Grits 'n' Gravy: Great Picks for Homestyle Eats in Orlando

They call it comfort food for a reason. It makes us feel good. Warm in the belly and the heart. And that's not just because too much of it will necessitate the services of a cardiologist. The Orlando restaurants listed here are among the tops in town for down-homey delights, dishes you may not want to eat every day (and probably shouldn't), but are guaranteed to warm the soul. Lots of them offer breakfast and/or brunch. And nutritionists have long said we should make that the biggest meal of the day. Think about that if you’re feeling guilty for the warm, buttery biscuits and ladles of sausage gravy, then do an extra mile at the gym! Dixie Belle’s Café is the sort of place the servers will come to know you if you pop in regularly for country-style breakfast and lunch. Want something more upscale? Check out Thornton Park's posh SoCo or the Ritz-Carlton's lauded Highball & Harvest (where craft cocktails are a must!). Down in the tourist-laden I-Drive corridor, folks love the beyond heaping helpings available at the famed Hash House A Go-Go chain, where you may just want to order one plate per two diners in your party. It’s the sort of place where “come hungry” is better presented as “come starving.” Consider yourselves warned.


There's an old saying about eating breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dinner like a pauper. Hash House A Go Go's policy is all King, all the time. Serving up what this San Diego-based chain calls "twisted farm food," HHAGG does up...  Read More

From those who brought you the line-up-around-the-building flavors of the 4 Rivers Smokehouse comes the Coop. The focus here is fried chicken but visitors will find that and much more in its extensive, Southern-influenced menu. Beef oxtail stew,...  Read More


All the usual suspects of a breakfast/lunch joint are lined up for your inspection at Leo's, a downtown diner that's welcoming, warm and exceedingly casual. They also pile that food high because they know you love to eat. Big, classic breakfasts...  Read More

After beginning its life as an Orlando-area food truck, the Crooked Spoon's popularity began to swell and, lo and behold, it became a full-fledged restaurant in the rolling, citrus-laden hills of nearby Clermont. Serving up comfort-food...  Read More

Lots of breakfast-lunch diners have down-homey Southern names, but the food at Dixie Belle's backs it up. If we had to narrow it down to two words, we'd use "sausage gravy," but it doesn't end there. Dixie Belle's charming, unfancy atmosphere...  Read More

Soco offers up loads of plated Southern comfort, though its name is actually a representation of Southern contemporary – which means you'll find some down-home diner favorites that have undergone an evolution into something more upscale. Think...  Read More


This charming, off-the-beaten-path venue is charming and rustic, evocative of some diamond-in-the-rough surprise you'd stumble upon while road tripping. Its food is surprising, too. Sandwiches, salads, scrumptious starters and a whole lotta...  Read More

This quaint working Milk District bakery is open for breakfast and lunch with a manageable, fresh-made menu that changes near daily and makes choosing easy. Okay, that's arguable, since how one chooses between homemade chicken pot pie and a...  Read More

Quality homestyle fare can be acquired at roadside diners and church socials to be sure, but that doesn't mean it isn't appreciated at the top end of the dining spectrum. Case in point: Highball & Harvest, where fresh produce is farmed on...  Read More

With a rotating menu that features upscale 2.0 versions of apps like boiled peanut hummus and entrees such as fried chicken, catfish sandwiches and a succulent low country seafood boil, Cask & Larder – which is billed as a Southern public...  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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