As you all know by now, I was recently on a family holiday to Orlando, Florida. Vising Orlando is a trip many dream of and it is certainty one I will never forget. One aspect I was concerned about before we jetted off was the food.
I love my food and I suffer from what my family and OH like to call Jekyll and Hyde syndrome, meaning if I am hungry feed me quick before Mr. Hyde comes out to play. Yes, I get hangry!
Thankfully we found some gems on our many evenings dining out, where I even got to try some new things! Here’s my top 5 places to eat in Orlando, Florida – International Drive and City Walk.
Café Tu Tu Tangos is the perfect restaurant to go for tapas, drinks and live entertainment. It was recommended to me and I just want to say thank you!
There was four in my party when we visited and we ordered seven dishes to share. It is all about sharing! The dishes are brought out as soon as they are ready so there is a constant flow of food, how perfect is that? The menu would delight even the most unadventurous taste buds, calling the experience a ‘culinary adventure’ which is exactly what it was. They kindly leave the menu for you so you can top up your order at any stage throughout the meal, something we availed of.
Top Picks (all seven)
- Spiced Alligator bites – local Florida alligator (tastes like chicken, cliché I know)
- Southwestern Chicken Flatbread
- Cajun Chicken Egg Rolls – Blackened chicken, roasted corn, red onions, cheddar, goat cheese, creole mustard sauce
- Hanger Steak Anticuchos – Aji rocoto marinade, sweet potato purée, roasted corn, pickled red onions
- Sesame Steak Skewers – Chilled chili udon, ginger-soy aioli
- Short Rib Wraps – Kimchi, scallions, cilantro, bibb lettuce wrap
- Arepas De Pollo – Chicken tinga, chihuahua cheese, smoked jalapeño crema.
2. The Cowfish
Cowfish is the perfect place to take your sushi fearing friends. They can chow down on a burger while you indulge in the tastes of the ocean. It’s a Burger and Sushi bar that fuses ‘two niche products seamlessly on the same menu’.
- High Class Hill Billy – Pulled Pork, caramelized onion & BBQ sauce, potato wrapped and flash fried, portabella mushroom in truffle oil, green onions &spicy mayo
- Fusion Specialty Bento Box – Combo of burger and sushi. Mini burger with American cheese, pickles and red onion, sweet potato fires, thai cucumbers. (I got the Firecracker Roll – Shrimp tempura, kanie inside, topped with yellowtail, salmon, spicy mayo, masago and tobiko)
Even if you are not peckish, do not pass Cowfish on CityWalk. Their cocktails are fruity, light and pack a punch. We ‘sampled’:
- Bourbon Smash – Four Roses bourbon, Elderflower liquor, simple syrup, lime juice, muddled raspberries and blueberries
- Hokkaido Nights – 44 North Nectarine vodka, lemongrass syrup, fresh basil and mint, cucumber
- Ruby Panther – Deep Eddy Ruby vodka, simple syrup, lemon juice, pink lemonade, raspberries
*Even took some cocktails to go…..
3. Olive Garden
Olive Garden was top of my list of places to try and was only a stones throw away from the hotel. It was the first place we ate that made it feel like home. Fresh, home cooked hearty meals and the bread, oh the BREAD!
It was the single most magnificent bread I have ever tasted in my 26years. Light and garlicy, exquisite, go to Olive Garden for the bread alone!
We enjoyed Olive Garden so much so that we even ordered it in one night, as we recharged our batteries. The Garlic Rosemary Chicken was a recurring dish, but with seven in my party we sampled just about everything on the menu.
- Grilled Chicken Flat bread
- Stuffed Mushrooms
- Lasagna Classico
- Stuffed Chicken Marsala – Creamy marsala wine sauce with mushrooms over grilled chicken breasts, stuffed with Italian cheeses and sun-dried tomatoes. Served with garlic-parmesan mashed potatoes.
- Garlic Rosemary Chicken – Caramelized garlic cloves and rosemary top marinated grilled chicken breasts. Served with garlic-parmesan mashed potatoes and fresh spinach.
I know what you are thinking, a sports bar, how can that possibly make a top 5 places to eat list. Well let me tell you this, NBC Sports Grill & Brew is a sports bar that the rest should follow. Their appetizers were especially mouthwatering. We ordered appitizers to share and sadly there is no picture to show you, because it lasted about 10seconds on the table. The chicken from the chicken wings literally fell off the bone, literally! These were some of the best chicken wings I have ever had, I’m drooling typing. The chicken lettuce wrap is perfectly accompanied with a ginger soy sauce that is just divine.
My main was the Seasoned Smoked Chicken, half chicken slow smoked in-house with fries and corn bread, and although it was delicious, it was over shadowed by the appetizers. For anyone wondering what cornbread is, its basically a plain bun, not bread at all.
- Fire Grilled Wings – in hot buffalo sauce
- Chicken Lettuce Wraps – Ground chicken, shiitake mushrooms, water chestnuts, bean sprouts, lettuce leaves and ginger soy sauce
- Bang Bang Chicken – Thai curry with peanut, chile, coconut, sautéed vegatbles and jasmine rice
- Smokehouse Stack – Beef burger, smoked brisket, smoked pork, smoked Gouda, BBQ sauce, caramelized onion on a toasted brioche bun
5. Yard House
Yard House is another venue that caters for those who want to eat, drink or do both. For those beer connoisseurs this is the perfect spot for you as they offer a host of different craft beers.
I was recommended the Duck Fat Potatoes so obviously I just had to try them. They were so crispy and crunchy it was like getting a bag of chips full of just the crispy ones, heaven! The onion bacon dip was also to die for. The Maui Pineapple Chicken is worth ordering for the pineapple alone. The sweet soy the pineapple is grilled in really adds to the sweetness of the pineapple making it mouthwateringly good.
- Duck Fat Potatoes – ripped potatoes & chips, caramelized onion bacon dip
- BBQ Chicken Pizza – mozzarella, cilantro, red onion, smoked gouda, bbq sauce
- Maui Pineapple Chicken – marinated, grilled with a sweet soy pineapple and vegetable fried brown rice
- Southern Fried Chicken Breast – boneless, creamed corn, bbq beans, spinach mashed potatoes, bourbon gravy
So there you have it! My Top 5 places to eat in Orlando, Florida, specifically CityWalk and International Drive. Quick shout out to Denney’s for their incredible hash browns with bacon, onion and cheese for fueling me most mornings, Bahama Breeze for their Buttermilk Chicken and Miller’s Ale House for their $5 double vodka and lemonades, chicken wings and shrimp (which my shrimp fearing OH and sister tried….and loved!).
Until next time Florida….