Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Florida >
Jun 10, 2012 03:49 AM

Orlando - Convention Center Area?

Anything interesting (i.e. not a national chain) near the Convention Center?

So far, I have found Pio Pio and Cafe Tu Tu Tango.

Any opinions on/experience with Arepas El Cacao food truck? The Orlando Food truck site says they're on International Drive in the evenings.

It doesn't have to be fancy, just delicious. Lunch places?


  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Along I-Drive I'd recommend for lunch
    1. Hanamizuki - Get their Shio Butter Ramen and a half order of fried rice
    2. Sizler - Really good, and decently priced Indian place on I-drive
    3. Aashirwad Indian - nice Indian buffet for lunch
    4. Pao gostoso - local Brazillian bakery with pastries and some sandwich items for lunch
    5. Trey Yuen - dim sum and authentic chinese food
    6. Nile Ethiopian - If you like ethiopian cuisine, it's decent

    Along Sand Lake Road
    4. Nagoya - fresh sushi
    5. Saffron - nice Indian place for lunch, nice digs

    For dinner, if you have an expense account, or access to for the gift certificates,
    A Land Remembered at the Rosen Shingle Creek has some of the best steaks I've had in Orlando (bone in ribeye) and Cala Bella in the same hotel has some nice mediterranean/Italian but both are pretty pricey

    I like Arepas El Cacao, especially their beef arepa. They use a nice home made mild cheese from Venezuela.

    Let us know how it goes!


    3 Replies
    1. re: pdpredtide

      I'll also recommend Anatolia for Turkish and Greek Flame Taverna for Greek, both in the same shopping center on Sand Lake Road (Nagoya is in there too), and Anthony's Coal-Fired Pizza in the Whole Foods shopping center on Sand Lake and Turkey Lake.

      1. re: Big Bad Voodoo Lou

        Ricky, Lou,

        Thanks so much! I'm copying it all down and putting it on my phone for the upcoming trip.

      2. re: pdpredtide

        I would like to second Hanamizuki. Went for lunch so can't comment on the sushi there, but nice and authentic, plenty of Japanese patrons on a Wednesday for lunch! Had the shoyu tonkatsu ramen - very nicely cooked al dente noodles, very tender fatty Cha siu and rich broth. Got the half fried rice (even before reading pdpredtide's post) and while it was on the bland side, it was a great complement to the rich broth of the ramen. Would have loved to try dinner here the other night, but they were closed.

      3. Since I am from Orlando, I completely comply with the selected list. Restaurant row, AKA Sandlake road in Dr. Phillips is basically the way to go.

        1. Cafe Tu Tu Tango is my favorite place in all of Orlando, its super fun and the food is amazing. Make sure you have reservations.

          Not far from I Drive is Mr Beefy's if you want to know what Arby's copied to start their business. A great 60's throwback. The best BBQ in the area isn't far away on Michigan.... at Cecil's, its fantastic.

          4 Replies
          1. re: jtboyd

            sorry for the correction but I think you are talking about Beefy King. :)

            1. re: Sandwich_Sister

              Definitely Beefy King, which I love. Sometimes I imagine an alternate universe where there are Beefy King franchises spangled across America instead of Arby's, and it makes me smile.

              1. re: Sandwich_Sister

                haha Yeah, thats it! It was a regular stop when I worked in Orlando. Damn I miss that place!
                : )