Join Instagram influencer and guest blogger Christina Petsos on a tour of seven of Orlando’s newest MICHELIN Guide restaurants, including Toledo at DISNEY’S CORONADO SPRINGS Resort (pictured), Doshi, EDOBOY, Juju, Kaya, Otto’s High Dive and Twenty Pho Hour.
It’s May, and you know what that means: The MICHELIN Guide presentation for Florida was this month. After reviewing eight members of the class of 2022, I’ve made it to seven of Orlando’s newest MICHELIN Guide honorees and can tell you that each spot is unique and provides an exceptional experience. Join me in a recap of these new mentions, all well deserving!
Discover: Orlando’s MICHELIN Guide Restaurants
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Toledo — Tapas, Steaks and Seafood
At the top of the Gran Destino Tower at Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort, which is part of Walt Disney World® Resort, you will find the MICHELIN Recommended Toledo — Tapas, Steaks and Seafood. This restaurant is beautiful and bursting with tons of light from the large windows, providing fantastic views of the Disney property.
Discover: Things to Do at WALT DISNEY WORLD Resort
In the middle of the restaurant, you will find a large wine wall. The vaulted ceilings are a stunning shade of red, pink and orange, changing colors throughout the experience. Toledo is a true gem at Disney. I recommend booking a reservation, whether local or on vacation.
The food at Toledo is inspired by Spain, carefully prepared by their chefs with both beauty and taste in mind. I enjoyed the Pinxtos Flight, Scallops, Hangar Steak, Tapas Dessert Bar and Almond Cake. Everything I tried was heavenly.
The MICHELIN Recommended Doshi is a modern Korean, multi-course, fine dining, chef’s-tasting experience. Brought to you by the founders of Doshi Box that operated out of a ghost kitchen, this is their elevated dining experience. Gene, Mike and Ray have created an amazing space at Doshi with a ton of talent. I enjoy the creative nods to current Korean pop culture in their dishes, as well as the carefully thought-out plating and flavor combinations.
There are currently three dining options:
- A 10-course chef’s tasting at the chef’s table. This is one of the most engaging and unique dining experiences I’ve experienced. In the central Florida area, this is a necessary thing to do at least once.
- An abridged, six-course chef’s tasting in the dining room. Still the same care and attention to the dishes, just shortened.
- The a la carte menu.
This is a restaurant that must be on your list if you have not been. They’re located in Winter Park, about 25 minutes north of Orlando’s tourism districts.
Discover: Things to Do in Winter Park
Brought to us by the owners of MICHELIN Recommended Tori Tori and MICHELIN Bib Gourmand Domu, the MICHELIN Recommended EDOBOY is the only standing sushi bar in Orlando that lends you a modern yet authentic Japanese experience. The fish, including locally sourced and Japanese import options, is some of the best quality I have ever experienced. If you’re looking for great sushi at a reasonable price, this Mills 50 eatery is the spot for you.
EDOBOY is an eight-person bar where you order directly from the chef, cutting out the middleman to increase efficiency. In Japan, it makes high-quality sushi convenient to eat at a reasonable price. Though this “eat and go” type of restaurant is not common here in America, it is wildly popular in Japan.
Time slots are one hour and a maximum of 12 pieces. Prices range from $5 to $10 per piece. They offer nigiri, aburi and temaki (hand rolls). My favorite was the Shima Ahi (Japanese stripe jack) and Aburi Aka Ebi (sweet red prawn with uni butter).
Understand that here at EDOBOY, raw fish is served. If you prefer cooked sushi, this may not be the spot for you. Also, do not skip out on the miso soup at the end of the meal. It is by far one of the tastiest I have ever tried. So smooth and buttery. I could drink a gallon of it.
From the owner of the immensely popular Susuru comes Juju, a retro izakaya experience that is MICHELIN Recommended. This spot is located on Colonial Drive in Orlando’s Milk District and has a very neighborhood feel. It is in an old Pizza Hut, and they even serve one of their drinks in the nostalgic red Pizza Hut cups. The theming here is so fun. I could look at the different toys and signs for hours.
Discover: Things to Do in Orlando Neighborhoods
JuJu offers two dining options. Sit in the dining room and order a la carte, or opt for the Kappo bar, which is similar to an omakase but less formal. This style of dining is popular in Japan and is more common in neighborhood restaurants. Two things that really separate Juju apart from its competition is the that they dry age their fish and they cook Japanese charcoal to cook.
I love the feel here, and the food is insanely good. It’s so fun to watch them plate the dishes in front of you. Two of my favorite items always on the menu are the Wagyu Gyoza and the Chirashi.
I cannot sing enough praises about newcomer Kaya, which is already MICHELIN Recommended. They just opened their brick-and-mortar location in the Mills 50 district in December 2022. The restaurant itself feels like you’re in a Filipino grandmother’s living room and is super inviting. The artwork is all from Filipino artists, and some even belonging to Jami’s grandmother.
The staff are all experts in what they do, making the experience next level. They have a sommelier and forager on staff, ensuring everything consumed is only top quality. Everything is sourced locally and fresh. The sense of community in Kaya is strong and I love what they’re doing here! Their goal is to show how Filipino food can be elevated with simple flavors.
Chef Lo is a genius in everything he creates. My favorite item on their menu is the Pork Belly, but honestly everything is good. Their menu is seasonal and changes based on what ingredients they have, so you can always try something new.
Otto’s High Dive
This new addition to the Milk District is unique to the area. Most places in this neighborhood are fairly divey or staples that have been around for a long time. A MICHELIN Bib Gourmand, Otto’s is an upscale rum bar that brings a new liveliness to the area.
First and foremost, this is a cocktail bar experience, but they do have a limited food menu that’s decent. (They also noted recently that they would be expanding their food menu.) I got the Ropa Vieja and enjoyed it.
The drinks are the real draw here, however. There are some unique cocktails that are all beautiful. I tried the Guava Pastelito, Pandamerican, and Froquito (frozen coquito!). All three were tasty and strong. You certainly get what you pay for here. It’s hard to say which was my favorite, because all three were fantastic and I’d order them again. At the same time, they have quite a lengthy list so I also want to try more cocktails.
Twenty Pho Hour
The MICHELIN Recommended Twenty Pho Hour is America’s first 2D art noodle bar, and I can’t get enough of the aesthetic. I was very pleased with my udon bowl that I built myself. You can build your own bowl, or you can choose from one of their signature bowls.
If you build your own, they have a lot of options to choose from and a ton of add-ons. For noodles, you can choose from pho, ramen, udon and even kale! So cool.
They are located off International Drive, south of 528, in the International Drive Entertainment District. Definitely check it out, if only to see the trippy space. It feels like you’ve stepped right into a coloring book. And don’t forget to check out the bathrooms. They are definitely something to see.
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