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Jan 7, 2008 01:21 PM

Orlando Suggestions?

Hi All,
I am going to Orlando in a couple of weeks for a convention. Any suggestions for nice restaurants. Staying in the Convention center area but we do have a car.
One of the restaurants we are looking for is good cuban restuarant. We will be there for a week.

Thanks for all your help in advance.

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  1. Most good Cuban is away from the attractions/convention center. I'll let the board duke out the "Best cuban in Orlando" but Don Pepe's in Altamonte Springs, Havana Grill in Winter Park (Owned by the same people), Numero Uno just south of Downtown Orlando and Rolando's in Casselberry are the tops for Cuban dining. Black Bean Deli and Cubans on the Run are great take out places. Did you have a particular Cuban dish that you were craving, to help the list with pointing you in the right direction?

    Check out Pointe Orlando right by the convention center for some nice dining choices very close to you.

    New to Orlando in 2007:

    The Capital Grille
    The Grape Wine Bar & Gourmet Bistro
    The Oceanaire Seafood Room
    Tommy Bahama's Tropical Café & Emporium
    B.B. King's Blues Club

    All have been reviewed decently. If you hit Tommy Bahama's and you like coconut, don't leave without a piece of the coconut cake.

    Season's 52 is right around the corner, as is Chatham's Place. Season's is a Darden concept; a contemporary feel, nice wine list and great food at reasonable prices- esp. for the tourist area. Make reservations ASAP as the Sand Lake location is always full.

    There are a TON of places to choose from near the Convention center, so if you have a preference in cuisine, close or away from attractions, in or out of a back.


    1. Not sure about Cuban, but south on I-Drive from the Convention Center is Q'Kenan, an amazing little Venezuelan restaurant. Give it a try for lunch.

      On Sandlake, north of the Convention Center, is "Restaurant Row", and there are plenty of choices. Season's 52 is a great choice. Cedar's, right next door to Seasons, is a great Lebanese restaurant.

      If your willing to travel a bit, downtown offers some great spots. Thornton Park, just east of downtown, has a bunch of choices, from BBQ to sushi to bistro. On Church Street downtown is Ceviche (tapas) and Kres (chophouse).

      In Winter Park, there is the Ravenous Pig, one of my favorite new restaurants. Amazing, fresh, and imaginative food, choice draft beer selection, and excellent service. If you're thinking about going on the weekend, though, make reservations.

      1 Reply
      1. re: jdc111

        I second Q'Kenan. LOOOOVE that place! the people are a little snooty, but my Colombian husband (who grew up in S.Florida) says that's how Venezualans are. (i know, such a stereotype). regardless, the food is delish.

      2. Salt Island on Sand Lake and International Drive behind the dunkin donuts is my favorite place. The scallop appetizer and steaks/crab legs are amazing.
        On Sand Lake "restaurant row" Moon Fish is great sea bass, steak, and the calamari are to die for, The Vines (jazz restaurant) you have to try the crab cakes, and Bonefish bang bang shrimp is delicious.

        These are all near the convention center.

        1. Thanks everyone, Since we have a car we don't care about driving a little bit. No particular dish we just wanted to eat cuban. We had gone to Numero uno before several years back. We can go there again but was thinking of trying a new place. Has anyone been to Crazy Grill in the International Drive area. I heard it is like a brazilian steakhouse.

          4 Replies
          1. re: Casey07

            Crazy Grill is awful. It's a bad version of Texas de Brazil, which is excellent. For other Cuban, you can try Tino's, which is a hole-in-the-wall in Winter Garden, or go fancy with Columbia in Celebration.

            1. re: Casey07

              I second the former Don Pepe's in Altamonte Springs. It's now called Habana Grill. I just had the Media Noche Sandwich for lunch a few weeks was soooo yummy! It's easy to get to and not too far from I-4.

                1. re: Big Bad Voodoo Lou

                  Check out my review of Habana Grill....I think I'm pretty much addicted to the Media Noche sandwich on the sweet cuban egg bread!! The best cuban style sandwich in Orlando!