The city of Orlando is full of amazing places to eat, but Winter Park is the neighborhood known to have the best restaurants of them all. If you are looking to have an incredible foodie meal of any cuisine or budget, you can find it in Winter Park. Today, I am sharing what I think are the best restaurants in Winter Park, Florida.
This part of Orlando is located just north of Lake Eola, Though it is about half an hour away from Disney World and the touristy areas, I recommend taking a day trip if you can to experience this scenic part of Orlando. Of course, the number one thing to do on that day trip is eat! This post explains all the best restaurants in Winter Park for affordable, moderately priced and splurge meals, as well as desserts.
Affordable Places to Eat in Winter Park
Many have the impression of Winter Park being an upscale area not worth visiting on a budget. There are, in fact, dozens of Winter Park restaurants to get a cheap and tasty meal though! Here is where I recommend visiting for a breakfast, lunch or dinner under $15 per person.
Black Bean Deli
If you are looking for Cuban food, Black Bean Deli is definitely one of the best restaurants in Winter Park to find it! This counter service spot has a retro feel and is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. The menu consists of sandwiches and plates, with classic roast pork, mojo steak or garlic mojo chicken. Of course, there are also plenty of Cuban sides like yellow rice, black beans, sweet plantains and Cuban bread. Don’t forget to get a cup of café con leche if you need a pick me up!
Winter Park Biscuit Company
For a vegan restaurant that will blow your mind, head to the East End Market in Avalon Park. This is where the counter for Winter Park Biscuit Company is serving up their famous vegan fried chicken and biscuits! The fried chicken tastes and looks so similar to real chicken, but is completely plant-based, as is the biscuits and gravy and the bleu cheese on the buffalo chicken sandwich. They also have impossible burgers and sausage here, but try the Chik’n so you can experience the future of plant-based food!
Farm & Haus
Another East End Market stand worth visiting is Farm & Haus, which serves local, made-from-scratch breakfast all day and lunch too! Locals love the gluten-free options like the Southwest Hash and the Salmon Bowl. Whatever your diet, there is no shortage of creative options here from coconut curry to buckwheat pancakes. This may seem like an odd menu with so many different flavors, but this little stand does an excellent job developing mouthwatering dishes of all kinds.
The COOP is a fast-casual concept of 4 Rivers that specializes in fried chicken and all the fixings. This is one of the first restaurants in Winter Park I ever tried and I have loved it since! Though it is not vegan like the fried chik’n spot mentioned above, The Coop always hits the spot for a family meal. The portions are giant, so you definitely want to go with a crowd and try as many sides as possible. I recommend the fried okra, the creamed corn and the hush puppies along with the giant chicken tenders. Lastly, save room for bread pudding if you can!
Park Avenue Smoothie Café
Just steps from the Winter Park farmers market, Park Avenue Smoothie Café is here for all your smoothie, acai bowl and juice cravings. The menu is full of fresh options including blue majik bowls filled with fruit, a house made protein salad and raw veggie juice. It’s a small shop with only a few outdoor tables, so plan to grab and go with your food or take it for a picnic in the park!
Hunger Street Tacos
Probably my favorite taco place in all of Orlando is Hunger Street Tacos! This is an authentic counter serve spot where you can get tacos and quesadillas on handmade tortillas. Everything is a la carte, so you can order any taco you want, starting at $3 per taco. My favorite is the halloumi grilled cheese taco, but you can’t go wrong with any of the avocado or pork tacos either!
The Best Restaurants in Winter Park for a Moderately Priced Meal
For a typical date night in Winter Park, the options are endless! Most places can accommodate a moderate budget of under $30 per person. However, this section includes the places you can get the full experience at that price. The following seven options are the best Winter Park restaurants for a moderately priced meal.
Of the locals I know, Domu was the number one recommended restaurant! This is a Japanese restaurant in the East End Market and at Dr. Phillips, famous for its ramen and crispy wings. I love coming for happy hour and getting one of their craft cocktails along with some small plates. The wait can get long on weekends though, so get here early!
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 ezme and the best lavas bread I have tasted! Between this and the falafel, I find Bosphorus to be the best winter park restaurant for sharing a meal!
4 Rivers Smokehouse
4 Rivers Smokehouse has locations all over Florida, but it started in Winter Park over a decade ago! You can still visit the original restaurant for some of the best barbecue in Florida. I recommend getting a platter, so you can try a few of the homestyle sides, like the mac and cheese and collard greens! They also offer sandwiches, tacos, salads and beyond beef, so there is plenty to choose from!
Anna’s Polish Restaurant
If you are looking for a cozy, yet unique meal, check out Anna’s Polish Restaurant near Full Sail University. This mom & pop café serves authentic Polish cuisine, like pierogis, kielbasa, stuffed cabbage and more. The Polish Platter is a favorite order since you can try three different traditional Polish dishes that are hard to find anywhere else!
Ethos Vegan Kitchen
Whether you are vegan or not, Ethos Vegan Kitchen is a can’t miss Winter Park restaurant. They are open for breakfast, lunch and dinner serving both comfort food and healthy food, all with a plant-based twist. You will find dishes like meatloaf or crab cakes that taste like a classic version, but are actually vegan! Locals especially rave about the bruschetta chicken sandwich being the best sandwich they have ever had.
For sushi in Winter Park, Sushi Pop is a delicious and whimsical option. This restaurant serves sushi rolls, nigiri, sashimi and Japanese fusion appetizers with inventive twists. I am always blown away by sushi combinations, like Hamachi with a truffle ponzu emulsion or a ceviche roll with hot sauce. Whether you are feeling adventurous or not, you can find the freshest fish here for a tasty sushi dinner.
If you are looking for brunch restaurants in Winter Park, Briarpatch Restaurant is continually ranked as one of the best. This iconic Park Avenue café has been serving locals timeless brunch dishes since 1980. Elevated dishes, such as a crab cake benedict with old bay hollandaise and brown butter Belgian waffles are stand outs, but you can also get burgers, salads and even a few vegan Latin inspired plates. They are open until 4 PM daily, so don’t be afraid to order a few mimosas or specialty cocktails and have a Sunday Funday in Winter Park!
For a modern Italian meal, Prato serves up a variety of pasta, pizza, and insalata options in a stylish setting. It is practically mandatory to get an order of meatballs that will have the whole table’s mouths watering. You have to save room for the savory pasta dishes like the artichoke raviolis or the spinach crema pizza. Luckily, they offer half portions, so you can indulge in all sorts of Italian specialties to your hearts content!
Places to Splurge at in Winter Park
If you are looking to have a special date night or a celebratory meal, Winter Park is the ideal spot. The following seven places are perfect for splurging and spending at least $100 per couple at. You can definitely expect to have an experience to remember at the following upscale Winter Park restaurants.
Boca is a local crowd pleaser for lunch, dinner and brunch with so many farm-to-table meals to choose from. Personally, I love the 60 spiced chicken or a house bibb salad from the garden, along with the modern, plant filled atmosphere. Though it is in the splurge category for Winter Park restaurants because of options like the skirt steak and bronzed sea scallops, you can also find plenty of affordable and fresh options, especially for brunch and lunch.
For a meal that transports you to the coast of Spain, try Bulla Gastrobar for its tapas and paella. Though this Winter Park restaurant is now chain with nine locations, it got its start in South Florida and truly embodies exquisite Florida dining. This artsy spot is perfect for a celebratory family meal where you can try all sorts of new flavors around the table. I love going for dinner and getting some Iberian ham and manchego with small plates of seafood and veggies, but they also offer a three-course brunch as well.
The Ravenous Pig
For an unforgettable foodie meal, the well-known Ravenous Pub gastropub creates unique meals consisting of everything from golden tilefish with confit sunchokes for dinner to chicken and cornbread waffles for brunch. I love everything about this place, from their curated charcuterie boards to their outdoor biergarten. Whether you are visiting for a craft beer and a pub burger or cocktails and shared plates, the Ravenous Pig always impresses!
Another fine dining spot to try is The Osprey, located in nearby Baldwin Park. Here you can find some of the best seafood around, including oysters, branzino, and the catch of the day. There are also options for land lovers, including the pork belly appetizer that gets rave reviews. Though this can be an excellent date night restaurant, there are also superb happy hour deals if you are looking for a quick bite and drinks.
Rocco’s Italian Grille & Bar
If you are looking for an old school Italian meal, Rocco’s is one of the best Winter Park restaurants to indulge at. This romantic trattoria is tucked away across from Lake Killarney and serves classic dishes like risotto, lasagna and spaghetti carbonara for dinner each night. Though you can splurge on prawns or veal scallopine, I tend to find myself getting a big dish of creamy fettucine. Of course, I can’t resist a bottle of wine, some antipasto and the tiramisu either, so make sure to save plenty of room for an decadent meal here.
For an intimate meal, Hillstone is legendary, with its gorgeous, lakefront location. This restaurant serves American cuisine at its finest with options like ribeye steak, ruby red trout and fall-off-the-bone pork ribs. They are known as one of the best date night Winter Park restaurants and any party over two people must book one of a few reservations. With a strict dress code and an extensive wine list, Hillstone sets the tone for a lunch or dinner to remember.
One of the most splurge-worthy places to eat in Winter Park is Kadence, a $250 per person multi-course sushi meal. It’s an experience unlike any other, serving the finest sashimi to only nine people per night. I have yet to indulge in this fine dining experience, but you can bet it’s on my bucket list! I hear this sushi is unlike any other with melt in your mouth cuts of fish such as, striped jack fish and amberjack with a side of Siberian caviar.
Where to Get Coffee and Dessert in Winter Park
Whether you are looking to end the night with a sweet treat or perk up with a cup of joe, there are so many wonderful coffee shops and bakeries here. I have included eight of my favorite Winter Park restaurants for coffee and sweets in this last section.
You may have heard about this amazing cookie shop that just opened at Disney Springs, but Gideon’s Bakehouse got their start at the East End Market They are known for their delicious half pound cookies loaded up with toppings like chocolate chips, peanut butter crunch or pistachios. Though they are quite the mouthful, I always get at least a couple to share so I can try all the delectable toppings.
Foxtail Coffee Co.
Now a Central Florida staple with over a dozen locations, Foxtail Coffee Co. also got its start in Winter Park. You can still visit their flagship store here for coffee, tea and even food. I usually go with their classic cold brew, but seasonal favorites like the salted caramel mocha latte are also a hit!
Another can’t miss dessert spot in the East End Market is Dochi, a Japanese Mochi Donut shop. They are a fusion of Japanese rice cakes and American donuts that creates a soft yet chewy bubble donut! I love the texture way more than normal donuts, but they also have delicious flavors like Matcha Oreo and Taro Pebbles that you have to try to believe.
The Glass Knife
For a cozy breakfast, lunch or dessert, try The Glass Knife, a cafe known for their sandwiches and cakes. The cakes are definitely the highlight with large or mini cakes available in flavors like berries and cream and southern red velvet. However, they also have pastries, donuts and savory dishes, including the beloved pimento cheese croissant. There is something for everyone, sweet or savory, at The Glass Knife
Lobos Coffee Roasters
Another coffee spot I love in Winter Park is Lobos. They are always coming up with unique coffee creations like a latte with orange bitters and honey or a citrus PSL. You can get small bites here to including cheese and charcuterie and even wine or beer to go with it. Between the cute vibe and the large menu, this is a coffee shop perfect for chilling out.
The Salty Donut
I would be remiss not to mention The Salty Donut, a Miami favorite that just opened in Winter Park. This spot has an adorable courtyard, but you usually spot it by the long line to get some of their fabulous donuts. They are HUGE, so make sure to save room for these artisan donuts. The brown butter and salt is my favorite, but they often have very fun seasonal flavors too.
Kelly’s Homemade Ice Cream
With such hot Florida weather, ice cream is always necessary for a refreshing snack. Kelly’s Homemade Ice Cream is hands down the best ice cream in Winter Park with a mix of classic and adventurous flavors, like Butter Pecan or Caramel Apple Pie. For the most fun experience, visit the Howell Branch counter to try their ice cream, Ravenous Pig beer and Foxtail coffee all at one location!
Barnie’s Coffee & Tea Co.
One last coffee recommendation I have to add is Barnie’s on Park Ave in Winter Park. I often get a drink here while I am strolling the avenue and it has become a favorite of mine. The Santa’s White Christmas Latte is an especially popular drink worth getting around the holidays, although they have excellent tea, pour overs and even breakfast and lunch options too.
Know Before You Go: The Best Restaurants in Winter Park, Florida
I hope that people traveling to the area and locals looking for a new place to eat find this guide helpful for choosing which restaurants in Winter Park to visit! Personally, I had a hard enough time narrowing it down to this many since there are so many awesome places to eat. Between affordable, trendy food stands and luxurious, fine dining, there is something for everyone in Winter Park, Florida. Here are a few tips to keep in mind when visiting the best Winter Park restaurants:
- It is customary to tip 20% in Winter Park and most restaurants do not include this in the final bill, unless you have a large party.
- Many restaurants here 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 in Winter Park when going out to eat is to go during Happy Hour, when many places have deals on drinks and appetizers. You can often find deals on Monday nights for Service Industry workers, as well.
- The dress code is casual for most restaurants in Winter Park. 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. If you are dining at any Winter Park restaurants on Park Avenue, you may need to pay a small fee for the parking garage to find a spot.
Have you been to Winter Park, Florida before? Let me know if your favorite restaurant made the list if you have! For more tips for the Orlando area, be sure to check out my past posts, including my Things to Do guide.