Orlando's Best Local Restaurants

While in Orlando, anyone can get an ice cream bar in the shape of Mickey or stuff themselves on popcorn and soda. But why not sample some of the best local fare as well? Discover Orlando's best local restaurants -- places where the locals gather to eat, sip and connect. From family-run barbecue havens and outrageous burger joints, to restaurants with healthy, seasonal offerings and dishes created by master chefs, you’ve got plenty of culinary options to satisfy every taste bud.

Need more Orlando trip tips? Get more details with Travel Channel's Guide to Orlando.

Harry and Larry's Bar-B-Que

Harry and Larry's Bar-B-Que

In a part of the country that takes its barbecue seriously, Harry and Larry's Bar-B-Que is spoken of in hushed tones, with respect. Though relatively new, the family-run restaurant has already gained a reputation as one of the best barbecue spots in the greater Orlando area. Don't go looking for white-linen table cloths or wine lists. It's all about flavor, heat and meat at this small barbecue aficionado's outpost.

Located in a section of downtown Winter Garden lined with buildings erected in the early part of the last century, the eatery is run by sisters who named the joint after their grandfathers, and who rely on long-held family recipes. Owners Katie and Ashlee Grimes' long, thin space is filled with home-cooked specialties including sauce whipped up by their dad and coleslaw from a recipe created by their mom. Pork, sausage and brisket sandwiches, platters of ribs and turkey and sides of okra, pickles and glasses of Southern-style sweet tea mark this spot as a carnivore's mecca.

This exposed brick barbecue haven is a 25-minute ride from Orange County Convention Center, not far from the shores of Lake Apopka.
Harry and Larry's Bar-B-Que

54 West Plant St, Winter Garden, FL 34787

Get Directions

Phone: +1 407-614-5950

Graffiti Junktion

Graffiti Junktion

Outrageous burgers, colorful street art and plenty of noise is what hungry visitors to one of Graffiti Junktion's Orlando locations will find. This is big food with a big imagination. Consider the Green Mountain Burger, an almost insurmountable stack topped with Canadian bacon, a fried egg and cheddar. Or try the Cheese Head -- a big, beefy patty topped with enough cheese (4 slices of American) to please any formaggionado.

For the beef-averse, there's the Fog City -- a “burger” anyone from San Francisco would be proud of: a turkey patty, pepper jack, avocado and sprouts. With inked, pierced hipster servers and neon decor, this unusual spot isn't too hard to find -- just look for the giant Les Paul-style guitars in front of the Thornton Park location, or the graffiti-painted picnic tables in and around the College Park location.
Graffiti Junktion

900 East Washington St, Orlando, FL 32801

Get Directions

Phone: +1 407-426-9503

Seasons 52

Seasons 52

A fresh, seasonal menu and healthy offerings have helped Seasons 52 expand to several locations, but the original is right around the corner from the convention center in Orlando. The restaurant’s name reflects its unique approach: Every week of the year brings new ingredients and ever-changing harvests -- and therefore a seasonally-changing menu.

Depending on the time of year, entrees could include cedar-plank roasted salmon, oak-grilled filet mignon or caramelized sea scallops. Soft lighting, contemporary design, and wood and stone accents might create a sophisticated setting, but don't get too uptight: The piano bar and dessert flights bring everything back down to earth. Sample the wine list of more than 100 selections and order freely from the unique selections: Each item on the menu is no more than 475 calories.
Seasons 52

7700 Sand Lake Rd, Orlando, FL 32819

Get Directions

Phone: +1 407-354-5212

About the Author

Bill Burke is an award-winning humor columnist and writer with 20 years experience in the newspaper and magazine industry. He is the author of Mousejunkies (Travelers' Tales 2009) and Mousejunkies: Second Edition (Travelers' Tales 2011) --a humorous look at Walt Disney World addiction.

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