Once you’ve settled into your new home in Orlando, Florida, it’s time to explore the city using all of your senses: particularly, taste. After all, that’s one exciting part of moving to a new city right? New restaurants, new favorite dishes, and a new world of culinary creativity. We’ve compiled a list of some of the most popular restaurants in Orlando to give you a starting point. Start salivating now:
Market On South
Being vegetarian or vegan doesn’t have to mean missing out. At the Market on South, you can still nosh on cupcakes and other baked goods from the local favorite, Valhalla Bakery; you can sip on locally brewed Kombucha; and you can dine on Dixie Dharma, the city’s Southern-inspired vegan entrees. You can also shop for your vegan and vegetarian staples while you wait for your meal, making this a destination for any new Orlando resident who prefers a plant-based diet — though really, we think the donuts will please even the most non-vegan diners out there!
Stop in for breakfast at this “sweet and savory bakeshop” right in Orlando’s Milk District. This sweet spot started by providing tarts, cakes, and pies to some of the best restaurants around town and then expanded to include their own storefront serving breakfast, brunch, and lunch — as well as brewing up some locally roasted coffee. We hear that the Salted Caramel Dark Chocolate Pecan Pie, Homemade Biscuits with Peach Ginger Jam, Savory Breakfast Bread Pudding with Hollandaise, and Pimento Grilled Cheese and Bacon Sandwich are some of the favorites, but don’t take our word for it. Go taste them all for yourself!
For a bit of a different flavor, or maybe for a date night, head to K Restaurant and Wine Bar. With so many popup events, visiting chefs, $5 burger lunches on Wednesdays, Guy’s Night, you name it — you’re bound to continue finding reasons to return. The ambiance is cozy and dark, but the food is always rotating and, the customers say, always fantastic. K Restaurant can be a busy spot, so plan ahead!
Strong Water Tavern
This Tavern is a part of the Universal Orlando Loews Sapphire Resort, so plan to come here for a classy dining experience. With a resident rum expert, reclaimed wood, exposed brick, and mahogany leather, you’re in for a treat that’s high on ambiance and flavorful dishes. Make sure you schedule a rum tasting, one of Strong Water’s signature offerings, and plan to have tapas-style dinner.
Don’t make the mistake of avoiding this gem just because it’s smack in the middle of the Downtown bustle. The Artisan’s table is an excellent combination of creative and classy cocktails, phenomenal rotating desserts, and flavorful dishes. Lunch tends to be a bit hectic and busy (they do take reservations), but the locals say the dining experience is top-notch — especially if you’re headed to a show or event downtown afterward. Try one of the tequila-infused desserts, or if you’re feeling adventurous at brunch, get the Fluffernutter Latte. Relocating to Orlando just got a whole lot tastier.
From the outside, The Strand may seem like your typical bar, but it serves up some comfort food done up with a rustic, homegrown feel, making it one of the hidden gems of Orlando. Classified as ‘New American’ food, you can get everything from the Strand Burger to the “Porkzilla” or the Salmon Rustica. Definitely a destination primarily for those who eat meat, but the menu is always rotating to reflect what is seasonally available and fresh. Make sure you check out the listing of the farmers the restaurant is currently partnering with.
The Smiling Bison
If you prefer some good live music with your dinner, make your favorite restaurant in Orlando the Smiling Bison. With Happy Hour Tuesday through Saturday from 10 pm to close and an ever-rotating selection of craft beers and fine wines, you’ve got all you need for a fantastic night out almost any day of the week. Their menu has a selection ranging from hearty salads to fried foods and is also rotated regularly. If you’re moving to Orlando without kids, you might just find yourself here frequently.
Enjoy getting to know Orlando with your taste buds and if this doesn’t give you the reason to move to Orlando, here are 5 more!