ORLANDO VISITOR'S DINING GUIDE - A Hound Perspective - Worth a drive (not too far!)
Here's the final geographic-based round-up in our series to use the Crowdsourcing method to create 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
This is kind of shaggy-dog group in that they are dispersed around the general Central Florida area, but if you have a car or are not staying in the tourist corridor they are great options. In fact, these are some of my favorite places in the area.
Finally, I know almost nothing about East Orlando, Lake Mary, Longwood and other up north areas like Sanford. I think it's great if Hounds up there either add options to this thread or build their own. Just remember watch the chains :) For instance, isn't there supposed to be a great German place in Sanford? If you love it, share with the group.
For now, on with our list:
WORTH THE DRIVE (NOT TOO FAR!):
Chef's Table at the Edgewater (Winter Garden)
Yellow Dog Eats (love this place!) (Gotha)
Journeys at Alaqua (Longwood)
Yellow Dog Eats
1236 Hempel Ave, Gotha, FL 34734
99 W Plant St, Winter Garden, FL 34787
Mikado Sushi - delicious, refreshing, fresh plates, with seasonal delicacies.
Padrinos - Cuban - great atosphere, great food.
Normans - fine dining, and not to be missed.
Fortuna Bakery - Authentic Latin bakery with superb deserts, great lunch specials, and empanadas.
I keep hearing about Cafe Papillon in Sandford - anyone been there and can report back, because what I can tell it looks pretty awesome.
13586 Village Park Dr, Orlando, FL 32837
I attempted to eat at Cafe Papillon after hearing how great the place was, but ended up finding the restaurant kind of creepy and decided not to eat there. We were the only customers and were seated at a single random table in the middle of a highly perfumed antique/gift shop. The whole setup was really strange and gave me a bad vibe. Maybe the food is awesome, but eating in a store that smells like my grandmother's strong perfume wasn't what I had in mind...
re: watch me eat
hehehehe, thanks, I can see how that can be uncomfortable. The people I have known that have went didn't seem to mind being the only ones, but those people happen to be very extraverted adventurous souls. So I think the strangeness excited them.
From what I know It's just the one guy who owns and prepares the food. It's simple french cafe lunch fare but I've heard people rave about it.
I would totally try it out, but I'd probably bring my extraverted husband and maybe a friend or two.
Here's a few of my favorites off the top of my head-
Hollerbach's Willow Tree Cafe (Sanford)
Imperial Dynasty (Longwood)
Bayridge Sushi (Longwood/Apopka)
Ali Baba (Longwood)
Udipi Cafe (Longwood)
Caffe Positano (Lake Mary)
1155 W State Road 434 Ste 105, Longwood, FL 32750
14422 N Dale Mabry Hwy, Tampa, FL 33618
Hollerbach's Willow Tree Cafe
205 E 1st St Ste D, Sanford, FL 32771
3837 Lake Emma Rd, Lake Mary, FL 32746
750 S US Highway 17 92, Longwood, FL 32750