Eat Local: Orlando's Best Restaurants

Trey Dyer

It is something a lot of people struggle with (myself included) when visiting a new city. “Where should we eat?” Orlando has a great deal of high end chain restaurants that offer good food, but if you are like me, you want something original.

If you are looking for something unique to Orlando that you cannot get back home, take a look at our favorite local restaurants.

 Roast Duck served medium rare at K Restaurant 

Best Restaurant

K Restaurant: With fresh ingredients from local farms delivered every day, and an ever-changing menu, K Restaurant offers one of Orlando’s most unique dining experiences. Since Chef Kevin Fonzo opened the restaurant in 2001 in the neighborhood of College Park, K Restaurant has received almost every dining award in Orlando from “Best Restaurant in Orlando,” to “Neighborhood Gem.” Read more about K Restaurant

Best Southern Cuisine 

Cask and Larder: With a selection of over 50 whiskeys, bourbons and ryes, a creative and intriguing menu and a modern and classy atmosphere, Cask and Larder offers southern dining at its’ best.

Best Mexican/Tex Mex 

Paco’s Mexican Restaurant: For over 30 years, Paco’s Mexican Restaurant has been serving some of the finest tex mex food in Central Florida. This casual restaurant has all the classics. My personal favorite is their Giant Chili Chimi. Read more about Paco's Mexcian Restaurant

The Bocadilla with the daily grain at The Strand

Best American Bistro 

The Strand: The Strand features fresh, seasonal ingredients from local farms and offers a stylist twist on traditional American bistro cuisine. Whether you order the seared duck with spiced cherries and herb roasted potatoes or Alabama Poussin, the Strand offers a quaint and delicious food experience in one of the best local food neighborhoods in Orlando. Read more about the Strand

Best Middle Eastern Cuisine

Bosphorous Turkish Cuisine: Overlooking Central Park on Park Avenue in downtown Winter Park, Bosphorous is a great place to experience the flavors of Turkey. The Lavash bread with hummus is a great way to start your meal and any of the tasty kabobs or lamb dishes are excellent entree choices. Read more about Bospohorous 

Best Asian Cuisine

Pho 88: With a very large population of Vietnamese immigrants in Orlando, the Mills 50 Main Street District (know by the local’s as “Little Vietnam”) has some of the best Vietnamese cuisine in the Southeast. Pho 88 offers traditional Vietnamese cuisine in a friendly atmosphere. The Pho is the best in town, and each and every dish captures the true flavors of Vietnam. Read more about Pho 88

The bar at Ceviche in Downtown Orlando

Best Spanish Cuisine

Ceviche Tapas Bar and Restaurant: Located in the heart of downtown Orlando on historic Church Street, this tapas bar offers delectable small shareable dishes with a heavy Spanish influence. With a trendy atmosphere and great energy, Ceviche is the perfect place to start a night out.

Best Waterside Restaurant

Hillstone Restaurant: Located on beautiful Lake Killarney in Winter Park, Hillstone offers delicious food paired with one of the best sunset views in all of Florida.

Best Gastro Pub

The Ravenous Pig: With creative cocktails, including the bacon infused old fashion, this gastro pub offers some of the best fine dining in town. Their commitment to quality ingredients is only surpassed by the love that Central Florida locals have for this establishment.

Best French Restaurant

Le Coq au Vin: With a farm to table approach with produce herbs that come from their own family farm, Le Coq au Vin features the best French food Central Florida has to offer.  The warm and romantic atmosphere is the perfect place to enjoy savory French favorites. Read more about Le Coq au Vin

Best Seafood Restaurant

Winter Park Fish Co: With fine dining quality seafood and the unique atmosphere of a traditional Florida seafood shack, Winter Park Fish Co is this local’s favorite place for seafood. Fresh fish is delivered daily. Read more about Winter Park Fish Co.

The Cuban at Black Bean Deli

Best Cuban Food

Black Bean Deli: This deli style restaurant has been serving Cuban comfort food to Central Florida locals for over a decade. With classic dishes like Spanish baked chicken, Cuban sandwiches and tasty sides like empanadas, Papas Rellenas and Croquettes, Black Bean Deli is the place for Cuban food in Central Florida. Read more about Black Bean Deli

Best BBQ

4 Rivers Smokehouse: John Rivers opened this Texas style BBQ smokehouse in 2009 and quickly picked up a cult following. Today, 4 Rivers has a line out the door almost every hour of the day as hungry patrons line up to get the best smoked brisket, pork, chicken and more with all the southern fixings.

Best Sushi

Shari Sushi: Located in the ever trendy Thorton Park, Shari Sushi provides fresh, high quality sushi in a stylish atmosphere. With creative presentations and delicious fresh fish, we can’t think of a better sushi experience. Read more about Shari Sushi

Eat Local!

I encourage everyone who visits Central Florida to give these restaurants a try. This collection of local eats is comprised of Central Florida’s elite food establishments and the best chefs in the area. Dining at these institutions is the best way to Eat Local.