People come to Orlando to have fun. They want to splash in the clear blue water at the beach, try every roller coaster at Disney World, or treat the family to a weekend trying all the treats at the best restaurants in Epcot. If you love sunshine and Disney, Orlando is the place for you. What you might not know is that the restaurant scene in Orlando is worth exploring too (if fact there are so many things to do in Orlando besides theme parks). The best Orlando restaurants will surprise and delight anyone who goes thinking the only thing the city has to offer is Disney.
Because the atmosphere in Orlando is all about enjoyment and keeping the party, Orlando restaurants are full of energy. At the best Orlando restaurants, there’s live music, platters of oysters, prime cuts of steak, and of course plenty of locally sourced fish from the coast of Florida. While some restaurants might have romantic settings, don’t expect anything to be too stuffy or snobby in Orlando. Everyone just wants you to have a good time, while eating good food. Here are the best Orlando restaurants where you should book a table.
Open late, this high energy restaurant is routinely named one the best steakhouses in Orlando. Beef is aged in-house and cut to order. Fish comes from the Florida coast delivered fresh to the restaurant every day. The restaurant is housed in a historic building, first erected in 1930, but the interior is modern – a reflection of the restaurant’s philosophy of traditional steak dishes done in a less pretentious setting.
Kres Chophouse: 17 W Church St, Orlando, FL 32801
With a large bar in the center of the restaurant, an open kitchen, The Osprey feels trendy and stylish. The raw bar features stone crab, oysters, and caviar – and the rest of the menu focuses on local Florida seafood. Mussels, blue crab bisque, and a local catch of the day all sound tempting, and during happy hour there are deals on cava and daiquiris.
The Osprey: 4899 New Broad St, Orlando, FL 32814
Maxine’s on Shine
This restaurant’s award winning brunch isn’t the only reason to stop by. There’s also regular live music shows that play for guests. Chicken and waffles and fried green tomatoes give the menu a Southern flair. It’s common to see neighborhood folks lining up outside the door, or hanging out on the outdoor patio. The cheerful ambience and friendly service is what keeps loyal customers coming back.
Maxine’s on Shine: 337 N. Shine Ave., Orlando, 32803, USA
Omakase earned Kadence a Michelin star, from sashimi to broth topped with truffles. With just eight seats, this cozy space feels like an exclusive club. The seating is communal and each dish is prepared directly in front of guests, so an intimacy develops between chefs and diners. With its cemented status as the best sushi restaurant in Orlando, this is where to go if you’re looking for a fine dining experience.
Kadence: 1809 Winter Park Rd, Orlando, FL 32803
With its extensive patio seating, this tapas restaurant is the ideal place to meet up with friends for a casual evening out. The energetic restaurant is supposed to feel like a big party every night. That atmosphere pairs well with tapas style dining, in which every dish is meant to be shared and everyone can try a little of everything. Tuna ceviche, goat cheese filled dates, and chicken skewers seasoned with rosemary are all on the menu. Oh and if that wasn’t enough to tempt you, the restaurant offers a popular weekend brunch menu, too.
Santiago’s Bodega: 802 Virginia Dr, Orlando, FL 32803
Fresco Cucina Italiana
While some Italian restaurants might seem stuffy and formal, this charming spot embraces its casual side. Italian-American red sauce classics, fresh bread, and a warm feeling when you walk through the door all conspire to make it a local favorite. The portions are big enough to share or take home, and even better, the prices are reasonable given how much food you get.
Fresco Cucina Italiana: 7721 Turkey Lake Rd, Orlando, FL 32819
Chatham’s Place Restaurant
For an intimate dinner best enjoyed with someone you love, head here. Past guests have praised the attentive, accommodating service. Meanwhile, the romantic dining room is lined with wine bottles, where live jazz piano is played for guests every night. Duck breast, filet mignon, and rack of lamb are among the decadent but refined dishes on the menu.
Chatham’s Place Restaurant: 7575 Dr Phillips Blvd, Orlando, FL 32819
Where to stay in Orlando
Whether you’re looking at Orlando Airbnbs near Universal Studios, or an airport hotel that makes it easier to get to the theme parks, there are plenty of comfortable places to stay. Whether you’re looking for a stylish hotel or a big space with a pool for your family, check out these highly rated Orlando properties where you can book a room.
We hope you love the spaces and stays we recommend! Just so you know, Matador may collect a small commission from the links on this page if you decide to book a stay. Listed prices are accurate as of the time of publication.
This boutique hotel is in Winter Park, just 25 minutes outside Orlando. You’ll enjoy supporting this property: It’s owned by Rollins College, a liberal arts school, and some of the profits go toward supporting its scholarship fund. The hotel itself hosts a modern art collection which decorates the walls, and the rooms are simple but comfortable.
The Lake Nona Wave Hotel
With colorful cabanas and fake blue palm trees, the hotel gives off strong pool party vibes. There’s even a DJ by the pool on the weekends. But that doesn’t mean you can’t bring your family here: There’s a sculpture garden on the property kids will love to explore, as well as a library of kids books guests can borrow. There are also two restaurants and a bar within the hotel.
Margaritaville beachfront cottage
There’s a private pool and hot tub in this cheerful yellow house located on the Orlando Margaritaville property. There are three bedrooms, but the house can accommodate 10 people so this one is a great option for a family trip to Orlando. Enjoy breakfast on the cozy balcony, which overlooks a lake on the property.