Orlando is famous for theme parks, and while most associate Disney and Universal with little kids and rides, they are also host to a number of impressive, award-winning restaurants. These restaurants are made for kids and adults, and can help make your trip to, or weekend in Florida exciting in more ways than one.
1. Victoria and Albert’s
For a formal evening out, head over to Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort and try Victoria and Albert’s. The restaurant is an extremely elegant escape into the Victorian Era, when dining was quite a special experience. Attire is formal, and the meal matches the dress. You will be served a full six course meal over the course of two hours by specially trained waiters, complete with a personalized menu and the freshest ingredients imported that day. Each course is perfectly paired with a wine from their exclusive cellar, and the dessert comes complete with fresh coffee brewed the Victorian way.
2. Cinderella’s Royal Table
Book a table inside a princess’ castle for an unrivaled magical experience. Cinderella’s castle is the focal point of Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom, and the restaurant inside it is no less crowd pleasing. The interior is decorated like the most elegant of medieval dining halls, and you will feel like royalty as you indulge in fine-dining, American style cuisine. You also might find yourself in high class company, as princesses are always present to greet their guests.
3. Toothsome Chocolate Emporium
For all and any chocoholics out there, head over to Universal City Walk and into the Toothsome Chocolate Emporium. This steampunk style restaurant has a fun atmosphere and offer unique dishes and drinks all inspired by the wonderful diversity of the cacao plant. Make sure to start your meal off with the chocolate bread as an appetizer, and save room for the flourless chocolate cake for dessert. Adults might also consider indulging in a delicious chocolate Old Fashion from the bar.
4. Le Cellier’s
For a classic meat and potatoes meal that is anything but ordinary, don’t miss Le Cellier’s Steakhouse located in Epcot at Walt Disney World. Be sure to book in advance to enjoy the transformative experience of stepping out of the hot Florida sunshine and into the cool, elegant chateau inside Le Cellier. You will feel as though you’ve just arrived off the ski slopes when you see the beautifully carved wood tables and stone fireplaces lining the walls. The food is also inspired by Canadian classics which will warm and sooth your heart and soul. Steak entrees of every cut are always on the menu, as well as fondue appetizers, and a specialty maple creme brulee dessert.
Take a vacation to an exotic land without ever leaving Florida at Jiko’s, located at the Animal Kingdom Lodge. Walking into the restaurant is like stepping into a distant land, and the experience is unique and memorable in all the best ways. Venture outside of your usual cuisine choices and taste the flavors of South Africa, paired with luscious wines from the same region. Everything from the decor to the menu make you feel as though you are visiting a different continent. “Jiko” is the word for cooking space, and the center of the space contains a tile and clay cooking oven, which serves as the focal point of the restaurant as well as the source of the delicious main courses.
6. Be Our Guest
The newest fine-dining restaurant in Magic Kingdom is inspired by the classic film Beauty and the Beast. Be sure to make a reservation well in advance if you plan to visit, because tables are still difficult to book. The popular dining destination is set in the ballroom of the Beast’s castle, with shimmering gold architecture and a painted vaulted ceiling in the Baroque style. Visitors can choose from a diverse menu including specialty courses inspired by the Disney movie. Don’t forget to try the gray stuff- it’s delicious!
7. Coral Reef
Seafood lovers should head over to Epcot for the best dining experience under the sea. Coral Reef features gourmet fish and other seafood specialties caught fresh every day. There are non-seafood items on the menu as well that are just as delicious, so the whole family can enjoy. The restaurant’s walls are gorgeous floor to ceiling glass aquariums, so you can even try and find Nemo while you dine.
8. Spice Road Table
If you’re tired of hotdogs and hamburgers and craving something exotic, Spice Road Table is calling you. Located at the World Showcase in Epcot, the gorgeous dining room overlooks a waterfront and sets a calm, elegant mood that is a welcome break from the chaos of a day at the theme parks. The restaurant is Moroccan themed, and visitors can experience the vivacity and boldness of flavors from that region, as they dine on exquisite dishes full of depth and flavor.
9. The Three Broomsticks
Harry Potter fans will rejoice as they enter The Three Broomsticks at Universal Studios Islands of Adventure. The restaurant is only accessible from inside Hogsmeade, so make sure you bring your wand and cloak with you to dinner. Inside, the Three Broomsticks feels like an authentic British pub, with wood vaulted ceilings and stone floors. Enjoy classic British fare including fish and chips or a roast chicken with delicious seasoned potatoes and carrots. Don’t forget to wash it down with an ice cold butterbeer!
Located on the Lost Continent in Islands of Adventure, Mythos has been the most awarded Universal restaurant since the park opened. The interior is elaborately and beautifully decorated like the inside of a massive cave, complete with stalactites and stalagmites (whichever is which), and spirals of deep red stone, surrounded by large picture windows that grant a view of the waterfalls outside. It’s the perfect place to escape the Florida sun for a surprisingly delicious fine dining meal in the middle of a theme park.