EXPLORE UNIQUE DINING IN ORLANDO
Restaurants and dining experiences aren’t the first, second, or even the third thing you’d associate with Orlando, and yet the City Beautiful has been consistently ranked as one of the top foodie Cities in America by WalletHub.
With so many entertainment, tourist, and nightlife areas, Orlando offers a wide variety of interesting and unique dining experiences. Choose from dishes from across the world to traditional American cuisine, from take out to upscale, from food trucks to celebrity chefs – whatever dining experience you crave, Orlando has it all!
Orlando’s Favorite Disney Springs®
Disney Springs at Walt Disney World® Resort is a great place to sample Orlando’s unique dining experiences.
With over 60 restaurants to choose from, some with waterfront views, many with live music, spread out over four distinct dining areas, Marketplace, West Side, The Landing, and Town Center, you’re sure to find the right dining option to please everyone.
At Disney Springs you’ll discover dishes from around the world, served from food trucks, to kiosks, to a number of celebrity chef owned restaurants. In fact, Disney Springs is home to the largest collection of celebrity chefs in Orlando.
However, you don’t need to dine at a celebrity restaurant at Disney Springs to have a memorable meal. Our favorite is STK Steakhouse which offers a lively atmosphere, complete with house DJ and, in our opinion, serves some of the best steak you’ll find in Orlando.
STK is just one of many inspired Orlando restaurants waiting for you to discover at Disney Springs.
Great Fun and Food at Universal CityWalk
Located between Universal Orlando Resort’s theme parks is Universal CityWalk, one of Orlando’s premier family entertainment and nightlife venues. With plenty of shops, entertainment, and fun, it also offers some great Orlando dining experiences.
Read more: Universal CityWalk
Three of the more popular restaurants at CityWalk are Hard Rock Cafe®, Jimmy Buffett’s® Margaritaville®, and Toothsome Chocolate Emporium & Savory Feast Kitchen™
If these three choices don’t tempt your palette, then there are plenty of other restaurants waiting to be discovered, including several themed eateries.
International Drive and Restaurant Row
International Drive, affectionately referred to as I-Drive by locals, is renowned for its shopping, entertainment, nightlife and veritable smorgasbord of restaurants.
I-Drive is home to many outstanding eateries. Whatever food you crave, you’re sure to find it among the vast array of American, Brazilian Caribbean, Chinese, Cuban, English and Irish Pubs, Greek, Indian, Italian, Japanese, Mediterranean, Mexican, Pizza joints, Seafood eateries, and Thai restaurants dotted all along I-Drive.
In addition to the many individual eateries and some superb hotel fine dining restaurants on I-Drive, there are plenty of dining options at ICON Park™ and Pointe Orlando.
Learn more: International Drive
Not far from International Drive on Sand Lake Road is Restaurant Row, one of Orlando’s most popular restaurant destinations for locals.
Restaurant row is home to the largest collection of upscale fine dining restaurants in Orlando. If steak is your thing, you can choose from Eddie V’s Prime Seafood, Ruth’s Chris Steak House, Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar, and Morton’s The Steakhouse. For something a little different, you can try The Melting Pot and one of our absolute favorites, Bosphorous Turkish Cuisine.
Meet Orlando’s Celebrity Chefs
Orlando’s sensational dining scene includes numerous celebrity chefs — and you’ll find the lion’s share at Disney Springs. You have great choices including José Andrés’ JALEO and Pepe, Masaharu Morimoto’s Morimoto Asia, Art Smith’s Homecomin’ Florida Kitchen, Guy Fieri at Planet Hollywood and Chicken Guy!, Rick Bayless’ Frontera Cocina, and Wolfgang Puck Bar & Grill. Master Sommelier George Miliotes is often seen at his restaurant, Wine Bar George.
Learn more: Orlando’s Celebrity Chefs
Not far from Disney Springs, located in the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort, deliciously fresh seafood is skillfully matched with worldwide coastal cuisines at Todd English’s Bluezoo. In the Orange County Convention Center area, you can find tasty offerings like Primo by Melissa Kelly at JW Marriott Orlando, Roy Yamaguchi showcases bold Pacific Rim flavors at Roy’s Restaurant on Orlando’s Restaurant Row. If you have a sweet tooth, stop by Carlo’s Bakery at The Florida Mall®, where you can sample creations from Buddy Valastro of Cake Boss fame.
Local Award-Winning Chefs
Orlando has numerous native culinary geniuses who are ready to dazzle you with their skills and knowledge. Winter Park is home to Brandon McGlamery, a semifinalist in the James Beard Foundation’s “Best Chefs of the South” category with his restaurants, Luma on Park, Prato, and Maitland’s Luke’s Kitchen. Fellow James Beard Award nominees James and Julie Petrakis, geniuses behind Winter Park’s The Ravenous Pig and Disney Springs’ The Polite Pig. Before joining Cuba Libre Restaurant & Rum Bar at Pointe Orlando, Chef-Partner Guillermo Pernot earned James Beard Awards for Best Chef, Mid-Atlantic Region, and Best Single Subject Cookbook. In 2020, Chef Norman Van Aken — the sole Floridian on the celebrated James Beard list of “Who’s Who in American Food and Beverage” is opening a new iteration of his long-running Norman’s on Restaurant Row.