In-Depth Guide to Best Restaurants in Orlando

July 20, 2022

Nothing fires up the appetite like a day of theme park fun. Whether you’ve jetted off to the City Beautiful for a day at Walt Disney World, or are taking advantage of the area's many natural wonders, you’re going to need some sustenance.

Follow along as we take you through the very best restaurants in Orlando.

From perfectly shaken craft cocktails to the crispiest fried chicken, our in-depth guide is your handy companion to feasting like a foodie in O-town.

Sample perfectly cooked Coq au vin at the city’s best French eateries, or splash out for a James Beard executed meal at Knife and Spoon.

No matter if you’re craving succulent seafood or a family-friendly buffet, you’ll find endless options in Orlando.

Ready to dig in? Read on to discover the best restaurants in Orlando for every occasion!

Best Restaurants in Downtown Orlando

Packed full of premier restaurants, bars, and nightclubs, downtown Orlando is the happening spot for locals in the know. An ideal locale for any special occasion, a reservation at any of our top picks guarantees mouth-watering excellence. Tuck into small plates or tear into a perfectly dry-aged steak:

Kres Steakhouse

Treat yourself to an unparalleled epicurean excursion when you dine at Kres Steakhouse. This long-lauded Orlando staple is known for its commitment to locally sourced ingredients and creative stylings. All of their Prime Beef is aged in-house and hand-cut to order, and their seafood is fished fresh from the Florida region.

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Elegant and refined, the strikingly modern decor and 1930s landmark building provide the perfect backdrop in which to enjoy Snake River Wagyu Carpaccio, a Chophouse Cesar, or a tender Ribeye. Don’t forget to partake in one of their classic cocktails with a twist, such as a Citrus Sidecar or Guava Collins.

booth with red and black cushioned walls and set table covered in white cloth with two chairs at Kres Steakhouse in Orlando, Florida, USA

photo credit: Kres Chophouse via Facebook

The Boheme

A stunning interior of red, black, and white sets the scene for romance at the Boheme. The artistic stylings of the Grand Bohemian hotel are only matched by their culinary prowess. Settle in for an evening interlude marked by mood lighting and inspired American cuisine.

Or carve out time for their Sunday Jazz Brunch. Enjoy diverse menu items like mushroom flatbread drizzled with truffle oil, Chilean sea bass, or the crispiest calamari served with harissa aioli. Really looking for some drama? Delight your party when you order the tableside Tomahawk. This 42 oz monstrosity is flamed and carved in front of your very eyes for maximum flair. 

The Stubborn Mule

Beat that Orlando heat with a refreshing Moscow Mule, and an exquisite meal of playfully reimagined American favorites at the Stubborn Mule. Started by two graduates of The Culinary Institute of America, this charming neighborhood staple prides itself on locally sourced fish, produce, and more.

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The Mule’s innovative menu features delicious plates paired with LOL-worthy names. Order a ‘Tuna down for what’ to start and munch on ahi tuna tossed in sweet sambal sauce, or embrace some heat with their Asian-inspired ‘Don’t Curry, Be Happy’ entree. Be sure to inquire about the daily features, including intriguing Chef’s desserts like a gin and lavender-infused cheesecake. 

Pro tip: Any of these downtown establishments would also make it a wonderful best birthday dinner restaurant!

close up of cold drink and burger at The Stubborn Mule in Orlando, Florida, USA

photo credit: The Stubborn Mule via Facebook

Best Italian Restaurants in Orlando

Mama mia! Dreaming of a holiday under the Tuscan Sun? Whisk yourself away to the old country when you stuff yourself silly full of pasta, pizza, and more at any of O-town’s famed Italian eateries: 

Prato

Hit the terracotta cobblestones of Winter Park for an incredible meal at Prato. The brainchild of Executive Chef Brandon McGlamery. Prato specializes in Italian-inspired plates crafted from fresh market ingredients prepared in their Acunto oak-burning ovens. Snag a table for two, or dine at their long bar, which encourages communal dining.

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Window paned doors, exposed wood, and brick evoke a warm atmosphere in which to savor a glass of Brunello or a mess of aperitivos. Still hungry? Linger over mouthfuls of Black Pepper Fusilli with Bolognese or their infamous Windowmaker pizza, featuring hazelnut Romesco, Cavolo Nero, Fennel Sausage, and farm egg. 

photo credit: Prato via Facebook

Maggiano's Little Italy

Craving a classic Italian American experience complete with red and white check tablecloths and tender chicken parmesan? Maggiano’s Little Italy delivers plenty of marinara-inspired nostalgia. This upscale chain eatery is located on International Drive and just a minute's wave from Sea World, Aquatica, and more.

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Round up the family for a wholesome dinner or lunch of rigatoni, ravioli, and gnocchi. Dining with a larger crowd? You can even order ‘family style,’ which lets you enjoy four courses of your favorite Maggiano's items. Just feeling a bit peckish? Sprawl out on their sun-soaked patio and relax with a Negroni or Italian Sangria accompanied by some lovely zucchini fritte. 

VIVO Italian Kitchen

Who said theme parks can’t compete with Nonna? Dine on heirloom family recipes served in a modern stylish setting at VIVO Italian Kitchen. This Universal City Walk establishment has long earned rave reviews for its fresh presentation utilizing the finest Italian ingredients.

Moan over mouthfuls of mussels marinara, fried lemon rosemary ricotta, and black truffle burrata. Make a statement with your main entree when you opt for lamb ragu or squid ink seafood pasta. Dining with little ones? Pickier palates can be accommodated as well with VIVO’s kid’s menu. 

photo credit: Park Chums via Facebook

Best French Restaurants in Orlando

Capture some of the joie de vivre of the City of Love when you pencil in a very Parisian supper. Whether you are hankering for some beef bourguignon or a simple steak frites, Orlando’s French establishments will have you saying ‘oui’: 

Le Cafe De Paris

For over 15 years this quaint eatery has been injecting Parisian spirit and caffeine into every cappuccino and croque madame. Open from 8:00 am to 3:00pm daily, Le Cafe De Paris is the ultimate go-to for a sophisticated lunch, brunch, or snack.

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Revel in the rousing aroma of coffee, butter, and sugar as you debate whether to indulge in a classic omelet, crepe, or homemade sable cookie. Want to dine in true European fashion? Opt for a glass of wine and split a cheese or charcuterie plate between friends. 

photo credit: Le Cafe De Paris via Facebook

DoveCote Restaurant

Got love on your mind? Head on over to Orlando’s most romantic restaurant for a healthy serving of french inspired fare and fine dining ambiance. DoveCote’s abundance of outdoor seating, stately great hall, and spirited main dining room and bar make it an ideal spot for any special occasion or date night.

Pique your palate with offerings from their oyster bar, or order savory ham and cheese beignets. Pretend you are breaking bread in a rustic french farmhouse with their delectable coq au vin or beer braised rabbit served with potato confit. Save room for a morsel of something sweet, as you won't want to miss their heavenly vanilla creme brulee. 

photo credit: DoveCote Restaurant via Facebook

Best Seafood Restaurants in Orlando

Searching high and low for a restaurant in which to savor some marine delights? Devour mountains of oysters, shrimp, and fish oh my, when you make a reservation at any of the best seafood spots in the City Beautiful:

Knife and Spoon

Steak, seafood, and a James Beard award-winning chef, what could be better? Diners at Knife and Spoon can sit back and relax knowing they are in the more than capable hands of master Chef John Tesar. This culinary superstar and Top Chef alum, has garnered praise from everyone from Anthony Bourdain to The New York Times.

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Raise a glass at their minimalist and marble bar with a cooling Botanical Spritz or Laelia Paloma. Settle in for a seafood dream when you order the live diver scallop with shaved black truffle or Asian chili lobster. Hankering for some southern-inspired delicacies? Opt for the jumbo lump crab creole served with gullah gravy, crispy okra, conagree, and penn rice.

photo credit: Knife & Spoon via Facebook

Four Flamingos, A Richard Blais Florida Kitchen

Palm trees, flamingos, and plenty of island inspired seafood breathe fresh life into this Hyatt Regency property. Four Flamingos is an explosion of pop colors, spice, and seafood delights helmed by chef Richard Blais.

Embrace your best Miami Vice life when you sip on a fruity flavored cocktail like the Mango del Fuego or Key Lime in the Coconut.

Revel in the tastes of the Caribbean with a ceviche starter or an exquisite tuna tostada garnished with passion fruit yolk. Splurge on a whole lobster dressed seared on the grill. Or pay homage to the sunshine state with the Florida Seafood “Moqueca” served with Coconut Steamed Rice.

The Osprey

Brown leather banquets, electric art, and classic furnishings come together to make the Osprey a welcome reprieve in the heart of Baldwin Park.

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This award-winning eatery celebrates the maritime bounty of Florida with a fresh, innovative take on coastal cuisine. With a steadfast commitment to sustainable seafood, an extensive wine list, and classic cocktail interpretations, the Osprey makes quite a splash. Stop by during the week to take advantage of their ½ off happy hour oysters.

Or make a date for an indulgent dinner. Begin with a petite plateaux of seafood favorites, including marinated mussels, shrimp cocktail, and smoked fish dip. Eat your fill of grilled bluehouse salmon, or support local fisherman with the catch of the day served with farro, braised fennel, and orange and saffron coulis. 

photo credit: The Osprey via Facebook

Best Family & Buffet Restaurants in Orlando

Traveling with toddlers or cranky teens? We know it can be difficult to dine with children in tow. Assuage everyone’s appetite with diverse food market offerings or the simplicity and savings of an all-you-can-eat buffet:

East End Market

Earn some serious brownie points with the mini foodies in your life when you dine at East End Market. This hub of culinary creativity showcases some of Central Florida’s top chefs and artisans. Wander with abandon through the two-story neighborhood market and food hall while you contemplate your cravings.

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Hightail it to Domu for world-class ramen, or keep it plant-based with a vegan Mac n Treez from Skybird Juice. Carnivores will be called to the Southern Brisket sandwich at Hinckley’s Fancy Meats, while dessert fiends will not be able to leave without picking up an iconic ½-pound cookie from Gideon’s Bakehouse. 

photo credit: East End Market via Facebook

Boma - Flavors of Africa

In Orlando to hang out with Mickey, Minnie, and Simba? If your O-town holiday is focused on exploring the Most Magical Place on Earth it makes sense to dine on-site. Disney’s Animal Kingdom is host to a treasure trove of restaurants, including the famous buffet at Boma - Flavors of Africa.

Designed to resemble a bustling African marketplace and representing exotic flavors from over 50 African countries, this all-you-can-eat establishment is perfect for hangry families. Start your day off right, with a piping hot cup of Kenyan AA coffee coupled with steel-cut coconut oatmeal and all the fresh fruit, pastries, and eggs you can handle.

Come dinner, help yourself to unlimited servings of peanut rice, tabbouleh, hummus, Senagalase Yassa-style Salmon, Durban chicken, and more.

Best Breakfast Restaurants in Orlando

Crispy bacon, cheesy omelets, and fluffy buttermilk pancakes. No matter if you are team savory or sweet, Orlando breakfasts promise to fill you up. Grab a mimosa and kick  off your vacation at any of the best breakfast or brunch spots:

Ravenous Pig

While Winter Park mainstay the Ravenous Pig may best be known for their brewery and beer garden, this bustling gastropub also serves up a top-notch brunch. Settle in for unique options such as pimento cheese fries, lobster tacos, and prime rib hash.

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Throw calories and caution to the wind with an order of Chicken and Waffles served with guava and goat cheese. Or experiment with the vibrant flavors of their Pork Belly Cuban. Take some chocolate chip cookies or creme fraiche cake to go, and you’re well on your way to having an amazing Orlando day. 

table with plates of pancakes and cups of hot chocolateSe7en Bites

Buttermilk garlic biscuits, hot cakes, and made from scratch tender pot pies. Se7en bites are pure comfort. Visitors from all over the world flock to Se7en for their nostalgic Southern eats. Famous for homemade sweets and their appearance on Diners, Drive ins, and Dives, this Orlando breakfast staple is located in the Milk district.

Famished fans will want to head here early for a sublime breakfast of buttermilk biscuits, baked eggs in ham, pimento cheese, applewood smoked bacon, and cheddar chive grits smothered with creamy thyme sausage gravy. Heed your sweet tooth with a stack of hotcakes smothered in honey butter and vanilla bean butter syrup. Or feast like Guy Fieri with a hearty helping of Chicken Pot Pie. 

close up of waffle with various toppings on metal plate at Se7en Bites in Orlando, Florida, USA

photo credit: Se7enbites via Facebook

Best Mexican Restaurants in Orlando

Searching for some South of the Border standouts? There’s never a bad time for tacos. Get read to nourish yourself with plenty of enchiladas, salsa, margaritas, and more at Orlando’s premier Mexican eateries:

Reyes Mezcaleria

The rich flavors of mezcal and Mexican cuisine come together in perfect harmony at Reyes Mezcaleria. For over five years, locals and visitors have conjugated here to imbibe craft cocktails and sample over 150 agave spirits. Lead your taste buds on a vibrant journey as you tuck into flautas, chiles rellenos, and of course, tacos!

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House favorites include their Sonoran crispy fish taco, beer-battered and served with creamy chipotle sauce or the Campechano, featuring beef brisket and pork longaniza. Wash it all down with an ice-cold Mexican Coke or a Matador mezcal cocktail.

close up of ceviche on black ceramic plate at Reyes Mezcaleria in Orlando, Florida, USA

photo credit: Reyes Mezcaleria via Facebook

Black Rooster Taqueria

Colorful bar stools, rooster-inspired wall drawings, and the freshest local ingredients all come out to play at Black Rooster Taqueria. This Mills 50 eatery was born out of Chef John Calloway’s desire to create a true ‘farm to taco’ concept. Cruise on over for a vibrant lunch accented by curated Day of the Dead atmosphere.

Pique your hunger with made-to-order fresh guacamole lightly kissed by a serrano chile and tamales stuffed with roasted pork, tomatillo salsa, crema fresca, cilantro, and radish. Vegetarians can partake in their shitake mushroom or smoked greens taco. While meat eaters will be drooling over the shrimp and chorizo or signature Black Rooster Asada. 

close up of person holding taco against blue and red wall at Black Rooster Taqueria in Orlando, Florida, USA

photo credit: Black Rooster Taqueria via Facebook

Best Restaurants in or by Universal Studios 

Days at Universal Studios Orlando should be spent hanging out with Harry Potter in Hogsmeade, or tackling the VelociCoaster. Don’t waste precious adrenaline fueled moments wondering where to eat, simply consult our list of the best restaurants in or by Universal Studios:

Kabooki Sushi

Continually named one of Orlando’s best restaurants, Kabooki Sushi is dedicated to their craft. Each and every nigiri or sashimi is sliced with the utmost care. Modern light fixtures and minimalistic furnishings add to the elevated atmosphere, and make Kabooki a quintessential stop for any stylish sushi lover.

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While you can’t go wrong with the omakase, their unique rolls also make quite a splash. Sample the LV filled with Lump crab, tempura flakes, and asparagus, topped with torched wagyu. Or, escape to the islands with hawaii x.o, consisting of yellowtail, avocado, crispy shallots, whitefish, kaiware, and pink salt.

close up of variety of sashimi on black plate at Kabooki Sushi in Orlando, Florida, USA

photo credit: Kabooki Sushi Sand Lake via Facebook

Antojitos

Vibrant dishes that play with the colors of the rainbow, made from scratch Mexican street fare, and plenty of Mariachi music is what you’ll find at Antojitos. Located at Universal’s City CityWalk, this lively cantina exudes plenty of fiesta fueled charm. Chow down on crunchy Taquitos Jaliscos, or try traditional Esquites.

This Mexican street snack consists of roasted street corn doused in jalapeño mayonnaise, cotija cheese, ancho spice, cilantro, and tortilla chips. Picky kiddies can feel free to order off the kid menu which includes staples such as quesadillas and ground beef tacos. 

Mythos

Dreaming of a Mediterranean escape? Break up your day of Island of Adventure thrills, when you sample the casual elegance and modern cuisines of Mythos. This award-winning, full-service eatery is located within the Islands of Adventure park and delivers an intriguing mix of Mediterranean, Asian and American fare in an otherworldly setting.

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Gaze in awe at the rock formations, cascading waterfalls and ancient figures carved into the side of the restaurant, or sit outside for sparkling park sea views. Share an abundance of appetizers including grilled lamb meatballs, lemon hummus, and pan seared halloumi.

Moving on to entrees, stick with the marine with their Sea Scallop and Truffle Risotto. Lastly, wrap up your epicurean adventure with a slice of Chocolate Banana Gooey Cake.

interior of Mythos Restaurant with tables, chairs, and intricate ceiling and walls at Universal Orlando in Orlando, Florida, USA

photo credit: Universal Orlando Resort via Facebook

Best Restaurants by SeaWorld, Disney, and Legoland

Splashtastic orca shows, Magic Kingdom parades, and bricktacular spins on the Unikitty Disco Drop. While Orlando theme parks may bring the action, our detailed list of nearby eateries brings the flavor:

Wine Bar George

Calling all amateur sommeliers! Experience the beauty of masterfully paired food and wine, when you book a table at Wine Bar George. Located in Disney Springs, Wine Bar George serves over 140 wines all available by ounce, glass, or bottle. In fact, this prestigious eatery has been awarded the distinction of the Best Micro Wine List in the World (2019) by The World of Fine Wine.

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Take your time exploring the menu of small plates, sweets, spirits, and more. Let notes of berry, honey, and oak explode on your tongue as you snack on warm spiced olives, roasted beets, and burrata. 

exterior of Wine Bar George on a cloudy day in Orlando, Florida, USA

photo credit: Wine Bar George via Facebook

Capa 

What do you get when you marry the magic of Mickey with a Michelin-starred restaurant? Dine like the VIP you are, when you secure a reservation at Capa. Nestled on the 17th floor of the Four Seasons Resort at Walt Disney World, this sublime steakhouse offers everything from fresh Florida seafood to expertly grilled cuts.

Their open kitchen lets you watch the masters work the wood-burning grill. While their patio affords awe-inspiring views of the nightly fireworks. Sip a Capa gin and tonic garnished with citrus and botanicals before digging into a heavenly Porterhouse steak and side of patatas bravas.

Tiffins

Uncover a world of exotic adventure when you trek on over to Tiffins in the Animal Kingdom. An elevated establishment ideal for the fearless traveler, this Disney watering hole focuses on far flung flavors and unique ingredient pairings. Intrigue your taste buds with fragrant and delicious Spiced Chickpea Falafel, or the restaurant’s signature bread service.

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Layer your carbs high with red Pepper Hummus, Spicy Coriander Yogurt, and Ginger-Pear Chutney before delighting in Butter Chicken or sticky sweet Tamarind-braised Short Rib. Conclude your worldwide sojourn with a morsel of something sweet when you order their famous Lion King Caramel Mousse, served with Chocolate Brownie and Strawberry-Mango Sauce.

official artists depiction of interior of Tiffins restaurant in Orlando, Florida, USA

photo credit: Inside the Magic via Facebook

Wine bars, taquerias, and five star steak houses. There’s simply never been a better time to dine in Central Florida. Thanks to an influx of discerning palates and tremendously talented chefs, Orlando’s food scene has never shone so bright.

Whether you’re traveling to the City Beautiful for a thrilling turn on Ice Breaker at SeaWorld, or to build brick masterpieces at LEGOLAND, you’re going to need to eat.

Sustain yourself for every last O-town adventure when you feast at any of the best restaurants in Orlando!

Tell us, What’s Your Favorite Orlando restaurant?

Leave us a comment below!


isis with mural in background

Written By Isis Maya

A New York native, Isis-Maya spent most of her professional life working in TV production until a vacation whisked her away to Central America and her love o ...

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