Grits 'n' Gravy 'n' Grandma's Faves: Great Picks for Homestyle 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. Some 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! Both Dixie Belle’s Café and the Townhouse are the sort of places the servers will come to know you if you pop in regularly for country-style breakfast. 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.” You've been 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



Slinging breakfast and lunch to a devoted legion of customers, and likely creating new ones daily, Nick's Family Diner showcases all of this culinary genre's classics along with hearty and satisfying Greek and Italian specialties. Whether you're...  Read More

West Orlando


First things first: Low-carb dieters, Mrs. Potato is not for you. Not ever. You probably figured that out from the name. Second things second: Dieters in general, Mrs. Potato is not for you. Not ever. Why? Well, you COULD come here and get a...  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

The Meatball Stoppe
Photo courtesy of The Meatball Stoppe


Meatballs: so simple, a small, round hunks of deliciousness from your Nonna's kitchen, laden with garlic, spices, just the right amount of fat. Top 'em with sauce or cheese or both. Lay them gently onto a bed of pasta or polenta. Smash them into...  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



To paraphrase that old 70s Greg Kihn hit, "they don't make 'em like this anymore." Oviedo's downtown is hardly bustling (unless you count its famous feral chickens, they bustle quite a bit) but at its center sits the TownHouse, almost as it has...  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



This incredibly indulgent 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...  Read More


Meet A.D. Thompson

Amy Drew has spent nearly three decades as a professional writer and roughly half her life as a Floridian. The words, she has found, come easier with bare feet and rum.

A roller coaster...  More About A.D.