Great local eats within 20 minutes of Universal?
Heading to Orlando for 4 days and would like to eat some meals outside the parks. Open to burgers/sandwhiches, Indian, Thai, Japanese, Mexican, Italian, etc. with a 'buget' for two of approx. $40 for lunch $75 for dinner.
Open to any standouts within Universal as well.
Thanks in advance!
You've got some options. I'm only including options that Vooddoo Lou did not include but I do agree with his assessment.
Memories of India - Sand Lake/ Turkey Lake Area
Saffron - Sand Lake "Restaurant Row" area near Dr. Phillips
Teak Neighborhood grill - large burger menu
Japanese / Sushi
Mikado Sushi - (2) locations. Raleigh street location is closest to Universal.
Nagoya Sushi - (2) locations Nagoya on Sand Lake Road and Dr. Phillips is the closest.
Press 101 - Sand Lake and Dr. Phillips
Peperoncino - While I can't endorse it fully since I have not been. Our local trusted Food Critic, Scott Joseph wrote a nice review of it. We have a lot of mediocre Italian chains in the area and this is probably the best near you.
Cafe Tu Tu Tango - Tapas, the food is good and it's a really fun atmosphere
You're very close to Anthony's Coal Fired Pizza, which is a chain with mostly Florida locations, but it looks like there's at least one in NJ, which I assume is where you're from. They have my favorite pizza, ribs, AND wings in town, all at one place:
If you like Turkish food, you're close to the Dr. Phillips location of Bosphorous, which is one of my favorite restaurants in town. Their mixed appetizer platter with puffy lavash bread is a refreshing and delicious meal for two, but if you add on one of their meat dishes like the doner kebab (similar to gyro meat), you have a real feast.
Greek Flame Taverna is in the same shopping center as Bosphorous, and it's also very good. Both places are cheaper for lunch than dinner, but I prefer lunches at Greek Flame and dinners at Bosphorous, given the option.
I also like Bento Cafe, which has very affordable creative sushi rolls, pan-Asian bento boxes, noodle dishes, soups, bubble tea drinks, and more. It's a funky place lit by red lights.
If you're willing to hit the high end of your budget, you can get incredible Japanese food (including sushi) at the classy and romantic Dragonfly:
All of these places are located on (or directly off) Sand Lake Road, just one exit west on I-4 past Universal.