Your Guide to Orlando’s Restaurant Row

From by Ashley Dickey
Your Guide to Orlando’s Restaurant Row

Photo by foodesteem / Instagram

Photo by foodesteem / Instagram

Flavors from the eastern and western ends of the world meet in Orlando. The restaurant scene is vast – over 4,500 places to eat vast – and offers a mouth-watering variety of menus, lively atmospheres, quaint settings, and more. Orlando’s Restaurant Row is the foremost food destination, gathering locals and visitors alike for unforgettable meals.

What exactly is Restaurant Row? Located on Sand Lake Road, it’s a collection of restaurants with diverse culinary offerings. Three main shopping centers house most of the restaurants: Dr. Phillips Marketplace, The Fountains at Bay Hill, and Plaza Venezia. The Rialto and Dellagio are newer centers, adding to the overall Restaurant Row scene. With fine dining establishments, cheap eats, and everything in between available, where should you go? Use my guide to Orlando’s Restaurant Row to narrow down your options.

The Dr. Phillips Marketplace
Morton’s Steakhouse

Order: Signature Cut Prime New York Strip, Center-Cut Filet Mignon, Bacon & Onion Macaroni & Cheese, Parmesan & Truffle Matchstick Fries
Price: $$$

For the best steak in town, go to Morton’s. The upscale steakhouse serves some of the finest cuts of meat, accompanied by an ambiance that’s warm and inviting. As the oldest restaurant on Orlando’s Restaurant Row, Morton’s knows what it’s doing. Not only is the food superb, but service is outstanding and never leaves you wanting for a thing. Dine here for a high-end treat (keep in mind everything here is à la carte).

Christini’s Ristorante Italiano

Order: Fettucine Alla Christini’s, Rigatoni Alla Zozzona, Costata Di Vitello Alla Parmigiana
Price: $$$

Photo by Christini's / Facebook

Photo by Christini’s / Facebook

For world-class Italian fare, there’s one place that wows: Christini’s. It’s so good, it’s like you’re actually eating in Italy. Classic fettuccine, pomodoro, and scampi recipes are menu staples, as are veal and filet dishes made using ageless preparations. Gilded furnishings and ornate décor set an elegant atmosphere for anything from a business dinner to a couple’s night out.

The Fountains at Bay Hill

Order: MoonFish Bouillabaisse, MoonFish Oscar Filet Mignon, Bamboo Steamer, Pan-Asian Crab Cake, Volcano Roll, Yum-Yum Roll
Price: $$

Photo by Moonfish / Facebook

Photo by Moonfish / Facebook

When you’re this close to the ocean, you have to get a seafood fix. A globally influenced menu fuses Pan-Asian, Cajun, and Pacific Rim cooking styles for a menu dedicated to exotic fish, sushi, and even steaks. Freshness is key to flavor, so MoonFish flies in seafood selections daily. Staff is helpful, the setting modern, and vibe is perfect for a night out.

Vine’s Grille & Wine Bar

Order: Pan-Seared Chilean Sea Bass, Wagyu Filet Mignon, Duck Confit Mac n’ Cheese, Corn Maque Choux
Price: $$$

Photo by Vine's Grill / Facebook

Photo by Vine’s Grill / Facebook

Jazz up your meal at Vine’s, where live music sets the scene. Sleek urban style, chic décor, and low lighting casts a casual yet upscale energy that’s ideal for dates. An award-winning wine list and customizable menu with steak and seafood selections, creative salads, and starters offer customers a unique and satisfying night.

Plaza Venezia
Roy’s Restaurant

Order: Szechuan Spiced Pork Ribs, Lobster Potstickers, Red Dragon Shrimp, Roasted Macadamia Nut Crusted Mahi Mahi, Thai Style Chicken,
Price: $$$

Photo by Roy's Restaurant / Facebook

Photo by Roy’s Restaurant / Facebook

Add a little Hawaiian flavor to your meal at Roy’s, a fusion restaurant with inspired, tropical cuisine. An exhibition kitchen showcases meal preparation and cooking, while a bright, intoxicating setting feels fresh and vibrant. Drinks here are transportive. Come for Aloha Hour, then stay for a sumptuous dinner. The menu is filled with twists on classic Pacific-Rim dishes, so your taste buds are sure to be pleasantly surprised.

Rocco’s Tacos & Tequila Bar

Order: Guacamole, Chile Rellenos, The Brooklyn Tacos, Baja Combinación, Wet Burrito Con Rojo
Price: $$

Photo by Rocco's Tacos / Facebook

Photo by Rocco’s Tacos / Facebook

Get your night started right at Rocco’s Tacos. As one of the newer places to eat at Restaurant Row, Rocco’s is hip and draws quite a lively crowd to its dance floor on weekends. An in-your-face design places you in the heart of Mexico, as does the authentic menu and indulgent, 400+ tequila list. Guacamole made table-side, specially seasoned chips, house-made margarita mix, and freshly rolled tortillas add to the authentic atmosphere and appeal of Rocco’s. Dine outside on the patio overlooking Little Sand Lake for a cool evening out.

Dragonfly Robata Grill & Sushi

Order: Crispy U-10 Shrimp, Spicy Maguro, Amber Jack, Surf ‘n Turf Roll, Pork Belly Ramen, Dragonfly Roll, Fire Me Up Wasabi Roll, Mango Tango Roll
Price: $$

Photo by Dragonfly Gainesville / Facebook

Photo by Dragonfly Gainesville / Facebook

Trendy to the nines, Dragonfly is where to see and be seen. Oh, and also to eat some of the best sushi in town. Japanese and modern influences mingle at Dragonfly, both in the décor and on the menu. Masterful culinary techniques are demonstrated in magnificent ways: just try the sashimi and yakitori. Dragonfly excels at happy hour, too. Stop in for half-priced drinks, apps, and select sushi for a start to your night or to wind down after a full day of attraction-hopping. Keep in mind sushi selections change seasonally in order to offer the freshest ingredients possible.

The Rialto
Ocean Prime Orlando

Order: Blackened Snapper, Chilean Sea Bass, Jalapeno Au Gratin, Lobster Mashed Potatoes, Truffle Mac ‘n Cheese
Price: $$$

Photo by Ocean Prime

Photo by Ocean Prime

Voted “Best Bar” and one of the “Best Steakhouses in the City” by the Orlando Sentinel, Ocean Prime creates a truly memorable dining experience. Fresh seafood and an upscale, sophisticated atmosphere make this restaurant one of the most highly rated seafood spots in town. Impeccable service, high-quality food, and a vibe that’s both low-key yet exciting add to the already numerous reasons to rank Ocean Prime high on your list of places to eat in Orlando.

With over 50 restaurants to choose from, and just about as many cuisines featured, dining at Restaurant Row will be a culinary delight. Put this guide to Orlando’s Restaurant Row to the test on your next vacation and taste the best of the best.

"Your Guide to Orlando’s Restaurant Row" originally published on The Menuism Dining Blog.

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