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

A.D. Thompson

By , Local Expert, Orlando
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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 authentic barbecue at Orlando favorites like...  Read more »

  • 1

    K Restaurant

    K Restaurant, simply put, just ticks all the boxes: delicious, creative, friendly, casual, romantic and fun. And it does so consistently.

    Local Expert Tip: "Save room if you can for K's knock-out desserts like kitchen sink cookies and bacon-studded chocolate cake."

     
  • 2

    The Ravenous Pig

    Its innovative dishes have made the Ravenous Pig an Orlando -- and James Beard Foundation -- favorite. They...  Read more »

    Local Expert Tip: "Reservations recommended. Bar seating is first-come, first served. And if there's a tiny milkshake on the dessert menu? Order it. "

     
  • 3

    Kabooki Sushi

    As good for a date as a binge with your buds, Kabooki levels up sushi night with wonderful service, delicious fare and unexpected house-made desserts.

    Local Expert Tip: "I know this is going to be tough, but SAVE ROOM. Kabooki's rich, elegant desserts will make you forget the county-fair tempura cheesecake you often find in Japanese restaurants (even the good ones)!"

     
  • 4

    Chef's Table at the Edgewater

    • Cuisine: American
    • Average Main Course Price: $56

    Some diners say a prix fixe setup makes dinner out feel more posh; Chef's Table delivers tempting fare and historic charm sans stuffiness.

    Local Expert Tip: "Can't get a (Chef's) Table and craving its kitchen's delights? Enjoy small plates and craft cocktails at the casual Tasting Room, its spin-off eatery right next door!"

     
  • 5

    Bull & Bear Steakhouse

    • Cuisine: Seafood, Steakhouse
    • Average Main Course Price: $50
    • Neighborhood: Walt Disney World ®

    That Tomahawk is reason enough to put Bull & Bear on this list, but truly: if an ultimate steakhouse experience is what you crave, come.

    Local Expert Tip: "Bull & Bear's Lemon dessert is not just delicious, it's a fascinating example of the sweet spot where culinary art and science fall in love and make babies. "

     
  • 6

    Norman's

    You're looking for the best, right? If Ritz-Carlton can rely on Norman Van Aken to represent its interests, it's safe to say you probably can, too.

    Local Expert Tip: "When in Rome.... Norman Van Aken is a proud Floridian, so I say embrace the region. If they're offering something key lime come dessert, grab it. "

     
  • 7

    Yellow Dog Eats

    Unique, cozy, off-the-path. Good comfort food in indoor/outdoor digs that are herbivore-, carnivore- and doggie-friendly.

    Local Expert Tip: "Get a side of the coleslaw with cranberries, nuts and a little spice -- a YDE tradition."

     
  • 8

    Stefano's Trattoria

    • Cuisine: European, Italian
    • Average Main Course Price: $16
    • Neighborhood: East Orlando

    Stefano's doesn't get one F. It gets two. Not for "fancy," but "family-friendly."

    Local Expert Tip: "Don't come here expecting experimental, artily-plated "takes" on classic Italian. Just come hungry."

     
  • 9

    4Rivers Smokehouse

    Love Q? You may have to wait in one. But Orlando's fervent 4Rivers fanatics never seem to mind.

    Local Expert Tip: "So hard to resist making a list of 4Rivers recommendations, but if I only had two words, they'd be "burnt ends.""

     
  • 10

    Pho 88

    • Cuisine: Asian, Vietnamese
    • Average Main Course Price: $9
    • Neighborhood: Colonialtown

    Orlando enjoys the rich culture of the largest Vietnamese community in Florida. Pho 88 offers visitors a delicious taste of it.

    Local Expert Tip: "Pho 88 is in a great area for exploring the wonderfully diverse Mills50 district - cute shops, great bars and restaurants. Take a look around before or after your meal. "

     

 

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