Orlando attracts visitors from all over the globe and the area’s dining choices reflect this international diversity. For travelers, the world’s great cuisines are yours to enjoy during your stay. We previously covered Asian, Middle Eastern and African eateries and Caribbean and South American culinary destinations.
Here are some favorite local European restaurants in the Orlando area.
English & Irish Cuisine in Orlando
British food traditionally suffered from a bad reputation among all (except the natives) but in the last decade or so, it’s undergone a bit of a rebirth. Pub grub in Britain is a distant cousin to the refried bar food served here. Over there, it’s a bit more flavorful and diverse. The Underground Public House reflects this new approach. It’s a gastropub, serving a diverse array of big and small plates — zucchini fries, hummus, cheese plates, fried shrimp, chili, burgers, fish & chips, bangers & mash, meatloaf and more. Of course, there’s an ample choice of beverages, too. The Bull & Bush has an abbreviated food menu but a huge list of British and domestic brews, ciders and craft beer. Time for tea? In England, “tea time” is a light meal between lunch and dinner served with tea or coffee. Dickens Coffee & Tea Room says “Our delicious food and libations will transport you to a classic, traditional tea salon in England, but the stylish and vibrant décor tells you this is not a stuffy, Victorian ‘ye olde tea shoppe’.” They also host events and offer a stylish children’s menu.
For a quick trip to the Emerald Isle, the Harp & Celt in downtown Orlando serves traditional Irish dishes and imaginative innovations like Irish nachos. Naturally, they pour a plethora of Irish and American brews, too. South of downtown, Claddagh Cottage Irish Pub is a popular destination among the locals for food, drink and fun. For a taste of Scotland, Piper’s Bar & Grill fits the bill.
French & Italian Cuisine in Orlando
The French, of course, are renowned for their gastronomic accomplishments. But that doesn’t mean that French restaurants are only for snobs or special occasions. Not at all, says a popular Orlando eatery: “DoveCote is a neighborhood brasserie located in the stately Bank of America building in downtown Orlando. Our restaurant will greet you morning, noon and night with warm hospitality and French-inspired flavors.” Family-owned Le Café De Paris specializes in breakfast, lunch, coffee and pasties (they close most days at 8 pm). For all-day dining, Paris Bistro is trés bon. In addition to lunch, brunch and dinner (and a smart wine list), there’s a happy hour menu, with discounted drinks and appetizers.
Italian food is more than pizza, but pizza is a good place to start. No need to resort to the national chains when there are worthy local restaurants around. Locally owned Brick & Fire Pizza & Pasta Parlor makes their dough from scratch by hand. Lazy Moon Pizza and Anthony’s are also local Orlando pizza favorites. Trevi Pasta serves homemade pasta with fresh sauces and toppings. They also sell their pasta so you can enjoy it at home (or in your villa’s kitchen). Winter Park’s Prato sells pizza and pasta, too, but their extensive lunch and dinner menus also feature fish, veal, beef, pork and vegetarian dishes, as well as tempting desserts. Antonio’s wood-burning ovens give a fragrant rustic accent to nearly everything they serve. Their market sells meats and prepared meals, too.
Spanish & Portuguese Cuisine in Orlando
Spanish food has gained in popularity in recent years, probably due to the proliferation of tapas, season, cheeses, vegetables and cold cuts served on small plates, usually with wine or beer. Santiago’s Bodega has three locations in Florida offering an array of tapas and accompanying beverages. Paella House offers tapas, but as their name suggests, they also serve traditional Spanish food including paella — various meats, seafood and vegetables artfully braised in saffron-infused rice. The same is true of Tapa Toro, with a menu encompassing similar aspects of Spanish cuisine.
Portugal is well represented in Orlando by Adega Grille. Naturally, grilled food is featured but their menu also includes, soups, salads and fried selection. Undecided about what to eat, but still want to dine on the food of the Iberian Peninsula? Gallettos’ menu features both Portuguese and Spanish dishes.
German & Eastern European Cuisine in Orlando
Achtung, baby! Bauern-Stube Authentic German Restaurant serves traditional food and drink with a generous helping of Gemütlichkeit — German hospitality and cheer. Schumann’s Jäger Haus is another local favorite, with solid food and drink selections.
For Eastern European and Russian cooking Ararat Euro Food & Bistro is a highly regarded option. Their menu includes favorites from Armenia, Russia, Georgia, Ukraine, Belarus, Moldova, Lithuania, Poland and Bulgaria.