Planning a trip to Orlando? There’s a lot to do and experience in the area so you’ll surely be able to fill up your itinerary with great stops. However, you also shouldn’t miss out on the food while you’re there.
The O-Town may not be as famous as other cities for its food scene but it doesn’t really lag behind other cities in its league. There are lots of highly rated restaurants all over the place. But if you can’t really sample the finest ones, here are some of the chains that will fill you up nicely, too.
It’s a fact that if you’re in the South, a trip to Waffle House is necessary. This chain is so popular in the area that some may consider it to be a go-to spot for a bite or two. It’s pretty much an institution for Southerners, so if you haven’t tried it yet, you should while you’re in Orlando.
The best part? They offer classic comfort food at very low prices. Dining here will definitely be a treat for budget travelers.
What to get: Biscuits and gravy, Cheeseburger deluxe, Bacon cheesesteak melt, T-bone steak and eggs
In case you want something you’re quite familiar with while on your visit to Orlando, you can visit any of their locations in the city. You’ll get to enjoy the same cozy and homey meals that you get back home, so you don’t always have to play Russian roulette with the local eateries.
What to get: Steak and Arugula Sandwich, Broccoli Cheddar Soup, Mac & Cheese
For something that’s more Florida-specific, check out Ford’s Garage. This chain is like a local version of Applebee’s and Chili’s with a more vintage vibe featuring a 1920 roadside service station theme.
The food is definitely up to par to its cute interiors, especially the hamburgers. Their hype may have been self-made but the quality of their burgers will convince you that they’re worth it.
What to get: Hamburgers, fries, shakes
A testament to the fact that Orlando is a melting pot of cultures is the popularity of Giordano’s in the area. Like many others in the area, this chain is pretty much a transplant. Hailing from Chicago, this chain brings classic Chicago-style deep-dish pizza to the amusement park capital of the world.
Since Giordano’s is one of the two first places that offered deep-dish pizzas in the country, it’s a great opportunity to sample some of their fare even when you’re more than a thousand miles away from where their first store was opened.
What to get: Deep-dish pizza, Stuffed pizza
Yes, you read that right. Publix is deemed as one of the best chains in the area. Before you stop reading this article, however, hear us out first.
Publix may be a grocery chain and not a restaurant chain but their food is still a great treat for many. In fact, there’s a website that is dedicated to update people whether their Chicken Tender Sub sandwich is on sale. One of their food items has reached cult-following status, so don’t you think that’s worth looking into? Let’s just hope it’s on sale while you’re in town, though.
What to get: Chicken Tender Sub sandwich, Ultimate Sub sandwich
Hawkers Asian Street Fare
Again, as a melting pot of cultures, it shouldn’t be surprising that an Asian-centric chain also flourished in Orlando. However, unlike other Asian restaurants, this chain focused on street style grub like the ones offered by ‘hawkers’ or food stall vendors in Hong Kong and Singapore.
What to get: Wok Fried Green Beans, Beef Haw Fun, Barbecue Pork Char Siu
Don’t want to miss Taco Tuesday while in Orlando? Head to Gringos Locos to sample some of the best tacos in the city. This fast food chain will not let you down when it comes to the tastiest, cheap eats.
What to get: Tacos, burritos
No matter which part of the US you hail from, barbeque will most likely be an attractive meal option for you. Every state has its own style, making it a good idea to sample as many as you can. If you’ll be in Orlando, make sure to drop by Sonny’s BBQ for some, as they’re hailed as one of the best chains that specialize in this dish.
What’s quite notable about Sonny’s is the fact that they have a delightful salad bar as well. This can help give you a nice balance for your meal.
What to get: Ribs, Pulled Pork Sandwich
Last but not least is Gator’s Dockside. With its unique Floridian fare, it will certainly be a great place to head to if you want to sample something local but also fast food-y. They serve gator meat, so if you’re feeling adventurous, you can definitely get some here.
What to get: Fried Gator Tail Dinner, chicken wings
The Cheesecake Factory
Wherever you may be in the country, the Cheesecake Factory will always be a great place for a bites if you want something better than your regular fast food fare. It might not be unique to the region but those who want to make sure that they’ll enjoy their next meal go here. The familiarity and consistency is always spot-on, so you can be sure of the experience you’ll get from any of their locations.
What to get: Cheesecake, Shepherd’s Pie, Buffalo Wings, 4 Cheese Pasta