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ORLANDO VISITOR'S DINING GUIDE - A Hound Perspective - Downtown-Winter Park-College Park areas

Here's the third 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

I'm prediciting this topic will have more local participation because 1) I'm less familiar with it and therefore my initial list will probably be too limited, and 2) there seems to be more active local Hounds who live and frequent these locations.

So today we're doing the:

DOWNTOWN-WINTER PARK-COLLEGE PARK AREAS

Foodie Favs

Ravenous Pig
Four Rivers Smokehouse
K
Luma on Park

Hip Urban Upscale

Kres Chophouse
Hue
Shari
Citrus

Hip Urban Casual

Cityfish
Dexter's
Grafitti Junktion
Ceviche
Ember
Hot Olives

Ethnic Hotspots

Lac Viet
Pho 88
Little Saigon
Ming Bistro
Shin Jung
Bosphorous
Shin Sushi
Rocco's Italian Grill

Romantic Escapes

Boheme
Chez Vincent
Paris Bistro
Juliana's

Expense Account Impress the Client Locations

Kres Chophouse
Boheme
Luma on Park
Del Frisco's

Oenophiles

Lake Eola Wine Co.
Dexter's
Wine Room
Luma on Park

Cheap Eats

Four Rivers Smokehouse
Little Saigon
Pho 88
Beefy King
Blackwater BBQ
Chili Daddy
Hamburger Mary's
Johnson's Diner
Virgin Olive Market

Alternative Spots

Pom Pom's Teahouse
Dandelion Communitiea
Harmoni

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Ming Bistro
1212 Woodward St, Orlando, FL 32803

Graffiti Junktion
900 E Washington St, Orlando, FL 32801

Citrus Restaurant
821 North Orange Avenue, Orlando, FL 32801

HUE
629 East Central Blvd, Orlando, FL 32801

K Restaurant & Wine Bar
2401 Edgewater Dr., Orlando, FL 32804

Luma on Park
290 S. Park Ave, Winter Park, FL 32789

Shari Sushi Lounge
621 East Central Blvd, Orlando, FL 32801

The Ravenous Pig: An American Gastropub
1234 N. Orange Avenue, Winter Park, FL 32789

Dexters of Thornton Park
808 E Washington St, Orlando, FL 32801

Little Saigon Restaurant
1106 E Colonial Dr, Orlando, FL 32803

Beefy King
424 N Bumby Ave, Orlando, FL 32803

Hot Olives
463 W New England Ave, Winter Park, FL 32789

Boheme Restaurant
325 S Orange Ave, Orlando, FL 32801

Kres Restaurant
17 W. Church St., Orlando, FL 32801

Juliana's Fine Tuscan Cuisine
2306 Edgewater Dr, Orlando, FL 32804

Chez Vincent
533 W New England Ave, Winter Park, FL 32789

Cityfish Restaurant
617 E Central Blvd, Orlando, FL 32801

Johnson's Diner
595 W Church St Ste E, Orlando, FL 32805

Ember
42 W Central Blvd, Orlando, FL 32801

Dexter's Wine Bar Cafe
558 W New England Ave, Winter Park, FL 32789

Paris Bistro
3586 Aloma Ave Ste 7, Winter Park, FL 32792

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  1. thanks for starting this guide yosemite sam, you rock ! hopefully this will cut down on those "where do i eat" requests lol

    3 Replies
    1. re: pdpredtide

      Thanks - I had hoped these topics would drive more discussion and perhaps disagreement. When I lived in South Florida posting a list like this would have resulted in 200 replies with new ideas and challenges to my thoughts. Orlando restaurants are pretty full, I wonder where all the passionate food people are online.

      Now don't get me wrong, I don't miss the "we ate there once and the waiter was rude so I'm never going back and no one else should either" lines of argument. But I'd like a "Shin Jung is ok, but for real Korean check out Beewon" type reply.

      1. re: YosemiteSam

        "Steak and Salad". I'd have this small restaurant on my "ethnic" list for this area. Tasty Turkish dishes for a fair price, and lunch specials. On 17/92 (Mills ave) just south of Virginia.

        1. re: max5d

          I agree! I was just in there yesterday. They seriously have the most delicious baklava I've ever eaten. After some inquiry, I found out that it is shipped down from a specialty bakery in Philly. Sort of a bummer it isn't made in house but when its THAT GOOD, who cares?

    2. As much as I love Dexter's, I wouldn't call it an oenophile destination. Their list isn't the least bit ambitious or interesting to me. Their housemade chips with lava sauce are a must-have though.

      2 Replies
      1. re: orlwine

        Good point - it is a "wine bar" in style, but not very ambitious - more of a bar - still recommend it for an after work get together though

        1. re: orlwine

          Do tell more about these must-have chips, checked their menu and didn't see them.

        2. Vegetarian
          Ethos Vegan
          Loving Hut

          1 Reply
          1. re: pdpredtide

            A few nice veggie choices on the menu at Austin's coffee and film on Fairbanks

          2. Maybe add a section for best brunch. Dexter's Winter Park, 310 South, Park Plaza, etc...

            2 Replies
            1. re: Corporate_40

              Well, you could have just started the list, but here ya go

              Breakfast/Brunch

              Dexter's Winter Park
              Park Plaza
              310 South
              Briarpatch

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              Briarpatch Restaurant
              252 N Park Ave, Winter Park, FL 32789

              1. re: Corporate_40

                Mmmmm...Dexter's Bloody Mary: a meal in a glass!

              2. Thanks for this! As a chowhound visiting Orlando next week(trying to decide we if want to relocate here - not going for the parks!) I totally appreciate this quick list. We will have our dog in tow so we may not be able to stop at some, but love the info!

                2 Replies
                1. re: taseymour

                  Sounds like a new category

                  Outside Seating, dog-friendly

                  Yellow Dog Eats Cafe
                  White Wolf Cafe
                  Dexter's (Thornton Park or Winter Park)

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                  Yellow Dog Eats
                  1236 Hempel Ave, Gotha, FL 34734

                  1. re: taseymour

                    Lots of places on park avenue are dog friendly... outside seating with water bowls by the door. Last time I was at the Wine Room we sat outside with several dog owners. There's also a nice park across the street so's they can get a little exercise!

                    Can't comment on the food at the Wine Room... never actually got around to eating there!