View Full Version : Dining without Disney thread
12-28-2009, 08:13 PM
For those of us who have been less than impressed by Disney restaurants, where do you go? Here is my list for 5 nights in January. I have been to some of these and the others were decided on from the Orlando Sentinel's list of best "foodie" restaurants(does require a car):
Arrival night: Flippers Pizza (delivers to resort and is decent)
Night 2: Greek Flame Taverna Restaurant in Winter Park
Night 3: The Ravenous Pig in Winter Park
Night 4: Oceanaire (International drive)
Night 5: Cafe Tu Tu Tango (International Drive)
Where do you go offsite??
12-28-2009, 09:28 PM
Since this is not DVC specific, I am relocating this thread...
12-29-2009, 08:02 AM
Doubtful any of our favorites will appear on any foodie lists but
Bahama Breeze on 535 close to DTD
Logan's Steakhouse (it's a chain but we don't have them at home)
Orlando Ale House - great beer and pub food
Waffle House (yes that greasy spoon) - nothing like a waffle at 2am with some hashbrowns - hmmm hmmm or even 2pm for that matter
and Steak N Shake
12-29-2009, 08:55 AM
I make it a point to dine at Sweet Tomatoes on 535, at the very end of that outdoor shopping plaza that contains the Goodings Supermarket. This is a chain restaurant that has no locations where I live, so it works as a vacation spot for me. I believe there's another location on International Drive someplace.
I also go to Golden Corral when I'm in a meat-eatin' kind of mood...heh. I think GC is down the street from Sweet Tomatoes, near that Marriott Village group of hotels.
I'll be staying off property next month, having just grabbed the Rodeway Inn I-Drive via travelzoo, so now I gotta (re-)learn what's available over there, I guess.
12-30-2009, 04:16 PM
Mimi's - near the Ashley furniture store at the corner of John Young and the Osceola parkway. Yum.
12-30-2009, 05:14 PM
Night 3: The Ravenous Pig in Winter Park
It sounds like you're trying to avoid chain restaurants. Good for you. :thumbsup2
The Pig is excellent. Chef owned/operated, great menu, great beer and wine list, great service. Can you tell that I really, really like it?? :laughing:
Their online menu isn't kept current, but it gives you a good feel for what they do. The biscuits are amazing. Shrimp and grits, lobster tacos, yum. I think their burger was voted best in Orlando by one publication (don't think it was the Sentinel).
I'd also add Norman's to the list of good, non-chain, places to eat:
12-30-2009, 06:07 PM
Yes, I am in to local owned, local operated joints. Having said that, I can appreciate a really good chain from time to time. I tend to migrate to Outback, Carraba's, Bahama Breeze (fish tacos) and places like that if I'm in a "chain" mood. No chain however approaches the quality and ingenuity of the best local owned joints.
Really looking forward to the pig and the Greek Flame!
12-31-2009, 05:52 PM
If you don't mind going a little out of your way, I found a FANTASTIC place on 27 called "Manny's Chop House". They have a yummy menu, bottomless salad bowl, quality steaks and seafood and dirt cheap prices. Portions are huge - it's the first time I've ever seen dh get a doggie bag in over 25 years together.
I also love Bogards on International Drive. It's like eating in New Orleans (ribs, po'boys, shrimp boil, oysters etc...) Food has lots of flavor.
01-01-2010, 10:35 PM
You'll find a couple of Antonio's (Altamonte Springs, Dr. Phillips, Celebration) so that makes them a little chain, but they are locally owned. Good, basic Italian style food.
If you want loads of pub style food, Ale House is your place. Plentiful and cheap.
We like Ceviche in Downtown Orlando (on Church St.). It's a fabulous tapas place; makes Tu Tu Tango look like Mc Donald's! :teeth:
We also like Bonefish, Melting Pot, Ruth's Chris, Charley's Steakhouse, Roy's and once in awhile, Season's 52. All are easily found in the vicinity of WDW.
If you want real local flavor head to Choctaw Willie's in beautiful downtown Winter Garden. :teeth: There are a couple of other nice locally owned small restaurants there too. :yes:
If you want a nice selection of to go food, try the new-ish Whole Foods at Sandlake and Turkey Lake. It has an extensive selection of prepared foods and you can eat in or take out.
There is also a Charley O's and Pei Wei in the same area. We like Pei Wei better than PF Changs.
If you want the ever popular Cheesecake Factory there is one at Millenia Mall. It's not a favorite of ours but many love it there. Also, there is a McCormick and Schmick's there too.
Joe's Crab Shack is nearer to DTD, and has some pretty good prices for crab pots and other seafood pots.
Avoid those all you can eat lobster places. The food is horribly overcooked and the sanitary aspects of the buffets are seriously wanting. They have quite a bit of trouble with the health department.
If you like Vietnamese food the area just east of I4 (exit at Amelia and take that to where it intersects 50/Colonial Dr. Take a RIGHT on Colonial) to Semoran is considered "Little Vietnam" and there are many restaurants there that serve Asian/Vietnamese/Thai food. ::yes::
Bubbalou's Bodacious Barbecue is another local style chain that has some serious barbecue! :teeth: Don't go if you don't want messy food.
Hope that helps a bit!
01-02-2010, 07:55 AM
"We like Ceviche in Downtown Orlando (on Church St.). It's a fabulous tapas place; makes Tu Tu Tango look like Mc Donald's!"
Sold! Ceviche is now on the agenda.
Thanks for the local insights all and keep them coming. I typically come down for 3-4 quick getaways a year and am interested in the local "finds". I am moving to Tampa shortly, and will probably do a few extra weekends in Orlando per year. I once ate at a small Italian restaurant in a small strip center down the street from Champions Gate and the pizza was ver good. Anyone know what the name of that place is? Is it still there?
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