It’s really easy to grab a bite at the closest place to eat while on vacation. However, if you’re a foodie and want to get a taste of what the locals love in Orlando, plan to include some of these restaurants on your next vacation.
Orlando Knows BBQ
First, Orlando is in the south. So, you can’t totally avoid southern style cooking and barbeque. If you want the best barbeque in town, visit 4 Rivers Smokehouse. Try the brisket, owner Chef John’s specialty. Don’t worry if you don’t see any advertisements about them around town, because this local chain has spread all because of word of mouth. If you prefer a twist on traditional barbeque, check out Pig Floyds which includes Latin and Asian influences in its barbeque concept.
For good traditional southern style food, stop by Se7en Bites for brunch or lunch and take a few pastries back to the resort for later. For other great local standards, try Yellow Dog Eats or Teak Neighborhood grill for menus with versatility and solid good food.
Orlando Knows International Cuisine
Orlando is a true melting pot with residents who helm from all over the world. That means there are plenty of international cuisines to try while you’re here too. If you want to stay near the attractions, you can’t go wrong with choices like Nile Ethiopian, Taste of Punjab, or King of Falafels.
Near downtown Orlando in the Mills/50 district, you will find Little Vietnam, a district where there are plenty of Asian food, both traditional and fusion, to choose from. Some local favorites include Hawkers Asian Street Food (a mix from different Asian cuisines), Siagon Noodles–offering Vietnamese classics, and Mamak for Malaysian fare. For a twist on Thai food, head over to Winter Park for Krungthep Tea Time. For Ramen with some local flare, try Domu at East End Market.
Orlando Knows Tacos
If tacos are your thing, there are plenty of local spots to fill that love. For traditional take, try Black Rooster Taqueria or for a slight twist on the classics, Tin and Taco is for you. Gringos Locos is perfect for a late-night bite, as is Tako Cheena which offers a funky Asian fusion twist on the typical taco.
Orlando Knows Vegetarian
Vegetarian and vegan vacationers won’t be left out either. Orlando is a very vegan and vegetarian friendly town. There are lots of vegan and vegetarian friendly options to choose from, but a long-standing favorite in town is Dandelion Café. For local focused plant forward eating, try the Sanctum. Even southern barbeque is vegan friendly at Dixie Dharma located in Market on South.
Orlando Knows Upscale Cuisine
If you are looking for an upscale evening out, Orlando has many choices to enjoy. While the owners have a casual spot at Disney Springs called the Poor Porker, for a real treat, visit their original restaurant concept Ravenous Pig, a gastro pub in Winter Park. Or if you prefer fish, try Reel Fish Coastal Kitchen and Bar down the street. Steak lovers can enjoy a hearty steak at Hillstones.
Santiago’s Bodega is the perfect choice for an evening of tapas and drinks. Tucked in a residential area, Maxine’s on Shine is a true neighborhood establishment. They serve up comfortable, but upscale food locals love.
The next time you take a vacation in Orlando, take a short drive to the areas where the locals love to go. You’ll find great food with some local Orlando love. We promise it’s worth the trip to experience Orlando’s foodie scene.