Relocating to Orlando and a huge foodie
Hi - I am relocating from Tampa to Orlando and am looking for restaurants to dine at in and around downtown Orlando.
We live downtown by Thornton Park and know about all the popular restaurants in the area - Ravenous Pig, Kres, Citrus, Shari, Dexters, Logans, K, Taste, Shin, Napasorn, Cityfish, 310, Rare Olive, etc...I am looking/hoping to hear about unique finds I wouldnt see on the 10 top restaurant sites.
I would like to stay away from the touristy section, but if there are outstanding restaurants that locals normally go to, I am interested in hearing. The only cuisine I cannot eat is Chinese, but absolutely love Japanese, German, mexican, good salads, great steaks, fresh seafood, southern cuisine, and cuban/spanish.
I look forward to hearing about all your responses!!
If you look below these posts you'll see links in the FLORIDA BOARD DISCUSSIONS section that begin with ORLANDO VISITOR'S DINING GUIDE - check those out for a start on your questions - all recommendations within exclude national chains and touristy places
Anatolia - Turkish is excellent. While I haven't been to Bosphoreus in Winter Park, a friend of mine liked Anatolia better.
For Sushi my heart belongs to Mikado Sushi in the villages at Hunters Creek South Orlando., its just amazingly fresh, well presented plates and delicious. Also in the villages there is Padrinos which is cuban, and quite delicious as well.
I'm still a fan of Girabaldi's mexican resturants, They have expanded and some say they lost a little of the smaller type charm but I think they are still very good. Sandlake and semoran locations.
Of course everyone has been raving about 4 rivers BBQ in winter park. It's great, and a well needed addition to that area but parking sucks.
Fine Dining - My pick is still Normans in the Ritz Carlton off of central florida parkway and john young, near seaword.
We don't have very many german restuarants. I'd like to know the best in the area as well.
Lee and Ricks for Oysters, I've never had their hot meals, but their Oysters are great, and the last time I went I had a really good shucker.
Hot Dog Heaven for Chicago style hotdogs
Cubans on the Run - It's in Cassleberry which is a drive for me but I love their cuban sandwiches.
Press 101 - Dr. Phillips - is a great place for a fun lunch date, wine and sandwiches outside in nice weather is always a great time.
Ceviche - downtown - I loved our last meal here, but I've heard complaints from friends about service for large groups which is a shame, but still a great place to try.
The other tapas place in town is off Idrive - Cafe Tu Tu Tango. I love this place, but some of the dishes are hits, and some are misses. and portion size varies, great for a group, a fun time, or people who love art, the walls are decorated in local art.
Hot Dog Heaven
5355 E Colonial Dr, Orlando, FL 32807
Cafe Tu Tu Tango
8625 International Dr, Orlando, FL 32819
7600 Dr Phillips Blvd Ste 22, Orlando, FL 32819
13586 Village Park Dr, Orlando, FL 32837
My fave downtown spots are these:
- Urban Flats, flatbread
- Shin, upscale sushi
- Bento Cafe, quick-serve but delicious sushi
- Dexter's, bistro
- Roho Cafe, Cuban
- Panchero's, cheap Mexican
- CityFish, seafood
- Napasorn, Thai
- ANY of the Vietnamese restaurants along Colonial Drive
- Kres Chophouse, amazing soups and salads
- Pita Pit, quick-serve Mediterranean
- Johnson's Diner, soul food
As for German, if you don't mind driving about a half-hour outside of downtown, Hollerbach's Willow Tree Cafe in Sanford is awesome: http://www.willowtreecafe.com
Hollerbach's Willow Tree Cafe
205 E 1st St Ste D, Sanford, FL 32771
595 W Church St Ste E, Orlando, FL 32805
330 A1A N, Ponte Vedra Beach, FL 32082
Thank you for these suggestions - I will definitely make a point to try them all. Keep sending if others come to mind :)
I did try Bento this weekend and loved it - was in and out in an hour, and the quality was not skimped at all!
Napasorn, however I had the other night as well for takeout and was not that impressed. I ordered the phad thai and it was flavorless to me - but the meal my boyfriend ordered, he was very pleased with - I believe it was the spicy beef and vegetables.
We went to Del Frisco's on Friday night with a large party and I have to say - the steaks there have gotten better than I remembered! The renovation to the place looked great and the steaks were cooked perfect! The broccoli and cheese was the best side dish we had and the crab cakes had no breading and were so flavorful!
Some of your choices are a little confusing to me.
Bento Sushi, I found not to be as good as Shari.
Pita Pit is your Mediterranean choice? really? I love pita pit but wouldn't categorize it as "Mediterranean.
Lastly...Urban Flats downtown is NOT GOOD. Way tooo overpriced, food is mediocore at best and service isn't good. I generally don't complain or dislike many places but this place is a definate pass...
Of course this is just my opinion.
Join Chef Norman Van Aken and some of
Orlando’s finest chefs and sommeliers
Saturday, August 20th at 6 pm
Norman’s at The Ritz-Carlton Orlando Grande Lakes
Chef Brandon McGlamery: Luma
Chef Scott Hunnel: Victoria & Albert's
Chef James Petrakis: The Ravenous Pig
Chef Camilo Velasco & Fernando Enriquez: NORMAN'S
Chef Sean Woods & Chef Stephane Cheramy: The Ritz-Carlton, Grande Lakes, Orlando
Master Sommelier: Brian Koziol
Master Sommelier: Laura DePasquale
Advanced Sommelier: Luis Reyneri
Sommelier: Yusuf Yildiz
Scotch and Bourbon Bar on terrace and Hand Rolled Cigars
Call Restaurant for menu detail
$175 per person all inclusive
Reservations required (407) 393-4333
Ritz-Carlton Orlando Grande Lakes
4012 Central Florida Pkwy, Orlando, FL 32837
I also think Cafe Tu Tu Tango is worth going to. It's never been outrageously busy when I've been there. Everyone can find something to enjoy. I've liked all the takes on spare ribs that I've had as well as a couple of good flat breads and terrines. Alligator gumbo (I know, sounds uber touristy) was a choice last time I was there and it was good. Nice beer list with local options. The entertainment isn't too intrusive, even the belly dancers. Their routine is short and the noise level is far below what one might experience in many other restaurants, especially in that neighborhood.
The best German food around is the Willow Tree Cafe in Sanford. They now have a grocery/deli open on Magnolia Square- about 1/2 block from the restaurant. http://www.willowtreecafe.com/
Yalaha Bakery is opening a store in Orlando. It is on Orange Avenue, across from Lake Ivanhoe and about 4 doors down from Tim's Wine Store, the best wine store in Orlando
8210 CR 48, Yalaha, FL 34797
Cuban - black bean deli on 17/92 in winter park
Thai villa - goldenrod at aloma near winter park. Very small and cozy. Good food. Near it is boston Fish House. They fly their seafood daily fromNew England and is very authentic.
Not quite a restaurant but try croissant gourmet for baguettes and French pastries. Owners spent months bringing different yeasts from France to get the baguettes right in our weather. Park avenue and morse in winter park. Across morse is the Cuban cafe, another very good choice for cuban.
These are rather winter park centric since I used to live there
Downtown I am a fan of Dexter's. Next to it is Aroma. Good wine decent food. A little pricey.
For upscale Mexican I fell in love with Paxia in College Park. Very very good upscale take on Mexican.
Try Shine neighborhood kitchen just outside Thornton park. All my friends love it. Sadly have not had a chance to try it.
Bosphorus on park avenue is good turkish. Mi tomatina and El bodegon in winter park are both good choices for Spanish.
I will think of more and repost. Sadly right now I can only think of the great ones that have closed (Amira's kosher deli anyone?).
And pancheros? Really? I would have never thought of eating there. Anyone have any thoughts on it?
I did get suckered into Chicos dirty tacos downtown And surprisingly they have tongue tacos. And surprisingly the tongue was well prepared. Pleasant enough for me to consider going back even if everything around the tongue was awful. And the chicken taco wasnt worth a dime. And while on the subject of bad Mexican downtown, go to mucho tequila for the ambiance, don't even bother with the food
2611 Edgewater Drive, Orlando, FL 32804
Shakera's West Indian Restaurant. This place has been a secret for over 20 years! The BEST Roti in town! I just had one of their boneless chicken roti -- and it was Delicious!! The ambiance is very ole school, but the food is traditional -- the real ting! Guyanese owned and almost as good as their Trinidad counterparts! They offer a wide selection of lunch specials and a variety of curry dishes as well as standard like oxtail stew and stew chicken. We will definitely be back -- again and again! Let's help support this mom & pop shop while you enjoy the kind of cuisine you miss from home! Spread the word, people.....
Hanamizuki - right in the heart of I-drive but arguably one of the best Japanese restaurants in Florida, and one of the few serving ramen.
So... some of my favorites...
Pho Hoa on Primrose and Colonial (Vietnamese)
King Cajun on Mills (Cajun/ amazing seafood/crabs)
Panullos on Park in Winter Park (Italian)
Bosphorus in Winter Park (Turkish)
Luma in Winter Park
Arepas and More on Bumby (hole in the wall, amazing arepas!)
Tako Cheena (haven't been, but everyone love it. On Mills)
Hawkers Asian Street Fare on Mills (S.E. Asian)
Cask and Larder in Winter Park (Gastropub)
I was just at Se7enbites (we're official regulars now!), and they have finished the outside deck. People were sitting outside and enjoying the overcast afternoon. My wife and I are huge, huge fans of the place.
My favorite restaurants in town include:
The Ravenous Pig
4 Rivers Smokehouse
Hawkers Asian Street Fare (had lunch there today)
Txokos Basque Kitchen
I also tried Hot Dog Heaven for the first time ever yesterday, after working five minutes from it for the last six years. The hot dogs were pretty good, but they have something called a Pizza Puff that was out of this world, like a pizza-filled chimichanga or the best Hot Pocket you've ever had.