Good meals in Orlando area

I’ll be in Orlando next week at a conference (near Celebration), and I expect to have some spare time for dinners. Any suggestions for good restaurants (hopefully not national chains) within a reasonable radius? I will have a car. I’m open to most anything, but especially like fresh fish, BBQ (brisket especially), and comfort food. Cuban would be nice too. No high-end dining, thanks. I’ve been to the Columbia in Tampa, and liked it, so I’ll probably be visiting their Celebration restaurant.


Hi Celery, I know your trip has passed, and I’m sorry I didn’t see this sooner. But, for future reference if you find yourself back in Orlando I’ll put this out there. Two of my favorite places that I’ve found since I moved to Orlando are:

  • 4 Rivers Smokehouse This is a local chain and I have a hard time getting anything but Brisket here, even though it’s all good. When ordering they let you choose which part of the Brisket you want and they also offer something called “burnt ends” which is the burnt ends of the brisket and looks something like pulled beef.

  • Black Bean Deli There are two locations, but I’ve only been to the one on Colonial. I come from the Midwest, so I can’t attest to the authenticity of BBD, but I can confirm that it is delicious. If you go on Friday or Saturday the special is Havana Pork, and it’s awesome. The picadillo empanadas are also a favorite of mine.

Both of these restaurants have a fast casual atmosphere where you order at a counter and then get a number to put on your table.

Thanks for the post. I had preiously read about 4 Rivers, and was all set to go there, but it was Sunday, and all branches were closed. Ended up getting BBQ at Cecil’s, which was OK but nothing special. It was one of those trips where I ended up being stuck at the convention for most of the nights, but I did make it out to the Columbia twice. I sure love that place! The town of Celebration was a bit weird though.

I’m late to this thread… but in general, the best meals I’ve found in Orlando… are actually appx 10 miles north, in Winter Park.

It’s a great “Foodie” town…

Just a few top spots include The Ravenous Pig, Cask & Larder, K, Prato, Luma on Park (probably my favorite), The COOP (from the 4Rivers folks), and more.

Just adding this almost as a note to self - in case anyone comes across this in the future - and reopens this thread.

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I’ve eaten at both The COOP and Cask & Larder this week. I just want to affirm for future readers that this is a good list, and if you’re in Orlando it is definitely worth the trip away from the tourist areas.


I’m a future reader! Is it still there? I actually ate in Winter Garden about 5 years ago, but don’t remember where.