Droolius’ Food Guide to NBA All-Star weekend in Orlando

Thousands of people are in Orlando for the NBA All-Star weekend. From the Orlando International Airport to the downtown Orlando Amway Arena, and to the Orange County Convention Center near International Drive, these will be the high traffic spots and everywhere in between. There are many locally owned Orlando restaurants worth trying for those looking to eat outside of the national chain restaurants. For the most part these restaurants are either Orlando-based or Florida-based, with an exception or two that at least features local ingredients.


(click image to enlarge)

* This post was modified due to restaurant closings

These are a few of my recommendations and are restaurants that I have eaten in the past. There are many more out there you can try (although I have not eaten at yet).

**Note these are only restaurants from Orlando International Airport to the downtown Orlando Amway Arena, and to the Orange County Convention Center near International Drive**

Click on the highlighted links for photos, features, and more info throughout this blog…

Downtown Orlando

Shin – Japanese Sushi – Authentic Japanese sushi chefs and one of my favorite sushi spots in town
Pine 22 – Burgers – check out the Burginator
Bento – Asian Fusion – sushi and fusion bento boxes
Dessert Lady – Dessert – great slices of cake
Gringo’s Locos – tacos, burritos, Double D’s tacos
Ceviche – Spanish Tapas – see post for many great dishes [HERE]
KRES Chophouse – Steaks
The Boheme – Chef inspired – see the photos from a recent visit [HERE]. They feature as many local ingredients as possible
Le Coq Au Vin – French Culinary Cuisine – this is French culinary food at its finest in Orlando (South of Downtown)
White Wolf Cafe – American – good brunch
The Greek Corner – Greek

East of downtown Orlando

(on the way to/from MCO)

Oblivion Taproom – American cuisine – Great Burgers & Beers, Chef specials are good
Pho Vinh – Vietnamese – favorite place for Pho. Rice dish #143 add fried egg. See photos from Foodspotting Eatup
Pho 88 – Vietnamese – Pho is good, quail for appetizer.
Steak & Salad Turkish Kitchen – Turkish – everything I have had here is great.
S.E.A. Thai – Thai cuisine – curries, fried whole fish, everything is good.
Hawkers – Asian – Asian style tapas. See photos from Foodspotting Eatup
Blue Bird Bakery – cupcakes and cookies
Garibaldi’s (Semoran & Colonial) – Authentic Mexican – Mexican dishes & tacos

Close to downtown Orlando

(Winter Park & College Park)

Del Frisco’s Prime Steak & Lobster – my favorite steak house in Orlando
Jade Bistro – Asian Fusion / Sushi – one of my favorites for sushi. Fusion dishes are great and Chinese classics too
K Restaurant & Wine Bar – Chef inspired cuisine – Try my local favorite Mac n cheese! Burger and chef specials are good too.
The Ravenous Pig – American Gastro Pub – burger, steak & frites, anything pork! Try a The Ravenous Pig Old Fashion w/ bacon garnish. See photos from a recent visit [HERE]
Le Macaron – French Desserts – try all the macarons, Colombian coffee and Basil are my favorites. See the treats [HERE]
Croissant Gourmetcroque madame, pastries, and desserts are good.

International Drive area

Trey Yuen – Chinese cuisine / Dim Sum til 3pm – go for the Chinese menu and order something authentic *Restaurant Closed (as of Jan. 1, 2013)
Aki – authentic Japanese – Japan style cafe – good sushi happy hour, Beef Teriyaki (ribeye), Curry Katsu
Hanamizuki – authentic Japanese dishes. Ramen available during lunch hours, Monday-Saturday.
Bento – Asian Fusion – sushi and fusion bento boxes
Red Bamboo – Thai – good curry dishes
Delish NY Bakery – cupcakes and Italian cookies from NYC. *Restaurant Closed See the photos [HERE]
Juniors Colombian Burger – Colombian style burgers, hot dogs, arepas – try the Columbian Burger and add extra garlic & pineapple sauce
Nile Ethiopian Restaurant – Ethiopian cuisine – great food large groups and sharing food. See Foodspotting Eatup photos of dishes [HERE]
Zorba’s Greek Taverna – Greek cuisine – Greek food is good here, also has Hookah (Kirkman Rd & Conroy)
Border Grill – Authentic Mexican – great tasting Mexican meats for tacos. Flautas are great too. (Kirkman Rd & Vineland)
Moon FishOysters, sushi, great Happy Hour, good Seafood. (Sandlake & Dr. Phillips area)
Flame Kabob – Lebanese – try a shawarma sandwich. Falafel, hummus, and baba ganoush are good appetizers (Sandlake & Dr. Phillips area)
First Watch – Breakfast & Brunch (Sandlake & Dr. Phillips area)
Anatolia now Bosphorus – Turkish – try the Turkish Meat combo to share. (Sandlake & Dr. Phillips area)
Peach Valley Cafe – Breakfast & Brunch (Conroy & Dr. Phillips area)
Le Cafe de Paris – French cafe – croque madame is great! (Conroy & Dr. Phillips area)

(Between downtown Orlando and International Drive)
Keke’s – Breakfast & Brunch – the Florida Waffle is my favorite
Nara Deva Thai – Thai – it is all good, see photos [HERE]
Sushi Kitana – Sushi – try tuna press sandwich (sushi roll) served w/ Sweet Potato Fries

Orlando Food Trucks – Orlando has 50+ gourmet food trucks, a must try if you enjoy the food truck scene around the county.
Find them [HERE]

Foodspotting Eatup Orlando – I’m hosting a Latin Food Truck Crawl on South OBT 730pm – click for details and to RSVP: Facebook invite

These are only some of the restaurants and food anyone should try in Orlando visiting this weekend or any trip. If you are a local, then enjoy this Orlando dining list!

**Note these are only restaurants from Orlando International Airport to the downtown Orlando Amway Arena, and to the Orange County Convention Center near International Drive**

Words and photos by Julius Mayo Jr.
Content and photos © Droolius.com 2012


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