Things to do in Orlando

Orlando Food Guide: Where To Eat in Orlando

Orlando’s thrill isn’t just limited to its limitless theme parks. Culinary lovers will be delighted by this selection of restaurants and eateries.

Unique Dining Experiences

Before we dig into our list of the best places to eat, it’s important to highlight how many meals are part of unique experiences in Orlando. You can buy a package that combines dinner with a full-blown theater show. Or you can eat next to attractions to get into the spirit of that evening’s activities well before the curtain goes up.

1. Drawn to Life Dinner Package

As you draw up your list of things to do in Orlando, make sure you include one of the best dinner-and-a-show packages in the city. Drawn to Life is a partnership between Cirque du Soleil and Disney that celebrates all the magic created by Disney’s legendary team of animators. Here, 2D drawings burst into life as part of an enthralling celebration of creativity and imagination.

But before you witness all that, you get to opt in to the immersive Drawn to Life experience by choosing to dine at one of 13 participating Disney Spring restaurants offering a prix fixe Animated Evening menu. From City Works Eatery & Pour House to Raglan Road Irish Pub and Restaurant, there are venues to suit every palate, filling your belly before you get your fill of Cirque du Soleil brilliance.

Disney Delicacies: Where Fantasy Meets Flavors

Some of the best restaurants near Orlando live inside Disney parks. Whether you’re grabbing a meal with Minnie Mouse or testing out a certain crab’s theory that everything is better down where it’s wetter, these restaurants serve up memories galore.

Photographer: Sean Nufer

2. Cinderella’s Royal Table

No official invitation to the royal ball? No problem. Everyone is welcome at Cinderella’s Royal Table — as long as you have a reservation, of course. Sign up for breakfast, lunch, or dinner and dine inside this pretty princess’ iconic castle. Meals include elevated twists on classics like caramel, apple-stuffed French toast, and a spice-rubbed pork tenderloin with Parisian gnocchi, plus plates for pint-sized royals with familiar favorites such as chicken nuggets and mac and cheese.

Forget about losing a shoe. You may well lose your head over the restaurant’s signature dessert entitled The Clock Strikes Twelve. It's a salivating combo of dark chocolate mousse, dark chocolate ganache, and a zippy raspberry coulis.

3. Ohana at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort

All the charm of Polynesia is at your fingertips — or is it more like at the end of your fork tines? — when you visit 'Ohana at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort. Dishes such as grilled teriyaki beef, pork dumplings tossed in garlic-chili sauce, and spicy peel-and-eat shrimp are served family style in a dining room covered in island-inspired decor and greenery. Tuck into pineapple coconut bread pudding à la mode for dessert as Hawaiian tunes play in the background.

If you're eager for a Polynesian breakfast, the resort offers that too. It pairs island-style brunch dishes with Lilo and Stitch as special guests.

4. Le Cellier Steakhouse at EPCOT

Share a romantic meal at Le Cellier Steakhouse. Dining is all about ambience, with a cozy cellar atmosphere and classic steakhouse elegance setting the mood for the perfect meal for two.

The restaurant focuses on Canadian cuisine. It has a mouthwatering take on cheesy poutine fries and tons of fresh seafood. However, it’s the signature entrees like the Le Cellier filet and Canadian wine selections that make your date night one to remember.

As a bonus, the restaurant is found inside the Canada Pavilion, where you’ll find options for shopping and live entertainment.

Photographer: Paul Einerhand

5. Be Our Guest Restaurant

Belle always had her nose in a book, but even she would drop her favorite tome to enjoy a meal at this masterpiece of a restaurant. From the gilded walls and incredible ceiling mural to the chairs that look like they could come to life and break into song at any moment, Be Our Guest Restaurant captures the same feeling of enchantment present in the animated feature film Beauty and the Beast.

You can dine in the Grand Ballroom, the West Wing (make sure the Beast doesn’t find you), or The Rose Gallery to devour French-inspired dishes, such as duck and pork terrine, trout amandine, and roasted poulet rouge chicken with truffle-potato puree, wild mushrooms, and green onion relish. Save room for the grey stuff, too.

6. Coral Reef Restaurant

Eat your next meal alongside marine life at Coral Reef Restaurant. The biggest attraction is the floor-to-ceiling windows, giving you a view of the restaurant’s coral reef with over 2,000 sea creatures.

Enjoy unparalleled peace and an up-close-and-personal encounter with a bevy of finned beauties as you choose between dishes such as shrimp and grits, slow-roasted prime rib, grilled mahi-mahi, or mushroom ravioli.

7. Tiffins Restaurant

After you’ve worked up an appetite roaring your way around Disney’s Animal Kingdom, stop into Tiffins Restaurant located in the park’s Discovery Island and refuel with your choice of international cuisine. Think of lunch and dinner at Tiffins as a ticket around the world. You get to explore an entire world of gastronomic delights — without heading through the TSA.

You can jump from Africa to Asia to Latin America via the restaurant's lamb merguez-stuffed medjool dates, whole-fried sustainable fish with coconut and curry, and charred octopus with mole negro. Even the artwork backs up the travel theme. The collages, sculptures, and Imagineer field sketches are stunning you can’t help but paws and appreciate them.

8. Victoria & Albert’s

One of the most famous marriages in history gets a nod from Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa with the AAA Five Diamond Award-winning Victoria & Albert’s. There’s only one seating per evening, but those lucky enough to score a reservation will get to dine as royalty in a grand rotunda dome enveloped in flowers, butterflies, and Victorian-era murals.

For food, you’ll choose between two menus paired with selections from a 500-label wine list or hand-crafted zero-proof beverages.

Popular Restaurants in Disney Springs

Some of the tastiest Orlando food is in a waterfront neighborhood inside Walt Disney World Resort. Early 20th century buildings and beauty provide a perfect backdrop for a meal at eateries from casual to Asian excellence.

Photographer: Philip Arambula

9. The Boathouse

Voted the No. 1 restaurant in Disney Springs, The Boathouse embodies everything waterfront dining on Lake Buena Vista should be. From the big boat framing the restaurant’s entrance to the nautical-themed flotsam and jetsam bobbing around inside, this is one hotspot that works hard to live up to its name. The seafood dishes share space with classic steaks, chops, and vegetarian pasta.

If you’re in Orlando on the weekend, check out the Captain’s sing along brunch and enjoy a slew of shanties with a side of shirred eggs and toast.

10. Morimoto Asia

It stands to reason that one of the best restaurants in Orlando would be run by one of the best chefs in the world. Iron Chef Masaharu Morimoto’s influence is all over Morimoto Asia’s fusion cuisine. The on-trend industrial chic decor does a laudable job straddling the line between casual dining and more formal eats, and the menu is just as accommodating.

Tuck into a steaming bowl of hot and sour soup with duck broth, share a few plates of pork egg rolls and seared garlic chive dumplings, and round out your spread with Morimoto’s signature house-roasted whole duck. There’s also a dedicated sushi menu, so you can indulge in special selections flown in direct from Tokyo’s famous Toyosu fish market.

11. Jaleo by José Andrés

Say hola to another celeb-chef-helmed establishment. Orlando’s Jaleo is the brainchild of Spanish-born chef José Andrés, whose personality and playful eats make every item on the menu interesting. Leave the thinking to José and his team and snack your way through a preselected tasting menu, or dive face first into the greatest hits of Spain as you wind your way through cure meats, tangy cheeses, and big pans of paella paired with fine wines and the best sangria on this side of the Ebro river.

Farm-to-Table in Orlando, FL

Some of the best food Orlando has to offer exists solely because the network of local farmers, seafood purveyors, and chefs is so strong. There’s something strikingly tasty about a meal made using bounty straight from Central Florida’s farmlands, and these restaurants take full advantage.

12. The Ravenous Pig

Kick back and be one with the brewery lifestyle at The Ravenous Pig. This gastropub focuses on inventive farm-to-table eats, seasonal offerings, and all the beers and cocktails you can take. The food isn’t necessarily fancy, but it's thoughtful and refined.

Imagine talking about your day at Disney over a ciabatta truffle loaf and soy-glaze crispy pork belly or plotting your plan of attack for tomorrow’s to-do list of attractions while scarfing down Mongolian BBQ octopus and mushroom and gruyere beignets chased by a pint of Lone Palm Golden Ale.

13. Artisan’s Table

It’s time to treat your taste buds to a tangled feast of new and innovative flavors, courtesy of the chefs at Artisan’s Table. As if dishes such as a fried artichoke Caesar salad, bulgogi meatballs, and pork tenderloin with warm German potato salad weren’t enough, the restaurant is also renowned for its superior service and convenient location in downtown Orlando.

Locals also rave about the restaurant’s coffee bar. Satisfy your sweet tooth with a fluffer nutter latte, or fuel up for a fun day at the park with a breakfast latte infused with orange peel and maple syrup.

Photographer: Chris Tweten

Markets in Orlando

Orlando's markets are bursting with fresh produce, artisanal meats, and handmade breads. Shop smart and you can grab a few things for your hotel room or put together a DIY picnic to tote with you on your adventures.

14. East End Market

The East End Market is a vibrant food hall with a seemingly endless supply of stalls run by Orlando-area merchants. Buy some goodies, watch the experts at work in one of the hall’s demo kitchens, and buy souvenirs at the attached retail shops. From acai bowls to espresso to ramen so rich it should have its own investment account, the treats at East End are as varied as they are delectable.

15. Lake Eola Farmers Market

Every Sunday, Downton Orlando is home to Lake Eola Farmers Market. Here, you can buy everything from fresh produce and baked goods to jewelry and handmade gifts. Pick up prepared foods such as gourmet brownies, kettle corn, and homemade dips, and stock your hotel room with snacks leagues above vending machine fare.

Depending on when you’re planning your Disney dream vacay, you may be in town for one of the market’s many community events. There have been festivals, art programs, and more hosted on-site since 1987, giving guests a taste of local culture with a side of sweet corn and freshly picked kale.

Outdoor Dining in Orlando

Given the fantastic weather that exists year-round in Florida, you can’t put together a list of top Orlando food spots without mentioning eateries that include outdoor dining.

16. Food Truck Park

Choose from over 100 high-quality food options with tacos, ribs, and sliders galore. Food Truck Park is every street-meat loving Orlando gastronome’s go-to spot.

The park is open late — until 1 a.m. during the week and 2 a.m. on the weekends — so you can get your yakitori fix or binge on fusion burgers after a long day exploring the city.

17. Make a Picnic at Lake Eola Park

Be like Mickey and friends, and have your own perfect picnic within a stone’s throw of Lake Eola. There are plenty of spots to set up a lunchtime camp around Lake Eola Park, plus paddleboats and lots of wildlife to entertain the family after you’ve gobbled up the contents of your picnic basket.

And speaking of eats, you can bring your own bits and pieces from the farmers market or a local grocery store, or get takeout from local eateries, such as The Stubborn Mule, Pizza@LakeEola, and Neveyah Sushi and Thai.

18. Go to an Event at the Thornton Park District

Thornton Park District is a cultural haven for Orlandoans. Here, residents of The City Beautiful and visitors mingle as they bop to different happy hours and meet up for events such as the beloved Wine & Art Walk.

With more than 50 locally owned storefronts and dining options along Thornton Park District’s Main Street, even wandering about before brunch can be quite the adventure.

Enjoy Orlando’s Food Scene With Cirque du Soleil

Orlando is known for thrill rides and theme parks and even its museums, but the food scene is every bit as exhilarating as boarding a roller coaster or soaking up the scares at a tower built for terror. Whether you’re crazy about Cuban sandwiches or crave an expertly designed experience you can’t get anywhere else in the world, Orlando is the culinary destination your inner foodie has been waiting for.

To get a head start on planning your next trip to Disney, make your reservation for one of our shows in Orlando.

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