30 Best Restaurants In Orlando

Despite being the gateway to the theme park capital of the world and being one of the cities included in the recently launched Michelin Guide to Florida, Orlando remains wildly underrated as a dining destination. Too often, this thriving and vibrant metropolis gets lumped in with Universal Studios and Walt Disney World — the latter of which is about 30 minutes away, decidedly not within city limits. And while these iconic destinations are wonderful in their own ways, and Disney World, in particular, is home to some amazing restaurants, The City Beautiful deserves more attention as a cultural epicenter on par with anything else in Florida or America at large.

For a city too often glossed over with Mickey-shaped pretzels and Dole Whip, it might surprise you to discover the surplus of excellent, diverse, and innovative restaurants throughout Orlando and its colorful neighborhoods. Naturally, Floridian cuisine abounds, but there's far more to the restaurant landscape here than fresh seafood and Southern influences. From modern Filipino fare and New York City-worthy bialys to stunning omakase and Latin-accented barbecue, this is one of the most dynamic foodie cities in the country, and these are some of the best restaurants to prove that.

The Strand

When it comes to quintessential neighborhood bistros, it doesn't get much better than The Strand. Located along an action-packed stretch of the Mills 50 neighborhood, housed in a former corner diner, this is the kind of reliable, consistent joint that blends retro vibes with chic accents and uses vibrant seasonal ingredients for dishes both classic and neoteric.

While keeping a few mainstays for its loyal regulars, much of the menu rotates regularly, offering plates like snapper cakes, cacio e pepe deviled eggs, grilled peach salad, and mango-glazed salmon — all of which pairs perfectly with The Strand's expertly curated natural wine selection.

Deli Desires

One of the best surprises of the current dining scene in Orlando is the fact that some of the best bialys in the country are tucked within a blink-and-you'll-miss-it corner plaza. A real-deal taste of New York City-caliber delis, Deli Desires is a bright takeout-only operation that puts the spotlight on bialys rather than bagels.

Similar to bagels, bialys are doughy European-originated delicacies that feature indentations instead of holes — and said indents are filled with things like cream cheese, smoked whitefish, and labneh, as at Deli Desires. Bialys are available plain, schmeared, or sandwiched, along with coffee, espresso, house-made sodas, and other snacks.

Pizza Bruno

Orlando, in many ways as a hub for national and international travelers and transplants, is the ultimate American melting pot. One prime example is Pizza Bruno, a convivial Italian operation from Bruno Zacchini, who developed a verve for pizza while spending summers on the Jersey shore.

He brought that passion home to Florida with Pizza Bruno, a Jersey-meets-Napoli hot spot slinging excellent hand-stretched Neapolitan pizza, shareable snacks like garlic knots and wood-fired octopus, and a sterling wine list. Try the Lover Boy Blue pizza with mozzarella, fontina, rosemary, blueberries, bacon, honey, basil, and burrata.

Otto's High Dive

A hip and flashy newcomer in the Milk District, Otto's High Dive has a vibe and flavor more akin to Miami; with tropical decor and Cuban plates aplenty. Billed as a neighborhood rum bar, it feels remiss to pass this place off as a watering hole, considering the depth and creativity of its food menu.

Skewing Cuban, dishes include pineapple-tinged crab salad, lemony hearts of palm salad, and meltingly tender rope vieja with rice and beans. Cocktails are playful and vibrant, served in mugs like coconuts and gilded flamingos, like the Pandamerican with rums, pandan leaf, coconut milk, citrus, and pineapple. And don't sleep on the tres leches cake.

The Wellborn

Nestled off the highway, in a jungle-like grotto anchored by an antebellum-style mansion from 1917, The Wellborn is the quintessential hidden gem that manages to modernize something treasured. With a huge courtyard and two-floor house, the restaurant features plenty of whimsical space in which to enjoy small plates like shrimp a la plancha, spinach and artichoke croquettes, and guava cheesecake, along with cocktails like the Guavacita with rum, guava, banana syrup, lime, and coconut cream.

Nomad Lounge

Visiting Orlando without going to Disney World at least a little bit would be tantamount to visiting Paris and skipping the Eiffel Tower. Beyond attractions, Disney World contains some destination-worthy restaurants all its own — chief among them, Nomad Lounge is a vibey travel-inspired eatery and bar in Animal Kingdom. The wraparound terrace, overlooking a river, is the ideal spot to hunker down with Cuban Frita Sliders, Tiffins Bread Service, and a cocktail, like the Night Monkey with dark rum, guava, coffee syrup, lime juice, and cilantro.

Tori Tori

Dark, convivial, and communal, Tori Tori perfectly captures the ethos and energy of a Japanese izakaya. This perpetually popular spot is a fixture for groups looking to convene over small shareable plates, including blue crab croquettes, Wagyu gyoza, Japanese fried chicken, and yakitori and skewers galore, along with sake, Japanese beer, Japanese whisky, and fizzy highballs. The lofty space is anchored by an enormous central bar, a prime perch for imbibing and dining.


Hidden inside a nondescript shoebox-sized space in Audubon Park, Kadence is a sushi and sake bar specializing in elaborate, ever-changing omakase tasting menus. The reservation-only space, comprised of a small sushi bar in a simple white room, provides a veritable blank canvas for dexterous sushi chefs to slice and serve the finest fish and seafood available. Per the nature of omakase, tasting menus change constantly, but rest assured, there will be a guaranteed degustation of fish at its freshest, with optional sake pairings.

New General Cafe

Located in the bucolic community of Winter Park, in a twee space reminiscent of Rose Apothecary from "Schitt's Creek," New General Cafe is a part modern general store and part wholesome cafe, allowing guests to peruse curated wares and sundries as they await their grain bowls and frittatas. Emphasizing healthful, nourishing whole foods, the breakfast and lunch menu features the likes of broccoli-filled crêpes, cashew butter pancakes with strawberry basil chia compote, and fluffy frittatas studded with sweet potatoes and kale.


Casual fine dining is the bill of fare at this stunning Filipino newcomer, presenting lustrous and ornate dishes in a funky and whimsical dining room. The heartfelt vision of chef Lordfer Lalicon and general manager Jamilyn Salonga Bailey, Kaya uses fresh Florida ingredients — especially vegetables and seafood — to craft multi-course feasts (a la carte options are also available). Menus change often, but some examples include mung bean noodles with Italian brown mushrooms, fried tilefish with tamarind green goddess, and smoked seafood sausage in spicy coconut sauce.

The Monroe

Housed within a whopping 4,000-square-foot space in Creative Village, The Monroe is an artsy and expressive restaurant where the culinary art echoes the elaborate mid-century decor. By day, customers can swing by for coffee and pastries, but by night, it pivots to full-service menus rooted in childhood Americana nostalgia, with a dash of Floridian finesse.

Look for rye-battered pastrami corn dogs, double-dredged fried chicken, barbecued rainbow carrots, and pimento cheese with Ritz crackers, followed by a blueberry shortcake for dessert. Wash it all down with a selection of crafty cocktails, wines, and beers.

1921 Mount Dora

Art is on full display at 1921 Mount Dora, an ornate manor of a restaurant that features contemporary Floridian cuisine alongside a rotating gallery of art from the Modernism Museum. Located in a home built in 1921 (hence the name), menus change daily reflective of seasonality. They include the likes of wood oven-roasted oysters with beef tallow and escargots butter, cream of mushroom bisque with blue crab salad, red snapper with Roman gnocchi, and lamb shank with a kaleidoscopic slaw of Georgia peaches, zucchini, and radish.

Luke's Kitchen & Bar

Everything is scratch-made — and frequently wood-fired — at this industrial-chic modern American venture in Maitland. Luke's Kitchen & Bar, from chefs Ricky Ferraro and Brandon McGlamery, features a vast menu of contemporary comfort foods, like seeded milk bread with whipped olive butter, crispy green tomatoes with crab-corn relish, Florida fish fritters with celery root remoulade, and swordfish schnitzel. Luke's recently added a new outdoor lounge and wood-fired oven, used to sling flatbreads.

Black Bean Deli

Respecting the past and embracing the future is the underlying tenet at Black Bean Deli, a duo of boutique Cuban eateries in Winter Park and Orlando, where ownership honors timeworn cultural traditions while serving it up in a stylish fast-casual setting. Open for breakfast and lunch, classic and novel dishes and snacks abound — look for cafe con leche, ham croquetas, and guava pastelitos alongside slow-roasted pork bowls, Spanish baked chicken, and tuna salad sandwiches on buttery Cuban bread. And speaking of Cuban bread, the classic Cuban sandwich — with sweet ham, roast pork, Swiss cheese, and pickles — is superb.

The Ravenous Pig

The handiwork of husband-wife duo James and Julie Petrakis, The Ravenous Pig was at the forefront of Orlando's culinary renaissance when it emerged in Winter Park in 2007. Emphasizing local and sustainable ingredients and scratch-made diligence, the gastropub-style restaurant has been clamorously popular ever since. While the menu changes often, you can expect shareable displays like charcuterie, truffle-kissed ciabatta loaves, shrimp scampi tagliatelle, chicken-fried quail, and Thai curry mussels, plus all manner of cocktails, wines, and beers from its own brewery.

The Polite Pig

Florida may not be regarded as a barbecue hub, but The Polite Pig — a fast-casual venture from the folks behind Winter Park's lauded Ravenous Pig — deserves top billing with the finest American pitmasters. Located at Disney Springs, follow the wafting aroma of smoked meat for a multifaceted menu of inventive barbecue riffs. Along with classic staples, like brisket sandwiches and pulled pork platters, unique options include hop salt pretzels, BBQ cauliflower, crispy Brussels sprouts in whiskey caramel, and sweet potato tots.

The Osprey

Modern coastal cuisine takes the stage at The Osprey, a stunning and sprawling restaurant in the quaint Baldwin Park neighborhood. Anchored by a huge central bar and an open kitchen, this spirited entry from Good Salt Restaurant Group traffics in sustainable Floridian seafood, presented with lavish luster.

Caviar service, oysters, and seafood platters are offered alongside more casual fare like flounder sashimi, blue crab hush puppies, cioppino, whole Mediterranean sea bass, and fish & chips. Cocktails, meanwhile, offer spins on the classics, like a dirty martini riff with miso and nori.


It doesn't get much more intimate — or elaborate — than Soseki, a 10-seat Michelin-starred restaurant in Winter Park offering multi-course omakase tasting menus. The dark, lengthy space is sleek and simple, keeping the spotlight on the always-changing spree of sliced sashimi and nigiri, courtesy of chef Michael Collantes.

To match, wine and sake pairings are curated by award-winning sommelier Benjamin Coutts. If all this wasn't decadent enough, Soseki also offers at-home omakases, so you can enjoy a chef-prepared tasting menu in the comfort of your own dining room.


House-made noodles are the bread and butter at Domu, an eternally buzzy ramen shop at East End Market (there are two newer locations in the Dr. Phillips neighborhood and Jacksonville). Here where it all began, folks still flock for brothy bowls of classic and contemporary ramen, plus inventive Japanese small plates, sake, Japanese whisky, and quenching cocktails. Start with an Asian bun or beet poke, then dive into a bowl of classic tonkotsu ramen or the smoldering curry ramen with fried chicken, beech mushrooms, and Thai chili paste.

The Hollywood Brown Derby

A gilded throwback to the Golden Age of Hollywood, and an anchor restaurant at Disney's Hollywood Studios, The Hollywood Brown Derby is a timeless dining treasure that makes guests feel like they've been transported into a movie. Old-school Americana is the bill of fare, exemplified by dishes like crab Louie, shrimp cocktail, and the signature Cobb salad. There's also a huge wine and spirits list, and the restaurant makes a particularly mean — and uber-boozy — Manhattan.

Black Rooster Taqueria

As colorful as confetti, modern Mexican cuisine is served against a vibrant backdrop at Black Rooster Taqueria. With two Orlando locations, both have amassed fanfare for chef John Calloway's unique twists on tradition.

Starters include meatball sopes and nachos heaped with egg and smoked kale, while tacos come stuffed with shiitake mushrooms, crispy whitefish, smoked kale, and seared beef. Pair it all with cilantro poblano rice and finish off with the chocolate-chipotle flan with peanut butter and berry sauce.

Pig Floyd's Urban Barbakoa

A far cry from your standard barbecue, "remixed recipes" are the approach at Pig Floyd's Urban Barbakoa, a fast-casual joint fusing American barbecue with influences from Latin America and beyond. The menu goes way beyond the standard 'cue, with items like Mexican street corn fries, brisket tostadas, pulled pork banh mi, and sandwiches piled with pimento cheese. They also serve barbecue bento boxes and tacos filled with butter chicken and smoked brisket burgers.

Reyes Mezcaleria

Authentic regional Mexican cuisine shines at Reyes Mezcaleria, a vast and lofty downtown stunner emphasizing freshness, seasonality, and sustainability. Served up in decadent digs, the menu features mariscos like citrusy snapper ceviche and red shrimp aguachile, followed by mushroom tamals, roasted sweet potato tostadas, crispy snapper tacos, and duck enchiladas. To drink, the bar is stocked with more than 150 agave spirits, with an emphasis on mezcal — available to sip, sample, or mix and match.

Beefy King

A true slice of old-school Americana, they don't make sandwich shops like Beefy King anymore. Open since 1968, and still kicking in its retro space lined with timeworn photos and awards, the vintage fast-food staple specializes in burly roast beef sandwiches on hot Kaiser rolls, with other options like ham, pastrami, and smoked turkey. In true fast-food fashion, the family-owned icon also has a drive-thru , and prices are still dirt-cheap for the hulking portions.


Etherial, sunny, and breezy, Prato is about as close to the Italian countryside as you're gonna get in central Florida. The vision of executive chef Brandon McGlamery, the Winter Park restaurant features a popular patio, window-paned doors, and a stone-lined floor, with a menu of fresh, seasonal Italian fare fused with local ingredients.

Diners can expect inventive riffs on red-sauce staples, like pretzel-crusted calamari, fennel arancini with English pea gremolata, and mustard spaghettini cacio e pepe. Don't miss the masterful wood-fired pizzas, either.

Papa Llama

Peruvian cuisine shines at Papa Llama, a luminous and lively restaurant in the Curry Ford neighborhood, where diners convene in an intimate art-filled room over natural wine and South American tasting menus. Five-course prix fixe menus peddle a rotating array of Peruvian flavors, like red snapper with charred banana leaf, beef tenderloin aji panca, charred fingerling potatoes in aji amarillo cream, short rib al carbon, and honey-kissed sweet potato doughnuts. Cooked in a wood-fired open kitchen, it's all courtesy of chef/owner Kevin Ruiz.

Norman's Orlando

A veritable culinary godfather of fusion cooking and New World cuisine, famed chef Norman Van Aken recently reopened his eponymous Norman's Orlando, and the food is as stunning as ever. The beautiful restaurant, complete with a 4,000-bottle wine cellar exhibits Van Aken's penchant for globe-trotting cuisine, with examples like seared scallops with boniato and queso fresco tortellini, chilled beef tenderloin tataki with ginger-soy dressing, and guava barbecued chicken with mac & cheese croquette.

King Bao

Buns and tots are the focal points at King Bao, a whimsical fast-casual Asian entry with two locations in Orlando. Each cute storefront showcases fluffy bao buns with atypical fillings, like Maryland-style crab cake, sweet potato croquettes, and tempura whitefish, while tater tots are the house side, heaped with the likes of braised pork and cheddar sauce. Bao is available for dessert too — finish with the fried Tarzan bao stuffed with Nutella and bananas.

The Moderne

Posh and stylish, The Moderne provides an elegant and trendy setting in which to sample a miscellany of Asian-inspired tapas, noodles, rice dishes, and sushi. Optimal for sharing, small plates run the gamut from poutine topped with curried gravy and chashu pork quesadillas to scallop skewers and Wagyu bibimbap. Cocktails are just as paramount, offering an always-changing lineup of libations, like the Milk Man, an orange creamsicle milk punch with vodka, Cointreau, Benedictine, and Earl Grey tea.

Victoria & Albert's

Easily the ritziest restaurant in Disney World, hidden away inside a clandestine luxurious dining room inside the Grand Floridian Resort & Spa, Victoria & Albert's typifies decadent fine dining. It's tasting menus only at this fine dining temple, with two menu options per evening, each course an artistic rendering of seasonal ingredients.

Pairings are available from the resort's 500-bottle wine list. Between its immaculate cuisine and delicate decor inspired by an English garden, it's an apt opportunity to get dolled up and dine like Disney royalty.