The Ultimate 24 Hours for Foodies in Orlando: Tourism District Edition
Orlando is already the Theme Park Capital of the World®, but at the rate our tourism district's culinary scene is growing, we're also a strong contender for the Foodie Capital of the World. After all, we have a high concentration of celebrity, chef-owned restaurants. We also host several high-profile food festivals every year. And, most important, our restaurants get the stamp of approval from tens of millions of worldwide visitors every year.
With so many delicious things to eat and drink, it's perfectly possible to build an entire Orlando getaway around nothing but gastronomical interests. Hungry? Then read on for suggested stops for building the ultimate 24-hour foodie adventure in Orlando's tourism district.
Your Ultimate Foodie Itinerary for Orlando's Tourism District
Here's your itinerary for your 24-hour, foodie adventure in Orlando's tourism district. Scroll down for full details, including alternate suggestions and more.
Breakfast/Brunch: Le Café de Paris
We recommend starting at this Orlando original, owned by a husband and wife team from France. Here, you can sip house-brewed blends and nosh on authentic, French breakfast fare. They're adjacent to Restaurant Row and just a stone's throw from Universal Orlando Resort.
Mid-Morning Fun: Disney Springs
Next, head to Disney's shopping, dining and entertainment destination. With lunch just around the corner, we recommend hitting up counter-service kiosks such as B.B. Wolf's Sausage Co. or Yesake, or even Disney's food trucks.
You'll also want to try some appetizers or even a sandwich at The Polite Pig. Like its sister restaurant, Winter Park's The Ravenous Pig, it's operated by the James Beard Award-nominated husband and wife duo of James and Julie Petrakis. And if you love milkshakes, stop by the Planet Hollywood for some creations that are out of this world.
Lunch: Jock Lindsey's Hangar Bar
For a dining experience you absolutely won't find anywhere else, head to this one-of-a-kind Disney Springs venue based on Raiders of the Lost Ark. Dine on menu items and cocktails inspired by some of Indiana Jones' greatest adventures, and marvel at the artifacts displayed throughout the restaurant. And at The Boathouse, you can enjoy a cruise in an amphibious water car — aka Amphicars — after grabbing a bite.
Afternoon Activities: Universal CityWalk
Feeling full yet? A walk around Universal's all-in-one destination will serve you well. Just keep in mind there's plenty to eat here too! As in the mid-morning, appetizers and small plates are the way to go. Check out Antojitos Authentic Mexican Food and The Cowfish Sushi Burger Bar, among other tasty temptations.
If you're after something sweet, The Toothsome Chocolate Emporium & Savory Feast Kitchen has a crazily impressive array of dessert offerings. Alternately, you can find The Dessert Lady in Orlando's Dr. Phillips neighborhood, which is a short distance from Universal.
First Dinner: Norman's
Located close to Walt Disney World inside The Ritz-Carlton Orlando, Grande Lakes, this upscale, Zagat-rated restaurant is the brainchild of Chef Norman Van Aken, the only Floridian on the James Beard List of list of "Who's Who in American Food and Beverage." Accordingly, it's impossible to have a true Orlando foodie fest without trying his magical creations.
Second Dinner: Restaurant Row
That's right, a second dinner. You are a foodie, aren't you? Found along Sand Lake Road not far from Universal Orlando, this dining destination features 14 official restaurants. Our favorites include Rocco's Tacos and Tequila Bar and Roy Yamaguchi's Roy's Restaurant, but they're all worth a visit.
Dessert: Café Tu Tu Tango
You're already on International Drive, so it's just a short jaunt to this tapas- and art-focused restaurant, which also features live entertainment. More importantly, they have some wildly imaginative desserts — such as the Chocolate Calzone, which you won't find on the menu, but they'll happily make it for you on request.
Nightcap: Blue Martini
This exquisite martini bar is the perfect place to digest all the wonderful things you've eaten today. It's part of International Drive's Pointe Orlando destination, which offers several other places to eat, drink and shop.
Depending on the time of your visit, our suggested mid-morning and afternoon activities can easily be swapped out with any of these acclaimed food festivals and events.
Spring Food Festivals & Events in Orlando
- Downtown Food & Wine Fest (February)
- Seven Seas Food Festival (February-May)
- Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival (March-May)
Fall Food Festivals & Events in Orlando
- Visit Orlando's Visit Orlando's Magical Dining® Month (August-September)
- Epcot International Food & Wine Festival (August-November)
- Swan and Dolphin Food & Wine Classic (October)
Written by Nate Shelton, Consumer Content Writer at Visit Orlando. He's a native Floridian who appreciates the entertainment, historical and culinary aspects of Orlando and Orange County.
Cover image courtesy Roy's Restaurant in Orlando
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