Orlando for Foodies
These top 6 Orlando meals will leave your mouth watering for more.
Txokos Basque Kitchen
Orlando's current must-dine destination, Txokos Basque Kitchen in the trendy East End Market, marries traditional Basque small plates, or pintxos, with local ingredients. James Beard Award-nominated chef Henry Salgado has devised an ever-changing menu that includes wood-grilled, bone-in rib eye with porcini salted fries, and cobia ceviche with guindilla peppers, watermelon radish and sunchokes, all of which are best washed down with wine sourced from the Basque region of Spain and France.
The Ravenous Pig
Local celebrity chefs Julie and James Petrakis started their empire of trendy restaurants with the Pig, a gastropub that offers an ever-changing selection of beers on tap and inventive takes on classic pub fare, such as bone-marrow pot stickers and soft pretzels with taleggio-porter fondue. The husband-and-wife team uses locally sourced ingredients to create newfound favorites including porcini-marinated Ridgefield Farm flat-iron steak, served with truffle fries and smoked paprika aioli.
There's a nod to Indian classics, including tikka masala and vindaloo curries, on Hari Pulapaka's rotating menu at Cress. Repeatedly nominated for the James Beard Award, the chef has taken pains to also pay homage to Southern favorites, such as shrimp and grits, while devising creative and flavor-packed starters including Kurobuta pork belly with jerked, braised winter greens and beans, fried egg and a bacon gastrique.
The Rusty Spoon
Farm-to-table has been a dining world buzz term for some time now, and denizens of central Florida can thank Rusty Spoon chef Kathleen Blake for having introduced the concept to Orlando. The seasonally inspired menu changes regularly but can include gut-busting staples such as buttermilk-soaked Vidalia onion rings and the "Dirty South" seafood stew, which has shrimp, snapper, clams, garlicky greens and grits.
Victoria and Albert's
Fine-dining fans will find themselves in the lap of culinary luxury at Victoria and Albert's, an award-winning, ultra-posh restaurant at Disney's Grand Floridian Resort & Spa. The 7-course, seasonal tasting menu is a must-order and can include ingredients such as truffles from Italy and beef from Japan. Your meal at this AAA five-diamond restaurant will be accompanied by a harpist's live performance and butler-style service.
East End Market
Much as Seattle's Pike Place Market became the city's locally sourced, artisanal epicenter, so, too, has Orlando's East End Market become the city's hub of all things foodie. The community-centric space attracts an array or food and drink purveyors, include artisanal bakers, a juice bar, cheesemongers and Italian specialty-food sellers. Retail spaces hawk high-end cookware, and there's even a roster of rotating cooking classes.