Best Restaurants around Orlando (Non-Theme park)

Nick

Staff member
Moderator
Sep 22, 2011
18,297
Orlando
Nobody has mentioned many breakfast type places. And if you want brunch/breakfast a good bet is Keke's over in Dr Phillips. Big portions and quality food. But can get a bit crazy on weekends.
I enjoy Black Rock when they do brunch (in Doctor Phillips). I can't think of many places in Orlando that i'd go to for breakfast. Donut King would be a recommendation from one of their locations. Their fresh stuff is so much better than the stuff that Universal or Disney provide in their parks using their donuts. They sit around all day and lose the freshness in the parks.
 

WillQ92

Rookie
Mar 29, 2018
478
Can vouch for Keke's. They have a few locations across the Orlando area and they're all pretty consistently good. I've heard good things about Art Smith's brunch over at Disney Springs, but I'm sure it's pricey.
 

SeventyOne

Veteran Member
Jul 1, 2010
2,600
Orlando
Can vouch for Keke's. They have a few locations across the Orlando area and they're all pretty consistently good. I've heard good things about Art Smith's brunch over at Disney Springs, but I'm sure it's pricey.
I like Kekes but more of a First Watch partisan. Same idea, breakfast and basic lunch options until 2 pm. One on Sand Lake around the corner from Kekes, also Champions Gate and Winter Garden in tourist-adjacent areas.

Art Smith's brunch is pricey--around $30 per entree--but worth it. Massive, delicious plates with interesting Southern takes on traditional breakfast food. For a more reasonable option, Bonefish Grill has a number of local outlets that do a good job,but yeah, it's a chain. Rocco's Tacos supposedly does an amazing brunch, but even with my friend bartending there I've yet to make it. But hands down, the best brunch in the city is Santiagos, downtown. It's a drive, and you'll need a reservation that still gets you kicked out after 2 hours, but worth it.
 
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Spaulding

Member
Jan 23, 2019
572
Nobody has mentioned many breakfast type places. And if you want brunch/breakfast a good bet is Keke's over in Dr Phillips. Big portions and quality food. But can get a bit crazy on weekends.
YES! When we visit Orlando we always make time for a visit or two to Keke's. Best breakfasts I have ever had.
 
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Elegia

Rookie
Apr 18, 2018
294
Wolfgang puck express at Disney springs has better pizza than the "best pizza in the country" place in Philly and anywhere I have been in NYC. I am absolutely amazed it's that good every time I go there. nothing near universal is as good.
As a pizza snob since the ripe old age of 3 (not exaggerating, I was known to pitch a fit when presented with Pizza Hut) who’s eaten an embarrassing amount of pizza between Philly and NYC...



To help answer the OP’s question I don’t feel comfortable recommending pizza simply cause I still haven’t found any I really love yet (but I will echo @SeventyOne on Upper Crust being good, and WPE pizza really isn’t bad I’m just a snob).

For Mexican though I really enjoy Rocco’s Tacos in Dr. Phillips, it’s close to the parks (super close to Universal) and the ambiance is fun.
 
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GAcoaster

V.I.P.
Nov 30, 2012
3,490
Orlando
^ I'm with you on the pizza thing, but NYPD is serviceable. When it comes down to it pizza is like sex...even when it's bad it's still better than not getting it.
 
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Nick

Staff member
Moderator
Sep 22, 2011
18,297
Orlando
^ I'm with you on the pizza thing, but NYPD is serviceable. When it comes down to it pizza is like sex...even when it's bad it's still better than not getting it.
This is an analogy I cannot get behind on multiple levels lol.
 

Legacy

Veteran Member
Jul 27, 2015
5,285
Marco’s has the best pizza in Orlando. I’m just not sure if there’s one near the attractions.
 

SeventyOne

Veteran Member
Jul 1, 2010
2,600
Orlando
As a pizza snob since the ripe old age of 3 (not exaggerating, I was known to pitch a fit when presented with Pizza Hut) who’s eaten an embarrassing amount of pizza between Philly and NYC...



To help answer the OP’s question I don’t feel comfortable recommending pizza simply cause I still haven’t found any I really love yet (but I will echo @SeventyOne on Upper Crust being good, and WPE pizza really isn’t bad I’m just a snob).

For Mexican though I really enjoy Rocco’s Tacos in Dr. Phillips, it’s close to the parks (super close to Universal) and the ambiance is fun.
First off, if you haven't been to New Haven, book a trip.

But as for your larger point: REAL TALK. Orlando not really great at any form of cuisine. It's a plastic (not paper) town that didn't really come into existence until the mid-80s, arguably even the 90s, so we have zero history. We don't have pizza as good as the northeast. We don't have bar-b-que on a level with any of the meccas (St Louis, TX ...). We don't have Mexican on a par with SoCal. We have some places with really good food, but Orlando never going to be a culinary landmark.

That's why most of the places mentioned in this thread are chains or fast-casual outlets. And painful as it is to admit, most of the really good places are in resorts at the two big parks.
 

Talking Head

Rookie
Oct 2, 2012
139
First off, if you haven't been to New Haven, book a trip.

But as for your larger point: REAL TALK. Orlando not really great at any form of cuisine. It's a plastic (not paper) town that didn't really come into existence until the mid-80s, arguably even the 90s, so we have zero history. We don't have pizza as good as the northeast. We don't have bar-b-que on a level with any of the meccas (St Louis, TX ...). We don't have Mexican on a par with SoCal. We have some places with really good food, but Orlando never going to be a culinary landmark.

That's why most of the places mentioned in this thread are chains or fast-casual outlets. And painful as it is to admit, most of the really good places are in resorts at the two big parks.
I agree with most of this, but I think there are comparable or better dining options off the beaten path.

Guru in Clermont is a marvelous restaurant with better Indian food than Sanaa (which gets by on the bread service and scenery)

Seoul Garden has really good Korean food in Maitland.

The taqueria in Winter Garden on SR 50 is a good bet.

I don’t currently know of any great Cuban eateries in town (any suggestions?!), but there’s the occasional Caribbean place with good oxtail and pigeon peas.

And most of these places are in strip malls because, you know, Orlando.
 

Jwhee

Veteran Member
Apr 29, 2013
1,535
Florida
Take a trip down the road to Winter Park, some great places-

Ravenous Pig
Tibby’s New Orleans Kitchen
Hamilton’s
Hillstone
Winter Park fish co

Also, park avenue and rollins college is a beautiful area to walk shop and eat
 
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