At first glance, the best restaurants in Orlando may appear to be a string of strip mall eateries, fast food joints and cheesy tourist traps. While there’s no denying Central Florida has an overabundance of all of those things, the City Beautiful has more to offer than meets the eye—it’s just a matter of knowing where to go.
Over the past decade, there’s been a restaurant renaissance within Orlando with the buttoned-up chophouses and cookie-cutter cafes on the rise in the nineties and early aughts giving way to out-of-the-box dining concepts, unexpected takes on American classics, niche specialty spots and an overwhelming focus on sustainability inspired by the farm-to-table movement.
The driving force behind the city’s foodie revival are the many chefs that call Orlando home. From James and Julie Petrakis, the duo behind The Ravenous Pig and Cask & Larder, to Brandon McGlamery, the mastermind who created hotspots like Luma and Prato, to Sonny Nguyen, the founder of Domu, there are a number of culinary movers and shakers that are raising the bar in terms of food quality, ambiance and service. Orlando’s diverse culture is another major influencer, leading to the rise of authentic places serving global grub.
Whether you’re looking to dine on fancifully crafted tasting menus, extraordinary seafood, split tapas with friends or grab a quick bite before venturing out to the best bars and clubs in the area, these are our favorite places to eat out in Orlando.
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