We know it can be tough to find a good place to eat when you are on vacation and since we live in a vacation town we are often asked where to eat. Recently, Sandra’s cousin Kathy asked us where to eat for their next visit so we decided to share our response because it is full of some great places to eat in Orlando! If it reads like an email, that’s because it is, so hopefully it will be helpful to you on your next trip to Orlando:
What side of town are you going to be on? Â I can’t remember if you told me. Â We are near Universal Studios so my favorites will be in this area:
*Press 101 (407-351-2101) – at the Marketplace of Dr. Phillips on Dr. Phillips Blvd. Â They have sandwiches, pizza, wine, etc. Â We always sit outside and people watch. Â it is in a strip mall.
*Tchoup Chop (407-503-2467) – Emeril’s restaurant at the Royal Pacific Hotel on Universal’s property. Â Get your parking validated at the restaurant (or else it is $20!). Â On the upscale side but still on our tourist property so you can wear jeans. Â Great fish, drinks, banana cream pie, etc. There is the main Emeril’s at CityWalk but the waiting list is months long. Â This is the “secret” Emeril’s that no one knows about. Â We tend to show up later (after 9pm) and always get in. Â But from 7-9 you might want a reservation.
*Sakura (407-740-8018) – sushi. Â In Winter Park on the south end of Park Avenue right by Rollins College. Â The best sushi on Orlando hands down. Â It doesn’t look fancy just looking at the restaurant – but great food!!! Â Chris has three fave sushi places in the US – one in San Fran, CA, then Sakura, then one in Vegas. Â It is that good!
*Cedars (407-351-6000) – Middle Eastern. Â On Sand Lake Road (restaurant row). Â We love this place – hummus, lamb, everything is SO good! Â
*Agave Azul (407-704-6930) – Mexican. Â On Kirkman Road at Conroy. Â Very good food, even better margaritas!!!
*Bento Cafe (407-345-8998) (local chain technically) – the sushi isn’t so great here but the bubble tea rocks my world. Â And the bento boxes are excellent!
*Chatham’s Place (407-345-2992) – on Dr. Phillips Blvd. Â A local place that is very creative and always has great food. Â It has a “my parents would love this place” kind of feel to it. Â It is small – reservations are a good idea.
*K Restaurant and Wine Bar (407-872-2332) – in College Park on Edgewater. Â Great food and wine list. Â Only been once (a few weeks ago) but we really liked it.
*Le Coq Au Vin (407-851-6980) – on Orange Avenue a few miles south of downtown. Â Great French restaurant – we’ve been 3-4 times. Â If we lived near it I am sure we would go more often! Â Delicious!
*Luma (407-599-4111) – on Park Avenue in Winter Park just north of Rollins College. Â Great food – steaks, fish, and creative salads. Â There is a wine bar next door called “The Wine Room” that we go to after. Â You put money on a card with a computer chip and taste tons of wines from dispensers – you can get an ounce for a few dollars or for $25 (Opus One, etc). Â It is pricey in a way – since you just get a sip. Â But I love to try all the different wines and you can also buy the bottle if you like it.
*First Watch (407-363-5622) – do you have these in Jax? Â They are only open breakfast and lunch. Â Chris loves the egg stuff, I love the sandwich stuff. Â On Sand Lake Road (restaurant row) in a Publix Shopping Center.
*Tommy Bahamas (321-281-5888) (side note – stuff on International Drive tends to be scary. Â They know you are a tourist and not coming back so the food and service sucks. Â Tommy Bahamas is an exception that we found as well as Cafe Tu Tu Tango – both chains, both good). Â A little bit pricey, but we usually split an app, a meal and dessert – the portions are large. Â This is on I-Drive in the Point Orlando complex. Â Keep your parking ticket and get it validated so you don’t pay for parking.
*Cafe Tu Tu Tango (407-248-2222) – see above about I-drive – a chain – but a fun place. Â Everything on the menu is appetizer sized – so we usually order 4-6 things and dessert. Â They have artists inside, bellydancers, tarot card readers, etc. Â A fun vibe! Â On I-drive just north of Point Orlando.
*Roy’s (407-352-4844) – on Sand Lake Road. Â A chain – but I LOVE their prix fixe for $35. Â Plenty of food – always good. Â We sit at the bar. Â It is a chain – but one of the best!
My 2 cents:
For ice cream – Menchies (407-601-7792) on Sand Lake Road is awesome. Â It is all frozen yogurt – you mix the flavors, add toppings (imagine every topping you ever wanted – a buffet of cereals, fruits, candies, chocolates, sauces, etc – DIY) then they weight it when you are done and you pay.
Everyone talks about Season’s 52 (407-354-5212) (on Sand Lake Road). Â I’m sure it is fabulous – but I have been three times and ALL three times my food wasn’t cooked through and I got food poisoning. Â I’ve never met anyone else with this problem. Â And last time we went (I was talked into it by another couple we hang out with) I ordered the pork chop and so did my friend. Â The men got something else – can’t remember. Â Her pork chop was cooked. Â Mine was seared like tuna. Â So bad!
I know you mentioned Indian – if you change your mind, Memories of India on Turkey Lake Road is the best! Â We LOVE this place. Â It is in a strip mall and you will probably be the only non-Indian people in there. Â Yum, I am craving Indian now!