In a city that has become as much of a culinary destination as this one, deciding which are the 10 best restaurants in Orlando can tricky. The good news is that you can’t go wrong—just follow the lines and great food will follow.
Best Orlando Restaurants
The eight Orlando restaurants below represent a mix of high-end classics, new culinary upstarts, and quick-eat favorites.
Capa, Four Seasons Resort at Walt Disney World Resort
Take the elevator to the 17th floor of the Four Seasons Resort and you’ll be rewarded with a view that would makes every meal memorable. With incredible views of Disney’s Epcot and Magic Kingdom theme parks, meals that are timed right can end in fireworks. It’s the kind of novelty that might be necessary at other restaurants, but this rooftop steakhouse and bar doesn’t need it. At this Orlando restaurant, you’ll find Spanish-influenced cuisine that calls on a range of local offerings, including fresh Florida seafood and prime meats. The restaurant has been on Wine Enthusiast’s Best 100 Wine Restaurants in the U.S., and garnered best steak and best restaurant accolades by Orlando Magazine. Watch the chefs work their magic in the open kitchen or dine on the open terrace to soak up the view.
Luma on Park
There’s something to be said for chefs who recognize the talents in their own backyard. Chef Brandon McGlamery and Brian Cernell do exactly that by opting to create locally inspired cuisine in a gorgeous Orlando setting. Set on Park Avenue in Winter Park the restaurant serves meals that originate from local farmers and growers. The restaurant’s commitment to fresh ingredients is legendary, and the fact that Luma on Park also showcases one of the most extensive wine collections in Central Florida only adds to its popularity. Diners should choose from a selection of small plates or settle in for mains, and always save room for dessert.
Jaleo, Disney Springs
One of the most anticipated restaurants of the year will feature small Spanish plates and celeb-chef cred. This tapas spot is the brainchild of world-renowned Chef Jose Andres, and the restaurant aims to wow a local crowd with an extensive menu that reflects the regional diversity of traditional and contemporary Spanish cuisine. The restaurant is already a hit in other cities, including Washington D.C., where it originated. Its summer 2018 opening is expected to be a resounding success.
Jinya Ramen Bar
In Japan, ramen is a staple and the pre-packaged noodles most Americans associate with the dish—an abomination. Enter Jinya, a Ramen bar whose owner Tomonori Takahashi grew up eating the real thing and was determined to bring quality ramen to the masses. From the earthen pottery bowls to the rich broth and the aged noodles, not to mention Jinya’s outright refusal to skimp on fresh ingredients, this modern take on Japanese fare offers the ramen you didn’t even know you were missing.
Victoria and Albert, Grand Floridian Resort
If the Grand Floridian is the crown in the Walt Disney World Resort collection, Victoria and Albert has to be the crown jewel. A fitting description given that the restaurant is named for royalty and offers exactly the kind of experience they’d expect. The AAA Five Diamond Award winning Orlando restaurant serves up timeless elegance with non-rushed (sometimes hours-long) meals that take you from one beautifully presented dish to another. The caveat: You’ll need to dress accordingly. Men require jackets and casual wear is frowned upon. It’s a pricey outing for sure, but for special occasions, the exacting service can’t be beat.
There are two ways to do sushi: tiny shops with simple décor and a few wobbly tables, and lavish, beautifully decorated spots where the artistry on the walls is carried onto each plate. Kabooki Sushi is the latter. Don’t let the location fool you: Though the Orlando restaurant seems off the beaten path at the Colonial Town Center strip mall, once you’re inside you’ll understand what all the fuss is about. Plates are painstakingly attended to by Chef Henry Moso, who manages to blend other cultures with the extensive Japanese offerings. Kabooki Sushi is the real deal, even if the food is almost too pretty to eat. Almost.
Black Bean Deli
This traditional Cuban deli may have two different permanent locations in Orlando, but the commitment to Cuban food is the same at each. From the coffees in the morning to the empanadas and Cuban sandwiches in the afternoon, and the ropa vieja, carne con papa, and plantains at night, the deli has been meeting the expectations of its devoted clientele for more than 15 years. Mark your calendar with the daily specials and be prepared to come early to collect. Pro tip: Whether you eat in or take out, napkins are a must.
Pig Floyd’s Urban Barbakoa
There’s probably no better location in town for this kind of meal. Set amidst the multicultural offerings of Mills 50, this Orlando restaurant is perfectly placed to mix Caribbean, Latin, and Asian cultural influences with the traditional fire, smoke, and pit methods BBQ requires. Don’t be surprise to taste soy, citrus, and curry in the sauces and spices of your meal. Pig Floyd doesn’t shy away from the fusions: Menus boast BBQ banh mi with crisp pork belly, cheesesteaks, brisket, and Korean “kimcheeze” tacos among other things. Not ready to let it all go? The restaurant is more than happy to set you up with some take-out for later.
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– Original reporting by Heather Greenwood-Davis