Orlando’s Best Restaurants (Outside the Theme Parks)
Starting with the opening of the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World almost 50 years ago, the Orlando area has steadily evolved into the most beloved vacation destination in the world. In that time, Disney has added three major theme parks, SeaWorld Orlando opened, and Universal Studios has added two major parks.
However, while amusement parks are the main draw, Central Florida offers an unlimited number of unique experiences for visitors to enjoy, and a big part of that is made up of the many dining options available… even outside the theme parks. Whether you’re interested in a family-friendly, moderately priced restaurant, fine dining, unique ethnic fare or a local favorite, there are plenty of options to choose from.
So next time you’re in the area, venture out and try some of these great restaurants located around Central Florida.
Winter Park Fish Company
761 N. Orange Ave., Winter Park FL 32789
The menu at this family-owned restaurant includes some of the best seafood in the area, such as a pecan-crusted trout pan-seared and served with pecan praline butter. There’s also a seafood combo plate with large scallops, jumbo shrimp, and more! Burgers and sandwiches are also on the menu, so everyone will find something delicious. Closed Sundays.
17 W. Church St., Orlando FL 32801
Kres Chophouse is well-known among locals as offering some of the best steaks in town, serving prime beef that is aged in house and hand-cut to order. One of their signature dishes is a Filet Wellington served medium rare with mushroom duxelle, parmesan mash, and asparagus. They also offer expertly prepared seafood, chicken, pork chops, and duck. Also open for lunch Monday through Friday.
Yellow Dog Eats
1236 Hempel Ave., Gotha FL 34734
This is one restaurant that’s hard to put into a category. The one thing everyone can agree on is that the food is delicious and the atmosphere is quirky and fun! You’ll find plenty of great barbecue and pulled pork sandwiches, as well as salads, tacos, nachos, and a lot more! Plus, there’s plenty on the menu for vegetarians, vegans and people looking for gluten-free options. And if you’re feeling really adventurous, try the Fluffy Love sandwich, with peanut butter, sliced bananas, and marshmallow fluff served on multi-grain bread.
13586 Village Park Dr., Orlando FL 32837
NYPD Pizza got its start in 1996 out of necessity when Paul Russo, a native New Yorker, moved to Orlando and couldn’t find authentic New York style pizza anywhere. His pizza was a huge hit as soon as he opened his doors, with both other New Yorkers and customers new to the fresh, delicious pizza found in the Big Apple! Every pizza is made with family recipes that go back generations. Plus, the atmosphere is uniquely New York at each of their four Central Florida locations.
Itar Bistro • Market
7065 Westpointe Blvd., Orlando FL 32835
Itar Bistro specializes in the diverse yet blended cuisines of Italy and Argentina. One of the more popular dishes is the Beef, Chicken and Sausage Argentine Mixed Grill for Two, a combination of beef short ribs, chicken breast, and sausage seasoned with traditional spices and herbs. Itar Bistro is also a great place to try the churrasco, a seasoned and grilled beef skirt steak. And their gorgonzola and mushroom angus burger is unforgettably satisfying!