Orlando is often idealized as a “perfect” city, since it is advertised worldwide to have iconic theme parks, a beautiful landscape, roaring nightlife and endless shopping arenas. This makes it a hot spot for tourism and places an unrealistic expectation on visitors that their trip here will be picture-perfect. Unfortunately, this is far from the truth.
There are many aspects of this city that suck, such as how it is always unbearably hot, you have to risk your life every time you drive because the traffic is that bad and all the fun things to do are inside theme parks. Not to mention, the food here sucks. All the good restaurants are concentrated around Disney and Universal, leaving the only viable options to be completely overpriced diners or fast-food restaurants. Luckily, living here for 18 years has allowed me to find a couple of small businesses that are quick, affordable and absolutely delicious. Here is a mix of a few local and family-owned restaurants worth visiting the next time you want a bite to eat.
This is a small restaurant that serves delicious mini Brazilian-style pizzas. They are light, creamy and delicious. It is my go-to when I want a light snack to eat. I recommend the dulce de leche dessert from here. It is super sweet and melts in your mouth.
- Twenty Pho Seven
The food here is fantastic, with various pho and bubble tea options. The cafe is also super cute inside. It is a black and white 2D restaurant, with every single item customized to look like it was hand-drawn. Just being inside this place makes it feel like you are in another world, and it is so fun to visit.
- Flyers Chicken Wings
This is literally the best place to get chicken wings in the city, but I will be honest, I am not the biggest fan of their french fries. It is more of a take-out kind of restaurant, but there are a few seats if you want to dine in. The lemon pepper wings are the best flavor, so make sure to get those.
- Chicken Fire
Chicken Fire is another take-out-style restaurant that serves chicken and french fry boxes where you can customize the heat level of your chicken. I will warn you, it is very spicy, so I would go with the mild. The flavor of these chicken tenders is unique, and their homemade sauce is excellent with the fries.
Korean chicken wings are the only thing I have ever tried here, but they are so good, and I order them regularly. It combines fried chicken and a heavily-sauced chicken wing into one, making it an unforgettable meal that you cannot find anywhere else.
This restaurant is more of a permanent food truck in Downtown Orlando, and they have many birria taco options. I have tried these kinds of tacos at other locations, but found that this place makes them the best. The sauce poured on top of the tacos makes them juicy, plus the meat is very tender and flavorful.