Orlando is a pretty large city. According to the United States Census Bureau’s 2016 figures, it’s the 24th largest metropolitan area in the U.S. with nearly 2.4 million people. From the foodie perspective that means there must be literally thousands of places to eat! If you are traveling to Orlando for Microsoft Envision and Ignite, you might think like I do. I don’t want to eat at the national chains, I want to eat where the locals do. Many times the best food and service can be found at the little, hole-in-the-wall, dives! Here’s my top picks for the four main meals of the day (and night) in Orlando.
Some say it’s the most important meal of the day, as it gets you stocked up and ready to take on a full day of conference sessions, networking and more. I say breakfast isn’t just for breakfast anymore – it’s OK to eat breakfast food anytime of day. And that’s just one of the reasons why Se7en Bites is my pick for Orlando’s best breakfast spot: it’s available all day long! Pastry Chef and Owner,Trina Gregory-Propst, explains how the restaurant’s name came about: According to the FAQ on her website, she had a long journey to owning a bakery and being healthy. In 2007, she had a sleeve gastrectomy. After this procedure her intake per meal had become 7 bites. Thus, the name was born – Se7enbites. Her new food philosophy has been if 7 bites is all you get it better be the best damn 7 bites ever! My breakfast pick from the menu: 7th Trimester – it’s a buttermilk garlic biscuit served with an over medium egg, applewood smoked bacon, and smothered in their signature 5 cheese mac n’ cheese, all topped with a potato chip bacon crumble. Whoa.
For those who know me well, my lunch choice will likely not surprise you to much. No, it isn’t a bacon dish, but it is a pork bar-b-que dish. My lunch choice in Orlando has got to be The Big Floyd, from The Original Pig Floyd’s Urban Barbakoa. The Big Floyd is oakwood smoked brisket, pulled pork, Fred Stokes sausage (Yes, THAT Fred Stokes, from the Super Bowl XXVI champion Washington Redskins!) with house-made sweet BBQ sauce, citrus peanut slaw and french fries…all served on a toasted Hawaiian roll. For more tasty morsels, follow Pig Floyd’s on twitter. O.M.G. I’m starving, where’s my lunch?
What’s best for dinner in Orlando? How about a place that serves locally sourced, seasonal ingredients combined with a contemporary Japanese flair? How about Kabooki Sushi? Chef & Owner Henry Moso arrived in Florida with his parents when he was just 15 years old. He learned the art and skill of preparing Sushi from his mother, and at age 22, he opened Kabooki Sushi. Zagat calls Kabooki a “completely unexpected gem in an unassuming Colonialtown strip mall,” and says that “this real-deal Japanese uses finesse to craft scintillating sushi and Asian-fusion plates.” Zagat gave the food a 4.7 out of 5.0, and was named one of the best Sushi Restaurants in Orlando. That’s some serious praise, certainly worth sampling.
It’s Friday night, 11pm. You and your friends just got out of a movie or ended game night, and you’re starving. Where can you go great food and drinks late night style? I suggest Oblivion Taproom. Not only does this gastropub boast the top prize for Best Pub Grub of 2016 from Orlando Weekly, they also have 15 different burgers, regular and smoked wings with your choice of over 20 sauces and seasonings. And of course you’ll need something to quench your thirst too. Oblivion Taproom is called a taproom for a reason. Actually, more than 40 reasons. That’s right, they feature a rotating beer tap menu of over 40 varieties, along with 100 bottled and canned brews, 10 Meads, a few Wines and many Liquors. So, not only do they have food your everyone’s late night craving, they have a drink (or two) to match….and late nights? Yes – open till midnight during the week and 2am Friday and Saturday nights. Who needs sleep when you can eat here?