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ORLANDO VISITOR'S DINING GUIDE - A Hound Perspective - Disney area

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Here's the second in our series to use the Crowdsourcing method to create a series of threads for the most commonly asked questions for visitors to Orlando. This will hopefully create a more centralized place for visiting Hounds to find recommendations from like-minded folks in the community rather than relying of other travel boards where you never know the "standards" or agendas of the contributors. These threads are meant to be created by locals and frequent visitors as a general guide, but in no way should they preclude individual threads asking specific questions - just trying to create a central repository so that visiting Hounds don't have to wait in vain for answers.

A few guidelines:
- Let's avoid chains that are available in most places across the US.
- Visitors who use this board should report back on our recommendations - a positive experience can confirm and several negatives may be a cause for re-evaluation of the recommendation
- Hopefully this will be a useful guide for locals as well - we'll eventually get to downtown, Winter Park and beyond as not all visitors are here for theme parks and conventions.

So today we're doing the:

DISNEY AREA - onsite and beyond (reasonable taxi ride distance)

Foodie Favs

California Grill
Victoria & Albert's

Disney Property - Upscale

Bluezoo
California Grill
Flying Fish
Jiko
Sanaa
Victoria & Albert's

Disney Property - Casual

Boma
O'Hana
Raglan Road

Off-Property Best Bets - Upscale

Bull & Bear Steakhouse
Columbia
Johnnie's Hideaway
La Luce
Zen

Off-Property Best Bets - Casual

Jean Pierre Bistro
Market Street Cafe

Great for Groups

Kouzzina
Raglan Road

Romantic & Quiet

Venetian Room

Celebrity Chefs Outposts

Bluezoo
Kouzzina
La Luce

Oenophiles

Imperium Food & Wine

Impress the Client, Expense Account Business Meal

Bluezoo
Bull & Bear Steakhouse
California Grill
Shula's Steakhouse

Upscale Brunch

La Coquina (seasonal)

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Market Street Cafe
701 Front St, Kissimmee, FL 34747

Columbia Restaurant of Celebration
649 Front Street, Celebration, FL 34747

California Grill
Disneys Contemporary Resort, Orlando, FL 32830

Raglan Road Irish Pub
1640 E Buena Vista Dr, Lake Buena Vista, FL 32830

The Venetian Room
8101 World Center Dr, Orlando, FL 32821

Victoria and Albert's
, Orlando, FL 32830

La Coquina Restaurant
1 Grand Cypress Blvd, Orlando, FL 32836

Johnnie's Hideaway
12551 State Road 535, Orlando, FL 32836

Zen - Omni Orlando Resorts
1500 Masters Blvd, Champions Gate, FL 33896

Todd English's Bluezoo
1500 Epcot Resorts Blvd, Orlando, FL 32830

Flying Fish
Disneys Boardwalk Resort, Orlando, FL 32830

Bull & Bear Steakhouse at Waldorf Astoria Orlando
14200 Bonnet Creek Resort Lane, Orlando, FL 32821

La Luce at Hilton Bonnet Creek
14100 Bonnet Creek Resort Lane, Orlando, FL 32821

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  1. Epcot World Showcase

    Bistro de Paris - French cuisine

    Marrakesh Restaurant - Morocco

    The Biergarten - Germany Buffet and show - fun for the family - great for groups

    Le Cellier - Canada - Steakhouse

    Boulangerie P√Ętisserie - France Bakery - mmm pastries

    Also a bonus I love is the samples of free soda from around the world at Epcot's Club Cool.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Sandwich_Sister

      Agree with all these as well as those you left out.

      Two I want to especially support:

      Biergarten is the best option if you're with a family with younger kids, many of the other options can be awful slow and boring for them or feature mediocre food.

      Boulangerie Patisserie is my hidden lunch gem in all the parks - I think it's a great option compared to the usual theme park grub

      I do also support the beer at the Rose & Crown Pub

      1. re: YosemiteSam

        Oh I support the beer at the Rose and Crown too! hehehe yes I did leave out a bunch that I didn't think were all that great, and some that I just haven't tried.

        I take two different approaches when eating at epcot. 1 way is to go for something nice, a sit down place, such as Le Cellier, when its the big family we always go to the Biergarten because it really does have something for everyone. The other way is if I am there to drink around the world with friends we stick to munching and drinking around the world. such as the germany food stand next to the biergarten, or the lotus blossom cafe to help soak up some alcohol.

        but I believe that people that come to chowhound are looking for great food experiences so I left out anything I hadn't tried or didnt think it was worthy.

    2. alot of people enjoy Earl of Sandwich at Downtown Disney

      2 Replies
      1. re: pdpredtide

        Earl is ok, but it lost some luster for me when they added an outlet at a Florida Turnpike rest stop.

        The real question is why are the dining choices at Downtown Disney so lousy when they do a nice job in the hotels? Ever since Wolfgang Puck was sold to a corporate group the options are all so mediocre. I only like Raglan Road and that's because the Guiness is my main course (food's not bad though). C'mon Disney, give us ONE great option in your main nightime gathering spot - CityWalk has Emeril's.

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        Emeril's
        5885 Turkey Lake Rd, Orlando, FL 32819

        1. re: YosemiteSam

          heheh very true. I was also thinking of cross roads area, its just a bunch of chains Johnnies Hideaway is the only thing decent there.

          Flippers Pizza is pretty good it's a local florida chain though so I don't know if that disqualifies it.

      2. I have another add if you HAVE to eat at Downtown Disney. I recommend Raglan Road over any other option, but it isn't as kid-friendly. Had dinner at Portobello and while wildly overpriced I did enjoy the food. So if you are (or someone you're with) is insistent you eat at Downtown Disney and you have kids, it is a decent option. While expensive enough for the Upscale category, the general dress and attitude is decidely casual, so let's add it to:

        Disney Property - Casual

        Portobello Italian Restaurant

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        Portobello
        , Orlando, FL 32830

        1. The Gospel Brunch at House of Blues @ Downtown Disney is great fun, with a good Cajun brunch buffet. It's not a preachy kind of thing at all (although gospel music, obviously), and very entertaining. Must book reservations well in advance. I think we booked two months in advance both times we've been.

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          House of Blues
          , Orlando, FL 32830