Love is in the Air: Orlando’s Top Date Night Dining Spots

The Orlando restaurant scene has practically every type of food and experience you could imagine, including impressive spots for loved birds. If you and your significant other are looking for a romantic experience, I’ve got tons of suggestions that I wanted to share in this post.

I have divided up by location with enchanting ideas Downtown, in Winter Park, near the theme parks, and beyond. Though many of the options here are places for intimate fine dining, I have also included some casual places as well. Read on to find out my twenty-five recommendations for an unforgettable date night in Orlando.

romantic orlando restaurants guide for couples

Downtown Orlando

For those near Lake Eola, the Mills District, and the surrounding areas, I have narrowed down six to choose from. I love visiting this area because you can also check out nearby fun bars before or after your dinner. The following range from casual and fun to a fancy splurge.

1. DoveCote – French Fine Dining

DoveCote is THE French restaurant Downtown that is sure to impress! Whether you go with an oyster raw bar or the best cassoulets and steak frites you can find on this side of the Atlantic, they offer all sorts of elaborate dishes. Be sure to check out the extensive happy hour and weekend brunch for a unique date as well.

2. SOCO – Elevated Southern Cuisine

mac and cheese cassoulet from SOCO

Another Thorton Park recommendation is Soco Restaurant, AKA Southern Contemporary. Though the bougie brunch is impressive, dinner is much more of a sophisticated affair.

You can try elevated southern dishes like grilled meatloaf, lobster mashed potatoes, and cornmeal crisped oysters. No matter when you go, try the skillet mac and cheese cassoulet- it’s to die for!

3. Eola Wine Company – Wine and Charcuterie

Wine lovers will definitely want to visit Eola Wine Company for date night. This cozy bar has dozens of vinos to order by the glass or as part of a wine flight, and charcuterie or flatbreads to go with it.

It’s open late on weekends, so you can go for dinner or a snack. With an unbeatable selection of wine and charcuterie, you are sure to have a lovely experience here.

4. Jinya – Ramen and Japanese Dishes

fried chicken ramen from Jinya

If you do not mind a little noodle slurping, Jinya is an excellent choice for dinner with your partner in Orlando. They offer imaginative ramen creations like shrimp wonton or vegan harvest.

In addition to the amazing ramen, there are also top-notch cocktails and delectable small plates to share, like spicy tuna and salmon cones. For an adventurous evening, Jinya checks all the boxes!

5. Santiago’s Bodega – Tropical Tapas

For couples looking to get a Key West-style meal without taking a seven-hour drive, Santiago’s Bodega is my first choice Here, you can get a tapas with an island twist for lunch, brunch, and dinner.

Reknowned dishes include goat cheese stuffed dates, orange-miso short ribs, and peach pineapple quesadillas, but you can’t go wrong with any of the tapas or the cocktails.

6. The Boheme – Extravagant Foodie

For a luxurious evening out, The Boheme is worth the splurge. Open for dinner daily, The Boheme’s well-appointed dining room is an excellent locale to try gourmet dishes like escargot and bohemian spice beef tenderloin.

On Sunday you can enjoy a buffet-style jazz brunch for a romantic morning. With choices like oysters, prime rib, burrata, crepes, and unlimited mimosas, this brunch will set you back about $70 per person. However, it’s perfect for special occasions.

Lake Eola Things to do

Near and In the Theme Parks

Even if you are taking a trip to the Orlando theme parks, you can still have a night away from kids! There are tons of nice venues to eat at in and around Disney World and Universal that offer an intimate meal. These next nine recommendations are ideal for a date during a theme park vacation.

7. The Hampton Social – Seafood and Coastal Cuisine

ceaser salad from Hampton Social

For a taste of summer, no matter the weather, The Hampton Social is a delightful I-Drive restaurant, just minutes from Universal. It serves fresh, coastal fare including ceviche, burgers, pasta, and more. Between the bright atmosphere, juicy cocktails, and seasonal menu, it is sure to be an exquisite experience.

8. Bull and Bear – Upscale Steakhouse

Located on Disney World property, the Waldorf Astoria’s Bull and Bear is an elegant gem. This is a high-end steakhouse with specialties like a 32-Day Dry Aged Tomahawk and Iberico Pork Chop.

All the gourmet starters and desserts are delicious and artfully prepared. However, with most entrees costing at least $50, this is best for couples who want to treat themselves to a spectacular steak dinner.

9. Domu – Ramen and Japanese

sesame chicken wings from Domu

Always a favorite, Domu has two locations to indulge in their fantastic ramen. The Doctor Phillips location is only fifteen minutes from Disney World and Universal.

You can get the ramen cooked exactly to your liking, with endless customizations on toppings, broth, and flavors. They also offer small plates, like the famous crispy wings, and tropical cocktails to spice up a night out.

10. Kabooki Sushi – Sushi and Pan-Asian Cuisine

Over in Sand Lake, Kabooki Sushi Is a must-visit for a delicious pan-Asian dinner. They are known for their sushi with a curated selection of interesting rolls and hard-to-find sashimi. No worries if you like raw fish, but your partner doesn’t- there are all sorts of cooked dishes to enjoy from sticky ribs to mushroom gyoza.

11. Capa Steakhouse – Elegant Tapas

Located just minutes from the Magic Kingdom, Capa offers an experience out of a fantasy book This is a Michelin Star winner located in the Four Seasons Orlando that serves tapas, steaks, and more.

Many come for the filet or the Porterhouse, but you can also order Spanish dishes like jamon iberico and arroz sofrito. Whatever you do, try and come during the Magic Kingdom fireworks (Usually around 9 PM, but it varies), so you can get a fabulous view of the show from the rooftop terrace!

12. Strong Water Tavern – Island-Style Bar Food

carnitas and tapas from strongwater tavern

I find the Universal dining scene to be pretty lacking for adults, but Andrew and I have one favorite we keep returning to. Located in the Sapphire Falls resort, Strong Water Taven is a Caribbean-style spot with top-notch rum drinks, flavorful tapas, and often live music!

We love going on weekends, ordering small plates and drinks, and enjoying the live band. The whole atmosphere is transportive and very much a unique hidden gem.

13. Beaches and Cream – 50’s Style Diner

For duos wanting a more classic date, you can go to a burger and shake shop right out of the 1950s! Located in the Beach Club Resort, Beaches & Cream Soda Shop is within walking distance from Epcot and Hollywood Studios.

Even better, it has the top burgers and ice cream at Disney! Make sure to make a reservation in advance for lunch or dinner at this adorable Disney diner.

14. Jiko – African Fine Dining

oak grilled filet and side of mac and cheese from Jiko

Another fine-dining Disney World place I recommend couples try is Jiko at the Animal Kingdom Lodge. This special find draws from African, Indian, and Middle Eastern cuisines to create some of the most delicious food I have ever had!

Everything from the South African wine list to the oak-grilled filet mignon and peri-peri prawns melts in your mouth while you are surrounded by a colorful yet subtle atmosphere. Though you will have to drive or take a bus from the Disney theme parks to get here, it’s always an incredible dinner.

15. Hollywood Brown Derby – California Cuisine

Lastly, for dining inside a Disney World theme park, I recommend the Hollywood Brown Derby at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. This icon has an old California vibe with a vintage feel and a simple, yet satisfying menu.

This is more reasonable price-wise compared to other Disney World signature spots. The Famous Cobb Salad is just as filling of an entrée at $22 as the Braised Short Rib at $41. Between excellent food and fun drink choices like a margarita flight, it’s perfect for dinner after a day of rides and shows!

Winter Park

The top area for locals and tourists to spend a romantic evening is Winter Park. These next five places are my absolute favorites in the area. Though most are a splurge, you can expect to be impressed!

16. Boca Winter Park – Farm-to-Table

crab wontons from boca in winter park

Boca is a versatile option for a terrific lunch, dinner, and brunch with so many farm-to-table dishes to choose from. I love the sweet potato gnocchi and the lobster wontons, along with the modern, plant-filled atmosphere.

Though Boca can be a splurge because of menu items like the skirt steak and bronzed sea scallops, you can also find affordable delights, especially for brunch and lunch.

17. The Ravenous Pig – Upscale Gastropub

beer from ravenous pig biergarten

For a delectable meal, the well-known Ravenous Pub gastropub creates distinctive dishes consisting of everything from golden tilefish with confit sunchokes to fried chicken and cornbread waffles. I love both the refined dining room for a cozy booth and the outdoor biergarten for a dog-friendly lunch.

Whether you are visiting for a craft beer and a pub burger or cocktails and shared plates, the Ravenous Pig is always a crowdpleaser.

18. Soseki Modern Omakase – Japanese Fine Dining

To taste fine dining to the extreme, Soseki Modern Omakase is a Michelin Star restaurant to try. Here you can have an eighteen-course Japanese tasting that is thoughtfully prepared to change with the seasons and out-of-this-world flavors. With only ten seats per night and prices starting at $265 per person, it’s unlike any other local experience.

19. The Osprey Tavern – Sophisticated Surf and Turf

shashuka and shrimp and grits from The Osprey

If you are craving seafood, check out The Osprey, located in nearby Baldwin Park. They serve sensational dishes like oysters, branzino, and the catch of the day.

There are also options for land lovers, including the pork belly appetizer, which gets rave reviews. Though this can be excellent for a night-out, there are also superb happy hour deals if you are looking for a quick bite and drinks.

20. Kadence – Unforgettable Sushi

One of the most splurge-worthy places to eat in Winter Park is Kadence, a $250 per person multi-course sushi feast. It’s an experience unlike any other, serving the finest sashimi to only nine people per seating!

I have yet to indulge in this bucket list item, but I hear the sushi melts in your mouth! Expect to indulge in cuts of fish such as striped jackfish and amberjack with a side of Siberian caviar.

Lake Nona, Winter Garden, and Beyond

Lastly, I want to touch on some date night ideas throughout the Greater Orlando area. This section includes establishments in two overlooked locales: Lake Nona and Winter Garden.

If you want a change of scenery, take a drive to one of these five for an exciting adventure.

21. Chroma Modern Bar & Kitchen – Trendy Comfort Food

tuna tartar with avocado from Chroma

Lake Nona’s trendiest eatery is Chroma, known for its shareable menu. 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, Chroma is a foodie’s paradise.

22. Chef’s Table at Edgewater – Cozy Fine Dining

If you want a fancy outing in Winter Garden, Chef’s Table is great for couples. Not only do they have handcrafted cocktails and a vast wine selection, but also have the tastiest foodie creations to go with it.

The small menu is curated seasonally with specialties like a house-cured duck duo and a char-grilled filet. You can add on a wine pairing or cheese plate to complete this rendezvous. .

23. Rosallie Le French Cafe – Casual French Cooking

For a cozy, yet whimsical meal in Winter Garden, Rosallie Le French Café is an iconic pick. This café is open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner daily, but locals are obsessed with the brunch. Regardless of when you visit, you will want to try the flatbreads and salads straight out of a Parisian café.

24. Bosphorous – Chic Mediterranean

mezze plate from Bosphorus

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 eatery that specializes in kebaps. While the lamb and chicken are delicious, I always get the meze platter.

This includes hummus, tabouleh, and the best lavish bread I have tasted! Between this and the falafel, I find Bosphorus to be perfect for trying lots of shareables.

25. Bacan – Latin American Fusion

One new spot in Lake Nona is BACAN, which promises to be one of the most innovative restaurants in Lake Nona. Dinner is served 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. However, the stylish atmosphere and intricate cuisine are sure to impress!

Know Before You Go

I hope this guide was able to help you choose which places to eat on date night. Regardless if you are in the mood for a fancy steakhouse or a cozy cafe, you can find what you need in any part of the city! Here are some quick tips to keep in mind before planning:

  • It is customary to tip 20% and most restaurants do not include this in the final bill unless you have a large party.
  • Many options on this list take reservations, often on Open Table. Check out the webpage before going to avoid a wait, especially on weekends.
  • My recommendation for saving money is to drive further from the theme parks and tourist destinations for dining. You can often find lunch deals during the day as well.
  • The dress code is casual for most on this list. However, if you are dining at any of the fine dining establishments mentioned, I recommend wearing smart casual at a minimum.
  • Most restaurants in Downtown Orlando and the Theme Park area will have a parking fee. If you are dining at a hotel, you can often get the parking validated. Taking an Uber or Lyft is a convenient way to save on parking.

Let me know what your favorite spot is! For more recommendations for eating out in Orlando, check out my neighborhood guide for restaurants in the area.

And if you are looking for other things to do with your partner, I have a whole guide with romantic ideas, here.

date nights restaurants ideas in Orlando