Known for our world-famous theme parks, enjoyable year-round climate, golf courses, and nightlife, Orlando has a lot to offer. Whether you are a local or a visitor, one of the best ways to elevate any day out is with delicious food, and the best restaurants in Orlando certainly have no shortage of this. Although many people associate the city with overpriced or tourist-appeasing bites, there are plenty of delicious and conveniently located fares to try. Not to mention, this amazingly vibrant city caters to a plethora of preferences.
The City Beautiful
Speaking of the best restaurants in Orlando, they almost always have something for everyone, accommodating a multitude of different dietary requirements and lifestyle choices. There is a range of cuisines present along with several establishments that merge different styles. It is a city in which chefs eagerly fulfill their urge to create, master, or experiment, and foodies eagerly fill their stomachs with appreciation.
But with all this delicious food, that’s not to say Orlando in any way lacks healthy options. On the contrary, the wonderful weather means that The City Beautiful is chock-full of fresh, healthy, and tasty options! Check out our picks on the tastiest and healthiest dishes in Orlando. These include a variety of cuisines, such as Mexican, Indian, Asian, and more. We were also sure to consider other important factors, including unique offerings, the venues themselves, and entertainment.
Mexican/South American Food
Café Tu Tu Tango – $$
Combining food, art, and fun, Café Tu Tu Tango is an experience that nods to the food culture in Barcelona. Share the Dynamite Shrimp Lettuce Wraps and Sesame Steak Skewers with friends and family or even several other eclectic dishes from the entirely small-plates menu. Besides their deliciousness, these are so good for portion control! And aside from tasty food, you will also notice the vibrant walls that feature the work of local artists. You might even witness live entertainers, such as puppeteers, opera singers, dancers, and magicians. Finally, this restaurant has one of the most exquisite dinner/show combinations in the area, making it an absolute must-try!
Reyes Mezcaleria – $$
Serving up regionally-inspired, fine Mexican fare, Reyes Mezcaleria takes familiar favorites up a notch. The casual yet upscale atmosphere makes this the perfect place for a social evening out. Both the tender street tamale and fully-dressed elite are especially popular. Or perhaps you’re looking for something light and protein-rich? Opt for the Line-Caught Snapper with roasted tomatoes, olives, capers, and rice. Then pair just about any dish with a lively cocktail or fine mezcal, and you’re sure to start preaching about this place yourself.
Agave Azul – $$
Mexican Taqueria Agave Azul delivers traditional eats at their best. Go for the slow-braised pork carnitas or the fresh, house-made ceviche, and you will taste what happens when passion for good food and high-quality ingredients come together. Lighter options are also available, from protein-packed salads to flavorful fajitas. With a fairly large and wide menu, everyone is sure to find a bite (or two) to suit their appetite.
Aashirwad – $$
Combining sophisticated dining and stylish presentation, Aashirwad delivers authentic Indian food with a modern spark. While you will recognize the flavors, you will also notice the contemporary methods with which they are prepared. Of course, you can always dig into a rich Chicken Tikka Masala or one of their many vegetarian options. For more health-conscious diners, however, there are vibrant choices of fresh seafood, tandoor-grilled meat, and healthy side dishes.
Tamarind – $$
Serving some of India’s most popular regional dishes and flavors, Tamarind offers hungry guests a comforting meal. Whether or not you are accustomed to such rich and savory meals, you will feel right at home in this Orlando restaurant when digging into the Butter Chicken or Masala Dosa. Featuring both North and South Indian meals, Tamarind is an eatery that foodies like to return to again and again. Aside from the comfort food, however, there are several fresh soups for you to try as well as several vegetarian and vegan dishes.
Sanaa – $$
A family-friendly dining experience, Sanaa in Walt Disney World’s Animal Kingdom Villa is an incredible place to go for dinner and a show. The unique menu consists of African cooking with Indian flavors, including slow-cooked spicy Durban shrimp, Tandoori Chicken, and the always scrumptious Naan. Some of these are healthier than others (for example, Tandoori Chicken is usually high in protein and low in fat), so be sure to read or ask about the ingredients. Arguably even better than the food, you will undoubtedly be enchanted by zebras, giraffes, and other wild animals wandering right outside the windows. When it comes to engaging kids, Sanaa is easily one of the most fun restaurants in Orlando.
Mamak Asian Street Food – $
Mamak Asian Street Food sits just down the street from Orlando’s famous Little Saigon restaurant. While the bulk of nearby restaurants is Vietnamese, this gem delivers delicious Malaysian street food, including the ever-famous Char Kway Teow, in a modern setting. This classic dish is high in calories (you’ll get full quickly) but LOADED with fresh vegetables and spices. But you’ll also be delighted by their excellent pan-Asian dishes, including perfectly marinated Bulgogi or Pad Thai. Finally, whether or not you believe you have room, stick around until you can order an ice-cold kacang, which is Malaysia’s amazing variety of ice cream. You can thank us later!
Sushi Pop – $$
Searching for the best sushi in Orlando? Take your tastebuds to Sushi Pop for delicious food in a setting inspired by Japanese pop culture – hello Harajuku! This restaurant is all about art, from the walls to the beautifully plated food. Featuring local and fresh ingredients, you will be able to taste the quality of dishes like Ceviche and Hot Mess Rolls. For something lighter, try a classic Miso soup or one of their Nigiri Specials.
King Bao – $
If you are searching for a new addiction (good or bad – we can’t say), let us introduce you to King Bao. Here you will enjoy sweet, bread-like dumplings that are sandwiched around your favorite meats or sweets. Try the Firecracker Shrimp, Kickin’ Chicken Bao, or Vegreville. Unfortunately, we can’t claim that all of these treats (or even most) are healthy, so you might as well go for the Tarzan Fried Bao, which is filled with bananas and Nutella. To top it all off, King Boa is reasonably priced and conveniently located in the prominent Mills 50 District, home to many of the best restaurants in Orlando.
Dandelion Community Cafe – $$
Finding vegetarian meals that taste good can be difficult, but Dandelion Community Cafe makes it easy. A hotspot for the health-conscious, their dishes feature the best of bread, veggies, fruits, and more. Many are also gluten-free or can be made so with minimal adjustments. For first-time visitors, we recommend the roasted Sweet Potato Burrito, savory Buffalo ‘66, or the award-winning Homemade Hearty Chili. Besides delicious food, this local Orlando restaurant is passionate about its philosophy, which arguably makes its food taste even better.
The Sanctum Cafe – $$
One of the best restaurants in Orlando for vegans and vegetarians, The Sanctum Cafe is a gathering place for foodies looking to support local farmers and artisans. Their most popular dishes include their delicious Shiva salad and flavor-packed Sedona bowl. However, partnering with local farmers and artisans means that their menu will rotate to accommodate whatever is in season. No matter whether you are just looking to eat local or support their cause, every menu item is sure to make your conscience feel as good as it tastes.
Dixie Dharma – $
If you are out late on a Wednesday and wondering “What should I eat?”, hit up Dixie Dharma. Open until midnight (except on Sundays), this Downtown Orlando restaurant will satisfy all of your cravings for the southern fare. Their plant-based menu includes the messy Orange Bird sloppy joe, a heavenly Mac N Cheese Trio, and a Fried Green Tomato Sandwich. While all of their menu items are relatively healthy, you can be especially diligent with your health by avoiding any dishes that are fried.
American Southern Food
Hamilton’s Kitchen – $$$
Offering a rustic open-table experience, Hamilton’s Kitchen is ideal for a sophisticated night out on the town. Located at the trendy Alfond Inn in Winter Park, guests can expect an upscale dining experience. With a menu consisting of American food with a facelift, we recommend the Blackened Grouper Carbonara or Creekstone Filet Mignon. Otherwise, should you prefer a healthier option, there are plenty of vegetarian or vegan dishes. For example, the Parmesan Orzo Primavera is simply outstanding. Plus, for any wine aficionados, the wine selection and pairings are provided by an in-house sommelier.
Chef’s Table at the Edgewater – $$$
Not far from downtown or the local theme parks, Chef’s Table at the Edgewater is the perfect way to end the evening in style. Having won numerous awards, it is one of the best restaurants in Orlando with gourmet dining and intimate service. The American fare is available in two forms: a three-course meal or small plates. In either case, you will enjoy locally sourced ingredients of the highest quality in dishes like the Pan-seared Foie Gras, Flame-grilled Pork Chop, and mini Beef Wellington Trio.
Soco Thornton Park – $$$
Winner of Florida Trend Magazine’s 2018 Golden Spoon Award, Southern Contemporary Cuisine is not only one of the best restaurants in Orlando but overall in the state of Florida! Dishing out southern hospitality, in terms of the atmosphere and food, Soco will feel like your home away from home. Try their delicious Slow-Roasted Barbecue-Glazed Pork Belly Biscuits or “Soco-Style” Chicken and Dumplings. Some dishes (not all) are also available gluten-free. If you are looking for a healthier option, try out a small plate or two, such as the Boiled Peanut Hummus or Chef’s Cheese Board. Who doesn’t enjoy charcuterie?
Raw Juice Bars
Raw Juicing and Detox – $
Blending raw, organic fruits and vegetables, Raw Juicing and Detox is the place to go when your body needs a jumpstart. They provide vital nutrients in the form of unaltered vitamins and minerals through delicious juices, such as the Woo Hoo, Green Goddess, and Sunrise Sesh. All of their cold drinks will leave you feeling rejuvenated – and less guilty about trying out the less healthy restaurants on our list!
Skyebird Juice Bar & Experimental Kitchen – $
Situated in the beautiful East End Market, the Skyebird Juice Bar & Experimental Kitchen features organic and local produce. It also offers fresh juices, smoothies, kombucha, and a fully raw food menu, easily making it one of the best places to eat in Orlando when you are looking for a healthy variety. Try the Health Boost, Detox Greens, Sunshine Juice, or one of many other options. Believe it or not, they even offer healthy treats, including blueberry lavender cheesecake and chocolate mousse crumble cups.
If you are looking for a business that knows its juice, hit up Grounding Roots in College Park. Here you will receive the lowdown on nearly every product offered as well as the process by which it is made. So rest assured that you are getting the best juice for your personal needs. The staff is incredibly knowledgeable and allows you to sample several juices to ensure it is not only beneficial but to your liking. We recommend Juice #2 for an immune boost, digestive support, anti-inflammatory benefits, and some good vitamins and minerals.
With such a colorful selection of dining options, eating out is certainly one of the many enjoyable things to do in Orlando. We encourage everyone, whether you are native or not, to get out and support local businesses and families by getting your grub on. Not only will you leave with a full belly, but you can be satisfied that you have done your part to boost the local economy. As always, one of the best resources for finding new or up-and-coming restaurants in Orlando is Yelp. It is one of the best ways to keep track of your favorite eateries and dishes via their bookmarking feature.
My Personal Favorite
A personal find of my own is King Cajun Crawfish, and I’m nowhere near embarrassed to say that I hit it up at least twice a month. While they have an extensive menu, the boiled shellfish platters are where it’s at. My husband and I always go for the King Feast, consisting of two clusters of snow crab, 12 shrimp, two potatoes, and a hefty dose of sausage. Needless to say, that’s a lot of protein!
Also, make sure you request the Rajun Cajun flavor and the spice level of your preference. We typically choose mild for both of us, but if you’re like my husband and enjoy some serious heat, ask for a side of extra hot (seriously, it is extra hot). This delicious food is meant to be shared, so order a bucket of beer and prepare to get your hands dirty. It’s all a part of the experience, and if you stay less than an hour, you’re probably doing it wrong.
Be sure to give us your input below, including your favorite food from one of the aforementioned restaurants, a hidden gem we forgot to mention, or what you are looking forward to trying out in the future. Additionally, check out the comments section for more reviews or suggestions. We’re always on the hunt for new suggestions!