What to Eat in Orlando: 12 Treats You Should Not Miss
One of the best ways to get to know a city is to eat your way through its signature dishes. Food culture is massively important in every city, where locals take pride in the food and drink that’s entirely specific to their hometown. Whether it’s a particular dish done right by a small business or an iconic snack that every corner hot dog stand serves, it’s good for a city to have something tasty to take pride in, and things are no different in Orlando.
Orlando, with its massive theme park industry, and vibrant downtown, sports some of the best street food in the country. There are also a host of amazing vegetarian and vegan-friendly restaurants in Orlando serving delicious food that fits any lifestyle. In terms of the theme parks, Disney World Resorts and Universal Studios serve a lot more than just cotton candy. These resorts have adopted gourmet cuisine with a full host of international flavors. While there are countless amazing reasons to visit Orlando, food is most certainly one of the best, so go explore this city’s vibrant restaurant scene, and remember you can always drop your luggage at a Bounce storage facility before heading out to eat!
Here are the things to eat in Orlando!
Cask & Larder’s Nashville Hot Fried Chicken
This neighborhood spot has always been a local’s favorite, so when they opened a location at the Orlando Airport, it felt like Cask & Larder had made it to the big leagues. Luckily, there are multiple locations where visitors can sample Orlando’s best fried chicken, so long as they can withstand the heat. The dark red crispy skin of Nashville Hot fried chicken comes from the slightly intimidating amount of cayenne pepper used to flavor this southern favorite. While the intense heat and tangy aftertaste will kick your taste buds in the behind, the real hero here is the texture. These pieces of chicken are battered and fried to a perfect crispy outside while remaining juicy and flavorful on the inside. Served with Texas toast, pickles, and Alabama-style ranch (no herbs), Nashville hot chicken has never tasted so good. Just be careful not to get too overheated before your flight out of Orlando!
Orlando International Airport, 9202 Jeff Fuqua Blvd, Orlando, FL 32827
Cookie Nookie Pie for Date Night
There has never been a restaurant more geared towards date night than downtown Orlando fixture Better Than Sex. While most of this city seems geared toward hitting the theme parks with the family, this steamy spot has different ideas. It’s a dessert bar in that everything on the menu is either a sugary confection or a signature cocktail off their themed drink menu.
In terms of dessert, the most famous sweet treat in all of Orlando is served here. The “Cookie Nookie Pie” is comprised of a perfectly-baked gooey chocolate chip cookie nestled in a bed of flaky pie crust. There are crushed peanuts, pecans, dark chocolate, and a caramel and vanilla bean glaze atop this indulgent dish. It’s a sweet treat done right and meant to be shared.
1905 N Orange Ave, Orlando, FL 32804
Full Rack of Ribs at Morimoto Asia (Disney Springs)
Disney Springs, which is the rebranded name for Downtown Disney, has some of the best restaurants of any theme park. Their best options tend to draw from a wide range of international flavors, especially the fantastic Morimoto Asia. The best thing to get there? The full rack of ribs, which are tossed in cornstarch and sweet chili crisp and dipped in sweet and tangy hapsin sauce, is an assault on the taste buds. Indulging in these sticky ribs might require quite a few napkins, but the incredible flavors are well worth the mess!
Morimoto Asia is located at Disney Springs near Bounce’s Lake Buena Vista luggage storage spot. Drop the bags off before exploring this theme park and all of its incredible restaurants!
Disney Springs, 1600 E Buena Vista Dr, Lake Buena Vista, FL 32830
Dessert from Toothsome Chocolate Emporium
Orlando’s entire population must have one big sweet tooth because there are multiple restaurants dedicated to next-level sugary confections. Toothsome Chocolate Emporium, located at Universal Theme Park CityWalk serves up some of the best desserts in Orlando. Proving that there’s so much more to theme park food than cotton candy, you’ll find ice cream creations featuring hundreds of different toppings, like salted caramel flan, S’mores, and chocolate-covered pretzels.
Toothsome Chocolate Emporium at the CityWalk is located near the Windemere Bounce luggage storage spot. This is the perfect place to drop the bags off before visiting the theme park or just popping in for a delectable dessert you’ll definitely want to share on Instagram.
6000 Universal Blvd, Orlando, FL 32819
Twisted Farm Food from Hash House a Go-Go
One of Orlando's most popular brunch spots brings modern takes on Midwestern classics. They have taken every hearty farm-friendly brunch dish and supersized, spiced, and jazzed it up so that you won’t know what hit you. Their Twisted Farm Food Brunch is a weekend-long event with biscuits and gravy, maximized Bloody Marys, and their Andy’s World Famous Sage Fried Chicken and waffles. This hand-battered and perfectly fried chicken comes complete with plenty of maple syrup and tops a fluffy buttermilk waffle. It’s the perfect mix of spice and sweetness. Wash it down with their BLT Bloody Mary, which comes with an unreasonable amount of garnish, including a full slice of applewood-smoked bacon. This indulgent brunch is the perfect fuel for an afternoon of shopping or bar hopping around Orlando.
5350 International Dr, Orlando, FL 32819
Tonkotsu Ramen at Seito Sushi
While you can find your standard California rolls, fresh seafood, and sticky rice pork belly, the best dish to get at Orlando’s premier Japanese restaurant has to be their Tonkotsu Ramen. The chefs and owners of Seito Sushi are obsessed with crafting the perfect bowl of ramen, and their creamy and spicy Tonkotsu broth, with crispy pork belly, pickled ginger, and shitake mushrooms, is one of the best bowls you can get in Orlando. Slurping away at one of their multiple locations, you’ll know you’re tasting something truly special. Foodies and ramen connoisseurs from around central Florida flock to this spot for a reason!
8031 Turkey Lake Rd #700, Orlando, FL 32819
Key Lime Pie at Paddlefish
The Walt Disney World food offerings are so much more than lollipops and hot dogs. One of the premier restaurants at the expansive Disney Springs theme park and resorts is Paddlefish, a restaurant and patio bar with stellar views of Lake Buena Vista and some of the freshest seafood in Orlando.
While you’ll first want to indulge in surf and turf and a glass of wine, once it’s time for dessert, your choice should be easy. The key lime pie at Paddlefish is to die for. Their crunchy graham cracker crust provides a base for the creamiest key lime pie filling you will ever taste. There is a perfect balance between the dairy and the lime citrus-y kick. Do not skip dessert if you are anywhere near Lake Buena Vista!
1670 Lake Buena Vista Dr, Orlando, FL 32830
Pizza at Prato
This neighborhood Italian restaurant on Park Avenue is perfect for date night and the whole family. Prato’s wood-burning oven has been churning out the best pizza in Orlando for a number of years. In terms of toppings, Prato focuses on quality over quantity. Your standard fixtures are always on offer, but the seasonal ingredients are the best options, with a variety of fresh produce and meats that rotate on the menu. The only constant is the perfectly charred Neapolitan-style crust. Choose from a number of Prato’s creations, or create your own! Just know that on Fridays and Saturdays, this place gets extremely busy with local foodies.
124 N Park Ave, Winter Park, FL 32789
Hunger Street Birria Tacos
There’s nothing better than grabbing a tray of perfectly crafted tacos from a food truck or cantina. In Orlando, there’s nothing better than these Guadalajara-inspired handhelds from Hunger Street Tacos. Birria tacos have been one of the most popular trends in food, with countless Instagram and Tok-Tok videos showcasing these dippable tacos in a rich, almost ramen-like broth. Hunger Street’s birria tacos come with braised beef, crispy pork belly, chicken molé, and even vegetarian options. These tacos are famous outside of Orlando, with foodies traveling from all over Florida for these dippable sensations.
Hunger Street is the perfect spot for groups, so grab your crew and order some birria tacos, some shareable pitchers of red wine sangria, some chips and guac, and some cervezas. There isn’t a better way to spend a Saturday afternoon in Orlando.
2103 W Fairbanks Ave, Winter Park, FL 32789
Jerk-Spiced Chicken Hearts from The Monroe
The Monroe is one of the stalwart restaurants in Orlando for cutting-edge cuisine. Here, you’ll find a dozen or so modern dishes that are truly pushing Orlando’s restaurant scene forward. While the menu changes frequently, their most popular dish is the Jerk-Spiced Chicken Hearts, roasted until juicy, crispy perfection and served off of a skewer. Their homemade jerk seasoning is unlike any you’ll have elsewhere, with a massive kick of spice and an herbaceous aroma. Chicken hearts might not be for everyone, but any foodie worth their salt will give it a try!
448 N Terry Ave, Orlando, FL 32801
The “Big Mac” from Deli Desires
This Colonialtown diner is obsessed with all things deli. Whether it’s their perfectly-steamed New York-style bialys (don’t call them bagels) or their smoked salmon or gravlax, Deli Desires has perfectly replicated an East Coast Jewish deli. While there are dozens of tantalizing menu items, the most popular thing to order has to be their epic “Big Mac'' corned beef sandwich. The peppery, juicy corned beef is piled sky high atop their home-baked sesame bun and served with spicy deli mustard, American cheese, pickles, and onions. It’s a monster of a sandwich, but you’ll like it enough that you probably won’t want to share!
715 N Fern Creek Ave Suite B, Orlando, FL 32803
Dirty South at The Rusty Spoon
Kathleen Blake is one of the most prominent voices in Orlando's culinary scene. Her iconic Rusty Spoon kitchen serves up amazing traditional southern food that draws customers from all over Central Florida. While basically everything on the menu is exceptional, their Deep South is the most popular, and for good reason. A fresh take on Shrimp and Grits, the Dirty South combines all the fresh seafood from the kitchen and throws it on a bed of buttery, garlic-y grits and served with toasted baguette slices for dipping.
The Rusty Spoon is located in downtown Orlando, making it the perfect place to grab a bite to eat if you’re in town on business or traveling through. There are plenty of dining options in this part of the city, but the best restaurant has to be The Rusty Spoon.
55 W Church St, Orlando, FL 32801
Whether you go on a street food crawl with your friends or treat yourself to an indulgent meal for date night, your culinary experience in Orlando will surely be spectacular. Food is massively important to Orlando’s local culture and should definitely be a part of any visit there. You can always check out the best hikes in Orlando to work off some of those calories if you get carried away! However you choose to spend your time in this wonderful city, just remember you can always find a trusty Bounce luggage storage location to drop the bags so you can make the most of your time here.