Great restaurants outside of Disney/Disney Springs and US?

BAD311

Member
Original Poster
Since a lot of restaurants are closed due to COVID, we want to hit up restaurants around Kissimmee and the Orlando area.
When you're in the Disney area (or you're a local) and you're there one night or a weekend, where do you like to go for a great dinner (or lunch)?

A few notes about us... we're not wine folks. We love steak, seafood, pizza (deep dish mmm), Italian, middle eastern, Asian, etc. So yeah, pretty much we're open to a lot!

We want to try unique things that may only be in the Disney/Orlando area that aren't national chains (Olive Garden, Chedders, Longhorn, etc.)

Annnnnnnd GO! :)
 

LastoneOn

Well-Known Member
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Nice little Italian place down in Champions gate. Can't remember the name. Casual. Great scallops. There's a little knot of restaurants around there. And up by Universal is a big 'restaurant row' where a lot of the more local highly ranked places are. Might come up under a search for just that "restaurant row" Orlando. Sorry I can't get more specific, but others will.
 

StarshipDisney

Well-Known Member
Sometimes we like to sneak off for an evening and go to Fishbones over on Sand Lake Road. It is (or was at the time I read about it anyway) one of the top 10 seafood restaurants in the whole country. We have visited there on 5 trips now and never regretted it once.

It is not cheap, but we like to splurge a little when on vacation and Fishbones has always been an excellent dinner with excellent service. A manager always comes to your table to ensure your meal was good.
 

Club Cooloholic

Well-Known Member
Sometimes we like to sneak off for an evening and go to Fishbones over on Sand Lake Road. It is (or was at the time I read about it anyway) one of the top 10 seafood restaurants in the whole country. We have visited there on 5 trips now and never regretted it once.

It is not cheap, but we like to splurge a little when on vacation and Fishbones has always been an excellent dinner with excellent service. A manager always comes to your table to ensure your meal was good.
I always drove past there and thought it looked really cool! Nice to know the food is great
 

JeffBostock

Active Member
Haven't eaten there yet but plan on trying Columbia in Celebration the next trip. It looks really pretty. My fave outside restaurant has been Roy's which has sadly closed.
Yes I love Columbia. Excellent Spanish/Cuban cuisine. Can't go wrong with their lunch special with half a Cuban sandwich and their signature salad called the 1905 Salad. I think it's around $12-13 for the lunch special...also each person gets their own loaf of Cuban bread and butter. They have several great seafood options and various tapas. Definitely not your typical restaurant. Gotta get a mojito which comes with a stick of cane sugar.
 

Disney Experience

Well-Known Member
If you are ever up at universal in the Portifino Bay Hotel: "Mama Della's Ristorante℠ offers family-style dining with specialties from the regions of Tuscany, Naples and Piemonte". https://www.universalorlando.com/web/en/us/things-to-do/dining/mama-dellas

Before covid they had singers with instruments come to each table and sing Italian songs as requested. When I was single I dated a lady whose family was originally from Sicily. She cried with tears of joy when they played at our table. The food was good too, and reasonable priced. I took a fox news reporter there once when I single too. It is both a family place, and a bit romantic, yet not costly. There are paths around there to walk and talk, and water to view etc. While benefitting from the safety of being in major theme park.

In Disney, the Flying Fish is one of my favorite spots for good food that has availability when I can't get into Victoria and Alberts. It is not V&A in any sense, but good. But just checked it is closed right now too. https://disneyworld.disney.go.com/dining/boardwalk/flying-fish/

The places closed due to covid may reopen someday, but will they have the same level of food and service they had before? Talent moves, and really good food is hard to find.

There are some places at the new Four Seasons I have not checked out yet. California Grill is open and great views. But food at the flying fish is better.

Morimoto's in Disney Springs is also pretty good, my wife enjoyed our dinner there recently. https://disneyworld.disney.go.com/dining/disney-springs/morimoto-asia/

The Ravenous Pig is good. Only ate there once, but it was good. https://www.theravenouspig.com/

Not sure if they have reopened yet post covid.
 
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Rob562

Well-Known Member
Cafe Tu Tu Tango on I-drive near Icon Park.
A couple years ago on our "everything but Disney" trip we were looking for something different and came across it somehow (Google Maps, OpenTable, don't recall) but it was well-reviewed so we gave it a try.

It's an interesting place. The walls are covered in all kinds of art from local artists. In fact, they usually have an artist on-site actively working. They also had a psychic for tarot/palm readings. (Covid may have altered these for the time being though)

Great for cocktails and tapas. We ordered a few things to share, then ordered more. Server was great, all of her recommendations were spot-on.

-Rob
 

Bullseye1967

Well-Known Member
There is a Great Middle Eastern hole in the wall in Kissimmee called Jerusalem Restaurant. Great food and really decent prices. They also have outside seating. It is at 192 (Irlo Bronson) and 535 (Vineland Rd).
 

Lilofan

Well-Known Member
There is a Great Middle Eastern hole in the wall in Kissimmee called Jerusalem Restaurant. Great food and really decent prices. They also have outside seating. It is at 192 (Irlo Bronson) and 535 (Vineland Rd).
I have visited the place. It is near the Wal Mart super center. Small place, great Middle Eastern home cooking. Late night, the Muslim taxi drivers set up tables in the parking lot to smoke and eat. That general area of 192/535 is a very dangerous area with local homeless and a number of illegal activities going on.
 

Bullseye1967

Well-Known Member
I have visited the place. It is near the Wal Mart super center. Small place, great Middle Eastern home cooking. Late night, the Muslim taxi drivers set up tables in the parking lot to smoke and eat. That general area of 192/535 is a very dangerous area with local homeless and a number of illegal activities going on.
I am not sure if we are talking about the same place. There are 18 hotels and 5400 times share condos within a half mile of the restaurant. We stayed in that area in August. It is across Kissimmee Vineland Rd from the Publix in Poinciana Place and just South of the Embassy Suites by Hilton. I did see some panhandlers but never did we feel unsafe. The area to the East on 192 isn't great but there isn't really much there.
 

Lilofan

Well-Known Member
I am not sure if we are talking about the same place. There are 18 hotels and 5400 times share condos within a half mile of the restaurant. We stayed in that area in August. It is across Kissimmee Vineland Rd from the Publix in Poinciana Place and just South of the Embassy Suites by Hilton. I did see some panhandlers but never did we feel unsafe. The area to the East on 192 isn't great but there isn't really much there.
It is well known that the seediness is in the general area of 192/535 regardless of how many hotel/motel in the area. If you google Star Motel which is right at that intersection it paints a portrait not too well.
 

JoeCamel

Well-Known Member
I have visited the place. It is near the Wal Mart super center. Small place, great Middle Eastern home cooking. Late night, the Muslim taxi drivers set up tables in the parking lot to smoke and eat. That general area of 192/535 is a very dangerous area with local homeless and a number of illegal activities going on.
What do you mean, eat outside and watch the floor show! People watching at it's best.
 

"El Scorpion"

Premium Member
In the Parks
No
Fish Bones, Manny's Chophouse, Cuba Libre. Ford's Garage, Oceanaire, and Bull and Bear come to mind. I also agree with the Columbia recommendation.
 

Disney Experience

Well-Known Member
If one is in the Cape Canaveral area, drive up to Titusville and go to Dixie Crossroads(Edit: I corrected the last part of the name which I had wrong). Always crowded. But they have rock shrimp and serve it better than anywhere else. Taste like baby lobsters. I know of people who live in the Palm Beach area and when they are in the Titusville area they always stop there to get Rock Shrimp. I have tried elsewhere and was not impressed with it anywhere except as served by Dixie Crossings.

There used to be a cute place to get Nebraska style Prime Rib in Cocoa called GrandPa's Steakhouse. It's dining area was two old Ringling Bros trains joined together out beyond the town. But they closed a few years ago after being open for decades. [They sold the property to a car dealership to enjoy a much deserved retirement, the son was thinking of opening elsewhere].
 
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Lilofan

Well-Known Member
If one is in the Cape Canaveral area, drive up to Titusville and go to Dixie Crossing. Always crowded. But they have rock shrimp and serve it better than anywhere else. Taste like baby lobsters. I know of people who live in the Palm Beach area and when they are in the Titusville area they always stop there to get Rock Shrimp. I have tried elsewhere and was not impressed with it anywhere except as served by Dixie Crossings.

There used to be a cute place to get Nebraska style Prime Rib in Cocoa called GrandPa's Steakhouse. It's dining area was two old Ringling Bros trains joined together out beyond the town. But they closed a few years ago after being open for decades. [They sold the property to a car dealership to enjoy a much deserved retirement, the son was thinking of opening elsewhere].
Dixie Crossroads opened a location on International Drive in Orlando. The place was there for a number of years until closing several years ago.
 

Disney Experience

Well-Known Member
Dixie Crossroads opened a location on International Drive in Orlando. The place was there for a number of years until closing several years ago.
Interesting. I wonder why they failed (Lots of possible reasons).

They were never upscale or trendy, but the rock shrimp is to die for in their Titusville location.

Even living in Central Florida I did not know about it until a lawyer I dated that lived in Southern Florida said when she came up to visit me, we must stop there. We did, and ever since I have loved their rock shrimp [Cannot personally state how good their other dishes are, I just get rock shrimp]. Though I do not go to Titusville often, and am currently dieting so not eating out often for the next few months.
 

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