Orlando Guide; A Local’s Guide to the Best Restaurants

It’s no secret that I have an entire Instagram Highlight dedicated to Orlando and the many food adventures Jeff and I have here on a weekly basis. Every time I post a story with some new food I get about a million DMs asking what  I’m eating and where so I figured why not just put it all together in one spot!

I’m going to keep it real with you guys, Orlando is a melting pot when it comes to food and you can get ANYTHING here. From BBQ to Southern Cuisine, Sushi and Baos to Tapas and Ceviche we have everything but today is all about sharing my personal favorites with you guys and I’m breaking it down into 3 Categories; Brunch, Lunch&Dinner and Happy Hour because, I mean with these we’re covering ALL Basis!

 

BRUNCH

The Stubborn Mule – Downtown Orlando (Residential)

Honestly, this might be my favorite brunch spot hands down, just know you need to make your reservation a week in advance because people come here and DO NOT leave! If you’re lucky enough to get a table outside I’d say snag it because the live entertainment mixed with the great weather and food makes for the perfect brunch set up. If you’re like me everything is instagrammable and you’ll be snapping photos with a bottomless mimosa in hand always.

brunch

What do I get? The Cloud Nine Sandwich with an egg of course! House smoked Pastrami with melted Swiss and Dill Havarti cheese topped with Mule Hash in an Asiago bagel (YUM)

Artisan’s Table – Downtown Orlando Church St

Nestled on Church St. (it’s new, much larger location) this restaurant is in the midst of the downtown historic landmarks, It’s right across from the old train stop! I have only 1 complaint about this restaurant and some might see it as a good thing. Because it’s a scratch kitchen and holds an ever-changing menu – when you find something you really love it might be gone in 2 weeks.  I’ve experienced this let down first hand HOWEVER there’s always something on the menu you’re bound to love, trust me.  The locals love it here especially for a boozy brunch, if you’re heading there on a Saturday don’t worry about a wait but on a Sunday you might want to call ahead!

What do I get? I’m all about the Breakfast Veggie Bowl – tri colored potatoes, scrambled eggs, bacon, cheese and onions and peppers! I could eat it every day.

Avenue – Orange Avenue

Orange Avenue is the hub of Downtown Orlando , nestled right in between lounges and nightclubs, Avenue is a great brunch spot with a DJ and a patio overlooking Orange Avenue (not much of a site but still fun to people watch) This place has a popping vibe and is always packed with tons of young, fun people.

What do I get? I’m all about the Chicken and Waffles and a Frose’ or 3. If you’re looking to get a frose’ make sure you don’t have a first thing in the morning reservation – it takes a few hours for the machine to get going.  I would absolutely recommend a boozy brunch with a big group here and the chicken and waffles for sure.

 

LUNCH&DINNER

 

Pig Floyd’s – Mills 50 District

Honestly, this is probably one of my favorite lunch spots in Orlando.  Jeff and I always sit on the patio under the market lights and just take in all that Mills has to offer.  I’d consider this area the eclectic part of Orlando and I love every bit of it.  Pig Floyd’s is a BBQ spot with an edge.  Brisket Bahn Mi Sandwiches, Mongolian Beef Bento Boxes, BBQ Tacos, I mean this place is killing it, so much so that they opened up a new location in Lake Nona within the last year.

pig floyds

What do I get? For about a year I was all about the Brisket but recently I’ve found myself craving the Mongolian beef Bento Box more and more, served with white rice, black beans and coleslaw I’m hooked and you will be too!

Café Tu Tu Tang – International Drive

Talk about a vibe, Café Tu Tu Tango is a tapas style restaurant with a crazy, colorful and eclectic vibe. The walls are absolutely covered in buyable art, there’s music, a tarot card reader (not my thing) and a killer menu.  Café Tu Tu Tango is the kind of place you come for lunch when you need a pick me up and its definitely the place you book for a fun dinner with friends.  The menu has something for everyone and the drinks are everything you would want!

What do I get? Typically this isn’t a one item type of thing (TAPAS style remember?) I’m all about the Short Rib Lettuce Wraps, Shrimp and Grits, Crispy Chicken Sliders and the Southwestern Eggrolls, all with a Sangria of course

BARTACO – Dr. Phillips

Jeff and I find ourselves at Bartaco often and for good reason! With a very beachside vibe this taco place is one that you can find yourself in for hours.  It’s a place with everything from bowls to tacos (both vegetarian and not!) Something for everyone for sure!

What Do I get? Usually 3 tacos is all I need and I always get a Chicken Pastor, a Portobello Mushroom and a Mojo Pork Carnitas with a side of Plantains of course and a Pomegranate Limonada to wash it all down!

 

HAPPY HOUR

Earl’s Kitchen & Bar – Millenia

I love Earl’s for happy Hour – the specials change daily and the patio is my go to spot! Happy Hour is Monday – Friday 3PM – 7PM and Sunday – Friday 9PM to close. The staff is young and the crowd is sexy and this place Is perfect for a girl’s night happy hour!  You’ll find yourself throwing back drinks and laughing all afternoon long!

What do I get? The Garlic truffle fries, the Dynamite Roll and of course a Moscow Mule or a Mojito!

The Guesthouse – Mills 50 District

Now depending on where you enter, this bar will give you two very different vibes. If you come in from the front you’re entering a very sexy bar more than likely l filled with people in their after work attire.  Serving Old Fashions, Tim Collins and more drinks of that sort with a very dimmed lighting situation you’ll definitely have a good time, if you enter form the back you’ll see Mills locals (and their adorable pups) sitting in the back patio by the airstream (which serves drinks) and Guac from the next door Black Rooster Taco spot! Another local fav!

What do I get? I’m all about a Moscow Mule and when I’m at The Guesthouse that’s my drink of choice!

Mather’s Social Gathering – Downtown Orlando

If you’re into that old time, vintage feel then Mather’s is a must go for you. Situation on the third floor of what was a furniture store in the 1900’s, this dark and sexy bar is hidden and beautifully decorated.  The live music will take you to another world and the dress code keeps things little less casual but still extremely comfortable! Be sure to check out the house rules before checking out the bar!

What do I get? The Mather’s Lemonade is my go to! Anything with bourbon and fresh mint I’m down to try and I like to pair that with the Cheeseboard (who doesn’t love a good cheeseboard?)

 

What Orlando Local’s Guide do you want to see next!

XOXO

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