I’ve only been to Orlando a couple of times but both times I had some incredible dining experiences. Although Orlando is probably best known for its resorts and shopping, I wanted to share some of my favourite restaurants with you. These come in all shapes and sizes, from tiny sandwich places like Hot Krust, to fine dining extravagant seafood places like Eddy V’s. I enjoyed every single one and cannot wait to go back to Orlando again!
- Vito’s Chop House: An upscale, yet relaxed, restaurant with a fantastic choice of steaks and Italian classics. I visited this place a few times while on my trip and tried something new every time. If you’re dining in a group, I recommend Vito’s Master Cut, which is a sharing steak, accompanied by ‘Firenze fries’. For starters, make sure to try the carpaccio (pictured above), which is one of the best I’ve had. I also recommend the meatballs, which are HUGE but packed full of flavour. Although a relatively upscale restaurant, the atmosphere is still relaxed and the service is fantastic. One more note, the bread they bring to the table is amazing! I couldn’t get enough of it; it’s a focaccia-like, rosemary and garlic covered bread which you will find difficult to put down!
- Eddie V’s: A prime seafood restaurant that you do not want to miss on your next trip to Orlando. This is a very up-scale, fine-dining place with a fantastic selection of fresh seafood. For starters I recommend the lobster tacos or the tuna tartare, and for main, what else but lobster of course! (see photo above to get an idea of the size of these lobster tails!) This place also does some fantastic sides including crab fried rice and parmesan and chive French fries.
- Hash House a Go Go: I first came across Hash House a Go Go on a trip to Las Vegas, where the original restaurant was first opened. The food in this place is second to none and you won’t find many places that serve fresh food in such imaginative ways! Between the times I visited in Las Vegas, and the times in Orlando, I have probably tried almost everything on this menu. My favourite dish by far, and one that I recommend to anyone, is the pork tenderloin benedict: a fresh split biscuit topped with griddled mashed potatoes, scrambled eggs, spinach, tomato and a crispy hand hammered pork tenderloin, finished off with a delicious barbeque cream sauce… doesn’t that sound amazing? The benedicts are all amazing, but I also recommend the chicken and waffles or the meatloaf. Whatever you order at Hash House is sure to be a winner.
- Hot Krust Panini Kitchen: This is a tiny panini kitchen with just a handful of tables, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t deserve a spot on this list because the paninis in this place are unbelievable! Made fresh to order with a huge variety on the menu, as well as customisable options, I’d struggle to find a place that serves better panini! All panini are made to order and all the meat is roasted in-house, which highlights the freshness of the produce on offer here. I recommend the ‘honey-am-nuts’ or the ‘Florentine chicken’ and the burgers are pretty amazing too!
- 4 Rivers Smokehouse: Last but by no means least is this amazing find! A really informal dining experience but they definitely don’t scrimp on taste! This is a very typical smokehouse environment with amazing cuts of meat all slow cooked and basted in fantastic rubs and sauces, with all the sides you would want. The atmosphere here is buzzing, you simply grab your tray, ask for what you want, the meat is placed right on the tray, the sides are in styrofoam cups and you simply tuck in and enjoy. The portions are huge (of course) but the prices are not, which is incredible, especially for someone living in the UK who is used to paying a high price for good meat. I think I tried all the different meats on offer and most of the sides, and there really isn’t one I would chose over another as they’re all incredible on taste. I particularly enjoyed the brisket, the Texas sausage and the ‘burnt ends’ but really whatever you order here you can’t go wrong!
So there you have it my favourite places to eat in Orlando. I visited plenty more while travelling in Orlando but these were the ones that I felt deserved a recommendation. Let me know if you have a list of your own and I’ll try them out on my next trip!