Hidden Dining Gems in Orlando
From fine dining in near the theme parks to speakeasy cocktails on Restaurant Row these restaurants are bringing their A-game. Be sure to reserve a table on your next vacation to Orlando.
A short drive from the theme parks, this area on Sand Lake Road boasts over two dozen restaurants in just a two-mile strip. With so many options ranging from low-key to lavish, there’s sure to be a cuisine to suit your taste.
Christini’s Ristorante Italiano
Don’t be surprised if Chris Christini, owner of this upscale AAA Four-Diamond restaurant, greets you at the door or stops by your table to check on the meal. He takes pride in his establishment, with an emphasis on top-notch service and quality northern Italian cuisine, including homemade ravioli, prime filet mignon and the signature veal chop.
This hidden gem is a bit hard to find — the entrance is disguised as a tucked-away lone elevator. Enter, push the green button, and when the doors open, you’ll be transported to a prohibition-themed spot. In true speakeasy style, their specialties are craft cocktails (called “elixirs”) like Manhattans, smashes and fizzes, plus homemade, locally sourced fare, like Cape Canaveral rock shrimp, Bolognese pasta and Neapolitan pizza.
Rocco’s Tacos & Tequila Bar
More edgy than traditional, this Mexican joint features a lively party atmosphere, thanks in part to the 225 varieties of tequila on the menu. In addition to the namesake tacos, the menu features handmade corn tortillas, tableside guacamole service and modern takes on classic dishes.
Chatham’s Place Restaurant
Voted one of the top restaurants in Orlando, this family-owned establishment has been a staple among locals since 1988. House specialties include jumbo lump Cajun crab cakes, Florida grouper in pecan butter, rack of lamb in rosemary au jus and center-cut filet mignon with a peppercorn cognac sauce.
A cozy sushi bar that takes its rolls seriously, treating their innovative creations as works of art. Their pride shows in the signature offerings and welcoming atmosphere.
Up for a drive? Trust us: The renowned restaurants in the nearby town of Winter Park are about 30 minutes from the theme parks — and worth the trip.
The Ravenous Pig
Chef owners (and James Beard Award semifinalists), James and Julie Petrakis, are passionate about locally sourced cuisine, evident in their classy gastropub. In addition to handmade pastas and charcuterie, the ever-changing menu highlights fresh Florida seafood and seasonal offerings from local farmers. Don’t miss the year-round Canaveral shrimp and grits and the brewed-on-site craft beer.
The atmosphere alone is enough to book a table at this refined-but-not-pretentious restaurant. The inviting lakefront setting is perfect for pre-dinner cocktails in Adirondack chairs or a lovely meal al fresco. The menu is seasonal, and includes house specialties like jumbo lump crab cakes, miso-glazed Atlantic cod and center-cut filet mignon.
Bulla Gastrobar makes waves in the Winter Park dining scene with its take on Spanish cuisine. The restaurant’s festive vibe and energy complement dishes like churrasco skirt steak, seafood paella, and wide selection of small plates, along with inventive cocktails from the full bar. A worthy stop for brunch, lunch, dinner or anytime tapas.
The spot’s decor is rustic yet modern, while the daily changing seasonal menu puts a fresh twist on classic dishes. Homemade pastas like sweet potato gnocchi, fresh paninis with house-cured meats and pizzas topped with inventive ingredients like sage pesto and spiced acorn squash are just a few items you can expect during your visit.
This quaint town near Walt Disney World® is the perfect spot to take a walk and enjoy a meal.
Celebration Town Tavern
The Celebration Town Tavern is ideal for both families and sports fans alike. This New-England-style space serves steak and seafood as well as Boston-style offerings like chowder, fish and chips, Maine lobster roles and more. If you’re seeking a laid-back vibe with plenty of menu options, this is a must-visit after a day at the theme parks.
One of Florida’s oldest restaurant chains, this family-run business serves Spanish-Cuban cuisine in an elegant Mediterranean setting. Opt to begin your experience with Sangria, prepared tableside to your liking. You can either order tapas to share, or select from an extensive menu of hearty entrees sure to satisfy after a day exploring Orlando. And don’t miss out on warm, cinnamon-dusted churros for dessert.
Upper Crust Pizza
Craving something quick and easy? Drop by Upper Crust Pizza. This counter-service space offers specialty pizzas, subs and stuffed calzones for takeout, so you can enjoy dinner lakeside.
Established by the Thai Ministry of Commerce to encourage visitors to enjoy Thai cuisine, Thai Thani offers an extensive menu with chicken, beef, pork as well as spicy dishes with noodles and fried rice. Hand-carved tables, tropical plants and imported antiques add to the dining experience.
HOW TO GET THERE
Marriott Vacation Club® Points Owners can book any length of stay at one of the available Orlando resorts, which feature spacious recreation areas and villas with options including studios or 1-, 2- and 3-bedrooms. Most villas include a kitchen and laundry facilities to give you more control over your dining choices and environment.
If you are a Marriott Vacation Club Weeks Owner you can use your Week(s) for a stay in sunny Orlando, or you can place an exchange request with Interval International®. If you’re an Owner enrolled in the Marriott Vacation Club Destinations® Exchange Program, you can elect to trade your Week(s) for Vacation Club Points as well.
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Please visit IntervalWorld.com for complete details on exchanging with Interval International
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