Orlando’s food scene may be known for its turkey legs and chain restaurants, but that’s only part of the story. The city is home to immigrants from all over the world who have brought their cuisine with them. You can find an amazing array of inventive international restaurants that serve up bold flavors bound to please—if you know where to look.
For Asian Food
The Mills 50 District, close to downtown, is home to a wide variety of Asian restaurants that specialize in Singaporean dishes, Malaysian fare, and more. Pho Vinh (657 Primrose Dr.; 407-228-0043; dinner for two, $22*) features a lovely Vietnamese pho soup, served with fish, flank steak, brisket, or other ingredients. Toss in as many fresh bean sprouts and fragrant Thai basil leaves as you wish. Or fill up on bibimbap and barbecue at Korea House (4501 E. Colonial Dr.; 407-896-5994; dinner for two, $25), which claims to be the first Korean restaurant in the state of Florida. If there’s room, the seafood-and-vegetable pancakes are a winner.
For Mexican Food
Family-run joint Black Rooster Taqueria (1323 N. Mills Ave.; 407-601-0994; dinner for two, $20), also in the Mills 50 District, is all about farm-fresh ingredients, whether you order tacos, ceviche, or Colombian-style bowls of broth and slow-cooked meat. Looking for something a little different? You can try tacos filled with hibiscus flowers and guacamole at Hunger Street Tacos (2103 W. Fairbanks Ave., Winter Park; 321-444-6270; dinner for two, $20), just outside Orlando. If you’re after something heartier, consider tacos with chorizo and seared brisket.
For Italian Food
In the increasingly trendy Hourglass District, south of downtown, Bruno Pizza (3990 Curry Ford Rd.; dinner for two, $30) turns out Neapolitan-style pies, including vegan pizzas. The Blanca comes with mozzarella, pecorino, and lemon ricotta cheese, as well as arugula, garlic, and rosemary. Chef Brandon McGlamery mixes Florida ingredients with Italian classics at Prato (124 N. Park Ave., Winter Park; 407-262-0050; dinner for two, $35), over in Winter Park. Almost all the vegetables used in the kitchen are grown nearby, and you might also spot a Florida producer or two on the menu. For example, the peach salad incorporates a locally made burrata. For the main course, McGlamery’s take on cacio e pepe marinates homemade pasta in a special mustard then tops it with crunchy speck.
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