey's Corner there are seven ways to enjoy a classic American hot dog—one even features strawberry-bacon jam. The corn-dog nuggets are a perfect snack...Read More

  • 16. Chef Art Smith's Homecomin'

    $$$ | Disney Springs

    Superstar chef Art Smith, recognized by foodies for having worked for Oprah and cooked for heads of state, incorporates ingredients from nearby farms, ranches, and...Read More

  • 17. Chefs de France

    $$$ | EPCOT

    This plush, bustling brasserie remains true to the spirit and the vision of Paul Bocuse, Gaston Lenôtre, and Roger Vergé, three of France's most famous...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. City Works Eatery and Pour House

    $$ | Disney Springs

    Nearly 100 beers as well as eight wines on tap provide reasons enough for Disney guests and a fair share of Disney cast members to...Read More

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