There are many growing communities throughout Orlando, but the one that I visit the most is Lake Nona. This charming town is located at a convenient halfway point between the coast and Downtown Orlando. But the main reason I visit is for food and today I want to share all the amazing Lake Nona restaurants I have tried!
This post includes recommendations for affordable, average priced and splurge spots, as well as places to get dessert or coffee in Lake Nona. I tried to find a restaurant for every type of cuisine I could think of and a variety of atmospheres too! Pretty much every Lake Nona restaurant on this list is within fifteen minutes of the Lake Nona town center, so they should all be easily accessible for those in the area. With that in mind, keep scrolling to find out the best Lake Nona restaurants to try this year!
Affordable Lake Nona Restaurants
If you are a looking for a cheap place to go out to eat, this section covers many options. Most of them are counter service spots where you order and quickly pick up your food. However, some of these affordable Lake Nona restaurants can be more of an experience as well. Here are six options for a Lake Nona meal under $15 per person.
Boxi Park – Fun Atmosphere and Lots of Choices
First up is one of my top favorite Lake Nona restaurants, Boxi Park! You can easily spend a night out here, as it is a variety of repurposed shipping containers each with their own menu and culinary theme. For food, there is everything from seafood to fried chicken, and you can even enjoy live music or hang out at the dog park during your meal! I highly recommend a beer from Hops and Vine and a lobster roll from Claw & Order, but you can’t go wrong with any of the boxes at Boxi Park.
Sushi Hi Eatstation – Customizable Sushi
For a quick and customizable sushi meal, Sushi Hi Eatstation is an awesome choice. Here you can get sushi rolls, burritos and bowls with fish, chicken, steak or tofu. If you don’t want to customize your order, the Dojo kitchen has all sorts of creative creations. With options like a kickin’ chicken tempura burrito or mango shrimp purple cabbage salad, this adventurous spot is sure to excite for less than $13 an entrée!
Veg’n Out – Salads and Bowls
Healthy meals can be hard to find eating out, but Veg’n Out is the exception. This fast casual spot makes acai bowls, soups, salads and grain bowls to order with so many fresh ingredients to chose from. This is one of the best vegetarian restaurants in Lake Nona! Plant-based add-ons include coconut “bacon”, buffalo chickpeas, and walnut “chorizo”. All these toppings are in addition to the tasty plants like that make up a complete salad or bowl.
Hot Taco Street Taqueria – Tacos
For those seeking something different from your average Chipotle, Hot Taco Street Taqueria offers a spin on chain Mexican food. You can choose from over a dozen taco entrees for less than $10, like classic ground beef Americanos or unique birria tacos. However, there are also other dishes like quesadillas, ceviche and California burritos. Not only are the combinations endless, but the flavors are also just the right amount of savory and zesty.
BENTO – Pan Asian Dishes
Though it is a chain, I had to include BENTO on the best Lake Nona restaurants list. This is a local favorite with so many delicious Asian dishes to try. Whether you want sushi, noodles or stir fry, BENTO offers it conveniently priced, for pick-up or delivery. Unsurprisingly, I love the variety their bento box has, so you can get a so many flavors in one box!
Island Fin Poke – Poke Bowls
One other counter service restaurant in Lake Nona I recommend is Island Fin Poke. They have the best selection of poke I have seen, including octopus and spam, in addition to tuna, salmon and chicken! You add in whatever toppings you like and the bowls always come out massive for a cheap price! I can’t resist loading up a tuna bowl with macadamia nuts, crispy garlic and pineapple. I am sure there is a topping for every poke lover!
Moderately Priced Places to Eat in Lake Nona
This next section covers restaurants in the typical sit down restaurant price range, with flavors that are much more than typical! These seven Lake Nona restaurants have meal options in the $15 to $30 per person price range. Of course, if you go all out with drinks, appetizers and dessert, you can definitely spend higher than that too. Whether you are looking for a fun night out or a casual lunch, the following restaurants are ideal for that.
Park Pizza & Brewing Company – Pizza and Craft Beer
It turns out one of the best Lake Nona restaurants is also the best local brewery! This family friendly spot is located right in the middle of the hub, ideal for getting pizza, a beer or both. They offer all sorts of delicious pizza combinations, as well as a variety of appetizers and the atmosphere is extremely inviting. It is an excellent spot for a casual meal and some brews.
Nona Blue – Pub Food
For those who enjoy a pub experience, Nona Blue offers just that with an elevated twist. Despite its elegant appearance, this is a laid-back place serving comforting food favorites. Locals love the lobster mac and cheese, Polynesian rib eye, and the huge menu of wines, beers and cocktails. They are even open until 11 PM on weekends for anyone with a bar food craving.
Pho Haven – Pho and Summer Rolls
If you are craving Vietnamese cuisine, Pho Haven has you covered! This Lake Nona restaurant is known for their pho soup of course, which can be ordered with steak, chicken, veggies or more. However, if you are not in a soup mood, there are also rice bowls, banh mi’s and summer rolls to order as well. Though there is plenty of indoor and outdoor seating, this is also another recommendation if you are looking for a take-out meal.
Lake Nona Deli and Market – Comfort Food
One spot with a whole lot of charm and comfort food is the Lake Nona Deli and Market. Located inside the Village Walk community, but still accessible to all, this is a great option for grabbing pizza or sandwiches to go. The supreme pizza is a favorite, as well as the ice cream stand out front. If you have time, you can dine in and relax with wine or beer with your lunch or dinner.
Nona Social Bar & Kitchen – Burgers and Wings
For a little bit of everything and a trendy atmosphere, Nona Social is a fun place to go. Though it’s located in an unassuming strip mall, the inside has a modern vibe and a menu to match. You can pretty much find anything you are in the mood for, from burgers and wings to salads and tacos. Whether you are a looking for a lively night out or a comfortable place to snack and watch a game, this is the Lake Nona restaurant locals go to socialize.
HAVEN Kitchen – Mediterranean Cuisine
The newest of the Lake Nona restaurants on this list is HAVEN kitchen, located in the Wave Hotel. It is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner and serves up fresh, Mediterranean flavors. If the botanical décor does not entice you enough, the menu has plenty of hand crafted drinks and dishes that will. The menu is subject to change with it being a newer spot, but early favorites include the crispy cod and the gemelli pasta.
Canvas Restaurant & Market – Floribbean Cuisine
One imaginative spot I can’t resist is Canvas, an on the water restaurant in Lake Nona. Not only do they have the most delightful atmosphere, but the menu is impressive as well. It changes seasonally, but always offers a vast selection of American and “Floribbean” food for breakfast, lunch or dinner.
Where to Splurge in Lake Nona
I was surprised to find there aren’t a ton of “splurge” restaurants in Lake Nona. Most places you can find something affordable on the menu alongside upscale items! I think these six Lake Nona restaurants fit the category for a celebratory dinner out or a romantic date night. If you want a super fancy meal, you will have to head to Winter Park or Downtown Orlando, but I think most people would enjoy these Lake Nona options for splurging.
Armando’s – Italian Cuisine
One upscale spot to visit with a gorgeous patio is Armando’s, where they create flawless pasta and steak dinners. For those in the mood for Italian, their pasta is irresistible, especially options like gnocchi alla sorrentina and classic lasagna di carne. However, they also have a mushroom filet or veal scallopini for anyone craving red meat and all your standard sides. This is a great choice to go with the whole family for a mix of traditional yet inspired cuisine.
Bosphorus – Turkish Cuisine
Since starting our flexitarian journey, Bosphorous has become a Winter Park and Lake Nona go-to for us! That might seem surprising for a Turkish restaurant that specializes in kebaps. While the lamb and chicken are delicious, I always get the meze platter, with dips like hummus and tabouleh and the best lavas bread I have tasted! Between this and the falafel, I find Bosphorus to be the best upscale Lake Nona restaurant for vegetarians.
Bacan – Fine Dining with a Twist
Another new spot in the Wave Hotel is BACAN, which promises to be one of the most innovative restaurants in Lake Nona. They host dinner nightly in a sleek dining room with an elaborate open kitchen. Expect to spend at least $50 per person here, as BACAN prides itself on luxurious dishes like whole truffle chicken and olive oil poached halibut.
Creativity and care have been infused in everything on the menu, including the cocktails and appetizers like smoked scallops a la plancha with caviar. Having just opened a couple months ago, this is a very exciting new addition to the Lake Nona area.
Don Julio’s – Mexican Cuisine
Though I admit this is another chain restaurant, Don Julio’s Mexican Kitchen is still one of the best mexican restaurants in Lake Nona for a fiesta night out. The menu has options for the whole family from fajitas to enchiladas. It is on the pricier side, especially if you get margaritas and the signature guacamole, but the portions are huge and the flavors are excellent. For those wanting a celebratory meal, come on a weekend night where they frequently have live music and make sure to order the chocolate pinata!
Tabla Indian Restaurant – Indian Cuisine
Lake Nona doesn’t have nearly as much international cuisine as the rest of Orlando, but it does have an amazing Indian restaurant. That would be Tabla Indian Restaurant which has excellent curry, naan, butter chicken, and more. Though it is cheaper than many of the upscale restaurants in this section, the atmosphere is elegant and perfect for a date night setting. They also offer Thai and Chinese food, but I recommend getting the classic Indian dishes they are known for and a mango lassi for a refreshing drink.
Chroma – Unique Tapas
Probably one of Lake Nona’s trendiest spots is Chroma known for its unique and shareable meals. Every time we go, it’s so tough to choose from all the amazing dishes, so we usually end up getting a variety! With options like Corned Beef Brisket Empanadas, Flash Fried Honey Goat Cheese, and numerous seasonal cocktails, this place is a foodie’s paradise for brunch, lunch or dinner.
Dessert and Coffee Spots
Last I wanted to highlights some places in Lake Nona for coffee or desserts. If you are looking for a sweet treat or a quick bite in the morning, I have found six places to check out. The following cafes are where to find the best dessert and coffee in Lake Nona!
Mecato’s Bakery – Colombian Breads and Bites
It can be hard to find authentic Latin American cuisine in Lake Nona, but Mecato’s Bakery is one place that does it right. This adorable bakery is open all day and serves everything from arepas to pastel de yucca. Though you can easily eat a whole meal here, I usually just get some snacks to go from either the bread or the hot bites section. You can’t go wrong with any of the pastries of the café con leche.
407 Café – Gelato
If you are looking to add some European flair to your day, I suggest a visit to 407 Café. It’s one of my top dessert spots, as there is a large selection of gelato flavors from coconut to bubble gum. However, it’s also a great choice for breakfast or lunch, as you can also order crepes, croissant sandwiches and paninis. For an indulgent snack or meal, 407 Café is a Lake Nona favorite.
Foxtail Coffee Co. – Coffee
Now a Central Florida staple with over a dozen locations, Foxtail Coffee Co. also got its start in Orlando. You can find their location right near the Lake Nona hub, where they serve coffee, tea and pastries. I usually go with their classic cold brew, but seasonal favorites like the salted caramel mocha latte are also a hit!
The Naked Cupcake – Cakes and Cupcakes
Everyone needs a sweet sometimes and The Naked Cupcake is one of the best places to go. This little shop on Narcoossee creates anything but naked cupcakes and cakes for pick-up or special order. You can design your own unique cupcake with frosting and toppings right in the store for less than $5! It’s just the thing to brighten a day.
Vanessa’s Coffee Shop – Breakfast and Lattes
I frequently find that a lot of coffee shops have mediocre breakfast and vice versa, but one place that excels in both breakfast and coffee is Vanessa’s Coffee Shop. This Lake Nona café has some of the best coffee drinks around, with options like a frozen banana nut latte or an Oreo Nutella mocha. There is also a wide array of breakfast options, including omelets, pancakes and sandwiches. And with almost everything under $10, it’s the best of both worlds in the morning!
Consumable Moments – Waffle Desserts
Last, but not least, I recommend Consumable Moments for a waffle treat you cannot find anywhere else! This shop specializes in gourmet waffles you can customize with your own sweet or savory toppings. Though they are temporarily closed, word is they will reopen in mid-2022! Fingers crossed because I miss their tasty waffle creations
Know Before You Go: The Best Lake Nona Restaurants
I hope this guide was able to help you choose which Lake Nona restaurants to check out. Regardless if you are in the mood for tacos and beer or sushi and cocktails, you can find what you need in this Orlando suburb! I am so excited to see it as an emerging foodie destination and can’t wait to try some new restaurants coming soon that might make this list. Here are some quick tips to keep in mind before dining out in Lake Nona.
- It is customary to tip 20% in Lake Nona and most restaurants do not include this in the final bill unless you have a large party.
- Many Lake Nona restaurants take reservations, often on Open Table. Check out the restaurants’ webpage before going to avoid a wait, especially with a large party!
- The best way to save money Lake Nona when going out to eat is to go during Happy Hour, when many places have deals on drinks and appetizers. You can often find lunch deals during the day as well.
- The dress code is casual for most restaurants in Lake Nona. However, if you are dining at any options in the splurge category, I recommend refraining from beach attire at a minimum.
- Most restaurants in the area have free parking, but if you plan to enjoy drinks with your meal, taking an Uber/Lyft is safe and convenient.
Have you been to Lake Nona? If you have, let me know what your favorite restaurant is! For more recommendations for eating out in Orlando, check out my neighborhood guide for restaurants in the area.