rate my orlando eating plans
i'm visiting orlando for a few days from fort lauderdale. my vacation is mostly revolving around food. these are the places im deciding amongst for dining. please let me know if i'm headed for a disaster:
* Beefy King
* Anh Hong
* Pom Pom Teahouse
* Spooky Cat
* Ravenous Pig
* Rainbow Sno Cones
* Blue Bird Bakery
* Chewy Boba/Lollicup
* Hawker's Street Food
* Stardust Coffee
* Sandwich Bar
* Drunken Monkey
Cool list looks mostly in the same area. Here are some thoughts:
Beefy King - is an Orlando Institution, it's great grub food but do expect more of an arby's dinning scenario.
Amura - I've eaten at the sand lake location and not been impressed, but some love amura. so if you must.
Pom Pom - Yes
Spooky Cat - got to Spooky cat and nix sandwich bar
Hawkers - yes
Nix Bananas and go to Funky Monkey Wine Company for the drag show instead
If you haven't made reservations at Ravenous Pig already Nix it and go to Rusty spoon instead.
Oblivion Taproom - nice beer list; amazing burgers
Winter Park Fish Company - Really fresh fish, small, counter service, a tad divey but clean.
That sounds like a fine (if hipster-ish) dining itinerary, but with a strong geographic focus on downtown. Most of those places are on the informal, cheap and basic side, which is great if that's what you're after.
A few specific thoughts:
- Beefy King is great for what it is, but make sure your expectations are aligned as it is basically an excellent old-school Arby's
- as for Vietnamese we all have our favs - mine are Lac Viet and Pho 88
- Ravenous Pig is your outlier - it's much more expensive than your other options - it's also much much better. Just an FYI
- Do you mean Funky Monkey instead of Drunken Monkey? If so that's a great place but it is quiet and a little romantic so know that if your mood is different
- Bananas is actually not so great UNLESS you are hungry at 2 in the morning - then it's a better option than Denny's
- Two to add in this area and price strata are Tako Cheena (from the Pom Pom guys), an Asian taco fusion joint, and Yum-Mi Sandwiches, an update on the bahn mi Vietnamese sandwich - both are very informal and cheap
- You also might consider adding in Rusty Spoon if you don't want to make the drive up to Ravenous
The good thing about your choices is that most of them are in the same general part of town: Winter Park/Audobon Park/Milk District/ViMi/near downtown Orlando. I haven't tried a few of your choices and had never heard of Sandwich Bar or Spooky Cat (apparently called Spooky's Black Cat Cafe), but the rest are really solid places.
For Vietnamese, I like Lac Viet and Little Saigon both more than Anh Hong, for what it's worth.
Stardust is a funky, hipsterish place. I've always thought their coffee is mediocre and their staff is snobby and brusque, but if you're going, try to time your visit for a Monday night so you can hit up the Audobon Park Farmer's Market outside. There are some great sweets and treats to be had, and you can also try some food from Big Wheel while you're there, arguably the best food truck in town.
If I can add any recommendations, I love the Turkish restaurant Bosphorous (a better deal at lunch than dinner), the barbecue joint Four Rivers Smokehouse (almost unanimously considered the best barbecue in Florida), and the Irish pub Fiddler's Green, all of which are in Winter Park, relatively close to each other and the Ravenous Pig. Also try to hit a food truck bazaar while you're here, for the aforementioned Big Wheel, The Crooked Spoon, Korean BBQ Taco Box, and as many others as you can. You would also like Oblivion Taproom on Colonial, east of most of your places, a cool brewpub with incredible burgers and appetizers.