Orlando's Best Restaurants: Top-Tier Tables to Lauded Local Faves

Yes. Orlando has theme parks. Lots of ‘em. The best in the world, some might say (we certainly would). But we’re also a city of real-live people who might spend some of our date nights drinking around the world at Epcot... but not all of them. In recent years, our foodie scene has exploded. We’ve got James Beard nominees all over town, in fact. We’ve got fancy eats and food trucks and quite frankly, we like them all. And so do our record-breaking numbers of visitors. Sure, they love our Magic Kingdom's Dole Whips as much as we do. Who wouldn't?! But we also think they'll love the barbecue at Mills 50 favorites like Pig Floyd's or the creative, top-shelf offerings at Kabooki Sushi as as much as the rest of us. On this list, you’ll find the likes of international celebrity restaurateurs such as Norman Van Aken and our own, more local variety, like K Restaurant’s Kevin Fonzo (you’d do well, perhaps ,to remember his name) and you’ll also find one of our city's finest Vietnamese venues – Saigon Noodle. Did you know that we’ve got amazing Vietnamese food in spades here in Orlando? Well, you should. Step away from the kiosk chicken tenders, tourists. Our impressive culinary scene awaits….

Pig Floyd's Urban Barbakoa's location amid the multicultural stretch of Mills on which it sits is ideal, and not merely for the hip vibe its confines – particularly the lovely open-air section – help breed. With Caribbean, Latin and Asian...  Read More

So many gems of the Orlando metro's dining community are ensconced in anonymous (and ubiquitous) strip-mall digs and Stefano's Trattoria is just such a jewel, this one at the intersection of Red Bug and Tuskawilla Roads in Winter Springs. You're...  Read More

Norman Van Aken is a culinary legend – and a proud Floridian transplant, which plays nicely into delicious and often Latin-, Caribbean- and even Key West-infused fare. Sit outside and enjoy spectacular views of lakes, gardens and the...  Read More

Walt Disney World ®

Living up to its New York namesake's reputation, Orlando's version of Bull & Bear pulls out the stops with attentive service and a traditional, club-like steakhouse atmosphere with contemporary touches. Portions are hearty, beef is...  Read More

A sleek and intimate interior belies a strip-mall exterior on busy Colonial Drive near the Fashion Square Mall. It's a relatively new Orlando favorite for sushi and Asian fusion, with artful and generous presentation and a soothing, cosmopolitan...  Read More

The best restaurants are not always the fanciest restaurants. In fact, sometimes they're food stands in the middle of parking lots, as Shish.Co Mezze & Grill deftly illustrates with its mouthwatering doner bowls with pita draped beneath,...  Read More

The Ravenous Pig was among the first businesses to begin a new phase of transformation on this stretch of Orange Avenue in 2007 – and probably among the first to bring the term "gastropub" into the local lexicon, as well. Local is king here; a...  Read More

It's air-conditioned confines may be miles away from the sultry Southeast Asian climes in which one would enjoy the layered flavors of the Malaysian food stalls for which it is named, but Mamak Asian Street Food's plates – small and large –...  Read More

Intimate and chic, but hardly pretentious, the folks at Scratch makes you feel at home whether you've dropped in for a drink at the bar or to sample its sublime small plates (which you can also do at the bar). Its location on Fairbanks is just a...  Read More

Oh, K...when will the love affair end? Please say never. This College Park restaurant is an across-the-board favorite for down-home burger lovers and duck confit aficionados and everyone in between. Its menu is like Forrest Gump's proverbial box...  Read More


Meet A.D. Thompson

A.D. Thompson has spent more than 20 years as a professional writer and roughly 15 as a Floridian. The words, she has found, come easier with bare feet and rum.

A roller coaster enthusiast,...  More About A.D.

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