Looking for the best restaurants in downtown Orlando?
In need of a restaurant for your travel plans that aren’t located inside or around theme parks? Downtown Orlando has an abundance of restaurants from gourmet to laid back casual depending on your mood.
There is no shortage of trendy and tasty eats in Orlando and best of all, most listed here are small businesses. Here are some of the highest reviewed Downtown Orlando restaurants for your next trip – the best places to eat in Downtown Orlando, rated by a local.
19 Best Restaurants in Downtown Orlando
1. Kres Chophouse
This 1936 landmark building brings a modern and historic flare to the steakhouse dining experience. The infamous red neon Kres Chophouse sign is reminiscent of a New York City steak house.
With its striking dark mahogany and rich red tones, the elegant atmosphere sets the tone for their aged in house and cut to order chops. The grandiose menu is filled with grass fed filets and also features regionally sourced veal chops and porterhouse lamb. For the table, pair your chops with a signature side dish such as the “Shrimp and Bacon Mac & Cheese” or “Three Cheese Au Gratin”.
Kres’s menu also specializes in Vegan dishes with the reimagined classic “Vegan Wellington” and is uniquely made with a mushroom and bean blend, covered in puff pastry and topped with the house made port shallot demi glaze.
With awards spanning from “Best Late Night Restaurant” and “Best Restaurant Downtown Orlando”, this stylish chophouse delivers extraordinary service and a decadent vibe that is sure to create a memorable evening.
See more: best indoor activities in Orlando
2. Se7ven Bites
Although Se7ven bites doesn’t run on a typical restaurant schedule, they definitely deserve their place on this list. Chef and owner Trina Gregory –Propst is a well-known face on Food Network’s “Diners, Drive in & Dives” and several episodes of celebrity Chef Guy Fieri’s “Grocery Games”.
Trina also reigned in Season 27’s Summer Grocery Games and was honored as the “Tournament Champion”. Her popularity is evident, with lines out the door for diners wanting a piece of the chicken pot pie, as seen on TV, or the “Minnie Pearl” for those that want to indulge in sugar waffles, buttermilk fried chicken and cheddar grits.
Se7ven bites specialties are Breakfast, Brunch and Lunch only. Primarily serving southern comfort foods, they also cater to the sweet tooth diners with their oatmeal pie cookies, scones or the infamous vanilla bean bourbon bacon sky pie, made from scratch daily. The menu also includes some local craft beers and mimosa’s.
One of the best downtown Orlando restaurants – especially if you are hunting out a lunch spot in Orlando.
3. AC Sky bar
Flying high and situated on the 18th floor of the AC Hotel Downtown Orlando is the ultra-luxurious AC Sky bar. The exquisite, and adult only rooftop lounge, is gleaming in the floor to ceiling windows, ritzy chandeliers, lounge tables, and sultry open flamed fire pits. With a diverse menu, dishes range from small to larger featuring manchego meatballs, tortilla Española and flat iron steak with crispy potatoes.
Sunday brunch packs on some flavor with dishes like the “Crispy Chicken & Waffles” and “Elevated Eggs Benedict” served with prosciutto, poached eggs, and hollandaise over a toasted croissant.
Spruce up your adult beverage by ordering one of the signature cocktails like the Tik Tok famous and gin based “Cloud” or the “S’Mores Old Fashioned” made with coconut based rum and marshmallow Brulee.
A popular spot for happy hours, celebrations or to show off to your traveling friends and family, this lounge restaurant is a perfect display of what historic Downtown Orlando has to offer.
Vietnamese Chef and owner, Sean Nguyen broke the Japanese mold when he opened DOMU in 2016. His love for Japanese food inspired him to open this Ramen hotspot that has been featured on the Travel Channel. He definitely serves up some of the best food in downtown Orlando.
The slang term DOMU means “a dream come true” which plays thru his whole theming on all 3 restaurants spread across Orlando and Jacksonville. The 90’s hip hop inspired restaurant is known making their noodles in house daily using Japanese traditions. The Orlando Weekly magazine’s award winner “DOMU Wings” are locally sourced chicken twice fried and smothered in kimchi butter.
The “Richie Rich” ramen, also a best seller, showcases Shoyu Pork broth simmered for almost 24 hours creating a liquid gold that could be argued as addicting.
Their signature topping “Ajitama Brulee” is a broiled egg soaked in a Sake marinade overnight and blasted with fire to torched perfection. Popular with the locals and now foodie travelers, expect to wait at least two hours to get into one of these locations.
5. Reyes Mezcaleria
With awards from Time Out Magazine and Conde Nast Traveler as one of the best in Orlando, this downtown favorite offers regional Mexican cuisine and has a stellar Agave, 150 tequilas to be exact.
Executive Chef Wendy Lopez, a native of Michoacán, has been a staple in the success of Reyes Mezcaleria operated by restaurateur’s Jason and Sue Chin of Orlando’s Good Restaurant Group.
The modern décor mixed in with cultural elements brings a vibrant vibe as they prepare fine dining Mexican dishes with unique items such as the “Pulpo a La Plancha” seared octopus with avocado salsa or the dinner for two of fried whole snapper with olives, capers and cilantro rice.
In addition, Reyes serves up in incredible brunch with dishes like the chorizo brioche with fried eggs. The in-house pastry chef will tune the taste buds with favorites like “Un Dia en Michoacán” made with horchata ice cream and Mexican rum soaked chocolate cake.
6. The Ravenous Pig
Located in Winter Park minutes from downtown Orlando, the stylish Kitchen + Taps haven boasts a swanky beer garden and trendy digs.
The restaurant is reminiscent of a modernized 1920’s industrial type bar with private booths, high tops, and bar seating and almost exudes a “fancy sport’s bar” vibe.
Operated by the husband and wife team, also Winter Park natives, James and Julie Petrakis run the 4 years nominated James Beard Award restaurant.
The Ravenous Pig has a more refined pub menu, with plates like mushroom and gruyere beignets, lobster tacos, and steak fries. The refreshing cocktail menu includes frozen roses, an impressive whiskey list, and an almost endless selection of beers on tap.
The Brunch is also a local favorite and on the weekends caters to the sports fanatics with the oversized screens and beautifully lit garden for nighttime guests. The owners operate several other restaurants including Cask & Larder at the Orlando International Airport and The Polite Pig is Disney World’s, Disney Springs.
7. Tori Tori
Sister restaurant to DOMU, Chef Sean Nguyen strikes again with his “modern meets traditional” Japanese pub concept. Stepping into Tori Tori, you are instantly greeted by a massive cocktail bar with endless Japanese whiskeys.
The sleek hunter green booths and gold lined globe lighting is ultra-sexy and oozes lounge vibes. The open facing kitchen showcases the hardworking Chef’s grilling over charcoal and beautifully highlights Tori Tori’s specialty, “Yakitori and Hushiyaki” grilled meats and veggie plates.
The tapas style menu shows off traditional Japanese street food items such as the chicken skin, kochujan spicy shrimp or pork belly skewers. Headlining their small plates menu are items like the garlic fried rice, Japanese potato salad and Japanese fried chicken.
Tori Tori offers an abundance of seating options from inside bar, booths, sofas and beautifully lit outdoor patio. With an impressive selection of whiskeys, sake and beer, sit back and relax to the 90’s tunes and soak in this vibrant restaurant lounge.
8. The Boheme
Jazz enthusiasts, rejoice! Indulge at this art centric hotel perfectly located right in the heart of downtown Orlando. The Boheme is on the ground floor of the lavish Grand Bohemian Hotel. The artful jazz inspired hotel is a favorite amongst locals and tourists.
Boheme is one of the “go-to” dining destinations while attending a show at the Dr. Phillips Center located down the street.
Boheme’s menus is an all-day affair with certified beef cuts such as the 42oz Tomahawk or have a taste at one of their specialty Chilean sea bass or Mediterranean salmon dishes.
The restaurant also stars one of Orlando’s best brunches with their soulful “Sunday Jazz Brunch” which showcases performances from incredible artists. With “action stations” displaying the best in crepes, seafood and carving tables, paired with unlimited Mimosas for $68, the well-crafted brunch is definitely a must and is a show stopper for celebrations and family gatherings.
9. Artisan’s Table
Artisan’s Table is centered right on the iconic Church Street in downtown Orlando FL. Artisan’s motto “Flavor is our Guide” shows true in their creative dishes with ingredients that are locally and ethically sourced. The cuisine is seasonally inspired and serves American dishes for lunch, dinner and brunch.
With an assortment of dishes like their short rib poutine with French fries smothered in hoisin gravy and gorgonzola.
The grilled hangar steak is beautifully plated with Korean sauce and sticky fried rice which shows off the trendy cooking techniques of the Artisan’s team. Spicing up the original grilled cheese is the “Mediterranean Grilled Cheese”, sandwiched in between garlic sourdough bread, feta, mozzarella and olive tapenade.
Artisan’s also features a coffee bar and tailored cocktail menu to elevate your dining experience. The location of Artisan’s is ideal for travelers staying downtown or if you’re venturing out into Orlando’s popular nightlife scene a few blocks down.
10. Delaney’s Tavern
Husband and wife team, Dr. Tom Winters and Dr. Becky Moroose, spontaneously created the idea of Delaney’s Tavern over a night out with friends for dinner.
The concept was to create a restaurant with a “Cheers” vibe and embody a more modern style. The creation of a new American tavern was born in 2019 and it shows when you enter this establishment. The plush booths lined with velvet, dark wood tones and industrial chandeliers are an inviting touch and ideal for happy hours and dinner.
The menu has an array of reimagined dishes with small plates like “Brie in Puffs” or the “Vegan Butter braised Cauliflower Skillet” drenched in yellow curry sauce and garlic cilantro onions. Larger plates such as the “Black Truffle Ravioli” are prepared with pasta made by local Italian market Trevi’s.
The dessert offerings are based on the day you dine in and are made fresh by their pastry chef.
11. Maxine’s on Sunshine
Maxine’s on Sunshine promises to entertain and bring a bit of sexy to your dining experience. Styled like a boutique, husband and wife team Kirt and Maxine Earhart bring a glamourous 1940’s vibe blended with an unusual but fun display of vintage and noir paintings and half-dressed mannequins throughout the space.
Winning several Orlando readers’ choice awards, the menu is as eclectic as the restaurant and features Italian and seafood based fare. The “Meatballs Wellington” is a new take on a classic and features a pork and beef blend wrapped in bleu cheese and puff pastry. The “Stuffed Trout” is packed in with crab meat stuffing and drizzled with lemon caper sauce.
The properly named “Rejuicination Brunch” features the popular oversized bloody mary’s and house made sangria’s along with a full list of wines and cocktails. On the weekends, Maxine’s also hosts live music with soft rock tunes and folk musicians and heavily engages with diners for a more theatrical and memorable event.
12. AVA Mediterranean
The newest restaurant lounge to hit the luxurious city of Winter Park is AVA MediterrAgean. Situated on the corner of the popular Park Avenue, the team at Mila Group took some inspiration from their MILA Miami restaurant and graced the city of Orlando with influence from the Mediterranean and the Aegean Sea.
AVA’s romantic ambiance promises to transport you to the Cyclades Islands with its chic linens, wood structured ceilings, sofa tables and chill-out tunes playing in the background that will question whether you’re in Mykonos.
The menu embraces culture and is obvious with their cooking technique. Featured dishes such as the grilled halloumi cheese and freshest Bronzino are theatrically prepared tableside by flambé using exotic spices, lemons, and the finest olive oils.
The barrel aged Feta cheese will take your palette on a culinary journey as it’s mixed in with locally sourced herbs and vegetables. Immerse yourself in a lavish dining experience at AVA.
13. The Osprey
Highlighting the abundance of Florida’s sea life in a super hip yet elegant ambiance, is none other than Baldwin Park’s, The Osprey. Making a 2nd appearance on the list, are owners of Good Salt Restaurant Group, Jason and Sue Chin.
Executive Chef Michael Cooper prepares a well curated menu as the cuisine takes a modern approach to traditional seafood plates. The “Pei Mussels” cooked in coconut milk and roasted poblano pepper or the “Potato crusted Mahi Mahi” are sure to entice the senses with rich flavors.
The extravagant “Royale” dish is a tower of goodness with a dozen oysters, ceviche, shrimp cocktail smoked fish dip and lobster. Every dish at The Osprey is fine-tuned and is intentional in presentation. Executive Chef Michael Cooper also offers a 7 course “Chef’s Tasting” experience which highlights his techniques in an all seafood based menu.
With dinner, brunch and a sophisticated caviar program, The Osprey continues to win awards making this restaurant a premiere dining experience.
14. SoCo Restaurant
SoCo, inspired by Southern Contemporary cuisine, is located in Thornton Park just blocks from downtown Orlando. Orlando Magazine has recognized SoCo as Best Neighborhood Restaurant, Best Chef and Best Brunch. Partner and Executive Chef Greg Richie, delivers a modern southern comfort approach.
The menu is jam packed with delightful dishes like the “ Soco Style Chicken and Dumplings” or the “Grilled Meatloaf with Lobster Mashed Potatoes”. Small plates feature “Cornmeal Fried Okra” and “Fried Green Tomatoes”.
SoCo also caters to the whiskey lovers and offers a table side prepared “Smoked Noble Oak Old Fashioned” cased in a wooden bourbon barrel. The Brunch is just as sumptuous with house made pop tarts, chicken and French toast and a prime ribeye steak with fried eggs and grits.
It’s no surprise that SoCo in 2020 SoCo was awarded by Florida Trend Magazine with the “Golden Spoon Award” as one of the best places to dine in Orlando.
15. DoveCote Restaurant
French inspired restaurant DoveCote is located right in the heart of Downtown Orlando. DoveCote is more than just a restaurant, it is a destination for every life event, boasting a large outdoor courtyard, several private dining rooms and grand hall for special celebrations.
The outdoor space hosts brunches, wedding parties and even fashion shows. The décor feels luxurious with modern and French flair with each room unique in features.
The menu spans from raw oysters and seafood towers to small plates such as the ham and cheese beignets and homemade cheddar biscuits.
The dinner menu specializes in rich flavored dishes like the duck breast with red lentils and black berry reduction. The cocktail menu includes a fun and exclusive list with items like “ Carrier Pigeon” which is a rotating cocktail and a surprise when served.
With awards from Open Table’s “Diner’s Choice” and Florida Trend Magazine’s 2020 “Golden Spoon Award” for best places to dine in Orlando, DoveCote and is considered by locals a premiere dining destination.
16. Bem Bom
Bem Bom, which translates to “Good Good”, is an authentic Mexican and Portuguese restaurant located in the Audubon Park district near downtown Orlando.
Originally established as a food truck in 2012, Chef Chico Mendonca was featured on Food Network’s “Eat St.” After 5 successful years, he opened Bem Bom which was awarded in 2020 by the Orlando Sentinel as “Restaurant of the Year”.
Chef Mendonca works closely with local farmers, fisherman and is proud to make their Portuguese bread, salsas and delicious “’piri piri” sweet and spicy sauces in house daily. Popular items on the Bem Bom menu that have locals raving are the 6hr braised pork carnitas tacos, carne asada steak platters and even the grass fed lamb burger with feta compote and pico de gallo. Brunch is just as special with their decadent “Pancake Taco” filled with Chicharron (pork rinds), queso fresco and buttermilk pancake.
Pair one of your specialty dishes with one of the signature Portuguese wines or in house Sangria.
17. Santiago’s Bodega
Owner and Kansas native Jason Dugan started his culinary journey in 2004 in the southernmost city of Key West, Florida. The restaurant is his tribute to the Ernest Hemingway novel, “The Old Man and the Sea”, the story of a Cuban fisherman named Santiago, who overcomes several obstacles and is tested by his strength. A similar journey Jason would endure for years while attempting to open his first restaurant.
So what was the payoff? Jason now operates three Santiago’s Bodega restaurants. The heavily influenced tapas style restaurant is also in the wonderful city of downtown Orlando. The restaurant pushes the “Bodega Life” and has become a popular destination for locals who want a piece of there “friendly neighborhood restaurant”.
The menu serves up small plates like the shrimp and chorizo skewers and croquettas filled with potato and prosciutto. With high rated travel site reviews and awards by Orlando Sentinel for “Orlando’s best Brunch” offering dishes like Frittata with goat cheese or freshly made pasta from a local Italian market, reservations are highly recommended.
18. Enzo’s on the Lake
Established in 1980, owners Enzo and Joann Perlini had a vision to open a family restaurant with Roman and Neapolitan traditions.
They purchased an Italian style property on Lake Fairy that was built in 1955 and used as a private residence. They transformed the home into a romantic fine dining Italian setting.
Enzo’s was awarded in 2018 as “Most Romantic Restaurant” and has been featured on the Cooking Channel’s“Be My Guest”. The pasta’s and dolce (desserts) are made in house from scratch daily. With brilliantly prepared dishes such as aged tenderloin topped with 12 year aged balsamic vinegar or the slow braised short rib in chianti wine with pappardelle pasta and peas.
The wine list from the cellar is to be admired with the menu boasting 11 pages and imported from Italy, California Australia, Spain and Portugal to name a few. Enzo’s is an exceptional choice anniversaries, date nights and special celebrations with family.
19. Bulla Gastrobar
Bulla Gastrobar has been a staple in Miami since 2016 and with the success of the Coral Gables and Doral locations, owner Carlos Centurion expanded the restaurant to more locations including Winter Park near downtown Orlando.
Bulla’s head Chef Diego Solana is a Costa Rica native and studied in Spain learning traditional cooking technique and recipes. The tapas concept is meant to be shared at the table bringing everyone together for a tasting experience.
Popular tapas at Bulla include the “Montaditos”, a toasted baguette topped with brisket, tomato marmalade and queso. The cumin marinated sirloin is so popular they offer in small and large plates and is perfectly executed with truffle potato chips and mushroom foam with green chimichurri salsa. Experience a traditional Spanish dish with one of their “Paella” rice dishes that require 30 minutes to prepare for an enticing bite.
The cocktails menu is filled with decadent wines and specially crafted drinks like the “Spanish Old Fashioned” made with chocolate bitters and Spanish sherry cream.