We have just booked our flights to Florida for our summer holiday, and if I don’t blog something about it, I honestly think I will internally combust. Excitement, is building and it really is a few weeks away yet. So, getting myself into the Florida frame of mind, I’ve been looking at holiday snaps and thinking about all of the amazing places we have eaten in.
So if you are planning a trip to Orlando, or interested in what’s available, this post is all about The Ana Mum Diary’s top 5 of favourite places to eat in Orlando. Each time we go, we find new places to eat, but we also have old favourites that we visit every year. So in a Top of the Pops fashion, counting down from 5:
5 Ohana (Polynesian) $$$
This is such a fun Disney dinner experience, and the food very different to anything I had tried before. Not a great selection for a veggie (or pescatarian ) like myself, but Tall Dad raved about the meat skewers that were cooked in the 18ft oak fire pit.
However, this is so much more than the food, and that is why I included it in the top 5. I have two very lasting memories of The Ohana, the first being the atmosphere. Throughout the meal children were encouraged to get involved coconut racing and listening to stories told by the Ohana staff, in a family style Polynesian dinner, there is dancing and hula hoops racing. The second memory is that when the meal is finished, you can sit down and listen to the music piped into the restaurant, as you watch the fireworks over the castle. Truly magical!
4 Olive Garden $$
This is a huge American chain, but the service and quality of the food really make up for this, it’s also very reasonably priced too. They often have offers and specials, so you also need to look out for those on the site if you are doing your holiday planing, or on the menu if you are there. Its known as the home of the never ending pasta bowl, so great after a hard day at the parks, or shopping. As the name suggests, it is Italian, and is also very family friendly. If your family is anything like mine, Italian food means, everyone even the youngest in the group are going to enjoy it. There is a great children’s menu, but I would also recommend the flat breads and pasta dishes which are delicious.
3. Bahama Breeze $$
This is always on our list of places to eat. It has a Caribbean feel, with island-inspired seafood, chicken & steaks, and an excellent selection of cocktails, both alcoholic and non. This would be a place we would have a slow leisurely evening meal, as it has a comfortable and relaxing atmosphere. If you eat here and love fish, you simply must try the firecracker shrimp – buttermilk battered and crispy fried with a spicy red pepper sauce…simply amazing! Great also if you love rum, as it has a huge selection.
2 Sweet Tomatoes $
This is our go to place, when we are tired, hungry, and want a tasty but healthy meal. As you enter it has a huge long counter full of gorgeous salads and dressings. Everything from prepared salads to spinach, beetroot, eggs, seeds, nuts and dressings to make your own. Probably over 50 different salads and extras. It is self-serve, and once you have filled your plate, at the end of the salad area you pay for your meals. You can choose to drink water, or for a little extra, add never-ending beakers. Root beer bring a favourite of Miss N’s. But that’s not all, you can refill your plate with more of the fresh salads, which are constantly replenished. But also there are bays, with servers behind, that have other things available – made from scratch soups, speciality breads, and pasta. All of which are included in the price. To complete the meal, there is an area where you can help yourself to fruit, and ice cream, including a fat-free frozen yoghurt, which is my favourite!
We also love that each month has a theme, you still tend to have a lot of old favourites there, but they also add things to the menu. So it may be a cuisine from a particular country, or this month for example, it is ‘Berry Berry’ month so they have added new salads – Strawberry Fields Salad, with caramelised walnuts, as well as raspberry lemonade to the drinks and raspberry muffins to the deserts.
1 **Seasons 52** $$$
The winner in my eyes when eating out in Florida is Seasons 52. We usually eat in the bar area, in what we call a funky booth, and listen to the pianist, who actually plays a piano which is behind the bar. The restaurant has apparently been extended though, my hubby (Tall Dad) was there recently with work, and ate in an outside area, so I can’t wait to check this out next time we are there.
They don’t have a specific children’s menu, but are happy to make anything from the menu, into a child’s portion. I do think children would need to be used to eating out in a restaurant, as its not the kind of restaurant that particularly caters for children, we have never has a problem though.
The food is seasonal, fresh, and healthy. It often has unusual things to try. The wine is incredible, some of the nicest I have ever tasted. The staff, are exceptionally knowledgeable, and the service is fabulous. We tend to only go there once on a holiday, usually our wedding anniversary, or a birthday. Its the kind of place, that feels like a you are being wined and dined, I love that it also has valet parking.
We once went on a Friday in the evening, and the restaurant was very busy. I soon found out, after a visit to the powder room, that it was ‘date night’ as I inadvertently heard women calling their friends with updates on dates. It seems to be the place that the locals eat, and know about.
If you go, I would recommend that you leave room for the deserts, they come in shot glasses, and are miniature versions of traditional ones such as Key Lime Pie, Pecan Pie and Rocky Road. Leave room for two or three!
We have never been disappointed at Seasons 52 and that is why it is my top place to eat in Orlando!
I also thought it would be fun to add some fellow bloggers favourite places to eat, just so I could illustrate the diversity of food in Orlando.
Amanda Jane : Cheesecake Factory at Millennia Mall
Mel (Diary of a Jewellery Lover) :Yachtsman Steakhouse at the Yacht and Beach Club
Kate (Kate Takes 5) Rainforest Cafe
Marrianne (Maris World) : House Of Blues
Jennifer (Jennifers Little World) California Pizza Factory
Helen (Actually Mummy) : The Longhorn Steakhouse
Thank you for reading
If you are planning a trip to Orlando, can I recommend www.orlandoholidayplanning.com a fantastic tool to plan and organise your trip.