The Best Restaurants in Orlando, Florida

Known primarily as the home of Walt Disney World, Orlando also boasts a vibrant dining scene / PIxabay
Known primarily as the home of Walt Disney World, Orlando also boasts a vibrant dining scene / PIxabay
Photo of Nick Dauk
30 July 2021

In – and within – an easy drive of Orlando are some of the best places to eat in Florida – casual spots and upscale oases where everything from flawless southern comfort food to zingy Asian flavors come your way. Here are the best restaurants in Orlando.

The COOP

Restaurant, American, $$$
Map View
COOP-Chicken-Tenders
© The COOP
Feast your eyes on the plump buttermilk-battered chicken tenders – the size will tell you everything you need to know about the irresistible made-from-scratch comfort food from Winter Park’s homey joint, the COOP. The creamy mac-and-cheese melts almost as decadently as a slice of warm bread pudding. Soft cornbread, crispy hush puppies – plus all the fixings you’d expect from a southern affair – will leave you stuffed. Loosen up your belt, you’re not leaving without a slice of cake the size of your face.

Lazy Moon

Restaurant, Pizzeria, American
Map View

Got a hankering for hand-tossed pizza and a hoppy craft beer? Serving slices 20 inches long and cold bottles of Lagunitas Little Sumpin’ Sumpin’ Ale, Lazy Moon has your name written all over it. Students can’t get enough of the aged dough and homemade sauces, so settle in and watch a soccer match or take a pie to-go – while onlookers stifle giggles – to see if you can fit that 30-inch box into your tiny rental car.

Domu

Restaurant, Ramen, $$$
Map View
image-asset (1)
© Domu
East End Market – the neighborhood food hall in the Audubon Park Garden District – may have cookies the size of your fist and artisan cheese from provinces you’ve never heard of. But it’s Domu’s house-made ramen noodles that’ll bring you to this foodie hub for dinner. Inhale the peppery scent of a spicy curry bowl or go brothless with buttery uni mazemen – creamy coated noodles with sea urchin and crunchy seaweed. It’s known to most that at Domu, you dig in deep.

Kadence

Restaurant, Sushi, $$$
Map View

With so much attention focused on East End Market, Kadence hides in plain sight one block away. Reservations-only with zero signage, this small black building hosts a mere 10 guests for its signature multi-course sushi tasting menu. Sashimi, nigiri and fishy chirashi join the season’s freshest ingredients, including imported wasabi plants – no faux horseradish mix in sight. Order in sufficient sake to drink your fill and you’ve got an unforgettable, utterly exclusive experience.

Knife and Spoon

Restaurant, American
Map View
Knife & Spoon 1
Courtesy of Knife and Spoon / Expedia.com
Welcome to the most recent endeavor from Anthony Bourdain-approved chef, John Tesar – Knife and Spoon – setting a very high bar for fine dining in Orlando. Best known for the king-crab scampi in parsley and garlic froth, bucatini pasta swimming in squid ink, and a regal 32-ounce dry-aged Akaushi bone-in ribeye, this place is truly spectacular. Add a dazzling, daring cocktail list – try the swooningly good seared-citrus Old Fashioned – and you’ll discover why Knife and Spoon is a cut above the competition in Orlando’s fine-dining address book.

Se7en Bites

Restaurant, American, $$$
Map View

Another delicious destination that the uninitiated can all too easily bypass, Se7en Bites serves up nostalgic southern staples that sell out fast. Breakfast and lunch are served here, with both menus available all day. So, even if you rise very late with severe hunger pangs you can still order from their biscuit menu – we recommend the 7th Trimester variety, smothered in mac-n-cheese. And for lunch? The chicken pot pie, bulging with healthy vegetables, sates the keenest appetite. Full disclosure: these mammoth plates require more than seven bites.

Bosphorous

Restaurant, Turkish, $$$
Map View

Named after the great strait that cleaves Istanbul into east and west, this marvelous restaurant concept – with locations in Winter Park, Winter Garden and Lake Nona – cuts no corners with its Anatolian cuisine. All meats are fresh –and halal – and most ingredients are imported directly from Turkey to give you a true taste of a diverse country that’s like no other. Whether you’re lunching or dining, you can request exquisitely crafted starter dips – think hummus and baba ganoush – with succulent mains. Perhaps hand-carved-lamb shish kebab, or sizzling good karides güveç – the national-classic shrimp casserole. Leave a little room for some divine chocolate hazelnut baklava.

Colorado Fondue Company

Restaurant, American, $$$
Map View

Less than a 10-minute drive out of Orlando, the city of Casselberry isn’t far enough to merit a mountainous landscape. But the rustic Colorado Fondue Company’s mission is to get your taste buds on an alpine trail. Yes, the clue’s in the name, referring to that classic calorific ski-resort shared dinner. Here they deliver course after course of fresh vegetables and thick cuts of meat. Drop your chicken, steak and shrimp onto a scalding rock, cook it how you like it, dip it into the cauldron of molten cheese and pop it into your mouth. You could be in St Moritz – minus the snow.

The Ravenous Pig

Restaurant, Gastropub, American, $$$
Map View
The Ravenous Pig, Winter Park
© The Ravenous Pig
The self-avowed porkers of Winter Park are always name-dropping this gastropub, currently upping its already-impressive small-batch craft beer game. You might book the restaurant – made brilliant by the dedication of husband-and-wife duo, James and Julie Petrakis. Get your hands – and chops – around a burger or fried chicken sandwich, or take a fork to goat cheese tortellini. Far be it from us to advise you against a liquid lunch, but the beer garden is a fine spot for lagers, ciders and IPAs.

Pom Pom’s Teahouse and Sandwiches

Sandwich Shop, Tea , Soup, American
Map View
Don’t expect mild and dainty finger sandwiches at Pom Pom’s. Owner Pom Moongauklang, from Thailand, rolls out east-meets-west gourmet sandwiches. We’re talking irresistible and original fillings such as turkey, stuffing, gouda and ginger-cranberry chutney – that’s Mama Ling Ling’s Thanksgiving sandwich. Or there’s the Asian BBQ Pulled Pork with scallions and Asian slaw. Classics like hot pastrami on rye won’t disappoint either – and everyone should try the Spicy Elvis, featuring banana, bacon, strawberry jelly and cayenne peanut butter: yes, it’s amazing.

This is an updated version of an article originally by Melissa RJ Mills.

Looking for more recommendations? There’s plenty of things to keep you busy, from exploring the most beautiful gardens in Orlando to enjoying natural wonders such as the best springs and the best beaches around. Enjoy a drink at one of the top bars in Orlando, then rest your weary head at one of the best hotels or boutique accommodation in the city.

These recommendations were updated on July 30, 2021 to keep your travel plans fresh.

Cookies Policy

We and our partners use cookies to better understand your needs, improve performance and provide you with personalised content and advertisements. To allow us to provide a better and more tailored experience please click "OK"