How to eat like a local foodie when on vacation in Orlando

Good food outside the theme parks.
How to eat like a local foodie when on vacation in Orlando

Disney and Universal have some great eats inside of their parks, but the true stand-outs in Orlando are outside the stomping grounds of Mickey and Harry Potter. If you want to chow down like a foodie that knows this town like the back of their hand, this guide’s for you. Keep in mind that this will require driving outside the attractions bubble, but it’s well worth it for your tastebuds.


We’ll go by neighborhoods. First up is Lake Nona, which is right by the Orlando International airport, so this should be easy to get to you’re flying into or out of O-Town. This is a great place to stop either just after or before your flight if you have some time to kill.

Park Pizza & Brewing Co.

Photo Credit: Park Pizza

This place does not get enough attention, even from the average local. Park Pizza not only serves great pies (shout out to the Truffle Shuffle mushroom ‘za), it’s a brewery too! Although their beers have a smaller mindshare than other breweries in Central Florida, they’re just as good. Their Waverider beer won the Gold medal for Best Florida Beer in 2023. A big feat for a small brewery. It definitely punches above its weight class.

Chroma Modern Bar + Kitchen

Chroma, among the great restaurants in Orlando.
Photo Credit: Chroma

This is by far the best place to have brunch — and probably upscale lunch, now that we’re thinking of it — in South Orlando. Chroma pairs killer cocktails with classy vibes and tasty tapas. From their crab and artichoke dip to their miso caramel Brussels sprouts, Chroma don’t miss.


This neighborhood on the East side of downtown is foodie heaven, especially for those that like Asian cuisine.


Mamak Asian Street Food in Orlando, Florida
Photo Credit: Mamak

You might think you’ve had krab rangoons before, but you’ve been living a lie — unless you’ve had the ones made at Mamak. This Malaysian and pan-Asian street food joint seasons their cream cheese filling so well that it doesn’t even need krab to be the best krab rangoon around. The rest of their menu is just as good, too. Whether you’re having their Pad Thai, wings or Malaysian Coconut Curry, you’re gonna want to keep coming back for more.

Tori Tori

Tori Tori Izakaya in Mills 50 District, Downton Orlando
Photo Credit: Tori Tori

This place is the definition of Good Vibes and Good Food, and it pairs that with a classy interior. With cozy round groups that make your dining feel exclusive, even the seating contributes to a good time. A menu riddled with Japanese finger foods and full-on meals will make your tastebuds happy campers. Wash it down with a craft cocktail that’s better than anything on Disney or Universal property, and you’ll be glad you went. This will make surviving the Florida heat absolutely worth it.

Winter Garden

Winter Garden is the town Disney wishes it created when it made Celebration. It’s quaint, authentic, and its main street is lined with cute restaurants and shops.

Plant Street Market

Plant Street Market in Winter Garden, Florida
Photo Credit: Plant Street Market

Welcome to the American version of a food hall. This hip building not only houses Crooked Can’s brewery and its award-winning beers, but a mess of local food vendors. Hunger Street Tacos, Norigami Sushi, Bruno’s Oysters and more make this a hit with your whole squad, no matter what they’re hungry for.

International Drive

I-Drive is the beating heart of Orlando’s tourist corridor, but that doesn’t mean it’s only got big chains slingin’ food you can find anywhere. Ay contraire, food explorer. International Drive and Sand Lake Road have some hidden gems. These restaurants are very easy to get to from Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure.

Seito Sushi

Seito Sushi on Sand Lake inside the Whole Foods plaza.
Photo Credit: Seito Sushi

Orlando has quite a few good sushi spots, and among the best is Seito right on Sand Lake Road. In fact, they’re so good and crafting sushi that even their vegetarian roll is a good choice. Shocking, we know. If you’re not in the mood for some fresh fish, Seito also offers wonderful ramen and other courses.

The Mexican Camel

The Mexican Camel on International Drive
Photo Credit: The Mexican Camel

Chipotle is great, but The Mexican Camel takes this to a new level. It fuses Mexican and Mediterranean cuisines into perfect Chipotle-style bowls. And it’s got capital F flavor — this may be fast casual dining, but they ain’t playing. It’s great for young kids and picky eaters too thanks to their tasty quesadillas. And to top it all off they have great baklava, craft-style sodas, and aguas frescas.

If you find yourself dining on I-Drive, come check us out at The Bureau escape rooms! We’re a great adventure for couples, families, and groups to collaborate on interactive puzzles in a themed immersive space. An escape room is a perfect pairing with your lunch or dinner, whether you're killing time before your meal (you'll have something great to discuss after!) or you're walking off all that food after it. Oh, and we can get you out of that Orlando heat or rainy day weather, too. Book an escape room experience today!


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