I don't know if a ton of people consider Orlando to be a culinary mecca but I am told there is a lot of great food in Orlando aside from amusement park ice cream, churros and cardboard-y pizza.
Thanks for folks including Holly, Isabelle and @clairedwillett who helped provide me with some recommendations. We'll see post-MEC how these spots are!
- The Ravenous Pig - I had the most recommendations for this gastropub so it's worth checking out just because of that.
- Luma on Park - a locally inspired wine and food spot. The wine selection looks massive.
- Bull and Bear Orlando - the place to go if you want a "fancy schmancy knock your socks off" steakhouse according to my pal Izzy.
- 4 Rivers Smokehouse - a Texas-style BBQ joint. Note how I specified the BBQ style since I have pals from various places known for BBQ and I don't want those Carolina/Kansas City/Memphis/Alabama friends knocking this place for its questionable BBQ origin.
- Press 101 - A sandwich and wine bar.
- Pom Pom's Tea House and Sandwicheria - exactly what it sounds like but it seems charming.
- Hanamazuki - a hole in the wall ramen spot, which usually are the best kind.
- Hawker's - Asian fusion that is based on Asian street food... at least I'm guessing from the name. I love Asian street food although it's often disappointing outside of Asia.
- Briar Patch - a casual brunch/lunch spot. The mashed potato omelette and the pistachio ice cream come highly recommended.
- Dexter's - casual lunch or dinner spot. Start with sweet potato chips with spicy dipping sauce.
- Wildside BBQ - a BBQ joint with alligator but the BBQ doesn't seem to be very focused with both Texan and St. Louis-style BBQ offerings.
- Red Fox Lounge - A spot for drinks and ambiance. Apparently a couple named Mark and Lorna sing for you there?
- Raglan Road - a traditional Irish pub built in Ireland and dropped into Orlando.
- The Beaches and Cream Soda Shop at Disney's Beach Club Resort - It's supposed to be cute but it won't be so cute after you eat their 'Kitchen Sink Sundae' which has 8 scoops of ice cream, all of the toppings they have and a whole can of whipped cream served in a kitchen sink.
- Three Broomsticks - Ok, so I am a Harry Potter nut but you muggles might enjoy Butterbeer, Cornish Pasty and a pint of Hog's Head Brew (Scottish Ale) before you geek out on wizarding gear.