The best restaurants in Downtown Orlando are mostly located on Church Street, and true to form, our list is dominated by the finest venues found on this iconic entertainment street in the centre of the city. There is a completely different feel to this part of Orlando, far removed from the glossy theme park areas, with more soul and authenticity. It is fair to say, the best restaurants in downtown Orlando make up the real Orlando.

    On weekends and public holidays, this area is alive with life (part of Church Street is closed to traffic during major holidays for one almighty street party) and is definitely the best place to be on a Saturday night – although Orlando’s best restaurants are busy every night. Advance booking is advised to most of the restaurants listed below.

    • Food

    Kres Steakhouse in Downtown Orlando serves up delicious and unique steak and seafood dishes for the whole family. Voted the best restaurant in Downtown Orlando by several prestigious publications, this dining experience is a top pick for an evening meal or a long lunch in the downtown area. Kres Steakhouse takes a fresh approach to steak and provides a historic dining experience with a modern twist.

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    Location: 17 W Church St, Orlando, FL 32801, USA

    Open: Monday–Friday from 11.30 am to midnight, Saturdays from 5 pm to midnight, Sundays from 5 pm to 11 pm

    Phone: +1 407-447-7950

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    2

    The Rusty Spoon

    • Food

    The Rusty Spoon is a casual restaurant known for inventive dishes based around American classic recipes. Located a couple of minutes from the Amway Center on West Church Street, you can enjoy great food and a few drinks here. The menu ranges from slow-braised lamb and beef carpaccio to a collection of exciting salad bowls. The wine list is excellent, too.

    Location: 55 West, 55 W Church St, Orlando, FL 32801, USA

    Open: Monday–Friday from 11 am to 3 pm and from 5 pm to 10 pm, Saturday–Sunday from 5 pm to 10 pm

    Phone: +1 407-401-8811

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    3

    The Boheme

    • Food

    If you’re looking for fancy fine-dining with all the trimmings, then the Boheme is for you. Located in The Grand Bohemian Hotel on Orange Avenue, you can combine a meal here with drinks afterwards in the fancy bars in the neighbourhood. The dinner menu features such classic dishes as Cognac-flamed pepper steak with roasted mushrooms and Mediterranean baked salmon. Prices are on the high side here, although the fixed price menu costs around $50 (not including drinks), which is great value. The Sunday brunch is very popular, and the classy dining room has quite a romantic vibe.

    Location: Grand Bohemian Hotel Orlando, Autograph Collection, 325 S Orange Ave, Orlando, FL 32801, USA

    Open: Monday–Friday from 6.30 am to 2 pm and from 5.30 pm to 10 pm, Saturdays from 7 am to 2 pm and from 5.30 pm to 10 pm, Sundays from 7 am to 2 pm and from 5.30 pm to 9 pm

    Phone: +1 407-581-4700

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    4

    Amura Downtown Japanese Restaurant

    • Food

    Serving Japanese sushi and wagyu steak, this small but sophisticated restaurant has seating alongside the open kitchens, so you can be served your dishes directly. The fish served here is always fresh and of premium quality while the sushi rolls are inventive and modern, such as the spicy tuna, or the salmon, avocado and teriyaki sauce. Although Amura has 2 other larger branches in Orlando, we like the cosy ambience of their downtown branch on Church Street. It’s consistently voted among the best restaurants in Florida. Dishes start from $5 but it’s worth noting there’s a happy hour between 5pm and 7pm with discounted prices.

    Location: 55 West, 54 W Church St, Orlando, FL 32801, USA

    Open: Monday–Friday from 11 am to 2.30 pm and from 5 pm to 10 pm, Saturdays from 5 pm to 11 pm, Sundays from 5 pm to 10 pm

    Phone: +1 407-316-8500

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    5

    Dexter’s of Thornton Park

    • Food

    Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, you can always find something tasty at Dexter’s. This is 1 of 4 locations spread out around Orlando, and this downtown venture (the most recent addition to the family) sticks to Dexter’s tried and tested formula of an eclectic menu offering something for almost everyone. For example, you have such regional dishes as chicken egg rolls with Thai chilli, Irish stout cheddar dip, jambalaya, and chicken schnitzel – all on one menu. Mains cost around $20.

    Location: 808 E Washington St, Orlando, FL 32801, USA

    Open: Monday–Friday from 7 am to 10 pm, Saturdays from 11 am to 11 pm, Sundays from 10 am to 11 pm

    Phone: +1 407-648-2777

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    6

    Hamburger Mary’s

    • Food

    This restaurant serves huge, hulking burgers with drag queen cabaret shows in the evenings. Open for lunch too (but without the frivolities of the show), the burgers are all natural, all half-pound in weight and are reason enough on their own to check out this unforgettable restaurant. There’s a large menu of customised burgers, along with vegetarian options (made with black bean), chicken and turkey burgers. Burgers cost around $12. The live entertainment at Hamburger Mary’s could be anything from drag queen Bingo to Broadway musical Sunday brunch.

    Location: Church Street Station, 110 W Church St, Orlando, FL 32801, USA

    Open: Mondays from 11 am to 3 pm, Tuesday–Thursday from 11 am to 10.30 pm, Friday–Saturday from 11 am to 11.30 pm, Sundays from 11 am to 10 pm

    Phone: +1 321-319-0600

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    • Food

    This popular and fun Orlando-born Tex-Mex restaurant chain has really made its mark, with 5 locations across the city and more throughout the USA. It's one of the most popular dining spots in Orlando's downtown area.

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    Location: Orange Avenue Shopping Center, 3154 S Orange Ave, Orlando, FL 32806, USA

    Open: Monday–Saturday from 11 am to 10 pm, Sunday from 11 am to 9 pm

    Phone: +1 407-859-6190

    Map
    • Families
    • Shoppers
    • Food

    If you are an inquisitive traveller, unsure of what you want but willing to explore to find it, then head to Church St West, especially around the intersection with Orange Avenue. Here, you’ll find loads places to eat. All regional cuisine is on offer and all tastes are catered for. From all-American classic diners to swanky French bistros, sushi bars, fresh seafood, Italian, Thai and pretty much everything in between – Church Street has it. This really is the place to go for first-timers wanting to get to know Downtown Orlando a little better.

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    Location: Orlando, FL 32801, USA

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    photo by Xiquinho Silva (CC BY 2.0) modified

    • Food

    Overlooking the beautiful blue waters of Lake Eola, Relax Grill is a casual lakeside restaurant with an open patio – the perfect place to take in some of Orlando's pretty downtown surroundings. Enjoy casual and comfortable dining with homemade food from the Mediterranean with a fun American twist. Greek specialties such as gyros and homemade hummus are delicious and fresh and always on the menu, while the food and drinks specials menu changes daily.

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    Location: 211 Eola Pkwy, Orlando, FL 32801, USA

    Open: Sunday–Wednesday from 11.30 am to 9.30 pm, Thursday–Saturday from 11.30 am to 10.30 pm

    Phone: +1 407-425-8440

    Map
    Ben Reeves | Compulsive Traveller

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